Christmas Classic Comes to the Hilltop

West Liberty University’s Hilltop Players return to the stage with one of the biggest productions in the history of the WLU theater program, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. today and Dec. 7-9 and at 3 p.m., Dec.10, in Kelly Theatre with additional performances Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” tells a story of six misbehaving children realizing the true meaning of Christmas after being assigned roles in a Sunday school’s unconventional Christmas play.

After publishing the tale as a short story in McCall’s magazine in 1970, then as a children’s book in 1972, Robinson adapted it for stage in 1982.

The popularity of the play increased student interest in the production on the Hilltop, according to WLU professor Michael Aulick, who is the theatre director. “As a result, more than 40 people were cast for the upcoming play.

“In an effort to get as many people involved as possible, the WLU Theatre program has cast the play twice. It is one of the biggest projects we have done,” he said.

Students were divided into a Christmas cast and a Pageant cast with some students taking part in both casts.

Assistant director for the production is WLU senior theatre and biology major Alex Franke of Wheeling. Lighting designer is WLU junior theatre major Chris Rees of Weirton. Assisting with costumes is 2016 WLU theatre graduate Michael Blatzer of the Eastern Panhandle.

Christmas cast includes Ingrid Young, Hayden Heiserman, Sarah Lemley, Alex Fabrizio, Gory Dami, Mary Horzempa, Anthony Hood, Amanda Tamplen, Maggie Storms, Josie Jarrett, Colleen Hoselton, Audrey Orechio, Liam Gerney, Chad Clutter, Zach Ziolkowski, Sara Impellicceiri, Jayden Clutter, Taylor Miller, Raelin Stoll, Jessica Schults and Jacob Walker.

Pageant cast includes Alex Burdick, Alex Gordon, Eliza Aulick, Aiden Mills, Bayley Mills, Callie Carroll, Ben Moore, Amber Parsons, Maggie Storms, Jessica Schults, Lexy Glocer, Carly Balog, Liam Gerney, Andrew Mehler, Daniel White, Autumn Carver, Allison Bryant, Shia Conway, Brian Gonzalez, Tristan Gonzalez, Lydia Mehl and Abbigail Bryant.

The cast includes students from various schools in the community as well as members of the community, not just WLU students.

To purchase tickets, please visit brownpapertickets.com or call the box office at 304-336-8277.

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