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Last updated: October 30, 2018

'The Nativity Play'

Christmas Pageant scripts

Perfect for the 2018-2019 Christmas season!

The Nativity Play: Pageant version is a reverent adaptation of The Gospels of Matthew and Luke presented in "pageant" style. While a narrator tells the Nativity story, costumed performers represent Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, angels, shepherds, the wise men and animals. This parade of characters also features nine traditional Christmas carols to be sung by the cast or a choir--and the audience. It is more than a mere reading from the Gospels

Two versions are available 1) Narration only and 2) Narration with some character dialogue. Both feature nine  suggested Christmas carols to be interwoven with the narration/dialogue. Lyrics for these familiar songs are provided in a separate 4-page appendix to the script. The suggested carols can easily be skipped or other songs can be substituted in their place. This adaptation is geared toward Christmas pageants presented by churches, Christian youth groups and Sunday schools by performers aged 5-13.

Along with the script for my Nativity Pageant, you get a 7-page appendix including casting monologues, song listings and lyrics for the suggested carols. No sheet music is provided, but the carols are all familiar and sheet music--in a variety of keys--can easily be found through an on-line search. No pre-recorded backing tracks are available.

NOTE: There is NO fee per-script-copy. I send you a PDF of the full script and you can make as many copies as needed for cast and crew—at no additional charge.

Contact me at letting me know which of the two versions you want: Narration only or Narration & Dialogue. Scripts cost $15 USD. I accept credit cards via the free and secure service.  You can have the script in your hands within hours--via e-mail as a PDF file.


My script dramatizes the Nativity story of how Mary & Joseph bring the light of Salvation to a weary world. It brings to life scenes and characters that were merely described in the Gospels. The Nativity Pageant is a vivid dramatization that reveals the humanity and humility of the Mary, Joseph and Jesus--as well as the despair and longing for a Messiah by the people of Israel. As with my popular, faithful adaptations of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol and Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life!, this show is suitable for all audiences, yet performable by students as well as adults. I remain true to Matthew and Luke, bringing plenty of authentic Biblical elements--infused with a touching, Christian spiritual dimension.

I offer two Christmas pageant versions of The Nativity—of differing lengths. Below, I describe both version, so you can see what each includes or omits. Both dramatize Mary & Joseph's life with mix reverence and humor, making for an uplifting and entertaining Christmas show.

The 15-minute Pageant with narration and some dialogue begins with several shepherds lamenting life after The Fall and wishing for a Redeemer, then shifts to Nazareth, where a pious and charitable Mary receives the Annunciation, then--9 months later--the Journey to Bethlehem, No Room at the Inn, the Birth of Jesus, the shepherds and the Host of Angels, the Adoration of the Magi, and a final blessing. This pageant version runs 15 minutes in performance and features 9 familiar Christmas carols, interspersed between and amidst the narration and dialogue. The dialogue is no more difficult than any grade-school play.

The 10-minute Pageant version with narration only begins with a welcoming, then proceeds through The Annunciation, then--9 months later--the Journey to Bethlehem, No Room at the Inn, The Birth of Jesus, the shepherds and the Host of Angels, the Adoration of the Magi and a final blessing. This pageant version runs 10 minutes in performance and features 9 familiar Christmas carols, interspersed between scenes.

NOTE: These Pageant versions are NOT my full stage-play--with extensive dialogue and running 15, 30 or 70 minutes
long. For info about the stage-play versions see:
 "The Nativity Play" stage-play.

"Nativity Play" Christmas Pageant sample scripts:
Here are downloadable Christmas Pageant "Nativity Play" sample scripts, including scene excerpts and a truncated version of the appendix:

        SCRIPT SAMPLE - PAGEANT - The Nativity Play - Narration & Dialogue version - TRUNCATED  [PDF]

        SCRIPT SAMPLE - PAGEANT - The Nativity Play - Narration Only version - TRUNCATED [PDF]

Cast size:
Throughout the Nativity play pageants, there are never more than 6 characters in a scene, so a small cast can easily perform the entire show by doubling or tripling roles. You are permitted to change the genders of characters to suit your troupe. And many roles were written to be easily played by women OR men (The Narrator, shepherds, angels, Magi, Inn-Keeper, etc.) You can employ anywhere from 6 to 30 performers.

Without doubling, the cast is 15, (1 male, 2 female, 12 male-or-female)
 but you can add as many animals, shepherds, angels or travelers as you have performers available.

NARRATOR The narrator (Male/Female)
MARY 16 year-old farm girl (F)
ANGEL #1 Heavenly messenger to Mary (M/F)
JOSEPH 20 year-old carpenter (M)
INN-KEEPER Crusty inn-keeper (M/F)
RACHAB Inn-Keeper's kindly slave (F)
ANGEL #2 Heavenly messenger to Shepherds (M/F)
BO'AZ Old, wizened shepherd (M/F)
EFRAYIM Cynical shepherd (M/F)
SHEP Young shepherd (M/F)
SHEEP #1 Bleating Sheep (M/F)
MALKIOR Persian Magi (M/F)
GASPAR Indian Magi (M/F)
BALTAZAR Assyrian Magi (M/F)

SUGGESTED CAROLS - Lyrics provided in script appendix

The included lyric sheets can be printed separately and handed out to the audience.
Sheet music is NOT included, but can be found through on-line searches--in a variety of keys.

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 
  2. Ave Maria (verse 1 only. Sung by Angel #1 only)
  3. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  4. O Little Town of Bethlehem 
  5. The Coventry Carol (verse 1 only. Sung by Mary only)
  6. Away in A Manger
  7. The First Noel (verse 1 only)  
  8. Angels We Have Heard On High
  9. The First Noel (verses 2 & 3 only)  
  10. O Come All Ye Faithful  - Any of these songs can be skipped, or other songs can be easily substituted.


ROYALTY FEES: Pageant scripts are $15 USD.

I accept credit card payments via the free and secure service.

1) Go to the website, click on the “Send Money” button, and either register for free or pay with a bank debit card--(without having to register with PayPal.)

2) Use my e-mail address of: to send the money to my PayPal account.

3) Along with the PayPal transaction information, please specify what you are ordering (which version of the script: Pageant with dialogue, Pageant with only narration). Include your e-mail address and postal mail address—for my tax reporting purposes.
NOTE: If you do not specify WHAT you are ordering, I cannot e-mail you the proper script.  

4) NOTE: You must pay in U.S. dollars—which is easy to do on Paypal.
For how-to info, see:


Once your payment has been received, I will e-mail you a PDF file of the full script. You can make as many photo-copies of the script as you need for your cast and crew.


TONY PALERMO is a radio playwright, professional sound effects artist, radio director, composer, and educator based in Los Angeles, California.

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