An Over-the-Top, Down-to-Earth Christmas Musical for Kids
The town of Centerville is preparing their annual Christmas Extravaganza–but this year it’s going to be bigger and better than ever, a real over-the-top display. The excitement is off the chart as the writer and director and legend-in-his-own-mind, Cecil V. DeVille, calls for pyrotechnics, sky-diving angels, dancing camels, and more. It’s obvious that this year’s production will be the greatest ever! But when catastrophe and calamity send those grand plans up in smoke, their epic production becomes an epic fail. Visions of grandeur are replaced with the beauty and power of the simple truth of Jesus’ birth: The Son of God, born to humble parents, lying in a simple manger, come to redeem. Now that’s epic!
Approximate Performance Time
Cast List/Character Descriptions
There are 18 speaking roles available for casting in A Play in a Manger. Any of the roles may be played by a boy or a girl with only slight name and gender modifications in the script. The indications below show how we recorded them on the demonstration recording. Many roles could be played by older youth or adults.
Rotate your device horizontally to view the entire table.
|Name||Character||Gender||What They’re Like ...||No. of Scenes|
|DeVille||Director||boy||Over-the-top, famous director. He is loud, sure of himself, but not mean. Eventually he is humbled and lets his guard down near the end.||7|
|Bailey||Actor & Director’s Assistant||girl||An actor who gets wrapped up in DeVille’s production.||8|
|Taylor||Actor||girl||Begins “all-in” like Bailey with the excitement of the big new production, but quickly becomes concerned that the play is get- ting off-track and losing the “heart of the story.”||8|
|Stormie||News Reporter||girl||On-the-scene TV reporter; bubbly and excited.||8|
|Ben||Prop Builder||boy||Gentle, wise older man who’s been around the play for years.||6|
|Flume||Mayor||boy||The town Mayor who is good-natured, but likes the spotlight, and is usually concerned with votes.||4|
|Briggs||Councilwoman||girl||The town Councilwoman who is the “teammate” of Mayor Flume. They are often “jockeying” with one another for the spotlight.||4|
|Pyro||Pyrotechnics Expert||boy||The Hollywood pyrotechnics expert. Played in a comical way, a bit “happy-go-lucky” when it comes to the fireworks he is in charge of. Ends up covered in soot and smoke at the end (no one gets hurt, of course!)||2|
|Christine||TV Anchor||girl||A glamorous TV anchor.||1|
|Biff||TV Anchor||boy||A glamorous TV anchor.||1|
|Shepherd 1||Shepherd||girl||A shepherd in the production.||1|
|Shepherd 2||Shepherd||boy||A shepherd in the production.||1|
|Wise Man 1||Wise Man||girl||A wise man in the production.||1|
|Wise Man 2||Wise Man||girl||A wise man in the production.||1|
|Wise Man 3||Wise Man||boy||A wise man in the production.||1|
|Mary||Non-speaking||girl||Traditional nativity character.||1|
|Joseph||Non-speaking||boy||Traditional nativity character.||1|
|Angel(s)||Non-speaking||girl||Traditional nativity character.||1|
We have provided the entire audio recording of all our musicals on this site to assist you in thoroughly evaluating the musical. We invite you to listen as many times as you wish, and even to invite your assistants or other choir helpers to come here to help you in evaluating the musical.
However, we ask you to please understand that we have not posted the recording here so that your choir members may utilize this audio to learn the musical, thereby avoiding purchase of the printed scores and/or recordings which are available for sale. Producing a great musical like this requires much work by dedicated writers, and much expense on the part of the publisher.
Simply put, if you use this free audio recording, which is provided for your convenience in evaluating the musical, as the tool to teach the music to the children in the choir instead of purchasing the products for the children, then we cannot afford to create musicals like this. We rely on the income from the purchase of our products (including some great lower-cost options like Bulk CDs, reproducible scripts and lyrics, and reproducible recordings) to fund the expense of producing this project for you.
Thank you for understanding!
We've provided graphic files for you to download to use for posters, bulletins, ads, and tattoos (well, be careful on that one!). These files may be downloaded and used in conjunction with your performance for no charge. Click the thumbnails below to enlarge.
Save money, enjoy more flexibility
We are happy to offer these special licensing options to make your life easier:
Reproducible Script & Lyrics
- We provide you with a master file of the drama script and song lyrics (text only, no music score), and a license granting you legal permission to print copies for your kids, copy and paste into PowerPoint or other projection program to use in rehearsals and performance, print on a white board or flip chart. In fact, you can do all of these if you wish.
- You tell us the total quantity of users, and you pay $2 per user regardless of whether you print out copies for them every week, or use only projection, etc. The fee is not “per copy,” but “per user.” If you pay for 25 now, and end up with 35 later, you just return here, log in to your account, and pay for the additional users. Or, if the quantity you need to add is less than the default minimum of 15 allowed by the shopping cart, please just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us how many more you need.
- Along with the huge cost-savings, this option offers great flexibility in that you can easily edit the script, allowing you to add or subtract characters, change names, divide up parts, etc., before printing and distributing to your kids. You can also add in staging cues to fit your situation, or add your own director notes or instructions. You may also print copies to send home, print other copies to keep at church or school, print more copies to send home when the first ones are lost ;-), so that no one ever needs to be caught without their copy.
Reproducible Script & Lead Sheets
- Similar to the Script & Lyrics, but the songs are single-stave vocal line scores (just like the choral book) presented in PDF files, while the drama script comes as an easy-to-edit Microsoft Word file. This also offers a tremendous cost savings at just $3.25 per user.
Reproducible Demo Recording
- Burn your own CDs for just $5 per copy. We provide you with a license granting you full legal permission to either copy an existing CD (perhaps the CD that comes in the back of the Review Pack), or download the recording in MP3 format. Of course, you may prefer to purchase our Bulk CD 10-packs for $59.99 (essentially $6 per disc), or you may choose this reproducible option for $5 per copy.
- In addition to the cost savings, this can provide some additional flexibility. You can opt for any quantity (5 copy minimum), and not be constrained to quantities of 10. Before burning your CD copies, you can choose exactly what you want on the copied CDs. For example, you may want to leave off the recorded drama dialog on the copies that most of the kids receive, and only include it on copies that the actors receive.