GARDINER – On Saturday, Dec. 13, Upstage Youth Company, Johnson Hall’s new program for young actors and artists, will present an original play, “Christmas With the Nuts: An Unusual Upstage Holiday.”

The play was written and developed by members of the fledgling acting troupe, who are ages 8 to 14. It is based on Barbara Robinson’s heartwarming story “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

No nuts – that is what Forest Johnson fervently wants for Christmas this year. His mother has been drafted to direct this year’s Christmas play at their church. Forest has always played a shepherd, but wants nothing to do with the play if the Nut kids – Hazel, Wally, Meg and Almonzo – are involved.

Wally Nut hears that the church minister must be rich because he gives out free food every week, so Wally drags his siblings in for the play auditions. Looks like Forest is not getting his Christmas wish this year.

“Christmas With the Nuts” will be performed at 6 p.m., followed by seasonal refreshments, at Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, 280 Water St. Tickets, $5, will be available at the door or by calling 582-7144.

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