Wow, Christmas sprang up fast this year! It seemed like just yesterday we were enjoying the first days of summer, and now, here in Erie, we’ve had our first snow! Are you struggling with the idea of a Christmas play this year?
I spotted Group Publishing’s Instant Christian Pageant “The Not-So-Silent Night” last year and decided to give it a try. I’m always a little skeptical about “instant” programs — they usually make up for the lack of practice time with poor content, shallow story line, and not much “wow” factor. I have to report, this was not the case with “The Not So Silent Night”. The first “practice” was a little rough as I tried to explain to everyone that we were pantomiming along with the CD, not actually saying the parts. A few kids needed one-on-one help really getting into their role, and the usually last minute drop-outs threw a few kinks into the program. However, despite all that, the program was a HUGE hit.
We heard comments like, “For once, I could finally hear the play!” “My kids didn’t have time to get stage fright, because they had to keep up with their part.” “The CD made practice so much easier!”
This year, we started with “Operation Baby King”, another of Group’s Instant Plays. The story line was a bit too complex for our group of kids, so we quickly switched to “A Mouse’s Tale”. Things have been going well. We’ve had about three practices so far. The format certainly isn’t “instant” — you have to break the kids up a bit so they can practice their parts before trying to do a big run through. Otherwise, everyone gets confused and bored.
Overall though, a great resource for small/mid-size churches who want a great Christmas program, but might not have a lot of resources to pour into it.