Meet the Cast of Providence Players’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ Part 1: Michelle Shader by Julie Janson

The Providence Players of Fairfax, will soon premiere the second production of its 19th season, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, written by Barbara Robinson and directed by award-winning Director Liz Mykietyn. Co-produced by The Young Hearts, Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a holiday favorite that is great fun for the entire family. In Part 1 of interviews with the cast of Best Christmas Pageant Ever, meet Michelle Shader.

Julie: Please tell our readers where they may have seen you appear on our local stages and roles you have played.

Michelle Shader. Photo by Chip Gertzog.
Michelle Shader. Photo by Rob Cuevas.

Michelle: This will be my first theatrical performance on stage, ever! I’ve done voice over work but that was acting with a script right in front of me.

Tell us about your character! Have you enjoyed playing her? How is she important to the show?

Mrs. Grace Bradley is a typical suburban mom who loves her family. Her husband is hysterical and tries to keep her grounded and her children mean the world to her. I can relate, being a Mom myself. The role has been a lot of fun and I love how much comedy ensues.

The holidays can be busy and there can be a lot of holiday shows to choose from. Why should people see this holiday production?

First of all, it’s a Christmas show! Second, it’s only an hour so it can fit in easily with busy schedules. And last… it’s hysterical and will bring you joy!

The proceeds of this show will support The Young Hearts Foundation. Can you tell us anything about Young Hearts? What does partnering with them mean to you?


Young Hearts Foundation is about fighting blood cancers and supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The initial inspiration for Young Hearts was the battle of an 11-year old boy who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. For me, I know several people who are fighting this terrible disease in one form or another, and as a human, we need to do all we can to support the medical community to find cures. It’s a no-brainer.

Michelle Shader and Erika Frie. Photo by Chip Gertzog.
Michelle Shader and Erika Friel. Photo by Rob Cuevas.

How have you enjoyed working with the cast and crew of Providence Players?

Immensely! Our director, Liz Mykietyn, is professional, organized, fun and brave (brave for having a newbie take on such a big role)! Ms. Charlene is a fantastic stage manager and is a huge help. The entire cast and crew have been great. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. We laugh…a lot.

What do you hope people will take away from seeing Best Christmas Pageant Ever?

To remember what Christmas is all about!

Plot Summary:

The Herdmans. Photo by Chip Gertzog.
The Herdmans. Photo by Rob Cuevas.

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world; they lie, steal and cheat. Now they have taken over the churches’ annual Christmas pageant! The entire town has gathered in anticipation, waiting to see the Hermans ruin Christmas – or will they? This funny, heartwarming, holiday tale has become a classic: and good for the entire family! This special production of a holiday treat will benefit the work of The Young Hearts, a group of amazing teens who raise funds to battle blood cancers and other diseases. Directed by WATCH Award-winning director Liz Mykietyn, get in the holiday spirit when the Providence Players brings The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to the James Lee Community Center Theater stage December 9 – 18, 2016.


Best Christmas Pageant Ever plays from December 9 – December 18, 2016, at the James Lee Community Center Theater – 2855 Annandale Road, in Falls Church VA.


For tickets, e-mail:  [email protected], call (703) 425-6782, and leave a message, or purchase them online (there is no fee).


Here Are Performance Dates And Times: 

Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM on December 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 2016, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM on December 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2016. Tickets are $17, and all performances are general admission seating.

All attendees are invited to a special reception with Santa after the show where refreshments will be available for a donation.


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