Area Events, News

Hilltop Players Present a Christmas Classic

The West Liberty University Hilltop Players will end the fall 2023 semester with the classic children’s Christmas story, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. The show runs through Saturday, Dec. 2 and again on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 7 and 8, at 7:30 p.m. each evening, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 3 in Kelly Theatre on the historic campus of West Liberty University.
“This is one of the most beloved contemporary Christmas stories of all time. It is really a wonderful play and should be on everyone’s “must-see” list this year”, proclaimed Michael Aulick, Professor of Theatre at West Liberty University.
Everyone is encouraged to attend this delightful comedy, as it follows Beth Bradley, a pre-teen whose mother is put in charge of their church’s Christmas pageant after the original director breaks their leg. Beth’s mom was already in over her head with the pageant when mayhem ensued. The Herdman kids, known as the most inventively awful kids in history hear that the church has snacks at play practice so they decide they should be the leads of the pageant – and no one is brave enough to cross them. Beth is sure this year’s pageant is ruined by this rowdy family, but to everyone’s amazement, the old Christmas story is rejuvenated by the creativity, energy, and unexpected sincerity of the Herdman family.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will have you laughing in the aisle and maybe even moved to tears at the end. This show is warm, incredibly funny, and sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
While Judy Hennen, the director of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, has had a long career in theatre, she has not had a lot of opportunities to direct children. “I am enjoying it. You watch their imagination open up and when asked to do something they give their all. Cynicism is nowhere to be found,” Hennen said. “They give their smiles and giggles freely. You can feel their honesty and they’re enjoying what they are doing. So, when the littlest ones of the Angel Choir, looked up at me and said their lines perfectly with those innocent eyes, I thought, ‘what is so hard about this?’”
The cast includes Roman Hicks, Isabella Costantini, Klisty Snider, Aidan Kosol, Oliver Marks, Rowland Dodd, Asa Krinov, Benedict Stromeyer, Ethan Redd, Chloe Blatt, Daisy Deaton, Len Batson, Gaberielle Means, Joy Deaton, Eva Tennant, Traelynn Alton, Gabriel Wilson, Craig Whitlatch, Thomas Ellis, Zander Shiley, Drake Kendrix, Raven Wilson, Rose Stromeyer, Athena Taylor, Shannon Shifflett, Claire Ellis, and Maylee Bartsch.
Tickets can be purchased at Thanks to an anonymous donor, all WLU student tickets are free with a valid ID.