1. Plan ahead.
2. Plan ahead.
3. Plan ahead.
4. Determine what you want to accomplish
through your program. Write down your goals and purpose.
5. Obtain ideas from other children's
ministry directors. Be on the lookout for new material at Christian bookstores
and in catalogs.
6. Select material with a clear, religious
7. Watch for limitations such as
unavailable talent, elaborate production scenes or large cast
8. Establish a tentative budget including
scripts, wardrobe, properties, and advertising.
9. Discuss your ideas with the appropriate
governing body of your church and secure approval.
10. Order books.
11. Request permission from the publisher
to videotape at the performance and keep the letter in your file.
12. Highlight stage directions and study
carefully. Know which entrance and exit each child will use.
13. Make notations for any props needed.
14. Develop a ground plan which is a
skeleton sketch of essential staging props.
15. Chart large movements within each unit
of action to form an effective stage picture.
16. Find volunteers to assist with
wardrobe, lighting, sound, rehearsals, publicity and video taping the
17. Make a rehearsal schedule and see that
all parents receive a copy.
18. Record light cues, and warning cues,
in a script for the lighting technician.
19. Develop a rehearsal schedule. Check
the church calendar to avoid conflicts.
20. Starting with the lead character in
your drama, assign roles. Involve all boys and girls either on stage or as a
part of your crews.
21. At the first rehearsal, have the
children read their parts. Let them know when you expect their lines to be
22. Plan well-balanced picture scenes to
draw the audience's attention. Keep the middle of the stage from being center
stage. Avoid getting children in a straight line. Provide an interesting variety
of line and mass.
23. Create a believable presentation by
effective pacing. The play does not stop while a child sits down, gets up or
walks off stage.
24. Check projection. The audience must
hear what the children are saying, as well as see the action.
25. Props should be simple and kept to a
minimum. They are necessary only for establishment of time, creating action and
26. A children's play can be effective
without lighting, but the following basic equipment is helpful to light faces:
ellipsoidal spotlight which throws a sharp-edged beam, shaped by moving the
shutters; resenel spotlights which provide softer light, controlled by the use
of barn door shutter devices; and a dimmer board which is the central control
for ten or more lighting instruments.
27. Normally, the center and upstage areas
require lights from above the stage. The downstage and forestage areas are
illuminated by front-of-house suspended lights. These can either be hung from
light trees or wall brackets. Be sure to eliminate shadows.
28. Use colored lights in subtle
quantities, diluted with white lights. An untrained eye may not even notice
colors, but their presence helps set the mood for each scene. Color is added by
the use of gels.
29. Be sure the electrical system is kept
at a safe level so currents are not overloaded, thus blowing fuses.
1. Children have diverse interests.
Therefore, choose a musical with different styles and rhythms. Boys and
girls learn what they like at a faster pace. You will also have fewer discipline
problems if the children are interested in what they are learning.
2. If you cannot find an appropriate
musical, write your own words to familiar tunes. This actually makes
memorization easier because the children already know the tune. For example, the
following could be sung to the tune of Jingle Bells for a Christmas
THE GIFTS WE BRING
Dashing through the glow
Of Bethlehem's bright star.
O'er the field we go
Traveling from afar.
We three Wise Men bring
Gifts to the new king.
The Son of God we want to see
And praises to Him sing.
Frankincense, gold and myrrh
Are the gifts we bring.
Herod was beside himself
When we talked about the King.
Frankincense, gold and myrrh
From our native land.
We'll return a different way
And save from Herod's hand.
Copyrighted by Susan Ledsome
(Permission granted to reproduce for local church use only.)
3. Get to know the boys and girls before
casting so matching up parts will be easier.
4. When learning new songs:
a. Play them over and over while the
children are playing or working on projects.
b. Say a few phrases at a time and have the children echo the words back to you.
c. Use rhythm instruments.
5. Explain the meaning of the songs.
Understanding what the words mean can aid in retention and have a lasting impact
on the children.
6. Be sure the children understand what
your directives mean.
7. When working with children on their
speaking parts, read the lines using expression. This gives the boys and girls
an idea of how the parts should be played. Have then imitate you.
8. The key to memorization is repetition.
Go over and over the songs.
9. If the song range is too high, lower
the whole song or change a few notes.
10. Plan exits and entrances for the
younger children. Sometimes a performance is too long for their attention span.
Make sure movement flows with what is happening. Bring everyone back on stage
for the last song.
11. Costumes can be handmade or purchased
from yard sales, catalogs or after-Halloween sales. Sweatsuits can be
inexpensively purchased and easily decorated to represent animals.
12. At the first practice on stage, work
with the sound technician to ensure microphones are placed where maximum benefit
can be reached.
13. Bulletins enable the
audience to follow the program's progression and become a memento for parents
and children. Include the songs, soloists, and every child's name.
(This article was posted by Betty and Susan in The
Children's Ministry Inspiration Vault)