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Discover Fauquier December 2019
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~ Caitlin Scott
Those of us who celebrate Christmas tend
to delight in certain customs. Personally, my
favorite holiday ritual is to revisit beloved
Christmas stories, like A Christmas Carol
(George C. Scott all the way!) or a cult classic
like Home Alone.
Whichever end of the spectrum you favor,
chances are you'll love Nancy Griffin-
Bonnaire's First Noel Live, a comedic
play she wrote for the youth of Our Savior
Lutheran Church (OSLC), where it will debut
this December.
As the title implies, the play is about the
miraculous events that took place on the
night of Christ's birth, reimagined as a
humor-infused, live-news broadcast about a
breaking story in Bethlehem--just imagine
SNL's "Weekend Update" vibes with nods
to The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight
with John Oliver. Throw in sing-alongs to
cherished Christmas carols, giggle-inducing
puns, bewildered interviews that lean just
enough toward satire, and a few well-placed
hashtags, and what ensues can only be
described as wholesomely, gleefully funny.
Nancy, fellow writer and scrupulous editor
at Discovery Publications, sat down with me
to discuss her directing background, how
she came to write her own works, and the
irresistible pull of the comedy genre.
How did you become involved in directing
plays at your church?
"There is a musically gifted woman here
(Nancy sings with her and others during
OSLC's Saturday night service) who used
to put on youth musicals. She knew I had
majored in theatre in college, and she asked
for my help with staging. The next year--
2012--I did all the staging for her play, and
later that year, I directed the first Christmas
Is this the first script you've written?
"In 2017, I wrote the script for Luther Live!
The Reformation Revisited. It was a collection
of music, narration, and short theatrical
vignettes, one of which was called `A Five-
Minute Reformation,' which summarized the
entire Reformation in five minutes."
A Warrenton Local Wrote Your
New Favorite Christmas Story
Ha! Where did you get your inspiration for
"I got the idea from 15-Minute Hamlet, a
comedic abridgement of Shakespeare's
What about the inspiration for First Noel
"Last year, someone suggested that I write
a play. All I needed was an idea. I thought
about doing something SNL-like with different
vignettes, and the idea morphed. When I
wrapped my brain around the newsroom idea,
the characters just appeared, and the play fell
out of me in about a week. I was sitting there,
thinking about the shepherds, and a name
came into my head--Wooly Allen."
What's your favorite part of directing?
"The kids sometimes don't see the humor in
the words on the page, and even during the
rehearsal process, they don't always think
what I'm having them do is funny. But they
put their trust in me when I tell them, `You're
going to have to pause here, because the
audience will be laughing.' Then they perform
it, and the audience roars. I love to see the
audience react, and there's nothing better
than seeing kids react to the laughs they get."
Recently I learned that Nancy's play is in the
process of being evaluated for publication,
and so far, has received positive feedback
from an editor at Christian Publishers LLC.
Nancy and OSLC extend their gratitude
to Fauquier Community Theatre, which is
lending a spotlight for the show.
Don't miss this show! First Noel Live will
be performed at OSLC (6194 Dumfries
Road, Warrenton) on
December 20 at 7:00
p.m., December 21 at 7:30 p.m. with an
optional dinner beforehand at 6:30 p.m., and
December 22 at 2:00 p.m. Free-will offerings
for tickets support OSLC participants in
the 2021 National Youth Gathering in
Minneapolis; the Saturday dinner cost is
$10/person. To learn more, or to reserve
your seats for the dinner or the play, visit or email Nancy at