CityView Magazine

December 2021

CityView Magazine - Fayetteville, NC

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30 December 2021 with the play the first year, its heartfelt message and action-packed, sometimes laugh-out-loud content quickly won over Fayetteville. "Kids loved it. ey loved Imogene smoking that cigar. ey loved the scene where the kids are jumping the firefighter's hose like a jump rope. Everyone wanted to be a Herdman," deViere remembered fondly. Kids still want to be a Herdman. Aer auditioning more children in 2021 than in the two previous seasons of the project, the theater team selected 120 to complete four separate casts of characters. "Everyone is searching for something in this moment that feels normal," said Owen of the turnout. "It's a safe space where kids know they have friends and adults who care about them. at's what BCPE is all about." Briefly, theater leadership entertained resurrecting the notion of an all-adult cast, but realized that even with a limited run, it would take away opportunities from the kids. "We want to give them every opportunity. ey're the ones who need this," said Owen. Instead, the theater went in the opposite direction: For the 30th anniversary, all adult roles, apart from Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, will be played by children, affording a new experience for actors and audience alike. "We have some of the funniest kids playing these roles and the audience is going to love it," Owen said. A tenet of the production has always been to expose children to theater, devoting as many as 24 daytime shows, filled to 300-seat-capacity, to area students. Student matinees will be fewer this year due to field trip restrictions, but CFRT will prioritize safety, and the show will go on. "It's a complicated moment, but many students have never seen anything like this before," said Owen. "It's magical." Very soon, the curtain will open on that magic. Captivated eyes of kindergartners will follow snowflakes falling soly onto the stage. Cast members will delight in the giggles This year marks the 30th anniversary of Cape Fear Regional Theatre's production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."

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