In the final part of interviews with the cast and director of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, meet Director Liz Mykietyn.
Julie: Please tell our readers about your work in the local theater community.
Liz: I’ve been involved with Community Theater in DC area for decades now – mostly performing and directing with Providence Players of Fairfax (PPF) and the Sterling Playmakers in Loudoun County. I recently starred in PPF’s hysterical version of Red Herring as Maggie Pelletier this past summer. My favorite role ever was as Truvy in PPF’s Steel Magnolias back in 2008. After getting involved with Community Theater in the early 1990s as an actress with a number of companies in the Northern Virginia area; Reston, McLean, Prince William and, of course, The Providence Players., I found the great passion in all things theater rekindled to include Directing. I wrote some scripts: A Holiday Happening, Valentine’s Follies, and a few one-act plays. Then, in 1998, I directed Neil Simon’s California Suite. Many shows followed with the Sterling Playmakers. I directed Guys & Dolls which was the best show I have ever been involved with. Then The King & I (SP), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (SP), The Wizard Of Oz (SP), and PPF’s Rumors.
What made you want to direct The Best Christmas Pageant Ever? Have you enjoyed directing it?
I am thrilled to be back directing here with PPF. I was honored with a W.A.T.C.H award for directing Rumors in 2014 and have been involved with most PPF’s shows since in some form or another. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a special show for me. As a kid, circa 1981 I had the lead role of “Beth Bradley” myself. I read all Barbara Robinson’s books in the library back then. When I was able to direct it for Sterling, I was reminded how perfect a holiday script this play is. You have laughter, family and holiday spirit with a good message for all to take away. And it’s only 1 hour so little kids can come see it too. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever IS the best show to put up during the holidays!
If you were granted one wish on Christmas what would it be?
Easy to answer – NO children going home hungry and NO animals abused ever. I hate knowing how many millions of children in the USA alone go to bed hungry each night. I support FEEDING AMERICA all year long. www.feedingamerica.org
If you were granted one Christmas gift, what would you want?
For ME personally I would like to get new windows in my house or meet Jason Statham. It’s a toss-up! Both deal with heating.
The holidays can be busy and there can be a lot of holiday shows to choose from. Why should people see this holiday production?
This show is one hour long and fast-paced so even little kids can stay still for it. Entire families can come and have a nice time together. Best of all – we have a Santa Reception right after where kids can tell him what they want for Christmas, parents can snap a photo on their smartphones, and we are selling snacks with funds going towards blood cancer research. WIN WIN situation!
The proceeds of this show will support the Young Hearts Foundation. Tell us about Young Hearts. What does partnering with them mean to you?
Knowing we are both supporting a great cause and teaching in the kids in our cast and crew to also give back to the community makes me feel like we are doing something magical together for the season. It’s like one big hug for all!
How have you enjoyed working with the cast and crew of Providence Players?
The cast & crew are all giving tons of time and effort in what is a quick turnaround production. We only had 26 rehearsals scheduled and will only have 4 with ALL the cast and crew on deck due to illness and other schedules. We are uniting under a tight time line and that bonds a team. Additionally, I am one of those rare directors who enjoys working with kids – even down to 5 years-old. These 5 and 6 year-olds we’ve cast will amaze the audience with their sweet singing voices. Every time I hear them sing – I am quite moved. This reminds me about the value of working in Community Theater for and with young people. Showing them entertainment, sometimes history, and the value of giving back by participating in live entertainment.
What do you hope people will take away from seeing the Best Christmas Pageant Ever?
That EVERYONE no matter how they look or act has love and joy inside them. We just need to help them find it. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Best Christmas Pageant Ever has three more performances remaining: TODAY, December 17th at 2 and 7:30 pm, and TOMORROW, Sunday, December 18th at 2 PM at the James Lee Community Center Theater – 2855 Annandale Road, in Falls Church VA. For tickets, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call (703) 425-6782, and leave a message, or purchase them online (there is no fee). 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.
Meet the Cast of Providence Players’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ Part 1: Michelle Shader, by Julie Janson.
Meet the Cast of Providence Players’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ Part 2: Sally Ann Flores, by Julie Janson.
Meet the Cast and Director of Providence Players’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ Part 3: Evie Izdepski by Julie Janson.
Meet the Cast of Providence Players’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ Part 4: Nora Rice by Julie Janson.
Meet the Cast and Director of Providence Players’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ Part 5: Director Liz Mykietyn by Julie Janson.
Review: ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever‘ at Providence Players of Fairfax by William Powell.