Crossroads Community Covenant Church in Yelm is hosting its 15th annual Christmas play for the community this week. The performances aim to entertain the community, while also giving back to a good …
Crossroads Community Covenant Church in Yelm is hosting its 15th annual Christmas play for the community this week. The performances aim to entertain the community, while also giving back to a good cause.
The play is written and directed by Pat MacNealy and his wife, Debbie. Pat MacNealy has a minor in performing arts from Western Washington University. He and his wife joined the church 15 years ago, which is also the amount of years they have taken on the church’s Christmas play.
This year’s performance is called “The Christmas Card” and is loosely based off of a Hallmark movie, where a soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq receives a card from a girl in a small town.
“He becomes a visitor in the small town and while he’s a visitor, he kind of finds a new hope that he had lost being on his fourth deployment,” Pat MacNealy said.
It is a family-friendly musical and is a tribute to service men and women. Since the first scene depicts combat and warzone themes, showrunners warn the audience that there will be flashes, loud bangs and gun sounds, though brief.
The play was tailor-made for a town like Yelm.
“Especially in our town, we have so many military (people) around here,” Pat MacNealy said. “And when they watch the play, some of them say, ‘This thing hits home.’”
The tickets for the performances are $5 each and 100% of the proceeds go to benefit families in need in the community in the form of food baskets, predominantly. The charity is not restricted to only families that go to Crossroads.
“We are a very community-oriented church and love to reach out and help everyone regardless of their religious affiliations,” stated a news release.
Those who cannot afford the ticket price can call 360-400-7877 for complimentary tickets, Pat MacNealy said.
“There are a lot of encouraging messages about helping those in need in our community, which is exactly why we do this play every year,” stated the release.
Emily Hagen plays the female lead, Faith, the woman who writes the Christmas card to the soldier.
“He ends up in her hometown for another reason and kind of doesn’t tell her why she means so much to him, but they get to know each other,” Hagen said. “(He) finds out that things are not going well with her current boyfriend (but) I won’t spoil everything.”
Michael Pardoe plays Cody, the soldier who receives the card.
Pardoe found out about the play from his friend who also attends the church.
“Kyle said, ‘Hey, they’re looking for guys that can sing — we’ve lost one of our guys so can you just give them a call and try out?’” Pardoe said.
This marks the first year Pardoe has been part of the Christmas play since joining the church in 2019, when he was stationed here as part of the military himself.
“I’m nervous, but it’s been an awesome time. (It’s) lots and lots of fun,” Pardoe said. “It’s a great group of folks. And we’re doing it for a fantastic cause.”
Addyson Wilson-Heid plays a soldier in the play and said she’s glad to be a part of Crossroads’ play.
“There’s so many opportunities to be involved in this church and this is one of them,” Wilson-Heid said. “It’s great to be part of something that Crossroads is known for in this community in so many ways.”
Wilson-Heid, 20, said she remembers back to when she was about 5 years old and played an angel in one of the church’s productions.
“It’s fun to be part of it as an adult, and respect the veterans in this community,” she said. “A lot of the plays we have done are military-themed, or respect the military, so it’s really amazing having our own veterans be stars in the show, but also being able to respectfully represent those that are in the service and their experiences.”
The first performance will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1. The rest of the performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 and for 3 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Crossroads Community Covenant Church, 11520 Bald Hill Road S.E. in Yelm.
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