The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, based on Barbara Robinson’s book, shows the struggles faced by the director of a stage show, particularly one involving lots and lots of children. The director within the show, Grace Bradley, a regular suburban mom, faces just that challenge, after being chosen to direct her church’s Christmas pageant, after perennial, imperious director Mrs. Helen Armstrong, breaks her leg. Grace agrees to take on the responsibility, not knowing that her inexperience will end up being the hinge upon which the entire story is centered. Grace’s friends and neighbors, expect the same pageant as in years past. But that proves to be a challenge for Grace when six horrid children, the Herdmans, insist on being cast. The Herdman children have a reputation for stealing, cursing, lying and smoking, and it’s a little disconcerting when they all decide to take part in the local Christmas Pageant, motivated mostly by the free cookies that come afterwards. But the church members are aghast at the doors being opened to the rough, dirty and uncouth family. Of course, there are lessons to be learned about judging people. There is also eventual acceptance and a journey of discovery for the Herdman children, who find special meaning in this new experience. It is a recipe for a perfect holiday stage treat, and there will be more than a few members of the audience getting teary-eyed as the feared disaster of the pageant transforms into something of profound resonance. Please join Magnolia Arts Center as we offer the Greenville community a chance to get to know the wonderful characters of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We are sure you will find the message is more than heartwarming; it is inspirational.