From dance performances like The Nutcracker to tried and true stories like “A Christmas Carol,” theatre has always had its place during the holiday season.

It’s a fact never lost on Barbara Ryan. The manager and director of the St. Mary’s Little Theatre feels that seeing a production is engaging on multiple levels.

“A live theatre production makes an impact on all your senses — the beautiful music and the colorful costumes. But what makes the biggest impression in the message that comes with a well-staged holiday production,” she said.

Ryan is currently preparing to offer just that. She and her cast are putting the final touches on their sixth annual production of “The Littlest Angel.” The show will be staged at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and Dec. 15. A matinee will be staged at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Theatre by the Trax, 1000 Osborne St., St. Marys.

The story is set in Heaven and follows a little angel who is transformed from a celestial pest to the toast of the heavenly host.

“The show is humorous, it’s touching, but above all it’s inspirational,” Ryan said. “Original and classical music come together to tell how the Littlest Angel’s gift to baby Jesus miraculously becomes the shining star of Bethlehem.”

The story line also includes a number of colorful other angels. The irascible, yet loveable, Gatekeeper, the sympathetic Understanding Angel, the harried Heavenly Messenger, as well as the Celestial Choir.

The plot was always particularly interesting to Ryan, who has always been intrigued by angels.

“We all like to think that there is such a thing, and watching this play gives people the vision to really believe. The setting for ‘The Littlest Angel’ is Heaven, and we have 19 angels onstage at once. Imagine that sight! The story is compelling as well,” she said.

“A little angel enters Heaven reluctantly and proceeds to do mischief at every turn. However, events propel her to mend her ways. And then a miracle happens.”

While the script is similar to the original, Ryan also added some personal touches. She felt that bringing in an additional set options accompanied by more song really enriched the play.

“In the original play, the Nativity scene is not included, but I wrote it in and encased it with some of the most uplifting Christmas songs,” she said.

“This is the time of year that everyone needs a little magic, and ‘The Littlest Angel’ delivers that magic through song, story, and the delightful antics of Heaven’s most fascinating characters.”

Tickets for the production should be purchased ahead of time at Once Upon a Bookseller in St. Marys (cash or check please) and online at Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Call 912-729-1103 for more information.

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