Life mirrors drama for Chapel on the Hill's Christmas pageant
LINN TOWNSHIP Anyone who ever has put on a stage production will tell you it’s a team effort. Ultimately, the director is the head of the team, moving everyone toward the finished performance.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )
Take away the director, and theatrical trauma can occur. That was the situation facing Chapel on the Hill’s performing arts center only a month ago. The former director resigned, with only weeks until “The Worst/Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was scheduled to open.
The church board was left with little choice except to cancel the event. Then, a “saint” stepped forward to save the show -- Ruth St. Clair, that is.
“I got a tap on the shoulder, and they said, ‘Ruth, you have the experience and the time,”’ St. Clair said.
Of course, time is relative during the holidays, when everyone is busy decking their own halls, hitting the mall and everything in-between. St. Clair, who has four children, grandchildren, presents of her own to wrap and is also the church organist, agreed: The proposition presented a challenge.
“Christmas is coming, and there’s lots to do, but we’re re-adjusting,” she said with a smile during a recent rehearsal.
“Best Christmas Pageant” is a story about a family, mainly a mom, who is asked to step in and take over the local community Christmas pageant.
This same saintly mother makes some tough decisions and includes the local bullies in the pageant. None of the cast in Chapel on the Hill’s roster qualifies as bullies, but St. Clair did make a few changes herself and there you have coincidence No. 2. She admitted there is a mirror experience occurring, where “against all odds there’s a beautiful ending to the story.”
St. Clair would need a right hand woman, and for that role the church turned to Sharon Shelton. Shelton, also active at Chapel on the Hill, said she is the analytical one.
While St. Clair has the musical background, spending 30 years as a music teacher and choral director, Shelton is more business-minded.
Shelton, the former office administrator, had just one question when the church asked for her help.
“I said ‘What is a producer?’ And they said whatever you want it to be,” Shelton said with a laugh.
If you go
-- When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
-- Where: Chapel on the Hill Christian Arts Centre, Wisconsin Highway 50 and Cisco Road, Linn Township
-- Tickets: $10 per person. Call (262) 245-9122.