Matt & Lucy’s Version Births
Little did Matt & Lucy know when they agreed to help out with this year’s Christmas pageant that the director would give them each a different script and leave them to work out their differences… “Confounded Christmas Fun!”
Written by Rev. Dot Saunders-Perez, with original music by Janet Allyn.
Play sample song: A Christmas Truth
There are four “canonical” gospels in the Bible. While Matthew and Luke are the only gospels to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, their stories are very different from one another.
Our play opens as Matt & Lucy volunteer to help with this year’s Christmas pageant. Little do they know that the Director will give them each a different script and leave them to work out how to put on a play with conflicting story lines, characters, and settings.
As the play ends, the Director explains how having two stories gives us an appreciation of the diversity of ways early Christians expressed their understanding of who Jesus was.
Matt & Lucy’s Version Births can be as simple or elaborate as you decide. There are four speaking parts for youth and seven delightfully singable songs for young children (aged 3 and up). The LtQ Equip-kit includes two CDs: a TRAX music CD containing separate instrumental and vocal tracks of the seven musical selections, and a CD-ROM with printable pdf files of the script, production notes and lead sheets (arrangements) of the songs.
This is a fabulous script. We adapted it by dividing up Matt and Lucy’s lines between about 6 other theater staff to create more speaking roles. It was convenient that the theater people could rehearse separately from the choir. We had choir members play the character roles. The theology was outstanding, and meaningful to the kids as well as the adult audience. The rhythm of songs and spoken lines kept it all interesting. Our audience clapped after each song, which gave us lots of time for transitions. This script format is really a masterwork, and we look forward to more productions like this. Thank you very, very, much.
— Sue Ellen Braunlin, First Congregational UCC, Indianapolis
Dear LTQ, We did Matt and Lucy’s Version Births yesterday at church. Parents and my senior minister agree that it was the best program the church has ever produced. The script was clever, the kids loved the songs, it was very easy to put together, and the parents were proud as could be. Thanks for making our holiday program great!
— Dan Rodriguez Schlorff, Director of Religious Education at Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist in Kenosha, WI
We absolutely loved this program. Traditionally the Church School would hold a “Christmas pageant” after lunch on the Sunday before Christmas, followed by an all-church party. We decided what “Matt and Lucy’s Version Births” had to say was too important for anyone to miss: our children took over the sermon slot so that everyone could hear. We have a tiny, but enthusiastic, Church School – in fact we used the large puppets the young people had created for telling other stories in church, as the holy family, to help us out when one family of several children could not attend at the last minute. The songs are catchy and fun. The backing music is provided. It does not take memorization so much as stage directions, and those are not complicated. The message fits our preaching and it opened doors to encourage people, once again, to our Living the Questions stable studies. Thank you!
— Janet Douglass Assistant Pastor, Christ Church, United Methodist in Troy, NY
We at Peace UCC – Kewaskum, WI, with 3 high school student-directors, LOVED the pageant message and took great delight in sharing it! Thank you! We even had some fun, giving all the animals little bean shakers to use with the Calypso “Animals” song, and hung a gold star on the end of a kid-sized fishing pole to lead the kings around the congregation on “Follow.” It was easy to costume from our existing stock, few characters required memorized lines, all ages were able to participate, and the music soundtrack was exceptional! Many in the congregation also shared, “It’s the best children’s Christmas pageant we’ve ever seen!”
— Gayle Van Ess, Faith Formation Coordinator, Peace UCC, Kewaskum WI