ABOUT THE SCRIPT|
One of my favorite times of the year has always been Christmas the season of cakes and cookies, presents and friends, and traditions. One tradition I always looked forward to was the Christmas Pageant either performing in it or watching my three sisters and brother in their various roles.
So naturally, later in life, as a mother of three, and having moved from Illinois to New York City, I signed up my children to be a part of the annual pageant at the several churches we belonged to as we moved throughout Manhattan.
What I discovered was that however enjoyable the pageants were, inevitably I could either not see or not hear my children nor most of the rest of the children. This was because
the volunteers in charge, for the most part, didnt always have a knack for the physical production of the show the sound and the staging even though the costumes and sets were great.
So when my husband and I became involved in our church pageant, we looked to see what we could do to make the pagent more user-friendly for both the participants and the audience.
So we rewrote script (my husband, editing) so that the constant driving force of the production was an easy-to-understand narrator who would set up the scenes so the kids could concentrate on their talking, or singing, and acting.
And we created the play so that a lot of children had a few lines each, so that more relatives could take pride in their young actors and actresses. But mostly, we made it so that even though theres a set a stable that the actors go in and out of when they deliver their lines, they deliver them into one of the three microphones in the front of the stage.
Because one key to a successful pageant is to not lose the audience to bad sound.
Another key is to light the kids well from the front. Flood the stage with light, so the parents in the back row can see the kids. And it makes it look like a Broadway show, too!
We hope youll like the pageant we put together. As you put it on, if you want to add or subtract from it, go ahead. A parade of angels to begin the performance? Nice idea. Go for it. Consider the play a foundation to work from.
And have a great pageant!
Here are some other thoughts:
Narration with strong readers: Its best to choose readers with strong
voices from middle school, high school or even an adult in the
congregation. (Many adults with strong voices will be thrilled to be asked to be the Narrator) With a strong narrator (or you may use more than one) the audience can always hear what is
happening on stage.
Tiny tots make angelic angels. A cast of very young angels (as small or large as necessary) that sings on stage along with the congregation really adds to the show. I like the angels to be seen as much as possible, not tucked away on the sidelines. In this pageant, they lead the audience in several hymns and parents love seeing their little angels up center
Make the most of natural performers. For several years, I had some
particularly strong singers in my cast, so I gave them short solos. Pictured
is Mary singing, O, Come Little Children. Since this young girl could not
be Mary two years in a row, I found another short passage for her to sing as
a shepherd the next year. The speaking/singing parts are all meant to be
flexible enough to add or subtract lines as the performer desires.
Congregation participation. The audience loves singing these lovely,
traditional hymns, so I put in as many as possible. I kept the performance
short by only using the first verses, though certainly you can add more
verses if you want.