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'Madeline' setting the scene for holidays in Woodbury

Woodbury Community Theatre’s holiday show, “Madeline’s Christmas,” will open Nov. 22 at the Black Box Theater. (Staff photo by Amber Kispert-Smith)

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine. The smallest one was Madeline.”

The 12 little girls in two straight lines will be making their way to Woodbury this month.

Woodbury Community Theatre’s holiday show, “Madeline’s Christmas,” will open Nov. 22 at the Black Box Theater, at East Ridge High School.

“During the holidays I think people are really looking for a way to go out and interact with their community and theater is a great way to do that,” director Kajsa Jones said, “and (Madeline’s Christmas) is a great little piece for the season.”

“Madeline’s Christmas” follows the characters from the popular children’s book and cartoon during the winter when all of the girls neglect to wear their scarfs except for Madeline.

The girls catch cold and it falls upon Madeline to help take care of them and find a way to get them home for Christmas.

“It’s a really good Christmas story,” Jones said. “It’s about giving and giving back and just really taking care of the people we love and the people we care about.”

Jones said she and producer Michelle Witte landed on “Madeline’s Christmas” for this year’s holiday show because it’s a familiar story.

“I grew up on the stories and I know a lot of people still read the books or watch the cartoons,” she said.

Plus, Jones said, she loves Madeline.

“Madeline is the smallest one, but the most mighty,” she said. “It’s a great story for kids and adults to remember that small people can do great things.”

“Madeline’s Christmas” marks Jones’ directorial debut with WCT. Previously she appeared on stage during productions and also worked as an intern director last year.

“I am home for the year and they asked if I wanted to,” she said, “and it’s just been wonderful.”

Jones said directing for the first time has given her a unique perspective and has allowed her to put her training — she studied music theater and arts administration at Viterbo University — to work.

Jones said she has learned a lot from directing “Madeline’s Christmas” including how important collaboration and compassion are to theater.

“Really great theater is often made from a place of collaboration with and compassion for our fellow cast and crew,” she said. “This process has really exemplified this and I hope that is something these young artists and our audiences will take away.”

Jones said she has learned the most from her young cast of 12, ages 8 to 12.

“They teach me something new every single night,” she said.

Jones said audiences can expect a great holiday show in “Madeline’s Christmas.”

“They can expect a heartwarming and fun chunk of holiday joy,” she said.

Woodbury Community Theatre’s production of “Madeline’s Christmas” will run Nov. 22-23 and Nov. 29-30 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 23-24 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at  Woodbury Community Theatre will be collecting winter clothing during all performances to be donated to Coats for Kindness.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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