Mary Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, based on her novel of the same name, is a widely beloved Christmas tale, warm and incredibly funny, full of characters both relatable and utterly unique.
The large cast and age range make this show a community favorite, in which a varied, multi-generational group of performers can come together.
Auditions for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, directed by Francesca Stokes and stage managed by Bernadette Oberndorf will be held as follows:
Audition Date & Times:
Location: 15 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South, Harrison, NJ (the former Holy Cross High School)
Production Dates: Dec 1st – Dec 10th
* Read Thru – Saturday, October 14th at 2:00 pm
Rehearsals will take place on weekday evenings and possibly an afternoon on the weekends.
Actors should have good availability the two weeks prior to the show (excluding Thanksgiving Day, Nov 23rd).
Please list all conflicts between October 14th and the shows on the Conflicts Calendar Form.
The original production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever cast 19 actors, with ages ranging from 7 to 60+. Please be honest on your audition form about the roles you would accept.
All actors should have strong comedic timing.
Beth Bradley’s church’s Christmas pageant is predictable every year — the angel choir sings off key, the shepherds are all in their father’s bathrobes, the minister’s son is permanently cast in the role of Joseph. It is hardly “four-star entertainment.” But when seasoned and authoritative pageant director Mrs. Armstrong breaks her leg, it is up to Beth’s inexperienced mother Grace to step in. The timing couldn’t be worse, as the rambunctious Herdman children, a rough and tough group of siblings, descend upon the pageant, lured by the promise of free dessert at Sunday school, and determined to win all the lead roles for themselves. The Ladies’ Aid Society members are beside themselves with disapproval, all the shepherds quit because Gladys Herdman “hits too hard”, the show is briefly re-titled “Revenge at Bethlehem,” and the church catches on fire. But Beth and her community watch in surprise as the same old Christmas story is rejuvenated by the creativity, energy, and unexpected sincerity of a misunderstood young family.
Cast size of 20 people, 2nd grade and older.
Mother (Grace Bradley) (female) – age 35-45 attractive, involved mom
Father (Bob Bradley) (male) – age 35-45 solid, family man
Beth Bradley (female) – Age 10-11 the narrator, strong voice and presence
Charlie Bradley (male) – Age 8-9 traditional kid brother
Ralph Herdman (male) – Age 12-13 ragged, scroungy, slouching manner; touch of adolescent cool
Imogene Herdman (female) – Age 11-12 loud, bossy, crafty
Leroy Herdman (male) – Age 10-11 tough, sure of himself
Claude Herdman (male) – Age 9-10 tough, combative
Ollie Herdman (male) – Age 8-9 looking for trouble, Claude’s usual partner in crime
Gladys Herdman (female) – Age 7-8 small, wiry, feisty
Alice Wendleken (female) – Age 10-11 prim, proper, pain in the neck
Mrs. Armstrong (female) – Age 45-60 managerial in voice and manner
Mrs. Slocum (female) – Age 35-60 pleasant, motherly woman
Mrs. Clark (female) – Age 35-60
Mrs. Clausing (female) – Age 35-60
Mrs. McCarthy (female) – Age 40-55 a younger, less imperial version of Mrs. Armstrong
Maxine (female) – Age 10-11
Elmer Hopkins (male) – Age 12-13
Hobie (male) – Age 9-10
David (male) – Age 8-9
Beverly (female) – Age 7-8
Shirley (female) – Age 5-6
Juanita (female) – Age 5-6
Doris (female) – Age 9-10
Reverend Hopkins (male) – Age mid-40’s
Actors will be asked to read from the scenes in the Audition Packet during the auditions.