Forty years ago, Marion Avenue Baptist Church put together the very first Live Animal Christmas Play. What started out as a simple production has turned into a Christmas event that inspires thousands each year. People from all over the Midwest have made the Live Animal Christmas Play a family Christmas tradition.
Taking place in the church auditorium, the play features a series of theatrical scenes bringing to life the Christmas story. The journey will take you from a market place in Nazareth to the Bethlehem manger where Jesus was born. You will be inspired as you watch the angel appear to the shepherds bringing them “good tidings of great joy.”
A vast array of animals are also included throughout the play. From Mary riding a donkey down the center aisle to a wiseman entering in on a full-sized camel, you will experience the Bible times come to life all around you. Enjoy the music of Christmas all throughout the play as the actors sing heart-warming songs of the season.
An Extended Look
Take a moment to glimpse the variety of scenes you will be able to enjoy when you attend the Live Animal Christmas Play. It is our desire that your heart will be overflowing with “good tidings of great joy” by the end of the show!
- When does the work for the play begin?
The play’s preparation and production begins in October every year.
- How many people are involved in the production?
About 300 church members are involved some how in different areas. This includes actors, costume crew, hair and make-up artists, set designers, prop crews, sound men, nursery workers, spotlight men, attic crews and countless others who help to make the play a success. They all work on a volunteer basis.
- Who makes the props, stage sets and costumes?
All the props, sets, and the majority of the costumes are made by our church members.
- How many costumes are used in the play this year?
- Is the script new each year? Who writes it?
Yes, every year a new script is written by Pastor Joe Brown and his writing team.
- Is all the singing in the play live?
Yes, all the singing is live. None of it is pre-recorded.
- How does the Angel fly?
She is wearing a harness connected to a complex fly system designed by Hall Flying Associates.
- How do the cow, horse, mule, and camel get into the church?
Right up the steps – just like you did! Only they are not nearly as cooperative or as excited about being here!
- How can I help support the play?
The show is free of charge, however if you wish to give something you can do so through a free-will offering at the end of the show.
- A well-staffed nursery and our restroom facilities are located downstairs.
- For your safety, please remain seated throughout the play, except in case of emergency.
- We ask that you turn off or silence any cell phones/pagers so that others may fully enjoy the play.
- Fog effects will be used throughout this production. They have been theatrically tested and proven to be harmless. However, if you are sensitive to these elements, feel free to move closer to the back.