My amazing daughter is also in the play, having been assigned the character of Gladys Herdman. The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and bite little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas Pageant. This, obviously, is the opposite of my daughter's actual demeanor, so she has the opportunity to have some fun with the role. With Gladys, she has quite the memorable part: the sniveling, clawing, naughty girl who volunteers to play the angel that announces the birth of Christ to the shepherds...in her own way, beginning her declaration with a hardy "SHAZAM!"
My own role is that of the preacher - not really a stretch for me, as I do some part-time preaching in the area in my real life. I have a small role - five lines in a single scene - but that's as it should be, since the kids are really the stars in this show. A number of Cecil Floyd students also appear.
How is this pertinent to our fourth grade class? I want everyone to understand that there are ways to remained involved in the community, that hard work is rewarding, and that reading - or acting - required enunciation and volume control. What we learn in the fourth grade transfers into the world around us. Projects like Hoggatt Cave lend themselves to advancing some of these concepts.
Finally, there is this chance to experience local history and discover treasure in our own backyard. The Joplin Little Theatre, is located in the Park Playhouse adjacent to Shifferdecker Park on the north. It is the oldest continuously-operating community theatre west of the Mississippi River, currently celebrating her 75th year. Tickets for the December performances are available now.