Church dinner theater a tradition

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

This is part of a continuing series of articles on Christmas traditions in Northeast Mississippi.

CORINTH – A fun-filled theatrical production set the tone at Pleasant Hill United Pentecostal Church to launch the Christmas season.
The church presented the play “Return to Cricket County” as this year’s dinner theater entertainment, a tradition the 120-member church began about five years ago under the leadership of Pastor Dewayne Kirk.
“We like something that’s light-hearted and definitely family-oriented and has a message to it,” said Pat Grossell, the play’s director and church programs director. “Everybody seems to enjoy it and people have already said be sure to reserve us a place for next year.”
The church had presented musicals each year during the Christmas season but decided to try something new.
It has only been a couple of weeks since this year’s event, but Grossell already is looking for a possible script for next year. She also began asking actors if they’ll return next year.
“When one of our church members said he might not be here and I asked why not, he said ‘I might be in Hollywood,'” Grossell said with a smile in her voice.
It takes many volunteers to pull off the feat of presenting a play along with a meal. The free event includes a home-cooked meal, and reservations are required because space fills up quickly.
“We have two different groups of people who do the food so they can also see the play,” she said. “One group works one night and comes to see the play the other night. It’s a lot of work but it gets a lot of people involved.”
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com