Top Tips For Putting On A Nativity

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It's that time of year again! There'll be a flurry of activity up and down the country as schools prepare for this year's nativity. From choosing a cast, learning the songs, rehearsing the lines, sending the invitations out, to searching the back of the cupboard for the baby Jesus doll, it's a busy time ahead. So, to help you with your preparations, here are a few top tips:  

Choose the right musical or nativity for your groups, their age and ability
  • Consider cast numbers, length of production, number of songs, singing ability and rehearsal time available. You can check the cast lists online on any of our product pages. (example cast list)
  • Have you got any children who will be confident and able to sing a solo?
  • Do you want to incorporate dancing into your production? We’ve included great choreography ideas on some of our product pages.

  • Use a class story-telling session to introduce the storyline of the show – understanding the full picture will help children to place their character in context and learn their lines more easily.
  • Play the songs in art lessons or tidying-up sessions – this is a great way to absorb the music ‘intravenously’ before you start your rehearsals properly.
  • To keep things manageable, we have several nativities that are designed especially for class-by-class rehearsals.

Cast & Crew
  • Use solo parts to build confidence.
  • Be aware of those children that may be more self-conscious. Hold auditions in private – it’s the best way to uncover hidden talent!
  • Employ a Production Crew – ideal for those ‘too cool for school’ kids. Dress them in black and give them (with guidance) the responsibility for sound, lighting, props and scene changes.

Costume & Staging
  • Simplicity is key. Many of our musicals come with costume and staging ideas: (example staging ideas)
  • But don’t let this hold you back if you are feeling creative! Why not use an art class to get the kids involved.
Rehearse with Words on Screen™ or Rehearsal CDs
  • Maximise rehearsal time whenever you can, using our Words on Screen™ software. We now have 22 nativities with Words on Screen™!
  • As an alternative, we also have Rehearsal CDs available for all of our nativities and Christmas musicals, which means you can provide the children with the songs and backing tracks to listen to and rehearse at home.
  • Make sure the backing tracks are loud enough to be heard in a full hall, not just an empty one!

Focus on the audience
  • Focus on your parents/audience and what they want to see – clear speaking and good singing will always deliver. Don’t leave your audience wondering what’s going on!

  • Don’t worry if something doesn’t quite go to plan, those little mishaps are all part of the charm of putting on a nativity!

Browse our extensive collection of nativities and Christmas plays today!
Here's our top 5 nativities to get you started...
  1. Bethlehem The MusicalThe one for older children. An inspiring and thought-provoking visit to Bethlehem.
  2. A King Is BornThe one for Early Years. The traditional story with a humourous script that is guaranteed to make you feel cozy.
  3. Lights, Camel, Action!The dazzling one. Strictly The Nativity with lots of dance, glitz and glam.
  4. Whoops-a-Daisy AngelThe classic. An all-time favourite for parents and young children alike. Utterly charming!
  5. Straw And OrderThe one with lots of animals. Easy to rehearse class-by-class that's great fun for the whole school.
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