Sister’s Christmas catechism

September 10, 2013

KINGWOOD — St. Martha Catholic Church in Kingwood will host a performance of “Sister’s Catechism” on Saturday, Oct. 5. The show will begin at 7 p.m. in the Family Life Center at 3702 Woodland Hills Dr. 

The mystery/comedy show is described as “CSI – Bethlehem.” Sister, played by Mary Zentmyer, takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages — whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? 

Retelling the story of the nativity by employing her own scientific tools, Sister creates a living nativity from her point of view. She will be assisted by the youth from St. Martha, who will be performing as the choir.

Zentmyer has toured all over the United States, including performances in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York, and making her off-Broadway debut at the Theatre at St. Luke’s in New York City, Pennsylvania and Florida. She has also taught “Late Nite Catechism” at the Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicago from October 1996 to May 1998. “Late Nite Catechism” is a series of shows. From these shows, several developed, including “Sister’s Catechism.” 

Zentmyer was born and raised Catholic in Chicago and attended the Sisters of St. Francis High School. She has been performing in plays since she was 10 years old. She has been acting professionally since 1991, at such Chicago theaters as the Candlelight-Forum Dinner Playhouse, Pheasant Run Dinner Theatre, the Sabre Room, Victory Gardens Theatre and the Chicago Dramatists Workshop.

“I read an ad in one of the local papers that auditions were being held for someone with a loud voice who could fill up a room and preferably Catholic,” Zentmyer said. “So I thought to myself, I could do that. That was in 1996 and I have been playing the role of ‘Sister’ ever since.”
The audition was successful and Zentmyer was hired as an understudy for the “Late Night Catechism” productions. 

“The actress to whom I was studying under was quickly called to Boston to perform the show, so instead of having six months to learn the show, I had only a matter of days,” Zentmeyer, who performs a variety of the “Late Nite Catechism” plays across the United States, said.

“I have been playing Sister for 17 years now,” Mary said. “She is a great character to play. It is wonderful to be able to make people laugh.” 
The “Late Nite Catechism” shows are funny, yet respectful of the Catholic teachings and traditions. Zentmyer said she feels that people enjoy coming to the shows because it reminds them of a time when things were simple and happy.

“‘Sister’ is a joyful person and loves teaching,” Zentmyer said. “I like interacting with the crowd. It makes the performance fun and enjoyable for all.”

Zentmyer said she learns something new about the Catholic faith every time she performs one of the plays and hopes the audience does as well.

To purchase tickets for “Sister’s Catechism,” visit or for more information contact Ellen Holt at 281-713-8965 or Tickets are $30 each.