A stage musical of the beloved children's book by George MacDonald. MacDonald was a forerunner to CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, and his work was greatly admired by them. This is one of the most successful and beloved of Victorian fairy tales.
Style: Dramatic with light touches. Duration: Approx. 90min
Actors: 13M, 7F, 1C, + Various. (Some parts may be doubled.)
The play was first performed by Crossbridge Theatre Company, Orewa, Auckland New Zealand, in August 2016. A video of one of the performances can be viewed on YouTube, at: Act One https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_JaGAlvu28, Act Two https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEl4lPrpIEg
Eight-year-old Princess Irene lives a lonely life in a castle in a wild, desolate, mountainous kingdom, with only her nursemaid, Lootie, for company. Her father, the king, is normally absent, and her mother is dead. Unknown to her, the nearby mines are inhabited by a race of goblins, long banished from the kingdom and now anxious to take revenge on their human neighbours. One rainy day, the princess explores the castle and discovers a beautiful, mysterious lady, who identifies herself as Irene's namesake and great-great-grandmother. The next day, Princess Irene persuades her nursemaid to take her outside. After dark they are chased by goblins and rescued by the young miner, Curdie, whom Irene befriends. At work with the rest of the miners, Curdie overhears the goblins talking, and their conversation reveals to Curdie the secret weakness of goblin anatomy: they have very soft, vulnerable feet. Curdie sneaks into the Great Hall of the goblin palace to eavesdrop on their general meeting, and hears that the goblins intend to flood the mine if a certain other part of their plan should fail. A week later Irene loses her way up the mountain; whereupon the light from her great-great-grandmother's tower leads her home, where her great-great-grandmother gives Irene a ring attached to a thread invisible except to herself, which thereafter connects her constantly to home.
When Curdie explores the goblins' domain, he is discovered by the goblins and stamps on their feet with great success; but when he tries to stamp on the Queen's feet she is uninjured due to her stone shoes. The goblins imprison Curdie, thinking he will die of starvation; but Irene's magic thread leads her to his rescue. Irene takes Curdie to see her great-great-grandmother and be introduced; but she is only visible to Irene. Curdie later learns that the goblins are digging a tunnel in the mines towards the king's palace, where they plan to abduct the Princess and marry her to goblin prince Harelip. Curdie goes to warn the palace guards about this, but is imprisoned instead and contracts a fever through a wound in his leg, until Irene's great-great-grandmother heals the wound. Meanwhile, the goblins break through the palace floor and come to abduct the princess; but Curdie escapes from his prison room and stamps on the goblins' feet. Upon the goblins' retreat, Irene is believed a captive; but Curdie follows the magic thread to her refuge at his own house, and restores her to the king. When the goblins flood the mines, the water enters the palace, and the goblins are defeated.
Curdie* – a miner (a 13 -16 yr old boy)
Irene* – the Princess (8-10 yr)
Lootie – Irene’s nanny
Peter* – Curdie father
Mother* – Curdie’s mother
King* – Irene’s father
Members of the King’s household (butlers, maids, soldiers, etc)
Goblins (these roles could be played by children)
The production notes in this script are from the original stage performance, at Orewa, Auckland. in August 2016. They can obviously be modified, ignored, etc, by groups mounting their own productions. The original production ran for eight performances, so two girls played the part of Princess Irene alternately. (When not playing Irene, each girl played in the goblin chorus.)
A DVD of the original performance is available by contacting:
Music, backing tracks, and sound tracks are also available.
A sample portion of the script may be obtained by clicking on the link at the foot of this page. The full script may be obtained from John McNeil, at the above email address.
Summary: A version of the Christmas story in simple English, as written for a TEFL group at my church's Christmas party, to remind them of the real meaning of Christmas. It could be done by children too. Minimum costume is an option, no props needed except a doll or baby. It is a summary of the Nativity Story from the gospels.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10min
1N, 7M, 1F, 2M/F
Summary: A summary of the nativity story from the gospels. It is in simple English, as it was written for a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) group at a church Christmas party, to remind them of the real meaning of Christmas. Also suitable for children. Minimum costume is an option, no props needed except a doll or baby.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 9min
Actors: 7M, 1F, 3M/F
Original Story by Nan F. Weeks
Reintroduced to a New Generation of Readers by David Nicholson
Summary: While sitting in my adult Sunday School class, I heard Nan Weeks’ story If He Had Not Come for the first time; and I must say, the story captivated me right from the start. I can remember driving home with my young family that very Sunday morning thinking to myself, “I am going to read this story to my family this and every Christmas to come.” It’s been nearly thirty years, and the tradition of sharing this simple, thought-provoking story continues on. And now, I would like to share it with you . . .
It was Christmas Eve, and after Bobby carefully hung his stocking above the fireplace, he climbed the stairs to his room. Most of the time Bobby didn’t like going to bed, but tonight he wanted to get to sleep so he’d be up bright and early on Christmas morning. He was looking forward to finding out what was in those packages under the Christmas tree!
Before he had gone up to his room, though, Bobby and his dad sat by the Christmas tree for their daily Bible reading. Some of Jesus’ words to His friends in John 15:22 stayed with Bobby and kept circling through his mind even after he had climbed into bed. He whispered them over and over until he fell asleep. The five words were, “If I had not come.
It seemed like Bobby had hardly gone to sleep when a loud voice called, “Get up, Bobby, get up right away!” He sat up and rubbed his eyes. Was it morning? Was his dad calling to him already? He jumped out of bed and pulled on his clothes. He sure wondered if he was going to get the presents he wanted—new skates, a flashlight, a baseball, maybe that model airplane he’d seen at Woolworths! He hurried downstairs.
But all was still, and no lights were on. His dad wasn’t waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs, his mother wasn’t in the kitchen making breakfast. And the Christmas tree was gone! No stocking hanging above the fireplace, no wreaths in the window, and no presents!
To download the full story, click on this link:
Summary: A version of the Last Supper for younger people. It is based on the scripture from Matthew 26: 26-56. It is from the point of view of a mother telling her daughter a story.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 15min
Actors: 2F, 4M +V
Summary: Christmas raises the question of whether we are available to do what God asks us to do. This script contrasts different attitudes to being willing to fit in with God's purposes.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 10-15min.
Actors: 1N, 3M, 1F, 2M/F, + extras
Summary: Mother putting her son to bed talks to him about Jesus.
Style: Drama with light touches. Duration: 8min.
Scripture: Based on John 14:12
Actors: 1F, 1C
Summary: The parable of the wise man and the foolish man, who built their houses on rock and sand respectively. As told by Jesus.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 7min
Summary: Meena lives in a poor family, who fall into the clutches of a moneylender. How can they escape, and save Meena from having to stop going to school?
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10min
Actors: 13C, OR 1N, 3M, 1F, 2C, + various
Summary: Two friends wrapping gifts talk about Jesus as the greatest gift. Themes: Christmas, gift giving, salvation.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 7min.
Scriptures: John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9
Actors: 3M/F, 1C
Summary: A parent and child are assembling a nativity scene and discuss the true meaning of Christmas. Themes: Christmas, family.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 7Min
Scriptures: Luke 2:7
Actors: 1M, 1F, 1M/F, 1C
Summary: Three scenes to show how people have trouble recognizing who Jesus really is. Themes: Christmas, Jesus is King, Christian living.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10min
Scriptures: Matthew 2:2, Luke 2:13-14, Luke 2:25-30, Luke 2:36-38, John 18:36, Ephesians 4:17-19
Actors: 5M, 3F, 1M/F
Summary: This skit was written for Kindergarten students. The purpose was to look at what the bible actually says and what we think we know. Before we started, we asked the kids how they knew their parents loved them, and we brainstormed ideas. For the end of the skit, we asked each kid how they know that Jesus loves them, and their answers were fantastic. For the one child that said he did not know that Jesus loved him, I just told him “Jesus loves you.” At the ending part of the skit, when asked for his reason, he said, “because you told me so.”
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 6min
Actors: 2M/F, 6C
Summary: This skit was performed by school age children from ages 4 to 12 with the exception of God's voice and the narrator. I based the skit after the television series/movie: "Charlie's Angels". God's Angels were given certain missions to accomplish culminating with the Nativity scene at the end where they were joined by a host of angels (all the children in the Sunday school) to sing "Joy to the World".
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 30min
Actors: 12+C, 1N, 1VO
Summary: A briefly told account of the resurrection and Jesus' various appearances to his disciples. This would work well as an acted reading, or readers' theatre.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 8min
Actors: 1F, 3M, 2M/F + Various non-speaking parts.
Summary: This is an informal, humorous and fun nativity play with songs interspersed.
When a group of children sing a song together they begin to think about what Christmas is really about. Some of their friends don't know the story, so they decide to act it out, commenting on it as they go. It was written for 21 children, but Mary, Joseph and the angels were split between children so there were more parts and some children played more than one part, so the number of parts can be increased or decreased as needed.
Style: Light-hearted Duration: 45 min
Puppets at Easter
Summary: Focusing on Thomas at Easter and after the Resurrection.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 5min
Actors: 1N, + puppets
Scripture: John 20:19-20
Summary: These three dramas – Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday – were written for a children’s activity morning. A large white sheet with a strong light source behind it is needed, so that the children’s shadows are shown miming the actions, while the narrator reads out the poem. Shapes such as a cardboard donkey, palm fronds may also be used.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: Short.
Actors: Any number
Summary: An Easter bible reading set to “rap” music.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 2min
Actors: Any number
Scripture: John 18:28-40
Summary: A short one-person monologue, in which Martha tells about the death and resurrection of her brother Lazarus.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 4min
Summary: Santa has lost his reindeer and his enthusiasm for the job so he has nothing to give to a group of children coming to see him. But his helper suggests he reads them the true Christmas story, one which he has not heard before.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 12-15min
Actors: (Speaking) 1M, 1M/F, 4C; (non-speaking) 4M, 4+M/F
Summary: (A Reader’s Theater Presentation) A visitor is sent to earth. He‘s been here before and doesn’t want to come back. Earth people are violent and unpredictable. Yet his world has encountered difficult times and his commander wonders how such a violent people as humans have survived all these centuries. So he sends Travillion back once more. . ..
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 45min(?)
Actors: 7+M, 2F, 3+M/F
Summary: A Narrator struggles to tell to the story of creation to two easily distracted listeners.
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 8min
Summary: Bible characters come on stage in ones and twos and line up across the stage. At the conclusion all characters hear the baby Jesus cry and turn to look. (“Like the stone on the surface of a still river, driving the ripples on forever, redemption rips through the surface of time in the cry of a tiny babe.” – Bruce Cockburn, Cry of a Tiny Babe on Nothing But a Burning Light, 1991.)Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10-12min
• This play works well with young children who don’t need to learn lines.
• This play can be performed with very little practice as the narrator directs activities from the script.
• This play can easily be adapted to suit the number and gender balance of performers by using different (or more or less) Bible characters.
Actors: 1N, 12C
Summary: In this musical, the actors and actresses will never have rehearsed, will not know their lines, and will be chosen the day of the performance!! The story of Jesus is told by an adult who is the travel "guide" on the story's path. As the story develops, the guide calls on unsuspecting "volunteers" to come up and take on the various roles of the characters in the story - providing hilarious but inspiring results! Throughout the story the children sing easy-to-learn, fun songs
Style: Light-hearted. Duration: 30min (?)
Note: The full script, plus CDs with music tracks, can be obtained from www.lorraymusicals.com
Summary: The three Wexler children are mad. Mad because mom is making them go to Christmas Eve service, because grandma insists. So when the three go to the hall closet to get their coats and find a pine branch sticking out from the garments, their curiosity gets the best of them and into closet they go, only to stumble into a strange and magical land. Here they meet Diego, a very impatient angel who will accompany them on a strange and wonderful mission to the town of Bethlehem, and to the place where Christmas was born. . . and in the process they discover the special task that God has in store for them! Keywords: Christmas, Narnia, magic land.
Style: Dramatix. Duration: Approx 45min
Actors: 4M, 5F, 2C
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 1 minute.
Actors: 3M/F, 1F
Scripture: Luke ch. 1 vv 26 to 32 (taken from “The Message” version).
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 1 minute.
Scripture: Acts ch. 2 vv 1-4.
A children’s Christmas Musical
Summary: Mary and Joseph are preparing to leave for Bethlehem. They stop into a rental shop to arrange transportation, and broker a unique deal with the proprietor: a free, round-trip rental of a stubborn old mule in exchange for Mary and Joseph escorting the shop owner’s children to Bethlehem. Along the way the children discover that Mary is going to give birth to Jesus, and by the time the trip is finished they will have come to understand that the trip they took would be the greatest experience of their lives, and would change their future forever!
Style: Lighthearted. Duration: 60min??
Actors: 8M, 3F +C
Summary: Two characters discuss the significance of eggs at Easter in a humorous way. Keywords: Easter, eggs, new life.
Style: Lighthearted. Duration: 4min
Actors: 2 puppets
Style: Lighthearted. Duration: 4 min
Actors: 2 puppets
Summary : Two characters discuss the significance of the cross on the hot cross bun in a humorous way. Keywords: Easter, cross, hot cross buns.