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Nativity Play - 5 Tips for Putting On a Play Everyone Will Love

Nov 13, 2007
People love a good Nativity play. It's fun, entertaining and inspirational. If you're thinking of putting one on then go right ahead, but just remember...it can be a challenge. There are just a few things you need to remember to help your play go smoothly.

1. Nobody Likes a Chatterbox
Seldom do professional actors perform in Nativity plays. Most likely you won't have any in yours either. Your actors probably will be friends and family members. If you're lucky, you might have a performer from a local actors' troupe. What all this means is you'll have trouble with your performers hitting their marks and remembering their lines. Best solution: don't have a whole lot of lines. Just have a few memorable lines and the audience will love it. That's a lot better than having the actors mumble and fumble their way through a bulky script.

2. Music, Music, Music
You won't need a lot of lines if you have good music. Music sets the tone and creates atmosphere for the play. And being a Nativity play you'll want lots of atmosphere. Music will be your ally. Let the audience hear those tunes and you won't have to worry about your performers flubbing their lines.

3. Live Music, Too
Not everything has to be pre-recorded. Get a piano player in there (with a piano, of course) and belt out some live music. It's a live play after all, and it should be accompanied by live music. People can hear pre-recorded music anywhere and everywhere, just like they can see a story unfold on TV. But they're coming to your play to see a live performance. So give them live music.

4. Use Good Costumes
Nobody expects you to get 2,000 year-old robes for the performers to wear, but you need some threads that look at least slightly authentic. If your actors wear their everyday clothes...well, it won't look like a Nativity play. Check with local schools, churches and playhouses to see what costumes you could beg, borrow or purchase (cheaply). And if you're putting the play on for a school or a church, they might already have a supply of costumes you can use. So take the time to have a look around.

5. If You Can Get Experienced People, Then Do So
Maybe you can't get professional actors, but maybe you can at least get people who have acted in plays before. Try and see if you can. You don't need Oscar winners here; you just need some people who have experience performing on stage. When selecting your performers, look for people who have experience first. Maybe Uncle Joe can help (or Aunt Petunia or Cousin Larry). The more experienced actors you have the more smoothly your play will go.

Putting on a Nativity play can be a lot of fun and create memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. But it has to be done properly. Plan things out in advance and you'll be very glad you did.
About the Author
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Julian Wayne is an amphibologist and lexicographer.
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