Wrangled by Steve Moore, Rob Howard, and David Guthrie
In the small western town of Incarnation, Christmas is celebrated with grit, giddy-up, and gusto! They like to think of themselves as “the most Christmassy town in the west.” But 1891 is the year that two big “signs o’ progress” could spell either trouble, or opportunity. The railroad has finally punched through with the grand opening of Incarnation Station, bringing visitors for the first time from far and wide to take in their Christmas festivities. And, the advent of the electric light promises to revolutionize their nativity program. Some fret that all the expected “outsiders” could threaten the peace of their quiet town, and maybe bring in desperadoes, while others see the chance to spread even wider the Good News of the birth of the Jesus. Round up some rambunctious cowpokes, some forward-thinkin’ townsfolk, a manger on loan, and a lot of raucous yee-haw for the Wild West Christmas Adventures of The Loaned Manger!
Cast List/Character Descriptions
There are 19 speaking roles available for casting in The Loaned Manger. Any of the roles may be played by a boy or a girl with only slight name 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 Lines|
|Curly||Barber||girl||She is concerned that Incarnation not appear “quaint,” and really step it up this Christmas with a good idea.||25|
|Dusty||Prospector||boy||He offers us insight throughout as a narrator.||8|
|Sheriff||Sheriff||boy||He leads with wisdom, and is respected by the town.||32|
|Miss Polly||School Teacher||girl||She is in charge of organizing the Christmas Eve service. She is sweet and means well.||25|
|Jane||Cowgirl||girl||Suspect of new visitors to the town, she gets wrapped up in finding the Lonesome Stranger.||17|
|Elvin||Blacksmith||boy||Means well, but gets wrapped up in finding the Lonesome Stranger.||19|
|Deputy||Deputy||boy||Serves the town, gets worried about the Lone- some Stranger.||11|
|Mrs. Sneef||Store Owner||girl||She is worried about all the new people the train will bring, and gets wrapped up in finding the Lonesome Stranger.||13|
|Sally||Postmaster||girl||Is a leader in the town, understands Christmas and has perspective.||14|
|Photographer||Photographer||girl||Arrives to document Christmas in Incarnation.||7|
|Stationmaster||Train Stationmaster||girl||Proud of her town and excited about all the new people coming.||7|
|Cowpoke 1||Cowpoke||girl||A ranch hand who travels to see the Christmas festivities in Incarnation.||2|
|Cowpoke 2||Cowpoke||boy||A ranch hand who travels to see the Christmas festivities in Incarnation.||3|
|Cowpoke 3||Cowpoke||girl||A ranch hand who travels to see the Christmas festivities in Incarnation.||3|
|Parson Whitfield||Preacher||boy||Kind and unassuming.||1|
|Mary||Non-speaking||girl||Traditional nativity character.||0|
|Joseph||Non-speaking||boy||Traditional nativity character.||0|
|Shepherd(s)||Non-speaking||boy||Traditional nativity character.||0|
|Angel(s)||Non-speaking||girl||Traditional nativity character.||0|
Production and Staging Highlights by Deborah Craig-Claar
The Loaned Manger is a fun and high-spirited but ultimately meaningful look at Christmas through the lens of the Wild West in the late 1800’s. The entire look of the production should be whimsical and fanciful – much like the famous “singing cowboy” movies starring Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans (if anyone is old enough to remember those!). The colors should be bright, and the smiles should be as wide as Texas. The Loaned Manger can be adapted to both large and modest performance spaces and can accommodate choirs of any size. The comprehensive production ideas and directions that are provided in the Director’s Resource Kit by the renowned Deborah Craig-Claar will give you a variety of visual ideas to bring your presentation to life. Here is a small sampling:
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!
Approximate Performance Time
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 $2.99 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 $3.99 per user.
Reproducible Demo Recording
- Burn your own CDs for just $5.99 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 $69.99 (essentially $6.99 per disc), or you may choose this reproducible option for $5.99 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.