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A Shepherd's Memory (A Play for Christmas)

Updated on September 6, 2015

A Play for Children

Plays, skits and dramatical productions are a great way to get people involved in serving Christ. Many children and adults love to use drama to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. You don't have to have a lot of props or lights to have a great presentation. In fact, you don't even have to have a lot of people.

First performed at Sycamore Tree Church in Steubenville, Ohio, the play you'll find described below is easily memorized and costumed. Written for children under the age of 13 and one adult, it could be done by older thespians without any change in the script. All of the parts except the one for the adult have less than 10 lines total. As simple as it is, it's also a moving remembrance of why we celebrate the Christmas season.


Levi (the only adult in the cast) is a 40 something shepherd looking after the sheep with two or three pre-teen shepherds in training. As Scene I opens we find him returning from Bethlehem with some exciting news to share with his young companions. While replenishing supplies in town, Levi has heard stories of a man called Jesus who had been crucified and had risen from the grave. All the excitement reminded him of another night of excitement more than 30 years before. A night of unexpected light, unexpected visitors and an unexpected baby. As Levi reminisces, the story comes alive as children portray Mary, Joseph, the innkeeper, the shepherds, angels and Wise Men. This nativity pageant has the potential to be a huge hit with the participants and the audience as well as those who help with props, lights and costumes.


Purchase the Script

This play only requires one adult; however, it could obviously be done with more if necessary. You could divide Levi's part and have two shepherds reminisce together or have him reminisce with older shepherds. Originally written for one adult and several children, all of the other parts are small and easy to memorize for use with a younger children's ministry.

Additionally, every part EXCEPT Mary and Joseph can be played by either gender. While we expect the shepherds and magi to be men and the angels to be girls, the Bible never mentions gender in any of these roles. In fact, all of the angels mentioned in the Bible have male names, and shepherdess were quite common; for instance, Isaac's wife, Rebecca. So, if you're group isn't balanced quite right to make the roles "traditional," this play will allow you some flexibility.

  • LEVI - The only adult in the production. A 40 something shepherd(ess)
  • AARON - One of three 8-12 year old shepherds - about 6 lines
  • ELI - One of three 8-12 year old shepherds - about 4 lines
  • ISAIAH - One of three 8-12 year old shepherds - about 5 lines
  • JOSEPH - Mary's husband - about 7 lines
  • MARY - Jesus' Mother - 2 lines
  • INNKEEPER - Boy or Girl - 6 lines (also written for 2 people with about 3 lines each)
  • ANGEL - Any boy or girl - 2 lines
  • CHOIR OF ANGELS - the rest of your younger girls - 1 line repeated all together
  • SHEPHERDS - the rest of your younger boys - no lines, but some pantomime to go along with the narration
  • MAGI - (optional) - if you have a lot of extra kids, several of them can be wise men - there is an optional part to Scene V for them. CAN BE MORE OR LESS THAN THREE!!! We don't know how many magi there were, only that there were 3 gifts.

Shepherds in a Children's Play
Shepherds in a Children's Play | Source


  • STAGE CENTER: Stable with a manger - can be simple or have hay, animals (even 2 dimensional) If you're able to use lighting as suggested, it might have a light on the back to help light the angels
  • STAGE LEFT: Shepherd's field - a few bales of hay with a makeshift fire in the middle
  • STAGE REAR: Risers- or something that the angels can stand on to get them up higher than the stable. These should be behind the manger so the angels can't be seen until their scene
  • STAGE RIGHT: The Inn Fake wall with door - OPTIONAL: Above the door is a sign "Bethlehem Inn" Perhaps "NO VACANCY" on the sign somewhere like it's added.
  • SCREEN: If power point is available, there are a few suggestions to add to the production
  • LIGHTS: You'll find direction for lighting if available - Sycamore Tree Church used two Million Candle handheld spots - available at hardware stores for $10 each - and a few floods on special switches

Does Your Church Use Drama?

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© 2009 Lynne Modranski

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