ABOUT US @ NativityPlay.Com
NativityPlay.com was born out of a desire to reach as many people as possiblele with this delightful Christmas musical.
Over 30 years ago, Irish missionary nuns running a private boarding school introduced a Nativity Play as part of year-end activities. Rehearsal started in October and the play was performed to the community in mid December before school closed for the year. It was our christmas gift to the community and to each other.
For several years, I participated in various aspects of the play: as a miming actor, in the choir and helping with make-shift stage preparations. Years later looking back, I could not believe how much of the play I retained in those years of participation. Perhaps it was because we necessarily had to memorize the words of the carols for the most part because the choir stood mostly in the dark. Standing close to the actors on a small stage where the lights had to be dimmed most of the time (as you will see in the play) it was impossible to get enough light when singing. In some scenes there were no lights at all before the singing started. A perfect example is when the Angel has to climb up a ladder in semi-darkness before the full lights come on - but the singing had to continue the whole time. It was very low-tech, no dimmers or black-lights, we had one light source and it was either off or on.
Two years after I left the boarding school and a member of a small church, we were brain-storming on what to do as a church body for christmas. I suggested a nativity play. Everyone liked the idea. Of course, I was stuck with the responsibility of putting the nativity play together.
Fortunately, I found some of the carols hand-written in an old notebook from school with notes that were obviously dictated by Sister Kathleen. I was amazed at how much of the play I retained in my memory. What I didn't remember I got out of the Bible. From these three sources, I reconstructed the Nativity Play from school.
That year there was not enough time to learn all the carols so we picked about 10 carols that everybody knew. We read all of the narratives so the story was told in its entirety but we only sang the carols we all knew. The children mimed the roles since the adult population was in some way otherwise involved with presenting the play. It was wonderful! They loved it and enjoyed it! Over the years, I have added a few more carols and learned that it is possible to remove a few and still enjoy the play. Otherwise the play has remained largely unchanged.
The hardest challenge was to "write down everything I know" to prepare the program notes and all the wonderful help you get with the program. True, I had accumulated a lot of experience performing this play over these many years but it was all in my head. I didn't realize how much I took for granted and didn't mention in my first few attempts to write it down. Thanks to Debbye Holmes and Bill Whitworth for relentlessly pointing out the lack of continuity in the earlier versions that made the finished product and website possible.
As the years passed, I have presented the nativity play at almost every church I have been a member. I have presented it to my family and encouraged friends to present it to their families as well. In every presentation of the play - in a church packed full of hundreds of people or a modest crowd of five - the response has been the same: it is delightful, it is a great story and a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours around Christmas time!
Once I asked Sr. Kathleen why she took so much trouble to present the nativity play and she replied something to the effect that it was to bless people at Christmas time. I have tried to bless people at Christmas time with this play over the years. When I moved to California two years ago to a church that had its own 30-year long tradition of presenting their own style of "drive thru" Christmas play, I started thinking about some other way to keep blessing people with this play. In my mind, this is much too precious to put away. That's why I have created this web site. A portion of the proceeds from this play will be given towards missionary efforts in memory of Sr. Kathleen.
This Christmas, I pray that you are blessed and that you will bless others by successfully presenting this Christmas play to the audience of your choice.
Here's to your successful presentation!