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Christmas in July

For weeks, Main Street Theatre’s Special Children’s Workshop students have been learning the fundamentals of stage acting and preparing two plays to present to the public. Tickets are now on sale for back-to-back productions of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and “Becoming Claus,” which debut next week.

“Right now, we are right in the middle of our annual children's summer workshop and our theme this year is ‘Christmas in July,’” said Co-Director Leah Conner. 

Co-directors David Woody and Conner have orchestrated the camp for years. The workshop lasts five weeks and is comprised of children from 7 to 17 years old.

“We teach the kids all the basics of theater. We focus on stage direction, history, set design, costuming, make-up and a little bit of lighting,” said Conner.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is about a group of small town bullies who have never heard the story of Christmas. After a series of events, the bullies  star in a church play on the subject. Although they are difficult to control at first, the bullies find out the true meaning of Christmas.

“A lot of people are familiar with this production. It came out in the early 80s and many people have read the book. I actually had to read the book in the school,” said Conner. “It’s about the Christmas story and church musical that is put on by children. This story has a twist with the town bullies.” 

The second play of the evening is an original play entitled, “Becoming Claus.” Workshop veteran students who have participated for years in the summer program decided to write and direct their own production.

“‘Becoming Claus’ follows the life of a little girl from a very young child to an adult,” said Conner. 

As the young girl reaches the age where most people stop believing in Santa, she takes a stand. Telling her friends that she actually saw Santa, she is ridiculed. 

“As time goes on, she becomes a bit of a skeptic. By the end, this play has a very uplifting, serious tone. The story has a redemptive quality,” said Conner. “The kids have really done a good job with the play. It’s really not very long but it is deep. Some of the kids have been crying while they are practicing. It has a punch.”

Conner commented that as the camp comes to a close, she is looking forward to opening night next Thursday. 

  “My favorite part of the camp is when it all comes together. Everyone is so proud of themselves because some of them don’t really get it until the show happens,” said Conner. “They realize how much they have done and why it was all worth it. When they are on stage and people are watching them, their faces light up.”

The Christmas in July themed double production is open to the community and runs July 16 through 26. Shows  begin at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.mainsttheatre.com. 

For more information, contact Main Street Theatre at 903-885-0107. 

SSISD trustees to consider improvement projects

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Sulphur Springs Independent School District Board of Trustees have called a special meeting Thursday, July 9, to approve funding for two summer projects.


Mapps gets additional charge in murder case

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Sulphur Springs police detectives served murder suspect Tilton Joshua Isaiah Mapps with one additional charge in connection with Jonathan Trahern Young’s death last month.


Lusk retiring after 20 years as 12th Court of Appeals Clerk

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TYLER — Cathy Lusk has announced her pending retirement as clerk of the 12th Court of Appeals, which serves 17 counties including Yantis and Winnsboro in Wood County.


Newsom announces candidacy for Precinct 1 Commissioner

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Maci Newsom said Friday she would be a candidate for commissioner for Hopkins County Precinct 1.

In making the announcement, she said she was born and raised in Hopkins County. She is a graduate of Sulphur Springs High School and Columbus State University. 

Newsom is married to Jonathan Newsom, who was also born and raised in Hopkins County, and is the proud mother of their two children, Noah, who is eight years old, and Anna-Claire, who is six. Her family resides in Sulphur Springs. Newsom’s parents, Glenn and Leeta Mattison, and her husband's parents, Hopkins County Judge Robert and Robbie Newsom, also live in Sulphur Springs. 

Maci and Jonathan were an active duty military family for 11 years. After leaving the military, they returned to Hopkins County and immediately immersed themselves into the community. Newsom has held her Texas State Insurance License for 15 years.  

Maci and Jonathan own a general practice law firm on North Davis Street in Sulphur Springs where she works as office manager. She also serves as the vice-president of the Hopkins County Republican Women’s Club, and will serve as the club’s president during the upcoming electionyear. She is also the treasurer for Bright Star Baseball.

In announcing her candidacy,  Newsom adds, “If I have the privilege of being elected commissioner of Precinct 1, I will focus all of my energy into making Hopkins County an even greater place to live and raise our families. And, while I won’t guarantee that I will be able to fix every road, I can promise to represent the citizens of Hopkins County to the best of my ability. I will work hard, and be accessible and available to the residents of Precinct 1. Hopkins County is my home, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to serve the community I love so dearly.”

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