The Oak Theatre at Samford Studio on the campus of First Baptist Church Avondale Estates is bringing the art of story back to life and creating a safe place for students to learn, grow, explore, & develop their skills in the performing arts. The theater just launched its first season with a theme of truth, specifically truth about Christmas in their first production, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The theater is a cozy little black box theater that lives upstairs, above the Community Life Center and gym of the original sanctuary of the church. Director, Sherrie Peterson fulfilled her dream by opening a theatre with a desire to reach out and into the community. She hoped The Best Christmas Pageant Ever would leave the audience believing the truth about Christmas and that the believing would lead to the doing. I’m confident she succeeded!
This comical and magical play was based off the book, written by Barbara Robinson. The Herdman’s literally descend upon the church to hijack the Christmas play. Sherrie Peterson says she thinks about the three types of people she has encountered as a believer… the skeptic, the cynic and the seeker. In the story, the Herdman’s end up being seekers but they are unfortunately judged by their socio-economic status, their bad behavior, and their differences. They are not welcomed at the church, much less warmly invited to the annual Christmas Pageant. There is chaos, confusion, comedy and tears shed.
Thank you to director, Sherrie Peterson for bringing The Oak Theatre back to life. Thank you for reopening the doors and creating a safe place for students to learn, grow and explore the performing arts. May Sherrie’s vision of life imitating art open our eyes to the true meaning of Christmas just as mother, Grace Bradley helped open eyes and hearts when she acted in faith. In Sherrie’s words, “Let the skeptics and cynics be wrong!”
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever from Kelley Sue Hardin on Vimeo.