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franklin county times

Carey Dinner Theatre stages Sanders Family Christmas'

By Staff
Special to The Star
June 9, 2002
In 1941, America's most victorious boxer was Joe Louis, its most popular movie was "Citizen Kane" and its most devastating attack occurred at Pearl Harbor.
And a fictional gospel singing family visited a small church in North Carolina to encourage the congregation and find the strength to accept America's impending involvement in World War II.
This is the backdrop for the musical comedy, "Sanders Family Christmas," which will begin Carey Dinner Theatre's 28th season.
Co-sponsored by Bancorp South, the production runs June 13-29 on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey College.
A sequel to the popular "Smoke On The Mountain," "Sanders Family Christmas" finds the hilarious family back home for the holidays.
Set in 1941, the gospel-singing family has returned to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church at the request of the Rev. Oglethorpe (Daniel Sansing of Mooreville). Several members residents, including one of the Sanders' own sons, are scheduled to leave for World War II and people are in need of spiritual lifting.
Father Burl (Daniel Shirley of Madison); Mother Vera (Laura Hastings of Ridgeland); twins Dennis (Danny Tran of Alexandria, La.) and Denise (Audrea McMillen of Tupelo); Uncle Stanley (Kevin Jackson of Meridian); and Sister June (Sadie Magadanz of Chicago City, Minn.) sing vintage hymns and old-time Christmas favorites and share hilarious yuletide stories.
Miss Maude (Kristina Lucka of Bratislava, Slovakia) and Mr. Myrtle (Jonathan Hill of Southaven) return to the Amen Corner to enjoy the traditional music. Uncle Kus (Chris Lovely of Moss Point) is pianist.
Songs consist of classic hymns, original music and Christmas standards including "I Wonder as I Wonder," "Onward Christian Soldiers," "Away in a Manger," "Go Tell It On The Mountain," and "Merry Christmas Down Home." The show is written by Connie Ray and conceived by Alan Bailey.
Tim Matheny of the theater faculty serves the show as director. Shannon Robert, professor and technical director, is set designer for the season. O. L. Quave, director of the theater department, is managing director. Connie Roberts of the music faculty is musical director. Zack Brown of Tupelo serves as lighting designer and Kristina Lucka serves as costume designer.
Technicians are Josh Penot of Perkinston; Nathan Pardin of Saltillo; Justin Lawler of Purvis; James Stewart of Hattiesburg; Sam Sparks of Tupelo; and Lauren Rasmussen of West Palm Beach, Fla. Office staff are Jonathan Hill and Barbara Reynolds of Lumberton. Leslie Barker of Clinton and Kathy Herrington of Purvis serve as house managers.

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