2013 J.W. Pepper Christmas musicals

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas Musicals for Church

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148 nl y narrators have during performance is that they tend to rush their lines. Be sure both narrators have a CD of the underscores so that they can practice their timing. Encourage the narrators to memorize their parts rather than read the narration from a script. This will vastly improve the naturalness of their performance. Both narrators should wear lavalier microphones so they have complete mobility. In addition to letting your narrators move about the sanctuary, you might also consider having them walk directly into the various nativity scenes. This provides a strong visual picture of the ancient Biblical character and the contemporary worshipper meeting at the manger. You can also divide the narration between a small group of speakers, numbering anywhere from three to eight. A larger pool of narrators underlines the concept of "community" in a very special way and also involves more individuals from your congregation. You might also use individuals from different age groups: seniors, teens, children, and young adults. If you decide to split up the narration, I would find unique areas in which to place the narrators when they speak – the balcony, the aisles, even within the congregation itself. O TECHNICAL ISSUES Fo rP re vi ew Sets and Lights Because the choir is the visual center of Christmas Is Coming, the musical does not call for a specific set or other scenic elements. However, you will want to create a warm, seasonal "frame" for your production that will help give visual focus to your performers. This is often best achieved by putting a brightly-lit backdrop or cyc (a large piece of canvas or material hung from a pipe) behind your choir. The other visual "frame" for your performance may be the projection screen(s) used for media enhancements. If you plan to use the Accompaniment DVD throughout the production, you may want to incorporate the screen(s) directly into your scenic scheme by creating holiday borders with holly, fir garlands, or ribbon. An attractive (and very appropriate, thematically-speaking) scenic addition to your stage area might be three banners with the words "Christmas," "Is," and "Coming" hung from your ceiling or mounted on tall poles. These banners can serve as good visual "anchors" to the center of your stage. A large fir tree could also be used to provide a lovely visual centerpiece to your stage area. Instead of decorating the tree with ornaments, consider lighting the tree with clear lights and draping the tree with large bows made of ribbon. Because the Christmas story is told during the musical, you will probably want to locate an area in which the nativity will be staged. Depending upon where your choir is placed, the nativity can be in a baptismal area over the stage, over to one side of the platform, or center stage. Given the open nature of the musical, you might restrict your nativity scenes to a simple manger without any structural walls. Mixing Biblical and contemporary figures is often a very meaningful way to communicate the message of a Christmas musical. Your lighting should be bright and warm. Because there will probably be quite a bit of primary red on the stage, your prominent gel color should be pink rather than amber. The nativity area should have its own focused lighting. Using follow spots for the narrators will allow them to move freely about the sanctuary and even into the various Biblical scenes. The Lobby The lobby of your church building would be a wonderful place to highlight the theme of "Christmas is Coming." In addition to other traditional expressions of the season (trees, lampposts, etc.), you might ask your Sunday School classes to paint expressions of "The

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