Wanda Reddick and her family like singing and performing on stage. So, what better way to show off their talents than to tryout for the local Easter Pageant "Emmanuel Has Come."
Reddick, her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are the first four generation family to perform on stage at Presser Performing Arts Center. Their ages range from Reddick, 85, to her great-grandson, Kollyn, who is eight months old
Performers of the talented family are Reddick, her daughter Laura Fox; her granddaughter ,Amanda Smith, and great-grandchildren, Brooklyn Lewis, Kiya Smith, and Kollyn Smith. Fox is an alto in the choir and also plays the part of Rebecca; Reddick also sings and portrays Anna the Prophetess but does not have a speaking part; Amanda Smith sings soprano in the choir; Brooklyn, 9, and Kiya, 8, are in the children's choir; and Kollyn is part of the community which has members of all ages. Kaitlyn Hyatt, another granddaughter of Reddick's will be behind the scenes helping performers with their hair and makeup.
Members of the family have singing experience. Reddick has been singing for 24 years including singing in church choirs. Fox sang in church choirs growing up; and Amanda Smith sings in the church choir and sings every chance she can get. She sings the National Anthem at the Missouri Veterans' Home (when the occasion arises) where she works. Brooklyn and Kiya are veterans on stage at PPAC. They performed two years ago in the production of "King of Kings."
Fox, who moved here in 2016, has performed before but not in Mexico. She also has appeared in two movies "New Life" and "Providence." Since she survived the movies she thought she would try the stage. "I got through that OK, so I thought I would keep going." Performing on stage is part of her New Year's Resolution. "I wanted to do something that scares me and that is being live on stage with a speaking part," she said.
Kiya likes singing and said the children sing four songs. She also said she needs to work on her songs. Fox said they are given a CD to practice their songs at home. Kollyn, likes listening to the music when they practice at home, says his grandmother.
It takes commitment to be a part of a production such as "Emmanuel Has Come." Rehearsals began in February and held on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
The upside of it is getting to perform and to meet new friends. Fox said she enjoys meeting the nice people and being involved. "I will be sad when it is over," she said. Reddick agrees with her daughter. "It is like one big family and you get a good feeling to be a part of something so professional," said Reddick.
This year's pageant is a spiritual production about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is directed by David Pickering and has a cast and crew of more than 30 area performers and a choir of community members who tell the story of Jesus Christ.
The pageant will be held at Presser Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. April 6, 7 and 8 and at 2 p.m. on April 9. The box office for tickets will be open from noon to 4 p.m. April 3 through April 7.