The First Christmas (Also known as: Miriam's Christmas Birthday).
By Anna Fraser
"A short Christmas play specially scripted for larger groups. This can be performed with 11 - 25 actors (or more!)".
Length: 8 - 10 Minutes
Cast: 11 - 25 actors (or more) can perform the play. Many roles are interchangeable between male and female actors.
Genre: Drama (with some comedy)
Audience: Children / Family
About the Play: It is Miriam's birthday and she is wondering if it will be special this year... little does she know she is going to share her birthday with the Savior of the World!
Specially scripted for larger groups this short Christmas play can be performed with 11 - 25 actors (or more!). In fact you can use as many actors as you want to! This is ideal for a Christian School or Children's Church to present as the older children / teens can play the speaking roles and younger children can play the non-speaking roles of characters in the Nativity scene.
About the Playwright: Anna Fraser has a background in theatre and has written a number of dramas available here at christiandramas.net
Following is a sample from the script...
Scene: Inside the kitchen at an Inn. Wooden table and several stools. Mugs, large bowl, wooden spoon etc on table. Some “cakes” wrapped in a cloth on table. Perhaps a back door visible with hook on back.
Deborah enters with water jug. Calls to Miriam (wearing an apron) who enters right behind her.
Deborah: Miriam, come and sit down. Have a drink before you make the cakes. Happy Birthday dear (kisses her on the forehead).
Miriam: Thank you Deborah. It doesn't feel like my birthday.
Deborah: You mustn’t worry about your Papa Miriam. He will be back in a day or so.
Miriam: I wish he were here for my birthday. It won't be special without him. It will just be another day.
Deborah: Ah Miriam. Something will make your day special, but you may have to look to find it. Keep an eye out for the good Miriam. It will be there if you seek it.
(Ezra enters, calling to Deborah).
Ezra: Deborah, Deborah. We are now full. Our last 2 beds taken. Miriam, where are those blankets? Deborah stop gossiping and get that girl to work.
Deborah: Oh Ezra! Keep your beard on. The girl is just having a drink. It has been a busy day. It is her birthday, and Malachi is not back yet from his trip.
Ezra: Not back yet? (Aside to Deborah) his selling must not be going well. How far was he going? (Louder) It is getting so hard to make a living with the heavy taxes of Caesar and Herod.
Deborah: Don’t mention those names in this house Ezra! Life is not as it used to be when my grandmother was a girl. This land is supposed to be the promised land. Where are the milk and honey now?
Ezra: Deborah, calm down my dear wife. Hard times always come before the good. Jehovah will keep his promise. Our savior will come. A mighty king to rule our country, sent by God himself.
Deborah: Well I’m tired of waiting!
(They leave. Miriam who has been listening remains. There is a knock on the kitchen door. Miriam opens door. There is a tired couple on doorstep)
Woman: I am sorry. We knocked on the front door but there was no reply.
Miriam: Oh, please accept my apologies. Ezra, the inn keeper can be a little deaf. I am sorry but we are full. No beds left.
Man: Is there anywhere else we can try?
Miriam: The next village is not too far. They may have rooms available there. Come in and sit down for a while, you look so tired. Let me get you a drink.
(They sit at the table and Miriam pours them each a drink from the water jug)
Man: It has been a long journey
Miriam: Are you returning for the census?
Woman: Yes, we still have a way to go.
Man: We mustn't sit long if we are to get to the next village tonight.
Miriam: You look exhausted.
Woman: We are alright. But I do feel sorry for a couple we passed on the road.
Man: On an old donkey, a woman, not much more than a girl and very heavy with child (indicates a large stomach).
Woman: The man with her was also tired and weary. They must be near this town now. How will they find rest with the inns all full? Poor things.
(The travelers stand to leave)
Woman: Thank you. May God bless you for your kindness. The rest and water are much appreciated.
(They leave out kitchen door. Miriam moves to tidy up. There is a knock on a distant door. A pause and the knock is repeated. Miriam looks off side stage)
Miriam: (Calls out) Ezra. Someone is knocking on the big doors.
(There is the sound of either a door being unbolted or a slot in a door sliding open)
Ezra: (From side stage, unseen to audience) Oh, I am so sorry. And your wife so much in need of a rest. We are already over flowing. (There is a pause). Yes, Sir. I do understand. Um…well, if you are desperate and not too choosy there is a stable at the end of the street. It would be warm. There is plenty of clean hay.
(Sound of door/ slot being shut)
(The kitchen door opens and two boys pop their heads inside. The boys speak in a quick patter)
Sam: Hello Miriam!
Ben: Got a hot cake for us?
Sam: Or a cold cake?
Ben: Any cake will do!
Sam: But hot cakes are better!
Miriam: (Laughing) OK, OK. Quick, come in before Ezra hears your chatter.
Ben: We saw angels Miriam!
Sam: Yeah, angels!
Ben: They was big and bright!
Sam: There was lots of them!
Sam: Don’t be silly.
Ben: You’re silly.
Sam: You are.
Ben: You are.
Miriam: Stop, stop. What are you talking about?
Ben: Out in the fields.
Sam: My pa saw them too.
Ben: And my uncle.
Sam: And my cousin.
Ben: And my err, my err……everyone!
Ben: They said a special baby’s been born.
Sam: Never seen my pa move so fast (laughs).
Ben: They gone to see the baby.
Sam: I’m not interested in babies.
Ben: I am, it’s special this one, but I want a hot cake first.
Miriam: Where’s the baby? (Gives the boys a cake each).
Ben: (While eating) You got to look in Bethlehem.
Miriam: (Laughing) This is Bethlehem, silly!
Sam: Well it’s here then, silly!
Ben: Got to go.
Sam: Got to go now.
(The boys dash out the door. Miriam sits down shaking her head in confusion. Another knock. A servant dressed with an Asian styled turban-appears)
The script continues...