The Northwest Mississippi Community College Division of Fine Arts is proud to present “Sanders Family Christmas” as its first play of the new season. Performances will be held Thursday – Saturday, Oct. 24-26 at 7 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Senatobia Campus.
“Sanders Family Christmas” is the sequel to the popular “Smoke on the Mountain,” which was seen at Northwest two years ago in the fall of 2011. In the sequel, the Sanders family returns to Mount Pleasant, NC. The action takes place in the sanctuary of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church located just west of Hickory near the Blue Ridge Mountains on Wednesday night, December 24, 1941, 18 days after Pearl Harbor.
Dennis Sanders of the Sanders Family Singers is about to go to war. In this play, the audience gets to join Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe and the rest of the Sanders Family as they send Dennis off with hilarious and touching stories and favorite Southern Gospel Christmas favorites. The play was written by Connie Ray and based on a concept by Alan Bailey with musical arrangements by John Foley and Gary Fagin.
Cast members for the play are Chip Malone of Lake Cormorant as Pastor Melvin Oglethorpe; Cameron Jones of Nesbit as Stanley Sanders; Hannah Hindman of Olive Branch as Vera Sanders; Taylor Samonte of Horn Lake as Burl Sanders; Jeremiah Sands of Enid as Dennis Sanders; McKenzie Johnstone of Olive Branch as Denise Sanders; Elizabeth Wiggins of Senatobia as June Sanders; Leah Dill of Olive Branch is Mrs. Maude and Kelli Hughes of Senatobia is Mrs. Myrtle.
Crew members include Candice Lee Monteith of Southaven, stage manager and Milly Rone of Water Valley and Hannah Herring of Horn Lake as assistant stage managers.
Sadie Shannon, Northwest theatre instructor will direct the play, with musical direction by Susanne Spencer VanDyke, director of choral activities at Northwest. David Morgan, Northwest technical director will serve as technical director for “Sanders Family Christmas.”
“’Sanders Family Christmas’ is a wonderful musical. Although, due to scheduling, we’ll be staging it well before the Christmas season actually begins, the music, the message, and the delightful cast of characters makes this musical an enjoyable experience any time of the year. We’re not rushing the season; we’re extending it,” said Dr. Ken Sipley, division director of Fine Arts.
Tickets for the play are $10, General Admission, and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the door.
For more information, contact Shannon at 662-562-3329 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: The cast is busy rehearsing the song “Cactus Christmas Tree” for the upcoming October production of “Sanders Family Christmas” at Northwest Mississippi Community College. The musical is the sequel to the popular “Smoke on the Mountain,” which Northwest featured as its fall musical in 2011. Pictured left to right is McKenzie Johnstone of Olive Branch, Elizabeth Wiggins of Senatobia, Cameron Jones of Nesbit, Jeremiah Sands of Enid, Hannah Hindman of Olive Branch, Taylor Samonte of Horn Lake and Chip Malone of Lake Cormorant. Performances will be Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 24-26 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. General admission is $10 and $5 for seniors and students. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)
Story by LaJuan Tallo, Communications Assistant