Bright Stars of Christmas

  • Cast Number: 50
  • Run-time: 90 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 2

Complete Christmas Sunday School program with narration, recitations, carols, choral speaking, dramas, numbers are very flexible, could be anywhere from 25 to 300 children. Very easily staged. Contact DramaShare to add or reduce numbers of parts for individual classes and age groups.

The following is a sample of what is in the script:

Evening begins:

Children enter via rear stairs through baptismal area, ending up in an Upper Stage Left position behind the Star screen, (which has a star shaped opening at child height). Each child will be lead to the spot where they can be seen by the audience through the "star". Leader is out of sight, holds the child's hand as words to "We Welcome You To A Night For Stars", are spoken by narrator off stage. As each child completes his/her part, child is lead to spot at Upper Stage Right, behind screen, where children remain until all children have been "stars". (Have enough leaders that there will be minimal empty spots between performances). (If more parts are needed the Third and/or Fifth Child's lines can be divided). Following the last child's performance all children will be led to Down Stage Center where all children stand in a line, tallest children in middle, smaller at outside positions for "An Exercise for the Audience".

WE WELCOME YOU TO A NIGHT FOR STARS

First Child: We welcome you to a night for stars.

Second Child: We're sure you'll like it lots!

Third Child: We've practiced hard and we've learned our stuff.

Fourth Child: Pretty good, huh, for tiny tots!

Fifth Child: So sit back now: parent, friend or stranger

Sixth Child: As we tell how a star high above,

Seventh Child: Lit the way to the tiny manger,

Eighth Child: And the birth of the Jesus we love!

AN EXERCISE FOR THE AUDIENCE

Children standing in a straight row across the stage at Down Stage Center position with leaders beside and behind.

Narrator: Tonight you need to sit real quiet, we know that's hard for adults to do.
So we've got a helpful exercise, we think it'll really help you!
So now all you people in the audience with us,
To help you sit quiet, so you won't fuss.
Join with us now, hold your hands out straight.

All leaders and children hold hands out straight in front of body.

That's it! You guys are doing great!
Now tonight when you think we're being good girls and boys,

All leaders and children clap hands together in applause

Move your hands back and forth, make lots of noise!

Leaders lead 2's and 3's off Downstage Right, out side doors of sanctuary, taking them to their Sunday School room.

Ages 4 - 5

Children come down rear stairs through baptismal area, ending up in an Upper Stage Left position behind the Star screen, (which has a star shaped opening at child height). Each child will be lead by the hand to the spot where they can be seen by the audience through the "star". Leader is out of sight, stands holding child's hand as recitations are spoken by the child. We recommend that slides be made up showing the words to each child's part, this would be projected against the wall behind the child to ensure that the audience understands the words. Leader must be ready to assist child with lines. As each child completes his/her part, leader leads child to a spot at Upper Stage Right, still behind screen, where these children will remain until all children have been "stars". (Try to have as many leaders and/or helpers as possible in order that there will be minimal empty spots between individual performances). Following the last child's performance as a "star", all children will be led to a Down Stage Center position in front of screen, where all children stand in a line, tallest children in middle, smaller at outside positions. Leaders will stand behind the children to help singing "Away in a Manger".

First Child: Christmas is a time we love.
A happy time throughout the earth.
Second Child: But Christmas is a time of God,
The precious time of Jesus' birth.
Third Child: We want tonight to be so special!
A happy evening you'll enjoy.
Fourth Child: We bring the news of Christ the King,
Who came to earth a Baby Boy.Fifth Child: I love all things at Christmas time,
I love the visits to the store.
Sixth Child: I love the story of the manger,
I love Jesus, even more!
Seventh Child: I wonder just what it was like,
A baby in a stable born.
Eighth Child: We want to sing a song for you,
To welcome Him on Christmas morn.

All children come out front and sing first verse of "Away In A Manger".

As leaders lead 4's and 5's off Downstage Right, out side doors of sanctuary, taking them to their Sunday School room, a slide projected on rear wall invites audience to join in on second verse of Away In A Manger.

THE NAME WE LOVE

The children come down the rear stairs through the baptismal area, ending up in an Upper Stage Left position behind the Star screen, (which has a star shaped opening at child height). Each child will be lead by the hand to the spot where they can be seen by the audience through the "star". Leader is out of sight and stands holding the child's hand as the words to "A Manger Song", are spoken by the child. We recommend that slides be made up showing the words to each child's part, this would be projected against the wall behind the child to ensure the audience understands the words. Leader must be ready to assist child with lines. As each child completes his/her part, leader leads child to a spot at Upper Stage Right, still behind screen, where these children will remain until all children have been "stars". (Try to have as many leaders and/or helpers as possible in order that there will be minimal empty spots between individual performances). Following the last child's performance as a "star", all children will be led to a Down Stage Center position in front of screen where all children stand in a line, tallest children in middle, smaller at outside positions. Children will sing first verse of "Silent Night". As children leave from Downstage Right through side door, a slide will invite congregation to stand and sing verses two and three of Silent Night.

This segment has parts for 6 children

Lead children to Downstage Center to sing first verse of Silent Night, exit Downstage Right. Congregation sings verse two. Children go to their Sunday School room.

Grade 2

Children come down rear stairs through baptismal area, ending up at Downstage Center in front of the Star screen, (which now has the star shaped opening covered from inside). Children stand in a line: tallest children in middle, smaller at outside positions. Children will do this recitation complete with actions. We recommend that slides be made up showing the words to the recitation, this would be displayed against the wall behind the children to ensure that audience understands the words. Leaders must be ready to assist children with lines. This segment can be done by five children who will deliver all portions of the message: the letter and it's meaning and also the bible verse associated it with it. Alternatively, this segment can be done by ten children with the first child delivering the letter and meaning and the second child delivering the bible verse. Where the number of children is between five and ten there will need to be doubling up of roles. As the person delivers the letter and meaning s/he will show the letter and place it on a hook or shelf on the screen behind. Following the children's performance they will sing first verse of "The First Nowell". As children leave from Downstage Right through side door, a slide will invite congregation to stand and sing verses two of The First Nowell.

Parts for 10 children in this segment

Children sing first verse of The First Nowell, exit Downstage Right. Congregation sings verse two

Grade 3

This recitation has four parts however additional parts can easily be added to expand the number of participants.

Four children, dressed as angels, enter, in order, from backstage, cross to Centerstage. After First Child completes recitation, s/he moves to Upstage left position, in front of screen. Second Child enters and, after completing recitation, moves to Upstage Right position in front of screen. Third Child enters, recites and moves to Upstage Center position in front of screen. After Fourth Child recites, other three will join Fourth Child at Centerstage, where they will sing first verse of O Little Town of Bethlehem.

FIRST CHILD: "And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

SECOND CHILD: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord.

THIRD CHILD: And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

FOURTH CHILD: And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us.

Children sing first verse of O Little Town of Bethlehem, exit Downstage Right. Congregation sings verse two.

Grades 4 - 6

THE CHRISTMAS GIVERS

Choral Speaking

This offering could become a class project with all participants bringing, and encouraging others to bring, non-perishable food items for The Pantry and/or clothing for the Clothes Closet. There could be one or more representatives from each class who would be the spokesperson and who would lead their own class, who bring real gifts for the Pantry and the Closet. Children will come on stage from both rear doors of the sanctuary, led by the spokespersons for each class. The Spokespersons would introduce themselves and their class, offer a Bible verse, followed by the next class. After all classes had been introduced, the groceries and clothing would be set down under the star backdrop.

In addition to the class spokespersons, there will be one overall spokesperson chosen from all Grades 4 through 6 Boys and Girls classes. This person will lead all participants on stage and will introduce the project, then step aside while all others announce their individual classes. Following the individual class introductions, the Overall Spokesperson will close and will lead all participants off stage, exit through sanctuary using both back doors to foyer.

Overall Spokesperson: Hi, my name is _____________________. I have been chosen spokesperson for our Grades 4, 5 and 6 Boys and Girls Sunday School classes for a project which we call The Christmas Givers. Our classes have worked hard during the last few weeks on a project of giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. As many of you may know, our church has a Pantry for food and a Clothes Closet for clothing for people in our community who may need a little help, particularly at the Christmas season. So our classes have been collecting donations of food and clothing to help these people. Each of our classes will introduce themselves and later I will tell you how you, too, can be a Christmas Giver. First we have ______________ who will introduce his / her class.

Grade 4 Girls class form a straight line at Downstage Center.

Spokesperson for Grade 4 Girls Class: Hi, my name is ______________ and this is our Grade 4 Girls Sunday School Class. It has been really great being a Christmas Giver, especially knowing that since God has given so much, we are able to give to others. We would like to share a Bible verse with you which talks about giving to others.

ALL IN UNISON: "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40

Grade 4 Girls class place their gifts under the Star backdrop then move back to form a straight line at Centerstage.

And so forth for the complete segment

The classes leave stage via Downstage Right and the side door

Manger Scene - Teens

Manger scene is on the upper stage, above the acting stage, in front of the cross, with access from a stairway up from baptismal. There is a small manger at Upperstage Center and bales of hay, (or equivalent) at Upperstage Left and Right. Mary comes on the Upperstage, sits motionless on bale at Stageright position as The Portrait of Mary is performed. (At this point the manger is covered with a dark cloth).

A Portrait of Mary

A Monologue

Stage Movements

Actor should act from the sides of the picture frame, making brush stroke actions as moving through the monologue. Should look with pride at the "picture" as it progresses in the mind.

Script

Lights off, actor comes on stage. Actor walks about for a few seconds, looking at the picture frame from several vantage points. Looks around, surprised, suddenly "sees" the audience.

Oh, you startled me, I didn't know anyone was here tonight. Seeing this empty picture frame made me think about painting a picture.
Pauses, looks out into audience, chuckles). Oh no, don't get me wrong! I'm no artist! But I often do paint pictures in my mind. Don't you do that sometimes?
I was just thinking about something that happened to me recently. Sometimes, when I'm doing my devotions I like to key in on characters in the Bible. But often I find it frustrating that so little information is available from which to draw. And I think, now if this was one of the major characters in Scripture it would be so much easier to document the life and the characteristics of that person. I have to struggle against getting lazy, leaving the "bit players" in the Bible and going to a major character, for instance a familiar one such as Peter. I like studying about Peter. I think that I have a pretty good idea about Peter's makeup and what makes him tick. The same is true of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I feel as though I am somehow, how would I describe it, somehow familiar with Mary.
Recently I was at a kind of loss as to the next devotions project which I wanted to take on. So I got lazy. I decided I would study about one of the major characters in the Bible. Who better, I thought, than Mary, the mother of Jesus? The Bible is full of references to Mary, surely I can have an excellent study without a lot of extra work.
(Laughs to self) Or at least so I thought!
Probably like most people, I seemed to think I knew quite a lot about Mary. My mind seemed to hold a vivid impression of Mary, a kind of mental portrait of her. In my mind it seemed that the New Testament is full of references to Mary. But let me share with you the path I took and how a new portrait developed. A portrait of a Mary which I really had never known before developed as I researched her life. I just had a thought! Maybe we could go through this process together. We could try to paint a portrait, in word and in thought, of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
So that we start with a fresh canvas, let's try to remove from our minds the traditional pictures of Mary which we have seen over the years. That way we can paint our own portrait, right here, from scratch.
Just what would Mary's portrait look like if hung right here, on this wall?
(Picks up palette and brush and goes over to where the picture frame hangs. With each new thought actor makes a few imaginary brush strokes in the frame.)
I start by thinking, just exactly what do I really know about Mary? Who was she? Wha was unique about her? What were her strengths? Why was she chosen of God? And, maybe most importantly, what can I learn from her character which can help me be a better Christian?

The complete monologue continues

End of monologue

Actor steps back, sets down palette and brush, looks at portrait from all angles, nods head and smiles, exits Downstage Right. Lights out on main stage area, continue with lighting on upper stage.

Joseph comes on Upperstage, sits motionless on Upperstage Left. Low level of front light for Manger Scene, turn light in the manger on at low level, uncover manger. Projectors show a stable scene on each side of the cross area.

Narrator begins.

Who is this so weak and helpless,
Child of lowly Hebrew maid.
Rudely in a stable sheltered,
Coldly in a manger laid?
‘Tis the Lord of all creation
Who this wondrous path hath trod
He is God from everlasting
And to everlasting God.

Projectors show back view of Jesus walking.

Narrator continues:

Who is this, a Man of Sorrows,
Walking sadly life's hard way,
Homeless, weary, sighing, weeping,
Over sin and Satan's sway?
'Tis our God, our glorious Saviour,
Who above the starry sky,
Now for us a place prepareth,
Where no tear can dim the eye.

Projectors show the three crosses of Calvary.

Narration continues:

Peace and Security Drama

Drama is split into two sequences where the same general subject matter is being acted out in two separate dramas, going on alternately. The first sequence is set at a time just prior to Jesus' birth, the second is in a contemporary time frame. Lighting will separate the action of the two stages.

Sequence One costuming uses bible period clothing, (including Roman soldiers costumes), Sequence Two uses normal leisure clothing, (policemen use appropriate uniforms). All clothing should be darker colors in order to blend in as much as possible when lights are down in the acting area.

No props except swords and police uniforms required.

Cast
Characters in Sequence One will also play the part of the comparable character in Sequence Two.

Marcus - Set One Mark - Set Two
Deborah - Set One Debbie - Set Two
Mary - Set One Maria - Set Two
Jehosheba - Set One Jessie - Set Two
Anthony - Set One Tony - Set Two
Ruth - Set One Ruth- Set Two
Elizabeth - Set One Liz - Set Two
Rachael - Set One Rochelle - Set Two
Edward - Set Two "bookworm type"
Soldier / Police Officer #1
Soldier / Police Officer #2

Scene I Right Stage

Right scene opens with lights up, shows a group of children talking. Marcus is in the center of a group, all are listening intently to him.

Marcus: Well, I can tell you that when I grow up I shall take things into my own hands! You know, sometimes I'm ashamed to admit that I am Jewish. All that our people ever do is just permit themselves to be pushed around by those, . . . those, Roman savages!

Deborah: What else are our people to do, Marcus? After all, what we really want is peace and security. And the Romans are better trained and better armed. Besides, we Jews have no leader.

Mary: But God has promised to bring us a leader, a Messiah.

Jehosheba, lifelessly: A leader! A Messiah! I don't believe that a Messiah will ever come. Really, there is no solution to our situation. We might as well give up.

Rachael: Jehosheba, you are getting upset, there's no reason for that! Just be happy! Enjoy!

Marcus: Quiet Rachael! Jehosheba is right! For how many thousand years have our people deluded themselves into believing this myth! "The Messiah is coming!" "The Messiah is coming!" Some chance! No way!

Jehosheba, lifelessly: Really, there is no solution to our situation. We might as well give up. There is no peace or security for our people.

Marcus: Give up if you wish, but my "Messiah", my source of peace and security, will be this broadsword! (pulls a sword from under his clothing).

All gasp.

Anthony: Marcus! Where did you get that weapon? It's a Roman sword! Where did you find it? Why didn't you take it back? Do you realize the penalty for a Jew having a Roman weapon? Do you not realize . .

Marcus: Hush, child! Yes, of course I realize the penalty is death for having a Roman sword! And I care that much! (snaps fingers). The Roman soldier that I stole this sword from will be the one in trouble, not I!

Rachael: Why is everyone so upset all the time? Life can be fun! Be like me! Be happy!

Ruth, ignores Rachael, says to Marcus: Wow! You stole the sword from a Roman soldier! You are very brave!

Elizabeth: You are very foolish, that's what you are! You not only put yourself in danger, you have endangered this peaceful community!

Marcus, mocking: "Endangered this peaceful community." This cowardly community is what you mean!

Deborah There simply is no answer! Forget it! We're doomed!

Elizabeth: We can have peace if we will all just avoid dangerous situations! That is the way to have security!

Rachael: People! Anger! Have fun! Why don't we all just go somewhere that we can all have fun?

Marcus: What do you have in mind, Rachael? Want to go watch the Romans crucify any Jew who has enough courage to speak out against them?

Rachael: No, no! We will, we will . . . . . we will think of something great to do! Now who wants to go with me?

Mary, matter-of-factly: When the Messiah comes He will bring peace and security and He will set all things right.

Marcus: I told you there is no Messiah coming! It is I who shall bring peace and security, and by the might of my sword.

Marcus play fights with sword.

Anthony: Sure! The might of your sword! All that you are about to do is get us all killed!

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