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Shadow Bible Storytelling

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For local church worship, seasonal events, mission teams, camps, or community outreach.

This storytelling technique can be used to enhance a worship service, for correlated interpretation of scripture reading, for special seasonal events, as part of mission team drama presentations, as community outreach projects and festivals, etc. There are unlimited opportunities to use these types of Bible story presentations to connect people with the Word of God


Props needed:

· 3" X 8' PVC pipe or other type of pole

· Large white sheet or white fabric panel at least 8' X 8' before finishing

· Flood light

· Simplified costuming as needed

· Predetermined Bible story or prerecorded song

· CD player and sound system if a song will be used for the drama


Directions:  Sew a sleeve along one edge of the fabric panel large enough for a 3" PVC pipe to be slipped through like a curtain. Place the floodlight waist height on a table behind the panel so the players are between the panel and the light. The 8' PVC pipe can be made from shorter sections held together with PVC couplings, which makes this easy assembly and transporting, especially for missions teams


Presentation: a person at each end of the pole holds the fabric panel in front of the audience. Players are behind the panel or off to one side until their part is presented. When the story or song begins the floodlight is turned on.


As the Bible story is told or song is played the players (can be children, teens or adults) pantomime the story segments in shadow effect moving behind the panel and in front of the floodlight acting out the story or song segment in pantomime. Rehearsal is needed so that players make correct movements of the story or song segments to make the appropriate shadow effects.


Simplified costuming can be used if needed remembering that the audience will not see color. Cardboard props on sticks or stiff wire can be made for items such as; sun, flowers, waves, boat outline, animals, birds, etc. These effects can be added to the story or song as needed.


Shadow Puppetry: This same presentation can be made as a shadow puppet presentation to correlate with a story told or a song interpretation. For shadow puppetry, use two sections of cloth, a lower section of dark-opaque fabric  5' X 8' and a top white sheeting section 3' X 8' sewn together lengthwise. The top panel section needs to be the white sheeting and the lower section needs to be the dark opaque color or heavier fabric that will block out the light. For shadow puppet presentation all figures and prop items are made from cardboard and attached to heavy wires or sticks. The fabric panel is placed on a pole the same as the pantomime presentation but the puppeteers sit on chairs or on the floor behind the lower opaque fabric section with the shadow props in hand.


As the story is told or the song is played the puppeteers use the shadow props to pantomime the story or song.

Related Topics: Children's Curriculum

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