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Stages Brings Forensic Fun to the Holidays with
Sister’s Christmas Catechism:
The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold

Photo by Claire Logue

One of history’s great mysteries is taken on by Stages in its holiday production of Sisters Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold. The popular production that has become a Houston festive favorite will run on the Lester and Sue Smith Stage at the Gordy from Friday, November 26, 2021 to Friday, December 31, 2021.


The production by Maripat Donovan, with Marc Silvia and Jane Morris, stars Denise Fennell reprising her role as Sister. With the assistance of a local choir and unsuspecting audience members, Sister uses her own scientific tools to retell the story of the nativity and solve the mystery of the fate of the Magi’s gold.


Sisters Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold is part of the Catechism series. The first play in the series, Late Nite Catechism, was written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan and made its debut in Chicago at Live Bait Theatre in 1993. It has gone on to become one of the longest running shows in Chicago theater history and has been received by enthusiastic audiences in over 410 cities worldwide. Grossing over $100 million in box office receipts, the production has also raised over $4 million for retired Sisters and Catholic organizations. Over 100 “Sisters” have starred in the eight shows in the series.


Stages artistic director, Kenn McLaughlin, says this of the play, "As with all the shows in the Catechism series, the audience is also the playwright, storyteller, and star, led on by the genius of Denise Fennel as Sister. The show transcends the boundaries between audience and artist, and everyone gets to share the joy."


Denise Fennell is familiar to Stages audiences for her many appearances as Sister in the Late Nite Catechism series. She has also appeared at Stages in Shear Madness and The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. The creative team includes director Marc Silvia, properties designer Jodi Bobrovsky, and production stage manager Todd Molesky.


Performance times will be Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Individual tickets start at $25 with savings for groups of six or more. To purchase tickets, please call the Stages Box Office at 713.527.0123, email, or reserve online at Safety protocols: All patrons must show a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination prior to entry. Following Actors' Equity guidelines, Stages will require a mask for all patrons. For more information, please visit


About Stages

Founded in 1978, Stages has grown to become Houston’s sixth largest nonprofit performing-arts producer, and the largest outside the downtown theater district. Its focus is on producing a broad scope of plays and musicals in an intimate setting. Almost all Stages shows are rehearsed and constructed on-site in Houston and brought to life by an exceptional community of locally-based artists and crafts people, along with occasional guest directors, actors, and designers from around the world. In January 2020, Stages opened its new $35.4 million home, The Gordy, ushering in a new era for this iconic Houston institution.


For more information, please visit

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