Producing a Christmas church play is an enormous undertaking for any youth director, choir director, or volunteer drama coach. Using the right script can help you pull it off as smoothly as any professional production.
Free Printable Nativity Plays
Christmas play scripts vary depending on the age of the cast. To simplify your Christmas production, these two original nativity plays include a script, set and costume instructions, stage movement and lighting directions, and song recommendations. To view and print either play, you will need Adobe Reader.
Children's Christmas Play
This play follows the nativity story and offers simple dialogue and easy song selections for the youngest members of your congregation or group. A narrator is used to move the narrative forward. It runs about 30 minutes long.
The play tells the traditional nativity story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem where Mary gives birth to the baby Jesus and receives visits from shepherds and wise men.
Christmas Play for Teens and Adults
This play is written for teens and adults. It is longer in duration than the children's play at approximately 45 minutes, and includes additional scenes and songs, and longer, more mature dialogue. This play also uses a narrator to move the plot forward.
The play follows the story of the nativity from the moment the angel Gabriel tells the virgin Mary she will have a child to Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and the subsequent visits of shepherds and wise men to see the baby Jesus.
Additional Church Play Options
Free Christmas skits are available online; however, carefully review the message and quality before performing them. Plays, musicals, and skits about the Christmas story, both Biblical and with a modern religious twist, can also be purchased from various Christian booksellers and publishers. Consider the following resources for finding Christmas church plays:
- Christian Publishers: This site offers a wide range of traditional and contemporary Christmas plays and musicals with religious themes. Plays are available for casts of all ages. Play kits include performing rights and complete scripts must be purchased. Most kits average in cost at $50 plus shipping.
- Sunday School Center: If you're looking for free Christmas plays for children, check out this site. Plays offered include "A Christmas to Believe In," a funny play which follows one teenager struggling to believe in the nativity story, and "A Night in Bethlehem!" which contemporizes the story of Jesus' birth. All scripts are available as free pdf downloads. Sunday School Center also offers helpful tips for planning a children's Christmas play.
- Christianbook.com: This online Christian retailer sells dozens of Christmas play books and offers costumes and resources to help you put on a successful production. Comedies, dramas, and musicals are available including "One Quiet Night," a musical play about a harried mom forced to confront the reason for the season, and "Special Delivery," a musical play about the birth of Jesus. Cost varies by play but start at $5.99 plus shipping for a play book.
- Pioneer Drama Service, Inc.: Pioneer Drama Service features 87 Christmas plays available for purchase. Scripts cost around $6 - $7 each and director's books are also available for between $15 and $20. Performance rights are an additional cost and average $45 per performance. Available plays include "The Mice and the Manger," which tells the nativity story from the perspective of a family of stable mice, and "Everyone's Christmas Story," a modern tale about a writer who strives to add excitement to the traditional nativity story but finds meaning in leaving the story unaltered.
A Meaningful Experience
Taking on a Christmas church play is a big job, but it will create a unique holiday experience for the entire congregation. During the chaos and business of the holiday season, a Christmas play will help remind people of the reason for the season and make them excited to spread the Good News.