The Surprising Christmas Pageant  -     By: Dennis Hartin
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The Surprising Christmas Pageant

Abingdon Press / 2002 / Other

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Product Description

The mystifying events that occur before the birth of Jesus provide the context for this unique Christmas pageant. The shepherds awakened on the hillside outside Bethlehem by angels and were filled with awe. But some 21st-century kids dressed as shepherds will probably make the audience chuckle, so this pageant is designed to allow the audience to laugh. The Suprising Christmas Pageant is a comedy through which the gifts of humor and children tell the story of Christ's birth, reminding us that God's grace and love appear new to us every day. The production can be staged with as little or as many sets, costumes, and props as desired, and it can be produced with only two 2-hour rehearsals. Children's parts are reproducible. An accompaniment CD is included. Ages Kindergarten through eighth grade.

Product Information

Format: Other
Number of Pages: 64
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 11 X 8.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0687051460
ISBN-13: 9780687051465
Availability: In Stock
Ages: 5-10

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Publisher's Description

The shepherds awakened on the hillside outside Bethlehem by angels and were filled with awe. The Surprising Christmas Pageant is a comedy that gently reminds us that God's grace and love appear new to us every day. The production can be staged with as little or as many sets, costumes, and props as desired, and it can be produced with only two 2-hour rehearsals. Children's parts are reproducible.

Key Features:
-- All script and song texts are reproducible; leader has to purchase only one book
-- Usable in smaller churches as well as larger churches
-- CD with All music enclosed
-- For kindergarten through 6th grade

Author Bio

Dennis Hartin is a graduate of Claremont School of Theology with an M.A. in Religion (emphasis in communication). Dennis has written for the ABC Radio Networks, the Episcopal Church Center, Theatre Three (Port Jefferson, New York), and DadsWorld.com He is active in the ministry programs of First Presbyterian Church of Northport, New York. Dennis has written three Christmas Pageants for Abingdon Press: The Surprising Christmas (2003), The Backward Christmas Pageant (2004), and The Very Important Christmas Pageant (2006).

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Dennis Hartin
Submitted: November 19, 2012

    Tell us a little about yourself.  Born in Michigan, raised in New York, college in Ohio, seminary in California. I try to dress Biblical stories in non-Biblical clothes in my writing, so people who read the Bible get a new perspective, and so people who don't read the Bible aren't intimidated.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  I attended a disastrous Christmas pageant rehearsal. Too many kids had too much time with too little to do. I figured there had to be a way to make the process of rehearsing engaging, and while I was thinking about that, it also occurred to me that the script needed to both teach and engage the cast.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope folks understand that the Nativity story is not, strictly speaking, about Jesus. It's about how people react to a dramatic manifestation of God's grace: with confusion (Mary), excitement (shepherds) or rage (Herod). As a result, I hope people hear the story as if they've never heard it before; most of us have grown so accustomed to the story that we gloss over the absurd or challenging parts of it.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  It went over so well at my church, I wrote and/or directed the pageant for 7 years.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Peter DeVries, Anne Lamott, Groucho Marx.

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