Actor turns director for 'Best Christmas Pageant Ever' at Tulsa's Clark Theatre
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Friday, November 30, 2012
11/30/12 at 4:56 AM
After nine years of performing in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," Rebecca Blackmore thought there was very little she didn't know about this show.
Then, she began preparing to direct it.
"I thought, 'I've got this in the bag - I've seen it, I've acted in it, I know it inside out,' " Blackmore said, laughing. "So I'm a little surprised that it's been quite a challenge - surprised in a good way. I like the fact that I'm still learning things about this show."
For those not familiar with "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," it's the adaptation of a book by Beverly Robinson about the six Herdman children, known throughout town as "the worst kids in the world."
The Herdmans show up at a local church because they hear snacks will be served, and they end up taking over the annual Christmas show, telling the Nativity story in their own unique way.
Robinson's play was first performed in 1982, and it has become a staple of the holiday season for many theater companies - including Tulsa's Clark Theatre, which is staging "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" for the 27th straight year.
Blackmore got her theatrical start with Clark, the city of Tulsa's youth theater program. During her time there, she was a regular "Pageant" cast member.
"In fact, 'Best Christmas Pageant Ever' was the first show I was ever in," Blackmore said. "So being able to direct this show is really like coming full circle.
"And that has informed the way I've approached this show - that what happens in the course of the play is something of a homecoming for everyone," she said.
Blackmore attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and she has performed with the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival as well as with such local troupes as Spotlight Theatre, Grace Ann Productions and American Theatre Company.
Since returning to Tulsa, she's also done some teaching through Clark and plans to do more in the coming season.
"For me, Clark Theatre is home," Blackmore said. "And I know I'm not the only person who feels about this place this way. It's just the sense of family that's here - that feeling that you have a place, that even if you don't have a leading part, you have a vital role in this living, breathing organism that is theater. That's what Clark Theatre is all about."
‘THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER’
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday
and Dec. 7-8, 2 p.m. Sunday and
Where: Henthorne PAC, 4825 S.
Tickets: $7-$10. 918-746-5065 or at
Original Print Headline: Full circle
James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478
Luke Hamilton (left), Sierra Livingston (top) and Pepper Tussey (right) work on a scene during a rehearsal of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the Henthorne PAC. The play is the adaptation of a book by Beverly Robinson about the six Herdman children, known throughout town as "the worst kids in the world." MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Director Rebecca Blackmore performed in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" for nine years before taking the reins as director of the Clark Theatre production this year. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World