Young people seem to enjoy the whole idea of drama. A bit of acting, or creativemime or movement can communicate a message with power, but it is also one ofthose things that can easily go badly wrong or create a loss of control. We haveoften spent fun evenings with the video camera experimenting with youth dramaand just role playing Bible characters and scenes, or creating our own Christianyouth skits. Some with more success than others, but the use of the video hasbeen fruitful – they really enjoy watching themselves afterwards!For a preview of a children’s nativity drama that I wrote click here.For some fun and consolation at the approach of the festive season click here!Buying Youth DramasIt is possible to download free Christian youth dramas, and these vary in quality.My own personal view on this is that often there is not the time to prepare or learnlong dialogue, unless you are going to present a production. Also, continuallygoing over lines, or perfecting the performance can ‘kill’ the message – it dependson what your final aim is. Do you want them to learn through the participation ordo you want them to present a performance (learning discipline etc throughrepetition) that communicates to an audience? Always be sure of your aim, and
that will suggest a suitable method.
Write your own Christian youth drama!You may not be very confident, but you will have more ideas than you realise.Firstly: Perhaps you have an event that you would like to prepare something for –maybe your event suggests a suitable Christian story (Christmas, Easter etc), oryou have a theme you need to work with (selfishness, envy, sorrow,loneliness).There will be a suitable Bible story to fit most themes you have to work with, andyou can always give it an up-to-date ‘twist’ for your Christian youth drama.Secondly: Find a suitable ‘genre’ to use – a style you can present your drama in,for example – many television programmes suggest styles that can be used: gameshows, news reports, documentary, daily dramas, talk show, competitions, quizshows etc, or there may be a suitable film or characters that could be adapted.The style of these shows can be adapted and modified for your content.Thirdly: Think about your characters. Youth drama with amateurs works well ifthe characters are larger than life – punk rocker, old granny whose slightly deaf,motorbiker, superior teenager, hippy, gangster etc. You may have more matureand committed members in your group who want something more challenging, soyou could use less obvious characters.Fourthly: Consider what you want to communicate. Do you need lots ofdialogue? Could you manage by working from broad themes and ‘ad-libbing’ therest? Could a narrator carry the bulk of a long message?Fifthly: Be open to your young people coming up with ideas. One of the funniestyouth drama videos I watched was when our youth group used a mixture of StarWars meets Lord of the Rings, and the main character was called ‘Afrodo’ – youcan guess what his hairstyle was like! This was more an exercise in fun andworking together than communicating a great message, but their ideas were great.We did use a bag of wigs and hair pieces to help things along a bit.Sixthly: To maintain control while you are developing your Christian youth dramado consider how each member is going to be involved throughout the evening.Loss of control will happen if you have numbers of people sat around getting bored,or working without a clear focus. Try breaking your drama down into bite-sizepieces, and if possible get small groups to work on developing each section.Ensure you regularly visit each group to make sure they are on target and working