Here is a script you can use for a virtual performance: Rotation.org Writing Team's Jesus is Born! The "News Team 7" Breaking News. (This Writing Team lesson is free and open to all! )
The script is available as a docx file so that you can easily revise it and send copies to your actors.
Adaptations you make will depend on how many actors and/or families would like to have a part. This is the cast list from the script:
- Anchor 1: Chet Chumley
- Anchor 2: Cheer-y Chatter
- Announcer (a single line)
- Chip Chopper, Reporter
- The Lord God Almighty
The script is written so that some of these characters are in a scene together (for example, the two news anchors are sitting at the same news desk, and of course Mary and Joseph are together). You can either cast those parts so that the actors are all in the same household. Or you can rewrite the script so that only one person is in the scene at a time. Or you can be creative with your filming and use a Zoom-type split screen. Or have the different families use the same background (either a digital background or a plain white sheet) and edit small snippets of film together, with the focus on whoever is speaking (as in this video).
Ways to adjust the casting to include more than 9 people:
- Have additional news anchors (perhaps 2 teams of 2 for two different days' newscasts)
- 3 chopper scenes could mean three different chopper reporters (and 1 shy actor could do scene 2 as a voiceover).
- Mary and Joseph are in two different scenes, so they could be played by two different sets of actors. Just coordinate what they are wearing (for example, "Mary wears blue and Joseph wears brown") or give them similar props to make it easier to know they are the "same" people.
- Add more animals. And they can be in separate places for ease of filming.
The news show can also be expanded by adding commercials. Assign these to your more creative families.
Another family could build and film the aerial scenery for scene 2.
The news drama script is part of a lesson, which you can incorporate into the drama production process. Either have the lesson as a Zoom session with your actors and families and write the improvised parts of the script together, or let each family work on enhancing and developing their part of the script on their own.