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How to survive the Nativity?!(32 Posts)
2 Y1s and 2 Rs.... and I'm in charge!
Where do you begin? We've got a script and someone musical.
Casting seems enormously political. I haven't a clue how I'm going to fit them all on the stage. HELP!
Gin. That's how to survive the yearly trauma of the Nativity.
First set up a killing field.
Get them all together for melee and weed out any outliers who won't make the cut.
Note any criers.
They are the Sheep and Shepherds.
Do you only want replies from teachers btw?
You cast lots of Sheep and Camels. Non-speaking parts.
Practice more than you think you are going to need too....
Get a wriggle on! Note who had main parts last year so as not to repeat. Get songs recorded on to CDs so each class has a copy and play quietly in the background, think subliminal messaging lol!
And book a treat for yourself the weekend after nativity so you have something to get you through 🤞 good luck!
Think of Love Actually and cast a Lobster!
Ooh I did 8 years of two nativities a year (a KS1 and an EYFS one each year, around 60-80 kids in each)
Give the speaking parts to the oldest year group and have the younger ones sitting at the front/sides of the stage throughout - they stand up and sing the songs/do actions. Plain black or white t shirts and tinsel halos and you’re good to go.
Ask the class teachers who read nicely and will learn things.
Keep it simple.
Keep most kids on stage most of the time, if you can-saves supervision issues.
Practice more than you think you need to.
Cover everyone in glitter and/or fairy lights.
Split up the narrator part and number them and they just narrate in order.
Have loads of angels and sheep
My DS did an AMAZING job as Stable Cat #2 in his Reception year (not even Stable Cat #1, fgs)!
Just remember, however shit you may think it is on the day, all the parents will think it's wonderful.
That's how I get through it
ours did donate £2 from parents to fund plain white t shirt and they did block decorating in class.
they did a particular nativity song CD and had children sitting on benches and the floor and only going on stage when it was their song, and singing from sides too.
@unicorncupcake has it covered I think. Try and persuade the class teachers to practice songs in class so your rehearsals are about the acting/ stage positioning rather than lots and lots of
joyless endless singing of Away in a Manger.
@MrsIronfoundersson I feel your pain, DD1 was always a sheep/ camel/ Christmas person, and, one especially stunning year, a flame of the camp fire DD2 has a great reading voice and usually had a substantial part. Both now in secondary so no Nativity for us this year.
We'll be attempting our school's first ever nativity.
So far, I've got one child, who wants to be God. God is not actually on the cast list.
I've got another, who would like to play the baby. Ahem...no. I've also got one, who is desperate to be a werewolf. Also not on the cast list.
I introduced the whole thing. One of them got up and walked over to my colleague and started with: "Does everyone have to...", which was interrupted by me staring at her and going, "Everybody is taking part!" (Several children in my class have the tendency to try and get out of everything, be it PE, PHSE, circle time or anything else they might consider an inconvenience.)
We've only got 26 kids, 17 of whom don't speak English. There are lots of sheep and angels in our play. The lead role is being done by two children,...who also don't speak much English, but are at least happy to try and learn the lines.
I have two, who point blank refused to do anything and went off to sulk in a corner. I've now cast them as trees. If they want to sulk in a corner, they might as well be dressed up while they are sulking.
We'll do lots of singing (they like the songs at least) and dancing...and well, attempted acting. I doubt that the parents will mind the lack of dialogue. Most of my class are amazing but they are a really bonkers lot and we'll see how this turns out in the end.
Agree with having them all at the side of the stage. DS was an angel in his reception nativity (and he’s never quite got over it!) and complained that he had to sit in the corridor til right at the end. I thought he was being dramatic but no, he didn’t come on until the end and had spent every rehearsal for weeks sitting in the corridor.
Yes casting is very political, we always choose the ones who you’d least expect to get the part (as long as they’re not criers!) as there’s plenty of time for the confident, popular ones to get picked for everything!
If you have a singing and dancing leading star make sure his base costume (sparkly dads shirt buttoned up the back) is buttoned properly or he will be dancing in his superman pants.......
Check with the innkeepers parents that they have not booked him in for a circumcision two weeks before the performance, so that although healed he is a bit sensitive and has developed the habit of holding material away from his crotch......
Make sure that Baby Jesus' swaddling clothes are sewn on very firmly in case a bored Mary removes them .
Find the box of nativity outfits at least three weeks before you need them to allow time for refurbishment, labelling,washing and ironing.
There is no need to sing all the verses of away in a manger. One will do.
We had many blades of grass and grains of sand. Blooming difficult to find green/yellow t shirts in winter.
Oh anyone with wisdom of off-Broadway ensemble pieces is welcome. Expectations seem scarily high, the cast are unreasonably reluctant and alcohol seems like a necessity.
In exciting news, I have selected my Mary and Joseph- only another 118 parts to allocate
Pleased to see that you're already following my advice @TheSparklesAreCallin
If you know someone with a lot of cats you could get some herding practice in..........
You also need to get all TAs on side,especially the ones with set to stun long range laser eye qualifications.
Start rehearsing the songs in September! Get going! I speak from many years experience as nativity ‘director’.
We've got 55 YR/1 this year. I haven't even chosen one yet. I'm doomed aren't I
Dress up each class for a song to step to the middle and perform in some matchy look, eg R1 little donkey in brown, R2 away in the manager with stars in their hands- whatever they can sing and looks cute. Teach all the songs so there’s volume. String it all together with 2-3 lines inbetween songs from narrators whilst a few others pose in costume. Eg ‘Mary got to the stable tired and weary’. Time filled, job done. Most the rehearsals you can leave to teachers to just practice songs in class with just a few altogether bits. 90% carol singling, just 10% mumble and shuffling.
Oh, and always have a tambourine, bell, whistle in whole group rehearsals.... anything noisy To get attention
Make sure the crowns fit your 3 kings. Last year our Balthazar's crown slipped over his eyes and he tripped over a bench and fell flat on his face. He nearly took out the manger and it took forever to stop them all giggling...
@CaptainCallisto oops. I've seen some classics too over the years; the innkeeper who refused to answer Joseph's knock at the door; the king who threw the present at the baby Jesus; the angel who did a poo on the stage; the camel who tripped up the steps; the third king who flatly refused to walk up to the stage so two Magi rather three visited and no myrrh was gifted; and, most unforgettably and unfortunately, the bagpiper (Christmas around the world, need you ask?) who jigged sideways with such enthusiasm whilst 'playing' his bagpipes - recorder, cardboard tubes and tartan fabric - that he fell off the stage... Oh it's laugh a minute with Nativity...
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