The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

by  Barbara Robinson

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 6f, 8boy(s), 9girl(s)

A delightful holiday comedy based on the best-selling young-adult book.

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

by  Barbara Robinson

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 6f, 8boy(s), 9girl(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    60 minutes (1 hour)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature), Theatre for Young Audiences, Christmas/Holiday
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids--probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won't believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on!

This delightful comedy is adapted from the best-selling Young Adult book, and has become a holiday staple for groups across the United States! Features plenty of great roles for children and adults, a few favorite Christmas Carols, and a lot of laughs!

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Reviews

An American classic." - McCall's Magazine

"One of the best Christmas stories ever - and certainly one of the funniest." - The Seattle Times

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER:

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
by Alison Sumstrond
July 15, 2013

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance
    or 10% of gross box office, if greater

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Setting: A living room / dining room and a church.
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 6f, 8boy(s), 9girl(s)
FATHER (Bob Bradley) - solid family man, 35-38
MOTHER (Grace Bradley) - trim, attractive, 35ish
BETH BRADLEY - the narrator, strong voice and presence, 10-11
CHARLIE BRADLEY - traditional kid brother, 8-9
RALPH HERDMAN - ragged, scroungy, slouching manner, touch of adolescent cool, 12-13
IMOGENE HERDMAN - loud, bossy, crafty, 11-12
LEROY HERDMAN - tough, sure of himself, 10-11
CLAUDE HERDMAN - tough, combative, 9-10
OLLIE HERDMAN - looking for trouble, Claude's usual partner in crime, 8-9
GLADYS HERDMAN - small, wiry, fiesty, 7-8
ALICE WENDLEKEN - prim, proper, pain in the neck, 10-11
MRS. ARMSTRONG - largish woman, managerial in voice and manner, 50ish
MRS. SLOCUM - pleasant, motherly woman, 35-60
MRS. CLARK - 35-60
MRS. CLAUSING - 35-60
MRS. MCCARTHY - a younger, less imperious version of Mrs. Armstrong, middle 40s
MAXINE - 10-11
ELMER HOPKINS - 12-13
HOBIE - 9-10
DAVID - 8-9
BEVERLY - 7-8
FIREMAN - 25-30
FIREMAN - 25-30
SHIRLEY - 5-6
JUANITA - 5-6
DORIS - 9-10
REVEREND HOPKINS - middle to late 40s
Extra angel choir members, baby angels, shepherds
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Cast Attributes

  • Expandable casting
  • Features Children
  • Flexible casting
  • Roles for Children

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Authors

Barbara Robinson

Barbara Robinson wrote several popular books for children, including My Brother Louis Measures Worms, The Best School Year Ever, The Best Halloween Ever, and the enormously popular bestselling novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, first published in 1972, which was made into a classic TV movie and on which this play w ...

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The first professional production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was given by the Seattle Children's Theatre on November 26, 1982.

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