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Baboushka

To present in play form a Christmas legend from Russia.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To present in play form a Christmas legend from Russia.

Preparation and Materials

  • Read through the play.
  • Select children to play the following parts:
    10 narrators, Baboushka, three kings, a servant, some villagers (any number), Mary, Joseph, some shepherds, an innkeeper and an angel.
  • Props needed:
    A small table and chair, with a broom and duster, to represent the inside of the house.
    Gifts for the kings to carry; a basket of toys; toy lambs for the shepherds; a manger.
  • Costumes:
    Cloaks could be made from old curtains; headdresses from tea towels secured with plaited tights; angel tunics from old white sheets; haloes from tinsel; wings from old net curtains secured at the back and wrists. Make crowns from card sprayed gold and decorated with fruit pastilles or wine gums for jewels.
  • The song Baboushka (Come and Praise, 115) could be sung by individuals or a choir.
  • Fanfare-type music for the arrival of the kings in Scene 1.

 

Assembly

Baboushka – The play

Music from the Baboushka song can be playing in the background before the action begins.

SCENE 1

Baboushka is on one side of the stage, cleaning her house and dusting her furniture. Some villagers are standing looking up at the sky.

Narrator 1
Long, long ago, in the village where Baboushka lived, there was a special feeling in the air.

Narrator 2
High in the sky there was a bright star shining. It twinkled and glittered and all the villagers came out of their houses to see it. They stood looking up at the sky.

Narrator 3
All the villagers, that is, except Baboushka. She was far too busy cleaning and dusting her house.

Narrator 4
Her house was the cleanest in the village and her cooking was famous throughout the land. She hadn’t time to stand around chattering about a star.

She was so busy that she didn’t hear a procession coming nearer.

Suitable fanfare music. Three kings bearing gifts enter, followed by a servant. The villagers watch as the servant knocks on Baboushka’s door.

Baboushka
What do you want?

Servant
My masters have travelled a long way, following that star. We have been told that your house is the nicest and cleanest house in the land. May we rest here for a while, please?

Baboushka
Come in, my royal masters.

Sing verse 1 of the Baboushka song, while she dashes around serving them food and drink.

Baboushka
Where are you going?

Sing the chorus, ‘Oh Baboushka, we’re following a star’.

First king
We are going to find a newborn baby king.

Second king
We have been following the bright star up there in the sky. It will guide us to where he has been born.

Third king
We have gifts for him. See, here are gold, frankincense and myrrh.

First king
Why don’t you come with us, Baboushka, to see this special baby king?

Baboushka
I’d like to, I really would. But I’ve too much work to do and besides, I don’t have a gift to give him.

Sing verse 4, ‘I will, my royal masters’.

Second king
Well, think about it, Baboushka, and don’t leave it too late. We’d better be on our way now. We must follow the star.

Third king
Your work can wait, can’t it, Baboushka? Why don’t you come with us?

Baboushka
Perhaps I’ll try and catch up with you later on. Goodbye.

Kings
Goodbye and thank you.

Kings and servant exit. Sing chorus from verse 4, ‘We dare not wait for you’.

Narrator 5
Baboushka goes back to her cleaning. She notices a basket of toys on the floor that had belonged to her son. She cleans and polishes them.

Baboushka
There, now, these toys are fit for a baby king. I will go and find him after all.

Narrator 6
Baboushka sets off. She travels a long way. She asks people she meets on her journey if they have seen the procession of kings who were following the star.

Baboushka
Have you seen the kings?

Villagers
Oh yes, they went that way. (Point.)

Narrator 7
Baboushka travels on. She is tired and weary. (Exit Baboushka.)

In the town of Bethlehem there was great excitement. A special baby had been born, in a stable because there was no room at the inn. His cradle was a manger. His name was Jesus.

Assemble the nativity scene on the stage.

SCENE 2

Narrator 8
The kings present their gifts. Shepherds come from the hills to worship the newborn king.

The shepherds and kings exit, leaving Mary and Joseph alone on stage.

Narrator 8
An angel appears.

Angel
You must take the baby Jesus into Egypt because Herod the king wishes to kill him.

Mary exits, carrying the baby, with Joseph supporting her.

Narrator 9
Baboushka arrives at the stable, but it is deserted.

The innkeeper enters.

Baboushka
Excuse me, have any kings been here? And where is this newborn king? I have a gift for him.

Innkeeper
I’m sorry, you’re too late. They’ve all gone. You’ve had a wasted journey.

Narrator 9
Baboushka begins to cry. An angel appears.

Angel
Don’t cry, Baboushka. Although you haven’t seen him, you have felt him in your heart. The best gift you can give him is the gift of your love.

Narrator 10
Baboushka left the stable, but she has never stopped looking for the baby Jesus. At Christmas time in Russia she leaves presents at the homes of sleeping children so that people will remember that the baby Jesus was born to bring peace and love to the world.

Sing verse 6: ‘Through all the years I seek him’. The whole cast assembles on stage to sing the chorus, ‘Baboushka, Baboushka, we find him in our heart’.

Time for reflection

Finish the assembly/performance by all singing the Baboushka song and thinking about the words.

Song / Music

‘Baboushka’ (Come and Praise, 115)

Publication date: January 2006
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