It is no wonder that children are so enchanted by the story of the birth of Jesus: He is born inside a barn, rather than a hospital. He has straw and hay to keep him warm, rather than a blanket. His companions are donkeys, sheep and oxen, with not a midwife or nurse to be seen. And to cap it all off, he is placed in a manger, a trough from which the animals eat. This is perfect story material for any child, allowing their imagination to whisk them away to Bethlehem and place them right there in the stable beside Mary and Joseph.
‘Stable By Starlight’ captures this beautifully, evoking a quiet, peaceful, secluded stable which is suddenly brought to life in the most unexpected of ways, and by an ever-growing number of people and animals. We hope that you and the young cast have a wonderful time telling this enchanting story.
The stable stands peacefully and still in the darkness, with just the quiet snoring of the mules and the nibbling of the mice to be heard. But outside, people are streaming into Bethlehem in droves, eager to find somewhere to stay ahead of the census (LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PEOPLE). The inns are doing a roaring trade, with doors everywhere being knocked upon by the weary travellers (NO, NO, NO!). When Mary and Joseph arrive, even the very smallest rooms have all been taken. Luckily, though, one particular innkeeper remembers that he does have one more space with a roof – it just happens to be a stable! (OFF TO THE STABLE). He leads them there and a few hours later, as Bethlehem settles itself to sleep, baby Jesus is born.
On the hills outside the town, some shepherds awake to the extraordinary sight of a host of angels, telling them of the birth (GO TO BETHLEHEM). Further afield, three kings and their train of camels and servants are also on the move, though the star that guides them isn’t always as bright as they would like (WHERE’S THAT STAR?).
Back in Bethlehem, the peaceful little stable, tucked away in the darkness, is suddenly flooded by glorious light (STABLE BY STARLIGHT). As the star shines above, the shepherds with their sheep and the kings with their gifts enter the illuminated stable and marvel at the wonder of the baby in the hay (UNDER THE STARLIGHT).
Character List/Speaking Parts
There are 30 speaking parts in Stable By Starlight. This number could easily be increased or reduced depending on your needs. The editable script, available for £9.95 when the performance licence is also purchased, will make this process very straightforward. There is also plenty of work for an ensemble to do.
Narrator/s Our storytellers, introducing and linking scenes, helping to paint our picture. Strong, clear voices a must. Have as many narrators as you see fit.
Animals Mules, chickens and mice are all resident within the stable. They may not speak, but they are definitely aware that something special is happening.
Citizens These are the people who already lived in Bethlehem.
Visitors These are the people who arrived in Bethlehem to be counted during the census.
Innkeeper Six lines for this famous character, though these could be shared with his wife.
Innkeeper’s wife A quiet supporting role, though could be raised in profile through a few lines.
Travellers One line each for four travellers seeking rooms.
Mary and Joseph One line each, but an important presence throughout.
Shepherds There are speaking lines for eight shepherds.
Angels There are currently speaking lines for three angels, though this could be adapted to five.
Kings The three kings have 3-4 lines each, spread across two scenes.
Servants They might not speak, but they can certainly carry.
Camels As the kings bear gifts, so the camels bear the kings.
Star Could be a prop or a child, or numerous children. Non-speaking role.