Open House Nativity Play

By Grace Cowley

Summary: This nativity play was produced and performed by our 15-18s group in a Youth led service in December 1998. The last bit may not be appropriate in some situations where you don't want to lead into a song.

Bible Reference: Matthew 2 and Luke 1-2.

Characters: Angel x 2 (Suzie and Jo), Mary, Joseph, Donkey (non-speaking), Innkeeper, Shepherds x 3, Wisemen x 3, (Simon, Aian and John), The Star (non-speaking - sort of), Herod, Gary the Drummer (non-speaking).

Props: Gold, Frankinsence, Myrrh, Baby Jesus, blankets, Cards for the Star - these must be readable from all seats, Gary's drum. You can have quite a lot of fun with the costumes on this one e.g. Donkey ears, Herod's crown, the Adidas coat etc.

Setting: Mary's home in Nazareth, Inn in Bethlehem, Hillside near Bethlehm, road between "The East" and Bethlehem, and wherever angels hang out.

(Mary is sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage reading. Angel Suzie and Angel Jo are standing in the pulpit to the left of the stage)

Angel Suzie: The story we are about to tell took place many hundreds of years ago, but it has been told and retold more than any other story in the world. Because of it, millions of people all over the world celebrate a huge festival every year. This is the story of Christmas.

Angel Jo: In a small town called Nazareth, a young girl sat alone in her room. Her name was Mary. Mary was betrothed to be married to a carpenter called Jospeh Bar Jacob. Mary was a very religious girl, and God was pleased with her.

Angel Suzie: So he sent me to give her a message.

(Angel Suzie jumps down onto the stage)

Angel Suzie: Boo!

Mary: (Not very interested) Oh look. It's an angel.

Angel Suzie: Don't be afraid, Mary, I've come to tell you good news.

Mary: I'm not afraid.

Angel Suzie: Oh. Well you're supposed to be.

Mary: I'm not.

Angel Suzie: Well, anyway, I've been sent to tell you that God is pleased with you and he has chosen you to be the mother of a very special child. You must call him Jesus. I've got to go and save the universe now.

(Angel Suzie goes back to the pulpit where Angel Jo is standing.)

Angel Jo: 'Save the universe now'?

Angel Suzie: Well, I thought it sounded rather good, actually.

(Joseph comes on. He goes and stands beside Mary. Mary stands up so they are standing together.)

Angel Jo: Joseph and Mary were married not long afterwards. At that time the ruler of the land, King Herod, decreed that every man in the country had to go to his home town to be counted, and take his wife and family with him. Joseph's home town was Bethlehem, because he was a descendent of King David. (Joseph brings on the donkey by his lead. The donkey should have a name tag or large ears so the audience know what he is). So Mary and Joseph set off with their donkey. By this time Mary was due to give birth very soon. (The donkey gives Mary a piggy-back)

Angel Suzie: The journey to Bethlehem was long and tiring, especially for Mary. When they got to Bethlehem they could not find anywhere to stay, because so many people had to be counted that all the inns were full. Finally they came to the last inn in the town.

(The innkeeper comes on)

Innkeeper: No, sorry, we're full up.

Mary: Haven't you got any rooms at all?

Innkeeper: (Turning and walking away) Not unless you want to sleep in the cowshed.

Joseph: Okay, we'll take that then. It's better than sleeping on the streets.

Innkeeper: (Turning round) Oh, all right then. This way.

Angel Jo: So the innkeeper led them to a small stable at the back of the inn, gave them some blankets and went back to his inn. Later that night, Mary gave birth to a baby son, and she called him Jesus.

(Mary sits in the stable, holding baby Jesus. Joseph stands behind her. The donkey stands outside looking bored.)

Angel Suzie: In the meantime, I was sent to go and tell some shepherds about the new baby. The shepherds were looking after their sheep in the fields just outside town.

(The shepherds and the sheep come on. The donkey is still looking bored. Angel Suzie jumps back onto the stage.)

Angel Suzie: Boo! (She pauses. The shepherds stare blankly at her.) Were you scared?

Shepherd 1: (Sarcastically) Yep. Terrified.

Angel Suzie: Oh good. Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news. Tonight, in Bethlehem, a baby has been born who will be the saviour of the world. You will find him in a stable, under a bright star.

(Angel Suzie goes back to the pulpit.)

Shepherd 2: Okay, let's go find the new baby.

Shepherd 3: Hey, what are we gonna do with all the sheep?

Shepherd 1: I don't know. We'd better take them with us.

Shepherd 2: What all four hundred and seventy two and a half of them?

Shepherd 3: And a half? Are you sure you counted them right?

Angel Jo: So the shepherds set off to Bethlehem, with their 472.5 sheep. It didn't take them long to find the baby because there was a bright star above the stable, showing them the way.

(The star comes on. The donkey looks even more bored. The shepherds go over to the stable and sit round it with their sheep. The donkey starts fiddling with a cable [which the band are bound to have left lying about] on the floor.

Angel Suzie: A long way away, in the east, some astronomers saw the star too, and wondered what it was.

(The wise men enter and stand in the main aisle, just in front of the church. Wise Man John is wearing an Adidas coat. Star hold ups a sign "THIS WAY".)

Wise Man John: Hey, look. It's a star.

(Star holds up, "FOLLOW ME")

Wise Man Aian: I think it wants us to follow it.

(Star holds up, "WELL DONE")

Wise Man Simon: Well, we haven't got anything better to do. Come on, let's go.

(Star holds up, "GOOD IDEA". The wise men go up onto the stage and follow the star towards the stable.)

Wise Man Aian: I'm tired.

(Star holds up, "ALREADY?")

Wise Man Aian: Can we stop and rest for a moment?

(Star holds up, "NO")

Wise Man Simon: That's a good idea.

(Star holds up,"NO IT ISN'T")

Wise Man John: Here's a good place to stop.

(They sit down and look bored. Star holds up, "GET UP!", then, "I HAVEN'T GOT ALL NIGHT YOU KNOW", then,"HEY YOU", then, "WITH THE ADIDAS COAT". Wise Man John looks up.)

Wise Man John: Hey, I think we should keep following that star.

(Star holds up, "WHERE'D YOU GET THAT IDEA FROM?")

Wise Man Aian: But I want to go to sleep.

(Star holds up, "YOU THINK I CARE?")

Wise Man Simon: No, we'd better get going. Come on.

(Star holds up, "FINALLY!")

Angel Jo: So the wise men followed the star all the way to Bethlehem, where they found the baby Jesus and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Then they returned home and told everyone they met about the baby who would be king of all Israel.

(Wise men go off.)

Angel Suzie: Unfortunately King Herod heard about this, and he wasn't a happy bunny.

(King Herod comes on)

Herod: I'm going to be the only king round here! I decree that all baby boys in the land should be killed! Killed!

Angel Jo: When Mary and Joseph heard about the decree, they had to flee to Egypt, where they hid for two years. (Mary, Joseph and the donkey go off.) At last Herod died (Herod dies and is carried off) and they could safely return to Nazareth with Jesus.

Angel Suzie: That's not the end of the story - its only the beginning. But Angel Jo and me aren't in the rest of it, so we thought you wouldn't find the rest of the story very interesting.

(Gary comes on and starts drumming. All the members of the cast come on.)

Angel Jo: We hope you have a great Christmas and a wonderful New year.

(Everyone sings 'Away in a Manger' to Gary's drum.)

This script is Copyright 1998 Grace Cowley, All Saints Milton. Permission is given to use this drama in non-profit making church events provided the source is acknowledged. Some editing may be required to suit local conditions. Please let us know if you have any comments.

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