Writer relishes in stories told on stage

Published 2:33 pm Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Little Drummer Boy moved upstage center.

As son of the innkeeper, he had just watched shepherds bring a lamb to the manger and Wisemen bring gifts.

“I want to give him a gift, too,” he said. “But what can I give him? He’s too little to play ball. And he can’t spin a top…. I know! I’ll play my drum for him.”

With my husband Ken picking “The Little Drummer Boy” song in the background, 7-year-old Tyler Rice tapped along with the guitar on a toy drum, before going to kneel at the manger of baby Jesus.

For more than 40 years now, I’ve been privileged to write and direct dramas for my home church, the K-Springs Church of God. We’ve used a live donkey and a live chicken in dramas and once had a wooden replica of an old-fashioned railway workers’ car “hand-pumped” up the aisle. In this Christmas’s short two-act, the only live things were people, including one very lively little drummer boy.

During rehearsals, we had trouble keeping up with Tyler and his antics. But during the actual performance, he came through with flying colors, playing his part very seriously.

Five generations of my family have taken part in the dramas. This year Joel Barber, my 7-year-old great grandson, played the shepherd who carried the lamb, while his 9-year-old sister Cori was an angel who sang to the shepherds.

Many people through the years have told me they enjoyed and were blessed by dramas I’ve written. But I feel sure that no one has been blessed as much as I have. And I humbly thank God for this gift.

There were a few years when I was too ill with lupus to work with drama, when I thought I might never be able to again. So, I was especially thankful to be able again this year to share in the portrayal of the beautiful story of Christ’s birth.