‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ auditions Sept. 21-22

Columbia Center for the Arts Stage Troupe invites community members to audition for Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” an uproarious story about a Christmas pageant gone awry. The play will be directed by Kathleen Morrow.

Auditions will be in the theater at Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave., Hood River, Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon, and Sunday, Sept. 22, from 3-5 p.m., with callbacks on Monday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m. (if necessary).

Performances will be held Dec. 12-14 and 19-20 at 7:30 p.m., with two matinees: Sunday, Dec. 15, and Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m.

In this hilarious Christmas tale, an unwilling mother recruited 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 “worst kids in town” collide with the Christmas story head on.

Those auditioning will read from the script.

Character breakdown

(Note that when ages are listed, they mean “able to play” those ages.)

Mother (Grace Bradley): flustered but trying to remain calm

Father (Bob Bradley): a steadying influence

Beth Bradley: the narrator, strong voice and presence, 10-14

Charlie Bradley: ordinary kid brother, 8-9

Ralph Herdman: tough, touch of adolescent cool, 12-14

Imogene Herdman: tough, loud, bossy 10-14

Leroy Herdman: tough, sure of himself, 9-12 (either boy or girl)

Claude Herdman: tough, Ollie’s partner in crime, 9-10 (either boy or girl)

Ollie Herdman: tough, Claude’s partner in crime, 8-9 (either boy or girl)

Gladys Herdman: small, tough, feisty, 7-8

Alice Wendleken: prim, proper, pain in the neck, 10-14

Mrs. Armstrong: bossy woman, managerial in voice and manner

Mrs. Slocum: pleasant, motherly woman,

Mrs. McCarthy: a younger, less imperious version of Mrs. Armstrong,

Maxine: l0-l4 – earnest, wants to do the right thing (either boy or girl)

Reverend Hopkins: either male or female

Many speaking roles for angel choir members, baby angels, shepherds

For more information contact Kathleen Morrow at kathleen.morrow@embarq-mail.com.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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