The ten reasons everyone produces The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is pretty simple. Let me explain.. Recently, our youngest daughter directed her church’s first Christmas pageant.
The church, Greenhouse Culture, is still in its infancy in my opinion but growing quickly. Most churches that I have frequented are comprised of middle age citizens and seniors. But not Greenhouse Culture! The median age seems to be about thirty years old! My husband and I are twice that age, obviously.
It doesn’t matter though. These younger adults have their hearts in the right place. They are a real joy to call friends.
Everything is new to this lovely group–youth group, outreach, Sunday school classes and holiday programs. They approach every challenge with enthusiasm.
In true Baldwin fashion and a way to have family time, my husband and I volunteered to help our daughter. My husband erected the barn and manger while I stage managed the show with a cast of thirty, two to sixteen year olds. It was a rousing success. How could it not be?
Everyone loves to see kids in animal costumes, young boys dressed as kings and sweet little girls as angels complete with halos and battery operated lights twinkling on their wings. The evening was well attended by this supportive group of younger adults. Our daughter, though exhausted, appeared triumphant in her quest to create the annual event.
But that’s not what I’m posting about today. I wanted to write about another guaranteed successful play, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Folks, if you don’t know TBCPE, you need to look it up at SamuelFrench.com and get a copy! Click here: http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2282/best-christmas-pageant-ever-the
I have directed this play four times with youth theatre companies. The pros to this show are evident right from the beginning. I can’t think of one reason not to produce the show.
Plot–This is NOT only the story of Jesus’ birth, though it is the vehicle for the rest of the plot. It is never maudlin or preachy (sorry, the pun.)
This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of the main characters Beth and her mother. The Herdmans, ” the meanest kids in the neighborhood”, crash the pageant auditions because they think they’ll get free candy. Then terrorizing the church kids, the Herdmans grab up all the meaty roles, and kidnap the Christmas story to tell it the way they think it should be told. It is quite comical, but respectful at the same time. Nice!
A varied cast in gender, age and number–4m, 6f, 8boy(s), 9girl(s)–adults can play the adult roles or have kids portray all of the parts. Your cast can be the suggested size ( or you can add additional angels and shepherds, etc. to give more kids an opportunity to perform.
A simple set–You can use the stage as the main acting space, then place the other locales down left and right. The most complicated of those is the main character’s kitchen in their home. When the pageant is performed, your audience can be involved serving as the church members observing the actual pageant as it enfolds.
Simple, modern costumes–Always a plus! Additionally, you will need Christmas pageant type costumes, so check with a church in your area to borrow them.
Props are easy to collect–You’ll need a wheel chair, manger, a baby doll, maybe battery operated candles, and several other present day pieces.
Lights can be area lighting or general. Whatever your theatre is capable of doing will be fine.
Ninety minutes in length and one act. You might consider breaking it into two acts, however.
Intermission–I suggest you sell the applesauce cake mentioned in the show. People LOVE that. One company sold hand made dough art angels as a fund raiser and made a heap of money.
Royalties are $100 per show or 10% of the gross box office. That’s inordinately fair.
If you need someone to direct it, I’m willing to visit your community and direct it for you. (Paid with a stipend, of course.) It’s that good!
As you plan next year’s season for your company, I highly recommend you consider The Best Christmas Pageant Ever for your holiday slot. When people leave the show and compliment you, you tell them “Deb Baldwin told us about this show. She promised it would be a good one.”