Cambria Center for the Arts Theatre has been shut down for almost two years. With the exception of three recent concerts, the stage has been dark, and the seats have been empty. But that is about to change. On December 18 and 19, CCAT will open its doors for a staged reading of Barbara Robinson’s beloved story “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
Many will be familiar with Robinson’s popular book telling the story of the Herdmans, the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, they cheat, they steal, and then one year they find themselves involved in the church’s Christmas pageant. Their wild antics and hilarious revelations turn the Christmas story upside down, making the pageant a whole lot better.
“This is a really fun, uplifting show. It’s simple and heart-warming,” said Bryce Prunty, a representative for the theatre. “I think everyone will really enjoy it and find some holiday spirit in it.”
Prunty is the newest member of the Cambria Center for the Arts Board of Directors and will direct a musical in the spring. “We haven’t announced the title yet, but I think everyone will be surprised and excited about it.”
CCAT will announce a season very soon that will include three major productions, one being the spring musical and a straight play in the fall. This summer will finally see the opening of the long-awaited “Cambria the Musical” written by Cambria local, Ed Hughes. The season will also include other staged readings and several concerts throughout the year.
“We can’t wait to have audiences back in the theatre, to hear some laughs and applause,” said CCA President Mari Fedrow. “We are thrilled.”
Mari said that the theatre will follow the most up to date COVID-19 protocols at the performances. At this writing that will include proof of vaccination before entering and masks must be worn at all times indoors.
Tickets for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” are on sale now through the center’s website, CambriaArts.org. They are $10, with proceeds going towards the purchase of some needed equipment for the upcoming season. Seats are reserved and limited due to social distancing.
“If things continue to improve in our county, we hope to open the seating to full capacity,” Fedrow said. ‘We will be watching the county updates closely.”
Performances are Saturday evening, December 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, December 19 at 2 p.m. Cambria Center for the Arts is located at 1350 Main St. in Cambria in the old grammar school.
“During the pandemic, the board has worked hard to make a lot of improvements at the center — new décor, paint, improved lighting in both the gallery and the theatre,” Prunty said. “We can’t wait to show off the renovation!”