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To be a little upset about DS Christmas play?

(150 Posts)
NannyPlum40 Mon 13-Nov-17 22:39:27

My 6yr old DS has just been told what part he is doing in the Christmas play and has no words to say.

He is upset and said he wants to say something or he doesn't want to do the play because he will be bored just sat there for 30mins.

He is more then capable of learning a few lines but because he is one of the quiet ones in class (teachers words) they always give the talking parts to the loud, confident children. Does this seem to be the norm in every school?

It seems that because my DS knuckles down at school and gets on with his work rather then being chatty, he gets penalised!!

OwlinaTree Mon 13-Nov-17 22:43:32

Could you discuss this with the teacher? Tell the teacher he's disappointed that he has no line to say, is there any way to give him a line? Teacher might think he's happier to say nothing if he's generally quiet.

BarbarianMum Mon 13-Nov-17 22:45:27

Well at our school its the opposite - everyone gets a line. This generally renders the whole thing unintelligible because so many get muddled about when to speak/speak out of turn/ speak very quietly but its very egalitarian.

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Nov-17 22:54:33

It's a shame but it's probably just not possible to give them all a speaking part.

Tell him that if he's going to be bored sitting there for 30 minutes, having a line or two to say is unlikely to change that. If his line was at the start of the play, he'd still be sat there for 28 minutes or so with nothing to say.

NancyDonahue Mon 13-Nov-17 22:54:48

I'm guessing he's not the only one not saying anything? It depends how much time they get really. 30 kids all doing a line can take forever. I'd say to him that learning the songs and dressing up (I presume he's doing those?) are just as important as saying a line.

NannyPlum40 Mon 13-Nov-17 23:03:07

I was thinking of asking his teacher if he could have something to say. I think to him this is very important because he likes to be very involved and even just saying a few words he then feels involved.

He's not bothered about the dressing up bit, he just wants a talking part. It doesn't help that one of his best friends has a main part with a A4 piece of paper full of words -and his mum just loves that-

NannyPlum40 Mon 13-Nov-17 23:03:44

Oh strike through fail 🙄

cestlavielife Mon 13-Nov-17 23:06:06

Sign him up for a local drama school outside of his school next term. He will then get his chance to say things on stage.

NancyDonahue Mon 13-Nov-17 23:09:11

In my experience it tends to be the same handful of kids all the time who have the main parts. You'll find lots of threads on here about just that.

If he's really wanting a part, have a quiet word with the teacher. Even if it can't happen this time make sure the teacher knows that ds would like a bigger part in the next class assembly or whatever.

poisoningpidgeysinthepark Mon 13-Nov-17 23:20:16

I was also a quiet child, and despite having great language skills I made it all the way through primary school without any lines. My only job in the leavers' musical was opening and closing the curtains. I got so fed up of doing nothing for hours whilst everyone else rehearsed their speaking, singing and dancing parts that I walked out of school and triggered a missing person search. You and your son are NBU.

Italiangreyhound Mon 13-Nov-17 23:21:01

Everyone could say something if the school wanted them to.

I'd just tell the teacher what he said and see what she or he says.

Giving on the confident loud talkers parts seems a pants way to educate kids. How can they get more confident if denied opportunities.

One school used the system of one play but two casts, cast A does the first half and cast B does the second half. Everyone gets to say something (if they want to).

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 13-Nov-17 23:24:57

So stupid of teachers to not give ALL the children a line. They don't have to do it if they don't want to but they should ALL have a chance to speak if they'd like to.

It's shit and shows a lack of imagination.

Anyone could make up a few extra lines! All they need to do if the script hasn't enough parts is to add things like "Here they come! Look everyone, it's the three kings!" and so forth.

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Nov-17 23:42:22

It doesn't help that one of his best friends has a main part with a A4 piece of paper full of words -and his mum just loves that

Wouldn't you love that if it was your child?

Have a little word with the teacher and see what they can do. Hopefully they'll give him something to say.

I can't see how he's being penalised for getting on with his work in class though. It's not like being loud and confident means you spend all day chatting and not working.

blanklook Mon 13-Nov-17 23:48:25

In dd's primary it was :-
Reception walk onstage in costume, do a twirl, walk off to applause.
Y1, Y2, Y3 walk onstage in costume, do a very short dance, walk off to applause.
Y4 +Y5 walk onstage in costume, do a longer more complicated dance, maybe some group singing, maybe some gymnastics too, walk off to applause.
Y6 The nativity play each child had a speaking part.

HeddaGarbled Mon 13-Nov-17 23:49:31

Isn't he singing rather than sitting there for 30 minutes?

I doubt that the children who have been picked for speaking parts have been picked because they are chatty rather than getting on with their work. Even as young as 6, there are children who quite clearly demonstrate that they are able to speak confidently on a public stage and that they can learn lines.

This year, I would just encourage him to learn the songs and deliver them with enthusiasm. Next year, you could mention his keenness for a speaking part well in advance, so that the teachers can bear that in mind before they allocate the parts. Also encourage him to speak up more in class throughout the year. Local drama school as suggested by PP is a great idea.

outedmyselfagain Tue 14-Nov-17 00:15:40

I’m the exact opposite. Last year everyone had a line. Ds just about made it through his line and then howled for the whole of the rest of the play because of the anxiety of it all.

I am beyond relieved at the slip telling me he’s a “stable animal” and has no lines to learn!!

Pennypickle Tue 14-Nov-17 00:52:19

I’m always amused that nobody is ever interested in local theatre plays and musicals and are always indifferent to children who attend weekend am dram classes.

Come the school Christmas concert and it seems most parents are upset that their little darling isn’t the star of the show.

“Nobody is good at everything but everyone is good at something” springs to mind.

Those parents who whinge every year about “Its always the same kids - who usually spent their weekends at performing arts classes- that bag the main roles every year for the school concert - take heart that your child may not be theatrically talented (even for a primary school concert) but will find his/her niche in life. Have a great Christmas 🎅🏼

Just support your child whether s/he is The Angel Gabriel or a blade of grass. Primary school concerts are meant to be a fun joint effort. It shouldn’t be likened to “An evening at The Albert Hall”.

LittleLionMansMummy Tue 14-Nov-17 07:14:52

Ds's school sent a letter home asking those who wished to try for a speaking part let them know. They had little auditions. Ds was adamant he didn't want a speaking part (in fact has said he hopes he's ill that day!) which seems the fairest way to do it. Weirdly, ds is a very confident little boy in most situations and I wish he'd gone for it. But he made it clear it wasn't up for further discussion (said he hates standing up in front of people, which I totally understand). They've started rehearsals now and he's much happier about it all, enjoying the group songs etc.

Are you sure they didn't have auditions op? I'd raise it with the teacher and ask how they decided the speaking parts.

dancinfeet Tue 14-Nov-17 07:18:51

my suggestion is join an outside theatre group if it really bothers you that much and you want to see your child given more opportunities to perform.

School productions are always a bit of a minefield anyway. My daughter joined the choir for her huge junior school xmas production, and she spent her entire time onstage behind a very tall boy. I occasionally caught a glimpse of her ear or shoulder if I was lucky, but that was the extent of it. Some schools are very fair and try to give every child a line to say, others have favourites who get the main part every year - it's just the way that it is, and the main problem is that it is difficult to complain without coming across as petty.

I am just producing my Christmas dance show, and I am determined that the less confident children are going to be picked to do little parts where they get noticed. Some things that we do in the dance school require our most experienced and confident children to take the lead, but my Christmas show gives the newer students the chance to shine and to have an opportunity to lead the line, be at the front or have a little solo. I think it is also very good for experienced 'naturally good at everything' kids to accept that its fine to be in the chorus on the 3rd line back, or whatever, and that they can't always be centre front of every dance. Yes it's important to value the committed kids who attend classes several times a week but they also get lots of other opportunities that the beginner/less confident students haven't yet reached the required standard for, and also not all parents want their kids to attend dance more than once a week, and I value their custom too. By giving them the opportunities in a smaller event it gives them an incentive to continue to work hard through the year, and gives them a step up in their confidence so that hopefully they can get involved in a bigger show or event in the future if they want to.

EvilEdna1 Tue 14-Nov-17 07:26:23

My Ds2 is now in year 5 and has never had a line. I send him to a small drama club once a week and I know he loves it so it's a shame that it's only the same kids at school who get chosen all the time (for everything). He has a talent for comedy seemingly (is a bloody clown).

theworldaccordingtome Tue 14-Nov-17 07:28:25

Imagine if every child/parent who thought they should have a bigger part "had a little word with teacher". We'd be here until next Christmas!
Part selection for these things is difficult. Really difficult. You try to make sure as many as possible are happy and everyone is included, while making sure that the speaking parts go to children who would actually be audible.
10 parents having a little word because they are certain their little darling would be a far better narrator/Mary than little Johnny/Jane who have already been given the part is just annoying!

GetYourRocksOff Tue 14-Nov-17 07:32:05

It's just tough really. Please don't have a word, you'll be 'one of those' parents.

whiskyowl Tue 14-Nov-17 07:43:42

Send him to an extra-curricular drama club/stage school. If he's that upset, there's clearly a yen to perform in there. Sod the school Christmas play - it doesn't really matter, but it is important he gets to express himself in this way if he genuinely needs to.

Jasminedes Tue 14-Nov-17 07:51:31

Actually, its an early lesson in coping with disappointment - there is no reason it has to be that way, but it is, and you or he can't control it, so you have to help him come to terms with it while remaining positive - give him some ideas, like could he volunteer to be one of the people that moves props around, or help paint scenery. It will pay off in future years when he has bigger disappointments - he will know you are beside him, but not expect you to fix it.

jellybeanteaparty Tue 14-Nov-17 07:52:54

Could he help introduce the play or say the thank you at the end - The teacher then would not need to change the play and could ask if there was anyone else that would would like to speak and join in that bit?

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