Set pieces lined the hallway for painting this past weekend as H.J. Cody prepares for their holiday play. Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News

Preparation for holiday pageant is underway

H.J. Cody needs support for drama performance

The Drama and Music Departments at H.J. Cody High School are fast approaching opening night of Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical.

Christmas in this 1960s perfect little town is not so perfect once the horrible Herdmans become involved in the Sunday School Christmas Pageant. The Herdmans create panic wherever they go, causing fights, stealing lunches and even smoking smelly cigars! Grace decides to give these rambunctious kids a chance to shine, but the the ladies of the church call for Grace to cancel the entire thing. It is up to her and the Reverend to bring the Christmas spirit back to their perfect little town and show the Herdmans in a new light in this comedic and touching family holiday classic.

Casting for the production began in September and students, staff, parents and community members have been working hard on stage and behind the scenes to bring this vibrant production to life.

Director Jacqui Renwick commented, “I have had such a wonderful time working on this show with so many talented kids, parents, and community volunteers. It really feels like it has been a family approach to the production. I truly hope people will bring their families to our show and join our big happy Christmas family.”

The cast, crew and musicians involved include students from Grades 9 – 12 with many enrolled in Advanced Acting and extra curricular music. Students have also been working on their vocal skills as part of the H.J. Cody Choir, under the guidance of Kerry Heisler, to ensure they have the vocal capabilities to be able to present 10 shows for the public.

“Singing is a full body activity. It takes an incredible amount of energy to be able to sing and dance at the same time. It is a big learning curve for all the performers,” Heisler said.

Local Sylvan Lake resident Lacey Robley volunteered to assist with choreography. This is Lacey’s fourth musical with H. J. Cody and she has loved working with the production.

“Many students are new to singing and dancing in a musical setting. It is always astonishing how quickly everything comes together. Their hard work is impressive and commendable and shows their dedication to the production,” she said.

Show times

The shows run from December 6th – 16th at the Stephenson Performing Arts Centre at Ecole H.J. Cody School in Sylvan Lake. Evening shows begin at 7:00pm and Saturday afternoon shows begin at 1:00pm. A couple of special shows will also take place on December 15th and 16th.

Audience encouraged to dress up

Audience members are encouraged to dress up in 60s fashion or Christmas attire to truly be a part of the show. Guests are encourage to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets will be available at the door provided the show has not sold out.

Dinner and dessert theatre performances

A dessert theatre will take place on Friday, Dec. 15 with themed holiday desserts for the entire audience available at intermission.

There will also be a dinner theatre limited to 50 seats which includes reserved seating for dinner and the show on Dec. 16 with regular tickets available this night as well.

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the H.J. Cody Office during business hours and HJC families can purchase online through Student Quick Pay.

The Drama and Music Departments are also currently seeking local business sponsors for the show by purchasing advertisements in the show program. If interested, please contact Samantha Mielke, the Publicity Coordinator at smielke@cesd73.ca or at the school during business hours at 403-887-2412.

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