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This is a question Nativity Plays

Every year the little kids at schools all over get to put on a play. Often it's christmas themed, but the key thing is that everyone gets a part, whether it's Snowflake #12 or Mary or Grendel (yes, really).

Personally I played a 'Rich Husband' who refused to buy matches from some scabby street urchin. Never did see her again...

Who or what did you get to be? And what did you have to wear?

(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:45)
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This question is now closed.

Okay, I was never onstage...
...but I did participate in high school plays.

I was the guy who built the sets.

Now most fifteen year old kids don't know shit about construction, but I was hardly a normal fifteen year old. Starting in 1970 my parents had built a house in the mountains, and to save money Dad and I did much of the wiring and insulating. So I got to look closely at how the thing was put together.

The play was "The Miracle Worker". There was to be a low platform for the downstairs of the house, and a higher platform for the upstairs, with a small staircase connecting them and a door frame. The platforms themselves were already built, more or less- someone had constructed box shapes of 2x6, and put plywood over the top. So what was left were the stairs, the door frame and raising the thing up.

I gave one platform six foot tall legs for the upstairs, and put diagonal braces on it to stabilize it. I made some stairs to lead down from it, and put the lower platform on two foot legs. I connected the two pretty solidly, then painted everything.

When they rehearsed on it, several people commented that it was the most solid set they'd ever had. I noted with pride that it didn't deflect at all as they walked on it, but stayed square and plumb.

The play went well. For the dress rehearsal they brought in real food for the dining room scene, which was kept backstage in a refrigerator for use during the performances. By the third night it was getting a bit stale, of course...

So after the last show, predictably, there was a food fight.

Mashed potatoes get heavy and dense. A handful of them hits like soft lead and leaves a welt. Biscuits get to be the consistency of masonry and will bounce intact off of brick walls. And the less said about the peas, the better.

Then the hormone and adrenaline crazed cast went after the set to tear it down. The door frame was just a rectangle that I had tacked in place, so it came off easily and was torn into three chunks by three rabid teenagers. The stairs pulled off with a groan, and the platforms were separated with great effort. The taller one was laid upside down on the floor with its legs standing up, and the guys screamed like Vikings and launched themselves at the legs to tear them off and add them to the scrap pile.

Ever seen Wile E. Coyote run face first into a telephone pole and just kinda stop?

After incurring some pretty impressive bruises they gave up. The janitors were sent in the next day with crowbars to take apart my handiwork...

Being onstage wouldn't have been anywhere near as fun as watching that.

EDIT: Hey! I'm at both the top and bottom of Page 1!
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:25, 4 replies)
sorry for double post, but...
nativity play in year 1. everyone had to audition for every part. I got the part of a sheep, naturally. at least I wasn't wearing a tea towel...

the previous year we did a load of nursery rhymes. my cameo as humpty dumpty during jack and jill was
d)not appreciated by the teachers
e)all of the above
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:21, Reply)
Herod! The Musical
Way back in the mists of time, my Primary School adopted a 'new' type of nativity play one year, opting for a production based around one of the stories covered in those 'music for schools' programmes that used to be on Radio 4. Those progarmmes which gave the teacher an hour off every Thursday morning while we all sang along with the radio, reading the words from our little books that accompanied the series and story being broadcast.

The story in question for this year was a nativity based story, but with a twist... It was a 'full on' musical.

Roles were being picked, kids were being 'auditioned' for said roles and I drew the rather short straw as Herod.

Come the day and I was festooned with as much pound shop bling as the school budget would allow to look the part of the King. You name it, I wore it: Tea Towels, gold braid, silver (tin) foil, gold painted cardboard, and I even remember gold tinsel ending up in the costume at some point. I must have looked like Jodie Marsh's christmas tree.

Anyway, with the stage being set in the local old church it eventually got around to my 'solo' piece. Up I step to the platform (the pulpit as it happens) to deliver my rousing song.

And to this day I can still remember the first verse and chorus, which was as follows:

"Things are get-ting desperate,
Don't they know I'm bo-oss,
Ignore these fan-cy ru-mours,
Or it will be your loss..."

Chrous (all)
"They say a new King's been born,
How ridiculous can you get.
Well I've got a trick or two up my sleeve,
'Cause I'm not finished yet".

It took a while to realise I was essentially portraying a glitzy showbiz baby killer. Think the 'John Barrowman' of Baby Killers.

It didn't end there either. At the end of the song, one of the kids (all scripted, you understand) came out from under the pulpit where I was standing and delivered his one and only line to the throng of proud parents assembled...

... "He's after your babies"
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:19, 2 replies)
Oof! This is going back a bit.
As I do not have any children of my own, inevitably this story is going to be about me. With the usual supporting cast of shepherds, the class weirdo, a bellboy and a BBC umbrella. Not the usual cast, I grant you, but they are important to the story.

As I cast my memory back 21 back to when I was 5 years old and in Catholic School (and as a protestant boy was I made aware of the fact) I was given the part of bellboy. I seem to remember being the one who led Mary and Joseph to the stable. I had a brilliant costume made by my gran who still to this day is a whizz on the sewing machine. Anyways- I was also provided with a small cymbal on a piece of string by the class weirdo. It seems she took the idea of a bellboy a little too literally. Bless!

And so to the next part of the story. Nineteen years ago this time. I had been given the part of the official who was to stop a performance. Which if memory serves featured a 7 year old in a leotard singing "Hey Big Spender". Which says something of the sense of humour of my teacher at the time. I was to go on stage calling a halt to proceedings. And the prop provided by dear old Dad? The previously mentioned BBC golf umbrella. I looked a right twonk.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:18, Reply)
The narrator. For bloody years. No chance of a BAFTA now.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:18, 2 replies)
I went to a Jewish primary school, so no Nativity plays
However, we did put on productions for various Jewish festivals, at the end of the year, if the teacher felt like it, etc etc. To be honest, they were fuckin' fantastic - proper song and dance routines which were excellently choreographed, the school's best gymnasts doing routines in the middle of stuff, somersaulting away. This was mainly because one of the teachers had been a professional dancer and coached us all.

Then one day, Blue Peter got in touch with us. Wondered if we could fill in their "It's Christmas, but also Chanukah and Divali apparently - let's show our little viewers what the other religions do at this happy time of year" slot.

We showed them several of our routines, and finished off with a Hebrew rendition of the sound of music (which I hate, but never mind). We got a phone call from them about a month later.

It turned out they didn't want anything fancy, as this would be too confusing for all the poor little Christian children who would think that every year Jewish children had people leaping over each other and bursting in song and dance routines in the comfort of their own homes. No, what they did instead was use a morose group of children to sing a dirge of a Chanukah song.

As if we were going to be confused and think that all little Christian children had personal brass bands in their homes or that anyone who lived near a coast had a Blue Peter life boat! *mutters*
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:15, 2 replies)
I was a shepherd.
That's all I can say about that.

On a related note, though, I was in choir since I was a little kid, and I first fell in love with singing at the Christmas concert when I was in fifth grade. The music we sang had some of the most beautiful melodies and harmonies that still bring a tear to my eyes. I've had no luck finding the sheet music since, very sad.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:14, Reply)
My answer to next weeks QOTW
"What are you having for dinner?".

Um, not sure yet, may phone for a curry, will have a beer and think about it.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:11, 2 replies)
in peter pan (not nativity, but bear with me here...)
characters included a dog (we did this in summer, and it was apparently boiling in the costume) animals (included me! masks were made out of cardboard boxes with 2 sides missing. we had to hold them up. they also had no eyeholes. the result: blind, crippled animals.) and of course the lost boys (1/2 of which were played by girls. one of them had to cut up their best jeans!)
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:11, Reply)
I'm writing
a modern reinterpretation of the nativity play with Jade as Mary, Baby P as the baby Jesus, Diana as the angel, Gordon Brown as the donkey and Josef Fritzl as Our Father Who Aren't in Heaven.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:07, 2 replies)
I starred as
the gingerbread man
Joseph (technicolour dreamcoat)'s father
and the baby Jesus

Not all at once.

Umm, not much else to say on the subject, mind if I predict next weeks QOTW question and answer that instead?
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:05, Reply)
Nativity plays (gingerphobic bastards)
So i remember when i was a wee lad growing up in my primary school in Aberdeen. Now i was in a big primary school, i think there was about 400 of us (damn John Majors fault). So the nativity was a big thing, but the lead parts only usually went to the 6th and 7th years as they where the oldest. Well after i was put in the choir for the nativity for an impressive 6 years in a row, i finally thought they would cast me. But alas nope they refused to. I distinctly remember wanting to be the leader of the three kings. I had to audition in front of our drama teacher (a sweet old lady named Miss Lamb), our janitor (the Jannie) and our head teacher (bitch!). So i read my lines and waited for the response, and though i was sure the head didn't me to hear this her words have haunted me to this day.
This is what she turned to the janitor and said "we can't really have an ugly ginger boy in the play can we".

Yes i actually heard this. So as usual all the sweet looking "normal" coloured haired boys got cast as the kings and Sheppards. But at least they let me play the in keeper that year (you see my ugly gingerness was hidden behind a cardboard set for my scene).

And worst of all when i told my mum this she told me to stop making stuff up and be glad i got a small part.

Trust me i never had a complex before then, it took me years to shake it off.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:03, 2 replies)
Oh and another
Xmas play where we performed some obscure German folktale to do with the winter solstice, an ice goblin and a woodcutter I think and was all set in a forest. I played the part of 'evergreen tree'.

It was all a bit too Teutonic for me.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 18:02, Reply)
I played a Russian prostitute
because I could do a convincing accent. It wasn't a nativity play though. Or at Christmas. And I was 15. I'm just trying to squeeze something from this question and this is the closest I come. I wore a fur coat, red lipstick and a pair of high heels.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:59, 13 replies)
What a shite QOTW
I was a tiger in my nativity play. That is all.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:59, Reply)
I remember
the nativity when I was 9. Everyone had a part, some kids had several. I had 3 parts:- Inn keeper, wise man and 'Hebrew onlooker' which essentially meant being in one of three pairs of kids standing about the stage pretending to have a conversation with another kid and then watching Mary & Joseph go past.
If the nativity was meant to take place at night, why were so many people standing about gossiping on the street?
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:59, 2 replies)
OK, I get it
The server costs are up, the advertising is not bringing in revenue, so by putting in increasingly poor QoTWs you want to drive this part of the site into the ground.

It's the only explanation for YET ANOTHER SHITE QOTW. I mean, really, really shite and unoriginal CRAP. The sort of stuff even mainstream comedians would think of as a "mined seam".






[and breathe]
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:58, 4 replies)
Hasn't this QOTW.....
Already been thoroughly covered by 'You've Been Framed'?
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:58, Reply)
I played Joseph.
I also played the Grumpy Goblin in a separate production.

That is all.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:57, Reply)
Nativity plays are shite.
Because children are shite. Even yours, especially if they are wearing a tea towel. The only thing worse than sitting through a nativity play where small gap-toothed children lisp "Away in a Manger" is to actually be a small, gap-toothed child lisping "Away in a Manger". Nativity plays are only watched intently by doting, blinkered parents. Even paedophiles don't stoop to videoing them.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:55, 9 replies)
Do you mods not listen?
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:54, Reply)
Didn't I suggest this years ago
after seeing my friend's daughter's play?

Really big long story coming soon.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:52, Reply)

Edit: If you went to any other board on b3ta and forced them to talk/link/draw about school nativity plays for a week, they'd tell you to fuck right off.

This is not what I come here for. I come here for the lulz, the sickness, the dirty lies, the torrid stories, the heart-warming tales, the interesting snippets from all walks of life.

Not fucking nativity plays.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:52, 8 replies)
It's only when you've been a shepherd in a school nativity play,
do you realise the true fashion versatility of the Tea Towel
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:52, Reply)
May I be the first to predict
the overuse of the anecdote about the nativity play where the ickle innkeeper says "OF COURSE there's room at the inn, come on inside!" ?
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:51, 2 replies)
Nativity play?
Ja boet, now this takes me back a few years...

Litt'l Chris, being Wise Man #2, did really not feel like wearing a dress in front of the whole congregation, and reckoned somebody must be willing to swap outfits with him. Turned out, the only kid gullable enough to be coerced into a deal (with the help of a tin of condensed milk) had a sheep outfit. Still better than a dress, Chris thought, and he was the happiest Wise Sheep you ever saw on stage!

Happy days...
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:50, Reply)
Does 4th count ?
Or does it matter that I actually have a tale to tell.

Set the wayback machine to about 1977, Star wars, platform shoes, and Oh yeah, Disco was big...

As usual the parts had been handed out more or less randomly once Mary, Joseph and the kings were allocated. Once those coveted parts were gone nobody seemd to care who was playing what But I, I knew, this was my moment to shine...

So, come the week of the play itself, teachers had cleared the gym hall and set out chairs for the audience, parents had slaved over "costume" for their little darlings and the rehersals were going from bad to worse.

It was the cuing that was the trouble. I knew I came last, after the kings, after the donkey, after the sheep who were promising extra wool to keep the new messiah warm, they came after the cow. Who for all I remember may well have been promising extra bullshit to help him get started on that bible thing.
The cow was a professional, stand up, face audience, do line, sit down again. Even now I applaud the rock solid delivery of whichever poor seven year old had to repeat their line so many times that its very content is erased from my mind. Leaving only the memory of a white romper suit with black splodges and an alice band sporting a jaunty pair of cardboard cut out horns.

But the sheep, oh gods the sheep... Three of the four sheep were the class thickies, the ones who weren't allowed sharp pencils and were still on the pale blue reading books. The rest of us were on red, red books had a question sheet at the back so you'd have something to do for the other 30 mins of the 40 minute reading session.
The fourth sheep was the the poor chap that even the thickies thought was a bit slow on the uptake, twice the size of us other kids, posessed of huge ham like fists that would have beaten us tiny ones to a pulp if he'd had even an ounce of malice in him and a forehead so sloping that flies used to waterski down it on the back of sweat droplets.
Four sheep, one line, one "baa" in unison and let the rest of us get on with it.
This was the chap who, rehersal after rehersal would have to be prodded gently by the long suffering teacher and reminded that it was his turn.

So come the night itself, the hall is hushed. The audience are filing slowly in to take their places. I am resplendant in my chicken costume, and the cow has been briefed to prod the sheep at the appropriate moment.

The beginning passed in a haze of anticipation. Mary, Joseph, Innkeeper, no room, stables. Bosh.
Animals pile out, surround the dodgy looking straw filled wooden box that's serving as a manger, and the kings just happen to turn up before there's time for anyone to get bored.
Gold, Frankisence, Myrhh, no problem. Animals start up with the promises. Donkey, sorted. Cow, a rock as ever. Sheep, pause, sheep...?
Fuck me he did it, slowly and carefully recited his line, into the silent hall, went "baa" with the other sheep and sat down.

My cue at last! This was my moment to stand up and proudly declare that as stable rooster I would refuse to crow so that baby jebus wouldn't get woken up in the morning...

The audience, poitely, carefuly, and utterly silent until this point, could cope no longer. The laugh that rang round the hall on that evening will stick with me to my dying day.

Every so often my chums tell me I should do stand up comedy. But I can't, every laugh takes me straight back to standing in that hall wearing a chicken hat and a distressingly orange poncho covered in all the stapled on paper feathers I could colour in.
Infront of an audience of adults who were loudly pissing* themselves with laughter and feeling like the biggest cock in the world...

*May not contain actual piss
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:49, 4 replies)

Edit: If my neighbour hadn't stopped me to ask pointless questions I'd have made first...

Anyway, I'm going to get the rant in before anyone else does.

The nativity play is a very. simple. concept.

Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem with the baby Jesus, possibly with some sort of donkey involved. Supporting cast of three wise men, assorted shephards, angels, narrators, inkeepers and king Herod all coming in somewhere along the way.

The nativity does not, did not, and will never contain: dancing fruit, dancing cowboys, travel agents and magic carpets; all of which I remember from my time at that school.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:48, Reply)
I once played an Angel
I had a tinsel halo. I was very cute.

I insisted the framed picture of it was hidden when my girlfriend came to visit.
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:48, Reply)
Made it this time!

Unfortunately I was never on stage in any sort of play- I was stage crew. I was the guy who built the sets.

Looks like another long week for me... *sigh*
(, Thu 26 Mar 2009, 17:48, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

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