ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
School Christmas Play(82 Posts)
Just wondering if schools have the habit of picking the same handful of children to play main roles in every play that comes up in the academic year. Just seen the list for our Christmas play and it's the usual lot yet again and the other 22 are never given the same opportunity.
The DSs school seem to give the children some choice on parts. DS2 (yr1) was offered a speaking part, but turned it down as he wanted to be an animal. DS1 is in yr6 they are asked to put the hands up if they want a particular part and then the teacher assigns out roles, and it has been the same way since he started juniors.
Mary is always a TA's child. There was a special show last year with four speaking parts. Three went to staff children...
I'm sure it's a coincidence.
DD's school are pretty good at sharing out the "good bits". They also ask the children what parts they want. Surprisingly only 2 girls wanted to be Mary this year so both obviously had a 50% chance of being picked. But it is a non-traditional nativity and Mary is not a big part and is non speaking. The quieter (IMO) girl was given the part and the other girl got a part as narrator.
The PTA chair's daughter is 5th star
I'm chair of governors. I've had three children through the school. None of them has ever had a lead part. (Since anecdotal "evidence" seems to be accepted on this thread.)
Having been involved in a year 1 audition this year, I can assure you that the speaking parts went to the ones deemed capable of reciting them audibly when on stage.
Maybe the DCs of the staff, PTA, governors,
pushy parents tend to be the ones with more confidence?
Many teachers have no idea which parents are on the PTA!
This teacher's son is part of a group recitation this year. He's had just one solo line in 9 productions so far.
No obvious favouritism here.
DD is lovely blondie with pale clear skin & blue eyes; naturally she was always a narrator because she could read whatever was put in front of her (best stealth boast ever, or what?), handy when the other narrators kept dropping out due to chicken pox or vomiting bugs.
Yr3 DS was a chief elf and I honestly can't remember what role if any he ever had before that.
Last few years the Nativity plays have been original extravaganzas written by one of the teachers. The plays go on a bit because there are speaking parts for everyone who wants one.
Red Dwarf shirt is a brilliant touch & would fit right in with flavour of our plays.
This year's nativity is "Silent Night". DS is an Austrian band member ?!? - "We get to be really lazy." Oh I think Miss has it sussed
I think part of the problem is that there are too few parts once you have Mary, Joseph, Kings, Shepherd and Innkeeper so the rest have to get
crappy smaller parts - angels, glitter angels, dancers etc. They would be better have the head read the story and then get them all to sing.
This is our first nativity, DS is a 'dancer' (crappy part) although he's not fussed. I suspect some of the kids have been picked because they are tall, but if they carry off the parts with aplomb then theres not much you can say. It's the faux coyness from their parents that makes me boke, "oh we were STUNNED when Jocasta got the part of Mary", yeah right but you'd have been straight in to see the head if she hadn't.
Should add we had a brilliant final Y6 play with lots of speaking parts and everyone got something suited to their abilities. DD2 got to be bossy which is 100% accurate.
In DD1s year a certain DC, who I accept is quite good, got the lead everytime.
I'm not certain she always wanted it.
I'm never sure she is as fond of the limelight as her horrible pushy mother.
Did anybody hear Chris Evan's show when people were emailing in their DC's unusual nativity parts. They included "Basket of nuts", "Bucket of water" "Part of a wall" and the number one pick "Rejected light off the Christmas Tree" !
At DD's school they all had some sort of part - loads of dancing bits - and had their names in the programme which is what most of the parents coveted.
The nativity this year is based around Snow White and my ds has been told that he's a 'spare' dwarf.
So glad that now Y5 it's just a concert. 2 solos have gone to the children who will belt it out and carry on even if they go wrong.
One is the DS of a pushy parent but it's just coincidental.
They ask the kids at our school what kind of part they'd like.
Dd is very confident, easily remembers lines, rarely ill and can talk loudly and clearly so often ends up with a big part. Considering how many class assemblies have children who can't talk louder than a whisper, I think she's a safe pair of hands.
Her younger brother on the other hand is fine being on stage but does not want to say anything, so has been cast as a shepherd (no lines) with some other boys with a similar temperament.
At our school play, the problem seems to be how certain parents seem to always bag front row seats. When the first parents turn up, they seem to be already there and waiting.
Each year the children are in a different class so a different teacher will be casting the play. Usually they are picking the children that will be best for the part and are not thinking about what part they played last year. If I want a piece of work writen up for display I will choose my best writers, if I want someone to show visitors around the school I will choose polite but confident children. Every child in my class has their own talents and I like to celebrate them all however it is ridiculous to give quiet as a mouse, artistic Sophie a speaking part (she would hate every second, definitely not good for her self esteem), or Charlie brilliant at maths, two left feet a dancing role. I always ask the children what they would like to do and try to accomodate this as best we can, but at the end of the day there are a limited number of 'star' roles. Believe me having a parent who is a TA , teacher, head of he PTA does not cross my mind. The important thing is all the children have a brilliant time and that they enjoy performing whichever role they have.
We handed out parts based on abilities and attendance. If there was a lot of practise required (dance, action etc) we chose the children that we knew would be in regularly to practise. If it required following instruction, we chose children who could follow instruction to that level. If it only involved sitting on a chair holding a baby, or standing next to them, we also gave out those roles accordingly.
I think DS's role was chosen on the basis of being able to shout VERY LOUDLY.
(He is an innkeeper who gets a big laugh by shrieking "GO AWAY WE'RE ALL FULL UP!!")
I am a governor and on the PTA and my DD has the lead role in the Reception nativity play preens
JOKING OF COURSE, I'm a bit shocked that there are schools which select based on who the parents are, don't teachers just select based on who has the confidence to do it, who is most likely to remember lines, who has a nice loud voice etc? Having said that DD's teacher said they picked her partially because she thought DH and I would rehearse her at home, which perhaps amounts to the same thing?
Well maybe DD will screw it up on the night and never get another part again and you can all have a nice warm feeling of schadenfreude
We chose parts for shows based on how children perform in smaller assemblies in the year, whether they put their hand up and how they manage with learning a line or two and saying it by heart in the hall. We don't audition but we do listen out. You can;'t have the main parts going to children who won't speak up or will freeze on stage when they are supposed to be acting.
We are planning on some mini auditions for the bigger end of y2 show this year to see if it makes it more open and "fair."
At DD's school they do auditions for main acting parts and for any singing solos.
And yes - attendance and reliability does come into it to, as well as how likely they are to learn lines at home, etc.
Our school has picked two of the shyest children who never say boo to a goose in class and they were absolutely wonderful in their main roles!
All of the children who wanted a role got one- we usually choose plays that have loads of parts (Good old Edgy productions!)
I also make a point of choosing some of the slower readers for our carol service- they often do a better job than the speedy ones who are always a devil to slow down enough for us to hear a bloomin' word they are saying!
Wasn't the same at DD1s primary school though- always the same old same old who got the main roles- and it wasn't as if they were the best either... Main boy's role always used to go to the governers son and he was pants. It wasn't as if they didn't have the pick of talents either- loads of them attended drama and dance classes- really used to annoy me.
This year the KS1 play at DD's school involved 120 children and lasted 45 minutes - an impressive feat by the teachers. There was some lovely singing and all the children had fun, which is the main thing. It would have been nice if the narration had been shared out a bit more - 4 children did the lot. I think they were flagging a bit by the end as there was a lot of story to tell!
My DD is Mary <ducks for cover>. I am not remotely connected to the school
and run away when the PTA ask me to volunteer
I assumed she was chosen because Mary doesn't say much and DD does a good pious look
despite being raised as a heathen who thinks jesus is just part of playmobil
Only our Foundation Stage children perform a nativity play so it's impossible for the same children to be picked every year.
Dd is a strongman this year. She is cast in this part because she is the smallest daintiest child in y5/6 and they are guaranteed a laugh. Open auditions in dd's school but all children get a part and have time on the stage. Not noticed any particular children favoured tbh but I probably wouldn't notice anyway. Dd's happy now the costume requires leopard skin and the majority of parents spend the time trying to avoid HT's eye so as to avoid being coerced into a comedy turn at the end.
I wonder if DS's teacher will be ok if DS wears's his 'Red Dwarf' t-shirt and hat with a 'H' on the front? I'm sort of half expected to be taken aside in the playground. As he's a 'spare' dwarf instead of any the famous 7 from Snow White, I don't really see a problem .
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.