How do teachers decide which child plays which role in a play/nativity?

(119 Posts)
Gingerbready Tue 15-Dec-20 21:34:06

Just as above smile

OP’s posts: |
Orangedaisy Tue 15-Dec-20 21:35:42

Mine asks them who wants a speaking part and if they want lots of, a few or just one line(s). And then allocate from there.

Oaktree1952 Tue 15-Dec-20 21:38:18

It will depend on who will be happy to perform in front of an audience (less of an issue this year), who can learn lines or remember directions and preferences of the children.

Gingerbready Tue 15-Dec-20 21:38:58

Thank you. That makes sense.

OP’s posts: |
00100001 Tue 15-Dec-20 21:39:30

Why do you ask?

peppermintteadrinker Tue 15-Dec-20 21:41:04

Hmm my ds is in y5. Felt sad for him this year. He had no part at all yet again. they've done numerous plays since reception and has had one line ever. Same kids every time get the parts. Didn't think he was bothered before but he was really down about it last week and it seemed to have dented his confidence.

Gingerbready Tue 15-Dec-20 21:42:01

My daughter was given a main role in the nativity and I didn't expect it. She's previously been quite shy, but coming out of her shell now. I'm very proud of her for having the confidence to do it.

OP’s posts: |


Littlemissnutcracker Tue 15-Dec-20 21:42:59

Equal parts for all in our school. My dcs school celebrate with a carols service rather than nativity (presume it's for the same reason so it's fair for all)

mooncakes Tue 15-Dec-20 21:43:03

In Reception it's the children most likely to behave themselves, say their line and not crumble under the pressure.

Gingerbready Tue 15-Dec-20 21:43:21

@peppermintteadrinker that's awful. I feel terrible for your son. These things can seem so important.

OP’s posts: |
Bearnecessity Tue 15-Dec-20 21:43:30

My ds was chosen to be the innkeeper his teacher said because it was a main speaking part (narrator) and she could rely on him to remember all the words and not become too anxious ridden and possibly not to carry it off.She was right he did it all well the problems came with the Mrs Innkeeper they gave him who halfway through was trying to tell him stuff he already knew and was doing.😂It was hilarious....

myhobbyisouting Tue 15-Dec-20 21:43:53

Mine get asked if they want a speaking/main part or a group part and then it goes from there.

I've had a Joseph (so proud 😂), an angel, a narrator, a donkey and a singer in my time. This year I've got a "dancer" but he assures me that when the video link is released that he's changed it up because the teachers choreography wasn't "gawjus" (said in the voice of Craig) enough

SolitaireChampion Tue 15-Dec-20 21:43:54

I generally ask them to audition.
Then give most lines to best readers (as long as they asked for a speaking part) then no speaking to poor readers, or a group line with a more confident child if they are desperate for a part.
The worst thing in the nativity is that we always have a girl crying because they want a speaking part but won't be a shepherd or king and isn't a good enough reader to be a narrator or the angel.
It's a nightmare, I hate it it always results in tears and complaining parents.
I teach yr2.

PoppyOppy Tue 15-Dec-20 21:45:55

At my school and my daughter’s school it was the usual crew. If you weren't in the favoured group you were crowd.

I can name every person in starring roles at my primary school, the same people every year.

StanfordPines Tue 15-Dec-20 21:47:05

I’ve cast many a reception nativity.
Generally main roles have gone to a child who speaks clearly, has a bit of confidence and is likely to be there. No point giving a main role to a child who is quiet, will be to frightened to go on stage and is alway off.

SolitaireChampion Tue 15-Dec-20 21:48:20

It's honestly not because certain children are favourites it's that it can be really stressful for them and we have to pick the ones who aren't going to panic and freeze.

Cattenberg Tue 15-Dec-20 21:48:51

I was short and splay-footed, so was cast as a penguin.

JayAlfredPrufrock Tue 15-Dec-20 21:49:17

At DD’s school it was the favoured few. Year on year. Laughable really looking back.

Popgoesthebubble Tue 15-Dec-20 21:49:57

When I've allocated roles (for church not school nativity plays) it's been a combination of:

- children that are likely to be reliable - behaviour and turning up. This probably trumps everything, as if your Mary only makes it to half of rehearsals and you're worried about them turning up on the day, it's not going to work.
- confidence - obviously if a child is very very shy and only wants a small part, then that's what they'd get.
- what they've been before, so a girl will only be Mary or Gabriel once etc, usually
- if any of the roles has a singing solo (sometimes Mary singing to baby Jesus) then confidence and also vaguely able to hold a tune
-the children's wishes where possible, though not usually able to just request one of the main roles, but preference say over wise man or shepherd.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 15-Dec-20 21:51:48

My shy child, who hates being centre of Attention, was always an animal or dancer.
My confident, good speaker, fantastic memory child had main parts.

I'm happy they got parts that suited them.

Whattodo121 Tue 15-Dec-20 21:52:09

I ‘directed’ two nativities a year - EYFS and KS1 for 8 years (so 16 in total - wowsers 😂) I always did formal ‘auditions’ with year 2, made everyone read a couple of lines that they were allowed to practice for the audition and then made them read a couple of lines at sight to check their reading, then would cast from there. For the EYFS ones the class teachers knew who the best/most confident readers were so they would allocate the speaking parts, then I would rehearse it with them endlessly grin
These were private schools so the parents would complain loudly to anyone who would listen if they felt their child didn’t have enough lines/hadn’t been given a fair chance. So auditions we did. I didn’t always get it right, sometimes confident auditioners were a bit rubbish, and sometimes people in tiny parts absolutely stole the show. I loved doing them though, they were great fun!

camelfinger Tue 15-Dec-20 21:52:16

I have a theory that it’s the autumn born children. I think they are the most confident being the eldest and being chosen to do things like this builds their confidence further.

user1471453601 Tue 15-Dec-20 21:53:05

My DD, a long, long, time ago, was always chosen for school plays. We always thought it was because teachers recognised that she was confident, from a young age, could learn lines, and follow direction.

I guess it's tough on your child if they've never been chosen (guessing this,because you don't give too much information,your choice and I've no problem with that).

Buy,it didn't mean my DD was any better than any other child. It just meant that, at that time, she was very confident etc

SionnachRua Tue 15-Dec-20 21:58:50

Few different factors apply. I'd always ask the kids who wants what part and make a list of names who'd like to be angel/shepherd/Mary etc. This was very handy when a dad came in raging that his precious wasn't in a starring role...when she'd only wanted non-speaking bits grin As much as we could we'd try to give everyone a part they were happy with.

From there I'd talk to other teachers and see what our consensus was. We tried to vary the leads every year. However when picking a main role, we would go for a kid who was reasonably confident and sensible. Good attendance was important too as we'd need them for rehearsal.

If the role had a lot of lines we'd lean towards kids whose parents would help rehearse at home. Often the leads didn't have many lines so that wasn't a problem for them!

Nunoftheother Tue 15-Dec-20 22:01:17


I was short and splay-footed, so was cast as a penguin.

In a nativity play? confused

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