Olathe Civic Theatre Association | The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to Delight OCTA Audiences this Holiday Season
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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to Delight OCTA Audiences this Holiday Season

26 Nov The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to Delight OCTA Audiences this Holiday Season


Media Contact: Charlotte Gilman

913-484-1651 | asgcroc@aol.com

Tickets: www.olathetheatre.org  | Reservations: 913-782-2990 or tickets@olathetheatre.org


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to Delight OCTA Audiences this Holiday Season

Family Comedy Brings Merry Music and Much Mayhem to the Christmas Story

Olathe, KS (November 24, 2016) – The Herdmans are the worst kids in the world and Olathe Civic Theatre Association is bringing them straight to the stage! This Christmas, OCTA spices up traditional holiday theatre offerings with a wild take on the Christmas story with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This family comedy plays December 2-18 and is directed by Lana Jensen.

The beloved young adult book of the same name comes to life on stage in this hilarious play. A couple struggles to put on a Christmas pageant, but they are faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history. The Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on, and really everyone around them, bringing nonstop laughs. Jensen enthuses that “it’s a Christmas show that doesn’t feel like it is trying to force the Christmas spirit on you” and the plot turns the story “into a very real, very present, very powerful realization.”

Lana Jensen serves as the Director for the School of Theater at The Culture House in Olathe. In addition to directing this show, she also serves as the costumer – a substantial undertaking for a cast of over 30. Jensen is also excited to see this story on the OCTA stage: “OCTA is the perfect venue for BCPE.  Most of the show is set in the sanctuary of an old church so it is just perfect. The audience should truly feel like they are THERE. I’m also really excited for the OCTA community to experience a performance that might be a little different from many of the shows that are typically done here.” One of her favorite aspects of this show is how funny and meaningful the message is. Audiences will find something or someone to relate to in some way.

Also along for the ride are Michael James (stage manager), Harold Eastman (set design and construction), Mandy Stone (props), Kristine Luthi (lighting design and light board operator), and Kevin Bogan (carolers vocal director). That’s right! There are holiday carolers in the show, including Lindsay Lovejoy, Claire McClung (also Mrs. Clausing), Ella McClung, Chuck Chambers (also Reverend Hopkins), and Ken Kasten. Perhaps they can add some peace and harmony to the chaos brought by the Herdman children played by: Crew Shafer (Ralph), Lucy McClung (Imogene), Andrew McClung (Leroy), Ace Stone (Claude), Nathan McClung (Ollie), and Josie McClung (Gladys). You might see some similar names in the cast list, because there are six McClung family members in the show!

This cheery cast also features: Brian King (Father), Heather Tinker (Mother), Julia Masterson (Beth Bradley), Brock Olsen (Charlie Bradley), Madeline King (Alice Wendleken), Mina Foster (Mrs. Armstrong), Caroline Wise (Mrs. Slocum), Stephanie Kassen (Mrs. Clark), Jenn Ward (Mrs. McCarthy), Layne White (Maxine), Nate Lundgren (Elmer Hopkins), Andrew Guyer (Hobie), Thomas Hardy (David), Elliana Moore (Beverly), Aliyah Hart (Shirley), Madeline Ampleman (Juanita), Megan King (Doris), Ava Masterson (Janet), and Meredith Kiesling (Roberta).

With so many local actors giving their time to this production, OCTA wanted to give something back as well. During the run of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, audiences can help make the lives of many Olatheans a little brighter by bringing laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, and canned goods to the show. Not only will these be donated to individuals and families served by the Salvation Army of Olathe shelter and outreach center, audience members will receive a coupon for one concession item to enjoy during the show (one per household please). This activity is the first of what OCTA hopes will be an annual effort to give back to the community during the holidays, called “OCTA, Helping Olathe” (… or “O, HO, ho!” if you’re in the holiday spirit…)

To add to the festivities, Saturday night performances will feature a raffle for “the best Christmas wreaths ever,” and tickets can be purchased in the lobby before the show and winners will be announced that night.

Catch The Best Christmas Pageant Ever December 2-18, Friday and Saturday night performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. To purchase tickets, visit www.olathetheatre.org. Subscribers can make reservations by calling the theatre reservation hotline at 913-782-2990 or by emailing tickets@olathetheatre.org.

The Cast of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!"

The Cast of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!”


About Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Olathe Civic Theatre Association is a 501c3 organization producing theatre in Olathe since 1974. Performing in the Buddy Rogers Family Playhouse, OCTA produces five high-quality, engaging, and thought-provoking theatre productions a year. Through the generosity of volunteers, season ticket holders, donors, and the City of Olathe, OCTA has grown into one of the most progressive community theaters in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Social and Digital Media

Receive daily updates by ‘liking’ OCTA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/olathecivictheatre and follow OCTA on Twitter at @OCTATheatre. High resolution photos can be downloaded at http://olathetheatre.org/blog/ opening week.

Upcoming Shows, Events, and Classes in the 2016-2017 Season

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
December 2 – 18, 2016

By Barbara Robinson | Directed by Lana Jensen

The beloved Young Adult book of the same name comes to life in this hilarious Christmas classic. A couple struggles to put on a church Christmas pageant but they are faced with casting the Herdman kids -probably the most inventively awful kids in history. The Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on for nonstop laughs.

Charity HamBINGO for OCTA (Special Event)

December 30, 2016 – 7 pm

Join us for HamBINGO at Hamburger Mary’s in Kansas City! It’s great food and great fun for a great cause! Bring cash to purchase Bingo cards and raffle tickets. It’ll be a fabulous time to benefit OCTA at Hamburger Mary’s UBER famous Charity Bingo night. Hamburger Mary’s is located at 3700 Broadway Blvd #110, Kansas City, MO 64111. Read about it here.

 Musical Theatre Audition Technique: A Master Class with Kip Niven (Class)

January 6 – 8, 2017

Join us for an intensive, 3-day workshop in Musical Theatre Audition Technique led by Kansas City’s own Kip Niven. Participants will perform a common song, assigned by Mr. Niven, to learn the basic techniques of the workshop. Participants will then learn how to apply these techniques by working on a musical theatre audition piece of their own choice (up-tempo or ballad). All participants will learn about the perils, the frustrations, and, believe it or not, the joys of auditioning for a role in a musical. Class is limited to 15 participants. Read about it here.

Poor Relations
February 17 – March 5, 2017

By Robert Flaherty Hart | Directed by Tina Morrison

This original play by Kansas City native Robert Flaherty Hart takes place in suburban St. Louis, where decades-old secrets are uncovered as three adult siblings navigate their changing relationships and uncertain futures. When one of the three comes into a substantial fortune, will it soothe old wounds and lead to forgiveness or drive a permanent wedge into already shaky bonds? See the cast list here.

New Works Playwright Competition (Special Event)

March 10 – 11, 2017 

See 10-15 minute teasers of five plays written by local playwrights, then vote on the one you’d like to see workshopped as a full-length play at OCTA! See the details here. 

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
April 21 – May 7, 2017

By Christopher Durang | Directed by Nino Casisi

Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Adding to the ensemble are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and Nina, a lovely young aspiring actress. Read about auditions here. 


Please direct all media inquiries to: Charlotte Gilman at 913-484-1651 (cell) or asgcroc@aol.com.

For further information or tickets, please visit our Web site at www.olathetheatre.org.

Reservations can be made by calling the reservation hotline at 913-782-2990 or by writing tickets@olathetheatre.org.

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