A Very Mary Christmas!

Take the whole family to this play to properly reign in the holiday season.


The Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC) will be performing seven productions this year including three brand new plays. Among the performances are musicals, a new monologue collection, and the 15th annual Scarpelli-Kehde rock opera production, Mary. The ever popular opera will be showing November 25 and 26, November 27 at 2 p.m., and December 1 to 3 at 8 p.m.

Through Mary's eyes, audiences will witness the life of the young woman, played by Sara Schlies, destined to become the most important woman in Christian tradition in the nine months leading to the birth of Jesus Christ. The months preceding the very first Christmas are often forgotten, but this production will revive the past. Accompanying the gifted performers, from all over the greater Kanawha Valley area, will be a 20 member chorus as well as an 18 piece orchestra. Every year, practices commence in early October to guarantee a successful, traditional Black Friday opening night.

“Maybe the thing that keeps it so appealing is that it's a really human portrayal of a humanly impossible event. We have folks that have seen it nearly every year since it began,” says Daniel Kehde, co-founder and managing director of CYAC.

CYAC’s primary goal is to provide teenagers in the greater Charleston area an opportunity to learn the performing arts in a safe, drug-free environment through a hands-on approach. While ages 13 and younger are welcome to join, there is more emphasis on giving roles to teenagers. Although actors for the social action plays are chosen typically from the CYAC participants, there are open auditions held for every production. Since it was first founded in 1995, the CYAC has toured more than 50,000 communities with almost 200 plays within West Virginia.

Tickets will be available at the door: $10 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. Productions will be held at WVSU Capitol Center Theater, 123 Summers Street, Charleston. For advance tickets, call 304.342.6522. All proceeds go to fund this organization, so show your support and holiday spirit!

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