The 3rd Annual Oliver’s Birthday Play

A few years ago, at Ollie’s first birthday party, a spontaneous performance of the Wizard of Oz broke out. Longtime readers of the blog will be quite familiar with the fact that Evie loves nothing more than a performance of some kind, and she quickly turned this into a yearly tradition.

As the tradition has grown (and as she herself has grown), the play has turned into more and more of a production. This was the first year that she has taken it into her mind to really “direct” the play as well as star in it. She had very firm ideas about who would play each part, what the costumes would look like, etc. She has been preparing for four or five months.

This year she decided to perform “The First Christmas”, after her successfully reprising her performance as an angel. She had a line to speak in the play, so I was not surprised that she wanted to include that line in her play. What I did not realize was, Evie being Evie, she had also memorized *everyone else’s* lines in the play. Keep in mind she participated in the play in December, and it is now April. This is what she dictated to me for her play:

Fear Not, for behold I bring you good tidings of joy which shall come to all people.  For born this day, in the city of David, there is a savior which is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign to you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

And suddenly with the angels, there was a multitude of angels praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace.”

Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing which has happened.

I don’t think it is exactly word for word, but I still think it’s pretty good for a 5 year old who heard something 2 times 4 months ago.

When writing the script, Evie was VERY specific. Who should go first, what they should say, where they should stand. She had me write:

Silent Night (2 verses)
A little bit of silence
Angels We Have Heard on High

I will spare you the video, but Evie’s directorial debut more or less went off without a hitch, and she successfully shepherded (no pun intended) a dozen actors through their roles. Don’t mention it to her though; like any true artist she was ultimately disappointed despite her success. I think she was mainly disappointed because she wanted it to last longer (specifically, she wanted it to last an hour).

In Evie’s exuberance, it is easy to forget that it was actually Oliver’s day. She graciously allowed him to be Baby Jesus. However, Oliver insisted his baby should be Baby Jesus, and he himself would be a “manger”. Of course, Baby Jesus needed to “lie in a manger”, so he originally planned to lay in the crib with the baby on top. That wasn’t quite comfortable, so he ultimately settled for hiding in his magic box, popping out for the big birthing scene, and then sitting next to the crib holding the baby’s hand.

I’m sure Evie has already begun planning for next year. It’s a good thing, because we’ll probably need the entire year to prepare the costumes and scenery. Anybody know what union scale ought to pay?

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