Have some fun: this script is full of scripted sarcasm, attitude and humour….
- The Day that Baby Jesus Came To Town Our teenagers loved doing the main narration and acting, particularly because of the gossiping Innkeeper’s wife’s perspective and the humour, attitude and sarcasm that comes through even in Mary and Joseph’s dialogue. There are also characters which will work for a younger cast, making this particularly good for a mixed age cast. The songs are intended for younger children, but the script can be used without songs or with a substitution of your own familiar favourites if you prefer.
OR….GET THE CHURCH INVOLVED! The following scripts encourage/allow participation from the congregation or some of it, instead of expecting the nativity to be a pure ‘performance’ from the children.
1. Give the young people a leadership role……..The following script has been well-received in fun-loving churches with a friendly, family atmosphere, and pre-teens in particular love it.
- The DIY Nativity Play (Perfect for a small group, our older children/teenagers loved this script as they led the service, all in rhyme, giving instructions to the congregation and coaxing volunteer adults to join in.….the relevant mockery is all scripted too! No music is included as you include your choice of congregational hymns at the appropriate points.)
2. Do something completely different and unique….
- The Alphabet Nativity Play : VERY, VERY ADAPTABLE TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. The entire script is narrated and pictures representing 26 alphabetical keywords are displayed one at a time as they are mentioned in the script. The script is written with the option of including an ‘instructor’ who gets ‘audience participation pantomime style’, holding signs up for the the audience to say together. There is also an optional ‘Action Superstar’ who does actions to the 26 keywords (illustrated reminders are included on the displayed letters) and the congregation can join in a fun, speedy recap of the actions at the end of the play when the recap poem is read. (Songs are included which are most suited to young people, but congregational hymns/carols can be used instead) This is a fun, unique nativity involving as much participation as you choose, and requiring no acting at all unless you choose to include walk on parts.
3. Don’t leave the nativity to the young people: get the congregation to join in (with or without rehearsal, acting or saying lines in their seats, with or without costume). The following use congregational carols or hymns of your choice instead of the children performing songs, and are literally the most flexible scripts ever….
- The Simplest Nativity Play Ever. This is written as a narrated story throughout which obvious prompts are included such as “and the innkeeper said….”etc so a non-rehearsed actor can say their line (using the downloadable script prompt cards provided). Our church loved joining in with the children this way and it enhanced an already lovely, family atmosphere. As few or as little cast can be included as the narrated tells the story and continues with the lines themselves if no actor is included for a part.
- The Story of Christmas. Written as a direct result of the positive feedback from the Simplest Nativity Play ever, this uses the same concept, and the narrated tells the story using obvious prompts this time such as “This is the angel who…..” etc. This script takes the concept to a new level, having a rehearsed on-stage director who literally directs the unrehearsed actors as part of their script (no memorising necessary as the director makes notes on a clipboard which holds the script, but disguises the fact that he is actually reading his lines from it!)
N.b. At our church, we found that the children didn’t want to ‘perform’, and especially didn’t want to sing songs, so we used congregational hymns/carols in place of the performed songs, and just looked for opportunities for the little ones to sing. Some suggestions are….
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (fits the nativity perfectly)
- Away in a Manger (The children often know this from school, so it’s good to have an opportunity to perform something without too much rehearsal)
- Sometimes the children will have some favourites that they already know from school like “It was on a starry night” and you could get them to sing a verse or chorus and then get the congregation to join in.
- Alternatively, several of my scripts include music (sheet music and mp3 backing tracks) and I deliberately use simple, familiar children’s tunes that young children will know, adding my own easily remembered nativity based lyrics to them. Feel free to mix and match and use elements of one script with another (you can re-use year after year without licence fee), giving you lots of options of ‘performance moments’ for the younger children to be blended into a mixed age nativity.
This final script is for a full nativity service which includes a simple nativity play, and just a couple of optional songs for the children to perform, but then leaves you to include your own choice of carols for the congregation to join in with. Anyone could take part in it, or it could even be done without actors and just pictures and voiceovers instead.
Alternatively, it would be very easy to incorporate puppets instead of actors, and let the young people lead the nativity service entirely. All of the bible readings are included, so you would only needed to add prayers and offering to the programme…..
- That Wonderful God-given First Christmas Day tells the story of the birth of Jesus using bible readings and storyteller (s), with actors and singers if you choose. However, as the main focus is on the storytellers introducing characters who then just walk on and say two rhyming lines with very little interaction , this would be very simple to achieve with puppets. If used as written it will include parts for :
1 or more leaders ie,there are up to 8 separate opportunities to speak (dependant on what you choose to include)
Story teller (s) 15 separate opportunities to say 3 lines each.
Up to 16 simple speaking parts/ potential puppet roles (averaging 1 or 2 rhyming couplets) these being Mary, Joseph, Angel Gabriel, Angel 2, Angel 3, Emperor Caesar, Roman Soldier, Innkeeper, 3 shepherds, 3 kings, King Herod and a star.
Singing/dancing angels (optional song using tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for host of angels, with sheet music and backing track included)
Singers Mary can sing a simple lullaby solo (to the tune of Hush Little Baby), or everyone can join in
6 bible readings needing a confident reader.
See the script preview to help you envisage any changes you might want to make to suit your circumstances.