John Griffin, LJI
Jessica Brown is a busy real eastate agent. She has her own home and a vibrant family to go with it. Why on earth would she take on the additional challenge of directing the Knowlton Players in the upcoming Yuletide-themed production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever?
“I love theatre, “ she said between rehearsals at Knowlton’s United Church.” I have loved it since I can remember. Now It gives me a chance to get my teenager involved, and it gives me energy. We all love it.”
By ‘all’, Brown is not talking about some intimate two-hander debating the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception. This is a broad comedy by Barbara Robinson, set in the 1970s, with a cast of 25, and buoyed by the seasonal carols and joyous spirit we can so use as the year’s days draw down.
But it has not been without its learning curve. “There are 10 adult roles,” Brown explained. “The rest are kids. They had no idea what a pageant was. It all had to be explained to them. By definition it is a challenge.”
“It’s going really well so far, but now we’re down to crunch time.” Costume designer Linda Carey’s fingers are flying overtime; stage manager Juli Peasley is wrestling with getting all those bodies onto the stage at Theatre Lac Brome; and Brown is coming to grips with the scope of the work she’s taken on.
“Anytime you have that many kids involved, you are talking the higher end of ambitious. But the play is so funny and the kids are so much fun, it’s been worth it.”
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is set for Theatre Lac Brome, November 24 to 26, and December 1 to 3. Tickets are on sale at the theatre since the end of October.