Advent Gathered Pageants

 

 

 

 

 

“Advent Gathered Pageants" are dramas for worship that tell the nativity story through the eyes of two main characters. They follow the ancient tradition of enacting the biblical story with pageantry and shared music. These events invite everyone in the room to enter the unfolding story, through scripted and silent participation, creating a new experience of the story and its meanings in our lives.

 

There is a small core of "actors" each of whom has a small speaking or movement part. Congregation members who wish to do so may come dressed in nativity character costume, or take up a costume at the worship entrance. Worshippers are invited to join the crew by sitting at the front after their main character has had a brief interaction with the 2 leads.

 

Gathered pageants narrow the acting job down to a dedicated few (instead of a harried group of children and parents just before Christmas) and yet everyone in the congregation enters into the story in the worship.

 

The two lead characters hold the bulk of the acting and have one “broadway musical” style song to sing at the beginning (sometimes reprising at the end). However, this theme song can be sung by a choir or ensemble. The rest of the music amounts to carols (1 or 2 verses each) to punctuate the action, to allow congregation members to come up to sit with their "lead" and to give time to reflect on what just happened. Each of these places is also an opportunity for a group or individual to sing an anthem or solo.

 

The entire pageant takes no more than 30 minutes to present, and ideally serves as the "Word" portion of an advent service.

 

Cost

$10.00 for the whole package which includes script and sheet music.

$20.00 copying royalty, licensing you to make as many copies as you wish.

Members of Psalm-Body’s Prayin’ subscription group receive a pageant free of charge, with royalty covered (free) under the subscription agreement.  Psalm Body's Prayin'

 

 

Round the Back Door

by Linnea Good, Bari Castle and Gary Paterson

Two servants are expected to clean up the inn and its stable in anticipation of very rich and important clients in census season. When each of the various nativity characters arrives, the Innkeeper is heard telling them that there is no room at his inn, so the servants make room for shepherds, sheep, angels and an expectant couple. Later, 3 magi arrive but fend off the innkeeper's gushing attempt to get them to stay in his rooms, saying they are looking for one born in a lowly stable. The Innkeeper learns that God loves all, and appears as a child "round the back door".              

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

The Way is Clear

by Bari Castle and Linnea Good

The story takes two lost angels (Estelle and Lucius) on a journey seeking the rest of the heavenly choir, on the biggest concert night of their lives. Their celestial map and various nativity characters (including the loquacious Lead Shepherd) give them direction until they find themselves in “just the right place”. They conclude that, "when God has a message of love to share, we often end up in just the place where God intended us to hear it"

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

 

It's a Wonder

by Bari Castle and Linnea Good

Shep and Esperanza are on the trail of ALL of their sheep, who mysteriously and suddenly left them, one star-studded night. When found, the creatures have bedded down in a quiet stable, where a couple is caring for their newborn babe, and visitors are arriving. Highlights include stupefied shepherds and their heckling angels. Shep decides to gift the new baby with his treasured "blankie" – a travelling comfort. Esperanza invites us to consider what led us to this night of devotion. The theme song can serve as a stand-alone anthem - in worship as well as in secular celebrations of the season (from Sometimes Christmas II – backing tracks available).

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

Peace is Here Today

by Bari Castle and Linnea Good

Olive the Architect and Burl the Builder are enlisted in Bethlehem to help a client find "peace". Trying - unsuccessfully - to build a wall of increasing size to block out the intrusion of humanity in the next-door neighbour's yard (an Inn with a stable slowly overflowing with shepherds, livestock, angels, magi and a couple with a newborn), they discover that true peace is really found through connection with others and trust in God's loving presence.

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

Count on It!

by Linnea Good and Bari Castle

Census-takers, Una and Octavius, are attempting to draw up an accurate count of all the inhabitants in the town of Bethlehem. Their efforts are, however, confounded by the constant arrival of evanescent angels, shepherds and meandering sheep, visiting magi and the couple and newborn baby that all are seeking. Our heroes conclude that an event like this birth and God’s gift of love are immeasurable, and they lay down their forms and clipboards in his service. Theme song included is “Children Go Where I Send Thee”.

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

Plays

 

Animal Barn

a pre-Christmas “mime” or play for ages 4 and up

by Linnea Good

The farmyard animals learn that people are coming to town (to be registered in a census) and will be staying in all the available houses. The human owners of the house are distressed because everyone knows that this means: all their stuff will be "ruined, wrecked or stolen". This distrust spreads to the animal community until (quite hilariously) all the animals are outright suspicious and unfriendly to one another. Luckily, a resident mouse calls them all back to the gifts that trust can bring – gifts of community and friendship. The animals manage to convince the humans that all shall be well if they trust - and dinner is served (the perfect reward for a hard day's theological reflection and quacking).

 

The piece can be used in traditional pageant form (costumes, a couple of rehearsals, etc) for the benefit of the congregation on a Sunday. It could also simply be a spontaneous dramatic Advent experience for the church school (or all ages?) where leaders read and children jump in to take parts, following the spoken directions they hear. It is a foreshadowing of the nativity story, with no room at the inn and the hospitality of "the poor", so a presentation earlier in Advent would be perfect.

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

Santa's Green Christmas

by Linnea Good and Bev Krieger

15-minute secular drama with 3 punctuating songs for 7-11 year olds (or mixed ages) inspired by the thoughtful and spirited grade 2 / 3's of our hometown Giant's Head School

Santa is visited by 3 unusual visitors: a coho salmon, a western red cedar and a polar bear. All are asking for a Christmas present. The Coho requests clear waterways so she can go home to her creek and have babies. The Cedar asks for water to hold in her roots, keep as mist in her branches and stay strong to fight off beetles. The polar bear gruffly asks if it's "warm in here", requesting COLD to keep the ice frozen all winter and the permafrost in the ground. Santa assures them he will do what he can, and then thinks hard. Cast sings: What Can I Give You (adapted from What Can I Give Him, available on-line) and Raffi’s free song “Cool It (“Cool this planet down”) is also available as a a rockin’ finale.

 

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

 

The Very Best Gift Ever - new!

by Linnea Good 

30-minute secular school drama with 3 punctuating songs for preschool to grade 5. Written for and with the students of Summerland's Montessori School.

For Christmas or non-seasonal use.

Opening Song (all cast): "Deck the Halls". The King of Summerlandia is bored and hates all his gifts. His Jester tells him 2 jokes but is fired. His Prime Minister suggests a contest for "The Very Best Gift Ever". All attempts to thrill the King fail until an intriguing stranger drops by to give the King a grubby backpack and the instructions to go searching in the world disguised as a regular person. When he meets the "great gift giver", the Traveller assures him, he is to give them something from his backpack - and thereby receive "the very best gift ever".  The King meets 3 people in turn (a Cobbler, a Veterinarian and a Toymaker) who each complain that they are poor because the King has passed laws that only allow them to create shoes, ointment and toys that suit the King's needs. "He is a very selfish king," they sigh. The King gives each of them a gift out of the backpack, only to discover that none of them is the "great gift-giver". Having "wasted" all 3 of the gifts in his bag, he is left with nothing, and is lonelier - and hungrier - than he has ever been in his life. A crowd of mice arrives, sings "Tiny Little Christmas Mouse", and celebrates the discovery of crumbs. They share them with him, despite his grumpiness. The King knows these cannot be the great gift-giver, and marvels at their generosity. Though the King has nothing to give, the Mouse Leader urges him to think about what he does have to offer. "We aren't rich but we have each other and we share what we have." The King recalls that he has 2 jokes, and when he shares them, he realizes he is experiencing a new, warm sensation: the feeling of Friendship. He returns home with his new friends, proclaims new laws that benefit all and he and the mice rule the kingdom wisely for years to come - living happily ever after. Closing song for whole cast: "Light up the Night!"

 

Whole package

Copying Royalty

 

 

Cantatas

 

Stone Soup: The Cantata

by Scott Douglas and Linnea Good

for church and non-church use

Once upon a time two tricksters , Canny and Small, arrive in the tiny village named Oxter (Two Wandering Wonderers). They ask for a bite of supper, but the villagers refuse, so Canny and Small come up with a tricky plan, pretending to make "stone soup" with a magical soup stone (Stone Soup). The villagers are curious and end up adding ingredients from their own pockets in return for a taste of the magical soup. Everyone is so pleased with the soup that the mayor proposes a toast (S*O*U*P) and they all sing (Thanks To You). The villagers decide to pool their money and buy the stone from Canny and Small (We Need That Stone). The two tricksters accept the offer and hightail it out of town with the money. When the villagers next try to make soup, they realize they've been tricked. They chase after Canny and Small (Get Them! Instrumental) and drag them back to town (Get Them! Reprise). Luckily Small convinces the angry villagers that the magic of the soup stone lay in its having brought them together as a community (It Was You). All is forgiven, the tricksters are elected mayor and everyone celebrates (Stone Soup reprise).

For a cast of all ages. Major roles: 3, secondary roles: 4, supported by an animated cast of villagers. The cost is $20.00 +tax for the whole package and if you decide to use it, we charge a royalty of $40.00 +tax for unlimited copies per performance. The cantata has been adapted for use in a vacation bible school as well as a non-religious arts camp; contact us for this information.

 

Whole Package

Copying Royalty

 

 

Full-Scale Musical Productions 

 

Stone Soup: The Musical!

by Scott Douglas and Linnea Good

a full-scale comedy musical in 2 Acts

Contact us for more details 

 

 

Creative Intergenerational Services of Worship

 

Holy Friday Re-Telling Service

A service of spoken word, dramatic re-telling, scripture and gesture

by Linnea Good

What they said about the Holy Friday Re-Telling:

"I was spellbound from the first words - couldn't wait to see and hear what was coming next"

"What a fabulous piece without all the blood and atonement theology"

Download the script. If you choose to keep the copy (in any form) cost is $20 (+tax in Canada). Drop Brenda an e-mail for an invoice. 

 

by Linnea Good

for church and non-church venues