Area residents are already in the full holiday swing as they attend rehearsals for Gardner Community Theatre’s (GCT) upcoming production, ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’
Children and adults alike from Gardner and Spring Hill are working hard under the direction of Becky DeNoon, Gardner, to put together this celebrated play that through humor and reverence delivers the message of the true meaning of Christmas.
The production will be performed at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 10 with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 11. The performances will be at Wheatridge Middle School. Admission is $6.  Playwright Barbara Robinson’s 1972 play tells the story of a group of bullies in a small town who become involved in the church’s annual Christmas pageant. Through their involvement in the production the children learn the true meaning of Christmas, as does the entire community. , “The public will love the show because not only will they be moved by the story, but they will also be given an experience that can never be duplicated again in exactly this way,” DeNoon said.
Sarah Shappell, assistant director, added, “It’s going to be a great show. Becky is a lot of fun to work with. She really tries to make sure that every cast member has a special part.” Principal actors in the production are Dan Naden as Bob Bradley and Minnie Beecher as Grace Bradley.
Performing the roles of the Bradley children are Michaela Minea and Cameron Schultz.
The Herdman clan is played by Damien Sampel, Ali Shappell, Drew Nichols, Leo Fotovich, Ryan Blackwell, Sophie Daniels and Kyla Trotter.
Additions supporting roles are played by numerous local adults and children.  GCT is a not-for-profit organization committed to providing quality theatrical experiences for area residents. Apart from its productions, GCT also hosts educational camps and programs as well as partnerships with organizations throughout Gardner.
Founded in 2006, GCT has produced multiple big-show musicals like “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Music Man,” “Bye, Bye Birdie,” “Annie,” and Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”