For several years, I have written Christmas plays for the children at our church to perform. One of them, “Gloria!”, has been published in the anthology Christmas Stories & More. I plan to make the others available shortly. You can read the descriptions of each play below; if you would like more details about any of them, or a copy of the anthology, please contact me.
Our cast usually consists of about 25 children from age 3 to grade 6, but the plays are adaptable for more or fewer children. Props are minimal, and we prepare in four or five Sunday morning practice sessions plus one dress rehearsal the Saturday before the big day.
I have “extras” for most plays, including cue sheets for sound and light people and the pianist, lyrics and sheet music for original songs, poems for pre-schoolers, practice schedules, prop lists for each scene, and so on.
“Gloria!” tells the whole Christmas story from the unlikely birth of John the Baptist through to the hasty flight of Mary and Joseph to Egypt with the young Jesus. The focus is on the ways God reassured the people involved that He was with them, even and especially in the most difficult of circumstances
Special features of this play include:
- Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary, Mary’s song (The Magnificat), and Zechariah’s prophecy sung as solo parts to the tune of “Ding Dong Merrily on High”. The rest of the cast gets to sing the chorus with the most “Glorias” ever!
- A special song and dance number by the angels to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”. (Gloria, Gloria, Glory to God! Your Saviour is here; Sing songs of good cheer!…)
- A poem by the pre-schoolers, who get to dress up as shepherds and sheep.
Son of David, Emmanuel
This play explores why Jesus is called the Son of David, by looking at David and Jesus as shepherd and king. Special features include:
- an original, kids’ song based on the 23rd Psalm (“The Lord is my shepherd, and I am his sheep…”)
- preschoolers as the herald angels reciting a poem that begins: “Be happy, be clappy, make both your feet tappy”.
- prophet and teacher parts that can be read off a scroll, for kids who have trouble memorizing lines
Where’s the Ba-a-aby?
This play is full of sheep. Thistle has to lead his old shepherd to the place the angel told him to go. Because shepherds can’t understand angels, can they? But first they will have to get past the farm animals guarding the stable.
Saintly Bishop Nicholas
About 300 A.D., in the ancient Turkish city of Myra, Bishop Nicholas watches over an injured father and his three daughters. He tells them the story of Christmas (acted out as he speaks) and then foils the evil plans of a moneylender to sell the daughters into slavery by — you guessed it– dropping gold into their stockings while they sleep. Based on the traditional legends of Saint Nicholas.
Includes original lyrics to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”.
What Child is This?
From the garden of Eden to the manger of Bethlehem, this play tells the story of the curse of sin and death and how Jesus came to take it away.
Includes a slithery puppet, a shiny apple, and new lyrics to the title song.
Every Step of the Way
Everyone is on the move in this one! The magi travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, following the Star. Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, then to Egypt. But they don’t have to worry, because God leads them every step of the way.
The Turnip Doll
This time travel play is based on a true story about my husband’s grandmother, who came to Saskatchewan in 1908 when she was 8 years old. It explores themes of gift giving and includes an original song, “Christmas Began with a Gift”.
We were lucky enough to have filmmaker Stephen Hall direct it for us, and film the parts that take place in the past. I plan to re-write the script so it can be performed entirely onstage.
The Other Wise Man
This play is adapted from Henry Van Dyke’s short story of the same name (now in public domain). While the three wise men we know made it to Bethlehem to see the new baby king, Artaban got sidetracked by people in need and used the gifts he had planned to give the baby to help them. Nevertheless, he keeps searching, only to find the elusive king on his way to the hill of Golgotha. My version includes original lyrics to the tune of the carol “I Wonder As I Wander”.
Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight
Our church has people from all over the world, and this play celebrates their Christmas songs and traditions with scenes from Bolivia, Ukraine, Jamaica, China, Sudan, Zambia and Saskatchewan. Special features include three different Holy Families and the singing of Silent Night in as many languages as we could find. (co-written with Donna Gartshore)