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Grandpa’s Nativity Story Starts with a child/ some children in pyjamas, sat up ‘in bed’, centre stage. All of the children’s parts can be combined to be said by just 1 child talking to the audience if preferred or divided differently for 2, 3, 4 or ultimately 5 children as I have written it. Alternatively, a narrator can use the italics to tell the story while the children just ‘mime/act’ to it. Notes Narrator Hello and welcome to everyone here It’s lovely to see you at this time of year. I’m sure, there’s no doubt that you all know the reason For our celebrations at this special season. It’s not about presents, or parties or fun Or family games, when all’s said and done. They do have some value; they all have their worth But none is as special as Jesus’s birth. So now as we start our nativity play We have a clear message to give you today…. We start as the children are sat up in bed (When each of them should have been sleeping instead!) Child 1 (to audience) Use italics if you need the narrator to say this, or (I) if you only have 1 child.
It’s the night before Christmas and we should be snoring (they/he/she)
Normally we would, because bedtime is boring! (they/he/she) But how can we sleep when we know(s) Christmas Day (they/he/she) (they/he/she) Is quickly approaching? It’s well on its way! Child 2 (to child 3) How can I sleep when I’m waiting to see If anyone has any presents for me? Child 3 (to child 1) Mum told us we shouldn’t get overexcited Use italics if you need (him he/ her she) narrator to say this, or (me I, But all of our family and friends are invited. This is completely flexible so that you could use the and my) if you only have 1 (his/her) narrators’ lines whilst children mime, or you could have child. just one child speak everything, or have up to 5 children Child 4 (excitedly to I really Christmas. Theindividually presents areapportioned great. speaklove(s) the parts as they are other children) (They/he/she) here. Even better, the options are easy to pick up and Use italics if you want the use if anyone is ill on the day and you need to make narrator to say this changes. I Child can’t get to sleep and it’s getting quite late. Child 5 4 and 5 make reference to Santa/St Nicholas, but Use italic if you prefer for the (They/he/she) this can omitted without affecting the flow of the play narrator to say this. Child 4 (or narrator) to audience (Use italics if preferred) Child 5 (or narrator) (Use italics if preferred)
I’m sure I can hear some sleigh bells. Can you? Everything continues in rhyme….. I think Santa’s coming. Wey hey! Woo hoo! (St Nich’las is) Shhh….I hear laughter, that’s Santa you know…. (Saint Nich’las) I’m sure I just heard a “Ho Ho Ho!” Grandpa’s Nativity Story Copyright Angela Yardy 2011 Buy from www.bestchildrensnativity.com
Can also say all the other children’s lines if necessary.
Or omit if no child speakers Getting excitable
Omit if not appropriate
(Other children could maybe join in cheers) Can be omitted Everyone gets excited
Page 4 of 25 Rudolf comes on centre stage pulling a ‘sleigh.’ (A decorated cardboard box will be fine, with some reins at the front for Rudolf to pull and some at the back for Santa to hold.) Maybe have a chair behind it for Santa to sit on, or Santa can just stand behind it. Santa comes on carrying a sack saying “Ho, Ho, Ho”, then puts it in the ‘sleigh’, sits/stands behind it and picks up the reins. Everyone sings the Ho Ho Ho song with Santa…
Ho Ho Ho (Santa’s Song) (Santa scene and song is optional) Chorus Ho, ho, ho. Ho, ho, ho, Santa’s on his way………….Ho, ho, ho. Ho, ho, ho. Riding on his sleigh! Ho, ho, ho. Ho, ho, ho, Rudolf’s nose is bright……..Ho, ho, ho. Ho, ho, ho, guiding through the night. I really love this time of year, I love to bring some happy cheer, To all the children far and near… I LOVE THIS optional, TIME OFbut YEAR The Santa Song is entirely if you choose to Repeat Chorus include it, the first verse can be repeated at the end of the play when The the children are sleeping andofthe presents are sleigh is filled with lots toys To take to delivered. all the girls and boys I’m sure they’ll make a happy noise… I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR Chorus Santa and Rudolf disappear out of sight and the children get back to being excited in the bedroom. Notes Narrator Now, outside the bedroom where no-one is sleeping Use italics if only have 1 Their Grandpa is listening, and slowly he’s creeping: (His/her) child. He bursts through the door and in a stern voice Grandpa Shouts discovers the children are still awake and chastises them, they reiterate how they are. The whole Grandpa What while are you doing, what’s allexcited of this noise? conversation is still written in rhyme and rhythm. Narrator All of a sudden the children sit down (child sits) Use italics if you only Again, this entire part is flexible so that children/ a child And Grandpa looks cross with a terrible frown. have 1 child can mime while the narrator speaks, or 1 or more children Children (or child) But Christmas is coming, we’re sorry, it’s just: can have speaking parts. (I’m) We can’t settle down, but we know that we must This is the last part of the script that Grandpa speaks in (I) (I) (I) rhyme and rhythm. From now on he has his script enclosed (Alternative lines for (“But Christmas is coming”, they said in a mutter within a ‘pretend book’ (the front cover of which is narrator) “We can’t settle down, we’re all of a flutter”) included to print off) and he reads it as a bedtime story, as Grandpa I’ll tell you what children, I’ll do my best shown below. (sweetheart/child’s name) To help you calm down and get some rest. Now get back in bed and I’ll read you a story That tells you, at Christmas, who should get the glory. Narrator The children all settled, and while Grandpa read Use italics if you only (the child settled down) or (child’s name settled down) They pulled up their blankets and sat up in bed have 1 child (she/he) (her/his) And this is the story that Grandpa Joe told; The Christmas Nativity Story of old…..
Grandpa’s Nativity Story Copyright Angela Yardy 2011 Buy from www.bestchildrensnativity.com
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Grandpa, (Opens the book and reads)
The story starts a long time ago, in a far away place, when a Roman Emperor called Caesar Augustus was ruling over all the people. He didn’t care how poor the people were, he was determined to make sure that no-one escaped his taxes, so he sent his soldiers to make a special announcement.
Notes Soldier, shouting bossily and reading from a scroll
Roman Soldier (For a smaller cast someone could double up and play this part extra, or Grandpa could read this)
Grandpa, (Reading from a book)
Hear ye, hear ye; listen to me Caesar Augustus has made a decree All of his people, that’s everyone here And all of the empire, far and near. The script continueswhere as Grandpa readsborn his story and Mary and Must go tothen be registered they were Joseph walk Bethlehem (page by my very easily So all of you,toget packed, and set5), offaccompanied at dawn! remembered travelling song (Bethlehem, Bethlehem, So Far Away) to the tune of a well known children’s song in the public domain called “Oranges and Lemons.” Music is provided at the the script. So, a couple named Mary and Joseph set off end fromofNazareth where they lived, to travel to Bethlehem where Joseph had been born. Mary was expecting a very special baby, who an angel had told her was God’s son, and should be named “Jesus”
Mary and Joseph set off on their journey to Bethlehem (with donkey if possible) while all the children sing the next song (Bethlehem, Bethlehem) to the tune of Oranges and Lemons:
Bethlehem, Bethlehem (So Far Away) Bethlehem, Bethlehem, so far away. I hope when we get there, there’s somewhere to stay. I hope we can find a place to unwind. How long must we be so tired and weary? Bethlehem, Bethlehem, so far away. I hope when we get there, there’s somewhere to stay. I hope by God’s grace that we find a place. How long must be so and weary? All of mywe songs aretired deliberately repetitive with a simple rhyme Bethlehem, away. pattern Bethlehem, so that they so arefar easily I hope when we get there, there’s somewhere to stay. remembered. I hope that we’re blessed with somewhere to rest. How long must we be so tired and weary? Bethlehem, Bethlehem, getting quite near. All of my songs are deliberately repetitive with a simple Bethlehem, Bethlehem, finally here! rhyme pattern so that they are easily remembered. Bethlehem, Bethlehem, we need a room, Samples of the music can be heard on the website, and Bethlehem, Bethlehem, we need one soon! FREE midi files are included in the package, together with sheet music. Grandpa’s Nativity Story Copyright Angela Yardy 2011 Buy from www.bestchildrensnativity.com
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Grandpa (Reading from the book,)
So after a long journey, Mary and Joseph finally arrived at Bethlehem, tired and weary, and started to search for somewhere to stay.
Notes Joseph Innkeeper 1 (or omit) Joseph Innkeeper 2 (or innkeeper 4) Joseph (use italics if talking to same innkeeper) Innkeeper 3 (or innkeeper 4) Joseph (Use italics if pestering same innkeeper) Innkeeper 4
Grandpa (Reading the book)
Knock, knock. Hello. Is anyone there? We need a room. Do you have one spare? Don’t bother asking, please go away! We haven’t got any rooms left today. Knock, knock. Hello. Is anyone there? Mary anda Joseph arrive Joseph repeats a rhyming We need room. Do youand have one spare? couplet as he knocks on each door, and the We’re busy. Can’t help you. Please go away. innkeepers reply with a different rhyming couplet We haven’t got time for you today. each. Again, this is adaptable so that you can omit, or Knock, knock. Hello. Is anyone there? double up parts, concluding with innkeeper 4 who (Are you still there?) shows Joseph to the stable. We need a room. Do you have one spare? (You must have one spare) The birth of Jesus is symbolised in the one verse of You’re too late. We’re full up. Please go the simple song below, sung to the wellaway. known tune We haven’t got room for you to stay. of “O Christmas Tree”. (Extra verses are used in the sameknock. way later to introduce shepherds and the Knock, Hello. Is anyonethethere? wise men the you’re stable scene.) (I to know still there.) We need a room. Do you have one spare? Pages 7 & 8 tell the(We’ll story of the shepherds’ happily share.) encounter with the angel in the field, and include a lovely, I’m sorry, I’d love to invite you both in gentle angel chorus (“Angels’ Hallelujah”) with ideas But as you can see, there’s no room at the inn. of how to incorporate a simple angel dance. I do have a stable; is that worth me saying? I know it’s not where you would choose to be staying. Page 9 continues as follows… You’re welcome to use it. That’s up to you. We’re desperate, so even a stable will do! Come on now Mary, let’s get you some rest I know it’s not great, but I have done my best.
So Mary and Joseph settled down for the night in the stable, and while they were there the time came for the baby to be born. He was a beautiful baby boy. Mary called him Jesus, as an angel had told her this was to be His name. She wrapped Him in a cloth, and laid Him in a manger.
If only having 1 innkeeper omit this line.(Closes door)
(Josephs shrugs shoulders) (Mary & Joseph settle down in the stable. Mary picks up the baby, wraps him in a cloth and lays him back down in the manger.)
All the other children sing the 1st verse of In Bethlehem, a Babe Was Born (the tune of “O Christmas Tree”) In Bethlehem a babe was born, and Mary called Him Jesus In Bethlehem a babe was born, and Mary called Him Jesus. And in a manger for His bed, the baby Jesus laid His head. In Bethlehem, a babe was born, and Mary called Him Jesus. Grandpa’s Nativity Story Copyright Angela Yardy 2011 Buy from www.bestchildrensnativity.com
Page 9 of 25 Star walks on centre stage and stands above/ in front of the stable. The wise men partly follow reading books, and point to the star from the side of the stage. After a few moments the star opens his/her arms and begins to speak. Notes Star (If you have no star the narrator can say this using italics, and the wise men just mime to the narration)
Grandpa (Reading the book)
The wise men are clever, to them it is clear (were) (was) Just what it means now I’ve arrived here. (meant when the bright star appeared) I’m guiding the way from high overhead The story continues through pages 10 & 11 with the (It guided) wise men travelling to the stable (having realised To lead the wise men to the stable shed. Herod’s real plan, hence not returning to him), and Grandpa finishing the bible based story. The focus returns to the Christmas Eve children’s bedtime scene where the children settle down to sleep and Grandpa closes his book and the script returns completely to rhyme and rhythm. So the wise men set off on a very long journey following The knowing narrator (and child/children’s linestoifJesus. appropriate) the star, that it would guide them On continue on pageat12, which includes the optional their way, they stopped King Herod’s palace, and were “Santa’s Song” sing whilst thethe presents set out invited in. They toldtoHerod all about specialare baby that tree. they were searching for,under and hethe pretended to be just as excited they were, but really was plotting against Jesus. Theasnativity concludes by singing a Happy Birthday
(Star stays over stable, or goes to back of stable scene after speech)
Herod gets in place on a ‘throne’ (chair draped with rich looking material!) ready for next scene.
song to Jesus to the tune of “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”, followed by a bonus “Nativity Roll Call” for the cast to perform together. Herod is in his palace, when the wise men walk on stage pointing to the star, as if following it, then stop at Herod’s palace and he shakes their hands and beckons to invite them in. They sit around him and pretend to chat to him briefly then he begins to speak…. Notes Herod (to the wise men) Wise man 1 (can have 1 wise man speaking all parts if preferred)
Wise man 2
A baby who will be the king of the Jews: Please tell me more, this is fantastic news! We saw His star, so special and bright We came from the East and followed the light
Tip..To help with these lines, the wise men could be pointing to an open astrology map with their lines inside
We’ve journeyed so long, but we’ve not far to go We’ll find Him, then come back, and let you know.
Wise man 3 (can omit these lines if preferred)
If you want to go to Him, we’ll find out where Then we can tell you so that you can go there.
The wise men walk off stage, leaving King Herod centre stage, and attention comes back to the children with Grandpa Notes Child 1 (Italics can be missed out if necessary)
This story’s amazing, please carry on! What did he say when the wise men had gone? Grandpa’s Nativity Story Copyright Angela Yardy 2011 Buy from www.bestchildrensnativity.com
Page 15 of 25 Casting List The script is deliberately adaptable so that you can miss out characters and some lines without spoiling the flow, so if you need to reduce it, or any individual’s lines, you will find that you are able to omit some blocks of script entirely as you choose. Everything is written in rhyming couplets which need to be maintained, so wherever there are variables according to cast size or gender or reductions to the script I have offered alternatives to rhyming couplets that would be affected, and these are in italics throughout. (By all means contact me if you need any other options and I will try to assist) Therefore, the casting list below is complete for anyone who chooses to use the script exactly as it is written, but each of the characters that can be omitted by choice are in italics and would reduce the cast accordingly. Character name
Narrator Grandpa Joe (Good reader required, could be adult.) Use page 2 as a cover sheet for the ‘story book’ that Grandpa reads from, ie his script!
Child 1 (Entirely adaptable to reduce, Child 2 omit, or share lines between Child 3 more or less children as Child 4 required, or for narrator to say instead) Child 5 Roman Soldier Mary Joseph Innkeeper 1 Innkeeper 2 (Can omit or be said by Innkeeper 3 inn-keeper 4 if preferred) Innkeeper 4 Angel Shepherd 1 Shepherd 2 (shepherd 1 can say all Shepherd 3 shepherds lines if reqd) Wise man 1 Wise man 2 Wise man 3 King Herod (preferable not to omit) Star Dancing angels
No. of rhyming lines if unchanged 12+3+2+4+2+3 1+4+4 Plus reading nativity story from book 4 +2+2+4+2 2+2+6 2 +2 1+2+2 1+2+2 6 None 2 (repeated 4 times) + 3 2 2 2 5 4 1+1+2 3+2+2 2+1+2 2+4 2+2 2+2 2+4+4 4 None
Name of child actor
LOOK HOW FLEXIBLE THIS IS! It can be adapted for a large or small cast. The 10 bold type characters are the minimum cast … (notice that narrator and Grandpa could easily be adults if necessary) The italic characters can be omitted if necessary … and I have provided alternative lines for someone else (often the narrator) to say in their place.
I have provided an extra free poem on page 16 which you may choose to use at the beginning of your nativity play as an introduction, or at the end, or as part of a church nativity service as a summing up of the message. Pages 17 to 25 provide all the sheet music with words. (The midi backing tracks are provided as a free download with each purchase.)
In summary, the ideal cast would consist of Grandpa Joe (large part), narrator (split if preferred), 19 small speaking parts, 1 none speaking part and some dancing angels, plus or including a choir of singers, and any other walk on parts you choose to include (ie, Santa, Rudolf, donkey, more shepherds, guests in inns etc). The italics show that the cast can be effectively reduced to 10 as required and still create a tableau scene by the end. This could potentially reduce the script in places (particularly omitting Herod), but in most an option is provided for substituted lines for the narrator so the time taken should be almost the same. Grandpa’s reading of the story means that the flow of the story is complete regardless of reductions in the speaking parts. Grandpa’s Nativity Story Copyright Angela Yardy 2011 Buy from www.bestchildrensnativity.com