If, like me, you’ve regularly struggled to find a nativity script that would work for your church, school or group, why not compose your own? You understand the story, after all! Plus, you’re sure to have some old favorites that you can make use of as tunes, and if not, just make use of carols: everybody enjoys them, and the audience can sing them too. Tempted to give it a try?
Okay, so here’s some useful tips and ideas …
- Familiarise yourself with Matthew Chapter 1 verses 18 to Chapter 2 verse 12 (The birth of Jesus and the visit of the kings). Cross reference this with Luke Chapter 2 verses 1 to 20 (The birth of Jesus and the shepherds’ visit). You might see that the kings’ visit is not exactly as the conventional nativity play represents it, but don’t let this be an issue to you. If it worries you, why not highlight the discovery within your play script, and enlighten the audience too!
- Utilize the bible passages to give your play structure. You may use them as a framework for your story, or read proper passages to introduce a scene, or perhaps read them as the children are miming the story at the same time. Do you have a dramatized bible? If so, you might find that you can utilize it as a script, and just customise it as you choose.
- Use narration as a means of keeping the play simple, without the danger of unexpected circumstances complexing things on the day. If some youngsters would like to have lines to say, limit them to the easy scenes, like Mary and Joseph finding a room, and the kings giving their gifts. The lines, by nature of the scene, would be straightforward and repetitive and, as the bible does not specify these particulars, are open to your very own creativeness.
One last tip:
Do not go for the ideal nativity play, just a perfect atmosphere and a spirit of love. The intention of the nativity play is to tell the story of God’s love, so if you see your play enacted, accept the chaos and things that go wrong; those are the enduring memories that you can delight in laughing about. Bear in mind, the play is a celebration of Jesus’s birth, so it needs to be as much fun as anybody else’s birthday!