NaTiVity Dramas   -     By: Keith Hewitt
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NaTiVity Dramas

CSS Publishing / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 106
Vendor: CSS Publishing
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0788024833
ISBN-13: 9780788024832
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

Everyone knows the nativity story -- the inn, the stable, and all the rest. If your traditional Christmas pageant has become a bit stale and you want to give it new life, this collection of engaging plays is sure to fit your needs. Keith Hewitt gives the usual narrative a modern treatment by adapting characters and settings from four popular television series (Blue's Clues, CSI, Cops, and Trading Spaces) and transferring them to the events in Bethlehem. By twisting the lens a little to change the focus, these sketches tell how common people are affected by incredible events. Audiences will love these entertaining programs, and they'll have fun watching the characters as they learn a valuable lesson.All four plays are specifically designed to be produced in churches, and can be easily staged by congregations of almost any size. There are roles suitable for a range of ages from kindergarten through adult, allowing you to involve the whole congregation in the production. Ewe's Clues is intended primarily for younger children (although adults and older children will also enjoy it) and has a running time of approximately 30 minutes. Cops: Bethlehem, CSI: Bethlehem, and Trading Spaces: Bethlehem each have a running time of approximately 45 minutes, and are designed for older audiences (though children will get something out of them as well).Keith Hewitt is a youth leader at Wilmot United Methodist Church in Wilmot, Wisconsin, and in his day job is a quality analyst. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay.

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Keith Hewitt
Located in: Trevor, WI
Submitted: October 12, 2007

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a lay speaker and co-youth leader at a small church in Southeastern Wisconsin, where I also taught middle and high school Sunday School classes for seven years. (My wife is the Sunday School Superintendent, so I couldn't say no.) I've been writing plays for our church since 1999. We have a daughter, a son, and several dogs and cats. In my day job, I work as a quality analyst in the IT Department of a leading safety testing organization.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  When I was a child, going to Sunday School, my old church literally did the same Christmas program every year from the time I was in kindergarten through sixth grade (and may still be doing the same one now, for all I know). While there is a certain charm to tradition, it seemed to me that the story itself lost all meaning as it was repeated in exactly the same way—line for line, word for word—year after year. It became a story of cardboard figures, told by rote. The plays in this book are meant to be the antithesis of this sort of storytelling--to make the audience sit up pay attention, because it's not the story they've heard a thousand times before. By using a parody of today's TV to build a format familiar to today’s audience, and then transferring it to the Nativity setting, we can tell a story about how common people are affected by incredible events. Then, by twisting the lens just a bit to change the focus, we can have some anachronistic fun at the expense of those characters as they learn a lesson, and still convey the core truths of the Nativity story.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope they will be encouraged to take a fresh look at old events. We can learn a lot about ourselves, and our relationship with God, by looking at things from a different perspective. Also, by being entertaining and slightly outside the norm, we can engage people in the story of Christmas, and help them remember the really important aspects of that moment in history.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  I grew up reading the old school science fiction masters (Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov), sprinkled liberally with history books. One of the books I read early on, that first taught me that a serious subject could be treated with humor was one man's account of his experiences in the Office of Strategic Services (a forerunner of the CIA) during World War II--"You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger." My interest in history is wide ranging, from ancient to contemporary, and I think it has helped me write these plays.

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