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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.
I think dd's school hits just the right note in that every child in the top two years gets a good part but they do play to their individual strengths.
So eg you can guess who will get a solo, who will have lots of lines - but those who don't sing & aren't good at remembering words will have a part where they are on stage more, maybe a solo dance, or have a really nice piece of comedy business that will get a big round of applause.
Mind you this is the school where one year the absolute star parts were the two cleaning ladies in Herod's castle
Tbh I think children voting on it is awful. Personally I think they vote for far too much at school anyway. So those who are popular also get all the jobs and now all the parts? And it's no point pretending that they'll vote for the best actor/ess, they won't they'll vote for their friends, or who they want to be their friend...
Dd1 tended to get good/best parts. She's not confident in rl, but is a very competant performer. At times, actually I got a bit embarrassed
and suggested to one teacher she didn't have to always get it but don't tell her becasue she wasn't always the most suited to the part.
Dd2 never gets anything much. She was really hopeful this year because they auditioned for the first time and she's a good actress. However the parts went to the usual suspects, including a couple of dramatic parts which I have on good authority (not her) are being said in a deadpan voice... She is inkeeper number 4, which is her biggest part at school to date and has, as she informed me, exactly 14 words.
My school did similar back in the day you didn't need a crystal ball to know who would be doing what part, unfortunately no matter how much I tried to blend into the back ground I was always picked for a speaking role (not lead thou thank gawd) absolutely hated it made me feel so sick with nerves. I loved the way my Dd's school did their play this year every child went up in groups and shouted a line, did a little dance to a song until all had taken part, it was lovely .
One of my less able readers for our church service made my day today. He is wildly dyslexic and struggles so much with his reading but was the only one who had learnt the Christina Rosetti poem I had given him off by heart and said it just beautifully in our practise today (sniff.)
He was soooo proud of himself!
R, and Years 1 and 2 at dc's school, with speaking parts going to the Year 2s. Every child gets a role, and the chance to sing and dance on stage.
From what I can tell, the main part usually goes to the most confident child (who is usually (and I would NEVER say this out loud in RL ) the most annoying and drama queen type child in the class), and who tends to lap up the attention and shine on stage.
I think the nativity at ds' school was a lot less boring because the children who actually enjoyed acting and threw themselves into it were given main parts and the ones like ds who couldn't care less got smaller non-speaking parts. One line each for 79 children, some of them with ds' attitude, sounds thoroughly tedious. I'd rather watch somebody else's child having fun and doing it well than having it rubbed into me in public that ds doesn't really want to do this sort of thing.
Only KS1 do a Christmas play at ours. Reception and Y1 classes have non-speaking parts but usually do a song and dance as a class, and the speaking parts are all Y2. The children put themselves forward and then the other kids vote after a mini 'audition'. Seems fair enough to me,although it can be a bit of a popularity contest, but my DS 1 in Y2 last year seemed very unbothered by the politics of it all. When I was at school I always wanted to be Mary or an angel and always got cast as the narrator because I could read well and remember lines. At least my kids get to say what they would like. This year DS2 is an alien. I didn't need a school play to tell me that!
I quite agree chrysanthemum, my dd is always thrilled to bits when she's in her assemblies or whatever because she sees me and dh looking all proud and excited and waving and smiling at her, even if she is just stood around at the back holding a candle or whatevs. Yes the same girl in her class gets the big things to do, but she does dance and drama on the weekend. Our dd went a few times, but she prefers karate. Not much call for karate skills in the nativity. We've all come to terms with this.
We often get the same kids cast each year, parents act embarrassed but you can tell they are secretly delighted. I think the teachers don't realise the same kid got a good part last year as it is a new year's teacher or I think they do know but want to pick the people that they think will be best at the part.
I do actually have a problem with that because I think there would always be a different child in a class of 30 who could do a great job if they were given a chance to shine, and I think some of the usual choices become obnoxious when they are picked yet again.
I think teachers pick children for the speaking parts based on whether the child will want to do it. They have more knowledge of how your child is in the school situation so are making that decision with more information than you have.
Also, every child has something they are brilliant at - some are academic, some great at sports, for some their chance to shine is the school play.
your child will only be upset by not getting a speaking part if people make a big deal out of it (and I say that as the parent of DCs who have never had a solo speaking part!)
Jeez louise, not every kid is great at performing or speaking or even wants to. Yes we could make it 'fair' and just have the head reading a story and then all the children singing, but how jeffing boring would that be?
I'm saying this as a parent of a chorus line dd: you have to get over this, children seem to learn not everything can be about them much more easily than some parents do, i think.
Going to see dgs  as a shepherd in his school Nativity play this afternoon
He had to learn 3 lines-I am very [ish] excited
...and doesn't spread <<eek!!>> would be greedy to ask for more(?!)
Luckily I don't think DS really realises. He had a performance yesterday, just not the one we got tickets for. OH WELL.
I'll just be grateful if the vomitting is over with quickly.
Sympathies to you lljkk, dd has chicken pox so is devastated she misses her play too, its rubbish isn't it
Oh bum bum -- DS has vomitting bug so we won't get to see his funny line in the Nativity play after all.
Well, DD was in reception last year and was cast Mary in the Nativity; I am not a pushy parent, avid member of the PTA or a Governor. I do help with the PTA and am a parent reader in the school, but DD was given the role of Mary as she was confident with speaking. The school does different plays for each class (there are 3 classes in the school) and DD's class was made of of YrR and Yr1 kids. It just so happened that DD was chosen to play Mary.
This year she has been streamed into the Yr2/3 class (class 2) and they did a playe based on the traditional Russian fable - Snegurochka. Understandably, as there were far more confident Yr2/3 speakers - she played the role of 'Villager 4' in this play and only had a couple of lines to say... Oh and a Russian dance, which was both sublime and ridiculous!
DD did fantastically; she didn't care whether she was Mary (Crystal in the Russian play) or 'Villager 4' and neither did I!
Well DD (reception) has been "promoted" she now has to read the closing prayer out. Luckily she does not have to learn it off my heart (I did almost faint when I saw it as I was hoping she didn't need to learn it as we only have 6 days, but apparently not <<phew>>).
My worry is now being a blubbing mess next week
Oops, meant to add, they have increased their narrators from 6 to 8 as well. Allows them to keep the plays moving without too many lines to learn and provides many more places to put the most able boys constructively.
My son's school does both a nativity and a summer term pantomime with reception/yr1/yr2. Every boy has at least one line to say in both. Numbers have gone up but they have maintained that principle. Reception boys are generally split between sheep - with a yr 2 shepherd looking after them; stars, ditto, and I forget what else. Pantos I've seen included Snow White and the 14 dwarves, and Sleeping Beauty with a similar number of wizards giving their gifts at the christening.
My son's in year 3 now. I think I'm going to have to poke my nose in on the nativity play tomorrow afternoon anyway ... I think we get a year 3/4 production later in the year though.
There was a girl in DC school with a wonderful singing voice. I can remember first meeting her when she was otherwise a nondescript bossy 3yo. Her singing was (is) such a pleasure to listen to, I'd have no trouble hearing lots of her & less of even my own DC.
Don't they all get to sing & smile, sometimes dance about a bit? that's 90% of it, anyway.
I think if my child went through the whole of primary without saying a single word in a play I would be concerned and go for a word about it.
I am not sure about the school doing this on purpose, I would like to think that most schools are like ours, ie try and get everyone to have a part with a view to develop their confidence.
Generally this is a successful approach as I have noticed children tend to grow so much in confidence year after year.
To those who say parents go only to see their own children, I suppose I might be unique in that I don't feel that way. It's great to see all the other children, I love the way their personalities really shine through.
Maybe I am a bit soft that way - it would be really boring if there were 2 or 3 children doing everyting in one play (even if they were my own) and all the others just standing there watching.
my daughters year has over 70 children so impossible for them all to have a main part she is a star for the second year and happy with that. the main parts are all different to last year they gave them some choice of what they wanted to be and not all children are comfortable being centre of attention.
My ds is in reception class of 24 and they combine with the nursery class (25) for an early years nativity. They all have a line at least! Even the Nursery children! It's lovely.
They did pick a child for the main part who speaks well and is extrovert, but he got stage fright on the first performance and refused to say his lines! Another child is now doing it for the second performance.
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