All Angels’ Parents: A 2020 Pageant Toolkit

November 18, 2020

The children of All Angels’ Church will not be bested by a pandemic. A pageant on zoom, nicknamed “Zageant” is underway. Below parents can access information and instructions for supporting their child’s participation in the 2020 Zageant.

Need to get in the mood? Check out our one minute version of the 2018 Christmas Pageant

SCRIPT The script can be found here. Erin Moughon-Smith has been meeting with the 4/5th grade Sunday School since late September. Together, they have written the screenplay.

CAST The full list of characters and cast assignments can be found here. Prominent speaking roles are given out in a time honored ranking of seniority. You can help your eager second grader who really wants to be Mary know that her opportunity for a main speaking role will come in the 4th and 5th grade! Meanwhile, angels, shepherds, and magi have some fund dialogue this year. Furthermore, given that this year’s pageant is on zoom, many nonspeaking roles are very important for setting the scenes, introducing home made costumes and props. There are no small parts. That said, I am very happy to change around a sheep for an angel or a shepherd. Please reach out to me. We don’t need unnecessarily disappointed children.

PARENT VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS Erin hosted a parent meeting in early November with lovely tips and advice for how to film your child’s pageant lines. Her power point of tips can be found here. A recording of highlights from the parent info session can be found here. In short: hold your phone in widescreen mode and video your child’s part!

NAMING & UPLOADING VIDEO FILES Let’s adopt a consistent nomenclature for naming video files. ZCP (for Zoom Christmas) dot “p” for page followed by page number (indicating page number in script where the current dialogue or scene begins) dot character’s name. Example: ZCP.p9.Angel1 corresponds to a video segment beginning from page 9 involving the character angel #1. Sample list here. Each family will be given shared access to a google drive folder which is exclusive to their children. Example: Zageant.Smith. All the Smith children’s files will be uploaded to that file. I can access, fix any naming irregularities and move to other folders to ease the editing challenge. Be mindful that it might take time to upload videos. Consider uploading as you gather videos rather than waiting for one big day of uploading.

RECORDING SONGS With special editing software, many separate uploads of videos of children singing can be combined to create a Christmas chorus! Matt Salvatierra and Seth Little have created instrumental and instrument+voice tracts for your child to listen to through earbuds. They can sing along to that recorded music while you capture their singing in a nice video closeup. Find lyrics and all information here.

REHEARSAL Erin and Mary Ellen will continue to meet children on Sundays at 11:30 for Sunday School in order to rehearse, gather costumes, learn camera skills. November 22 (Erin, Mary Ellen), November 29 (Mary Ellen only), December 6(Erin, Mary Ellen), December 13(Erin, Mary Ellen). In addition, we are available to consult or even to record your child’s part through a zoom call if it is too difficult for you to video otherwise. Reach out to me to arrange a time

TIMELINE & PRIORITIES Please aim to attempt to upload videos during Thanksgiving week and at the very very very latest by Sunday December 6th at noon. It is far better if you upload videos as you gather them rather than wait to upload all at the last minute. Why? Uploads can take time. And I can already get to work creating our editing files so that our editors can start hard on December 6th. I’m nervous I’ll slow things down if I have to re-arrange 6 million uploads Sunday at noon in time for 1PM editing start!!! AHHHH!

FAQ’s If you have a question, chances are someone else does too. I will promptly reply to all text and email questions. And I’ll share those that seem relevant here so we can all track how we are doing.

Q: Nice prose, M.E, just list the links so I can find them fast.

A: You betcha.


Cast List

Erin’s Power Point Instructions

Video Recording of Erin’s Parent Instruction Meeting

How to name files for upload

Recording Christmas Carol instructions

Q: Parent writes they are encountering different lyrics in recorded tracks compared to written lyrics. Which should kids sing?

A: Darn. I tried to avoid that. I will go back in to the lyric sheets and try to correct so that the recorded tracks will be accurate. Easier for kids to sing along.

Very, very grateful for the All Angels’ parents and your determination to support your children in their pageant pursuits.

With love,

Mary Ellen Lehmann

Author: Mary Ellen Lehmann

Director of Children & Youth Ministries at All Angels' Church in New York City. Mary Ellen and her husband, Mike, have been married 30 years, and have four children. Several of them are adults.

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