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From the Realms of Glory

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60 minutes / 7 characters

From the Realms of Glory is an adventurous Christmas musical that includes a relationship between the pre-incarnate Son of God and a resident angel named Harry. The musical begins in heaven, just before Bethlehem, and ends with Harry, the angel, visiting Jesus (as a boy) on earth.
From the final scene between Harry and the young Jesus:

Harry (having a hard time believing what he thinks he's hearing): So, you gave up everything... only to—
Jesus (looking around): I love these people, Harry. I came to experience what it's like for them—what it's like to live with a body that ages and dies, what it's like to suffer loneliness and pain, to feel the pull of sin, to experience—as much as I can—what it is to be human.
Harry (impatiently, thinking that's enough): I'm sure You've already experienced all that.
Jesus: My living like them won't save them, but my dying like them will.

Why Jesus came to earth in the first place, and what this would mean for the people of His creation; His sacrifice

Son of God (adult)
Innkeeper (few lines, and solo)
Mary (non-speaking, but solo)
Jesus (young teenager)

Additional notes about the characters (which were requested by, and delivered to, the commissioning church):

Harry, the angel
Harry is an older youth, or young adult. It would be helpful if he were shorter than the Son of God (and a nice touch if he were taller than the young Jesus). For dress, see the discussion below, under Son of God.

Harry is inquisitive, has a fast mouth (and slow brain), and is a nervous sort. The wheels are always turning, but sometimes they slip a gear or two. He should be energetic—but not frantic; full of the juices of life. The audience should like him immediately.

The actor should be expressive, know how to use his face to communicate; he should be physically flexible and mobile. This character is, in many respects, the lead (i.e., his casting would be even more critical than the role of Jesus).

Son of God

Because we meet Him in heaven, prior to His incarnation, we can't really call Him Jesus, now can we. As to his appearance, I see the standard tall, gorgeous tenor (when was the last time one heard a bass "Jesus"?) who could—or could not—be sporting a beard. I think because of his written personality, it's unimportant that he has a beard.

As to dress, there should be some coordination between Son of God, Harry the Angel, and the Angel Choir—as if the everyday wearing apparel in heaven has no relationship with the common perception. If heaven is timeless, why should they wear the robes of the First Century? Bottom Line: you should find some kind of neutral costume that can be worn by these. My idea was Levis and plain sweatshirt; you may have someone with a better idea.

Very good bosses or managers have a way of being friendly and personable with those who work for them, without getting too chummy. They have a way of being friendly, yet making it clear they are still in charge. This is the Son of God's personality in the heaven scenes. (Actually, also in the Jesus scene near the end—but that will be a little harder to pull off with two youth.) Not pompous, not "holier-than-thou"; warm and real, yet there's just something about the way He carries Himself that lets you know that He's God.

If I were directing this actor, I would probably not even talk that much about him playing pre-Jesus Son of God. He'd suddenly get stiff in the joints, his gaze would drift off into the ether with a holy glow, and he'd lift off the stage a few inches. No, play him like a person. And we already know God has a sense of humor, from His writings, so don't be afraid to play the lines for humor.

Though small, this is actually a difficult part. This actor should display wisdom beyond his years. Put another way, he needs to look younger than he sounds or acts. There should also be some continuity between this role and the Son of God. I would even recommend that the one playing Jesus sit in on some of the rehearsals for the one playing the Son of God, to pick up mannerisms, etc. You could go so far as creating some gestures or mannerisms that could be shared; this would be a mechanical way to accomplish the desired continuity, in lieu of the more difficult sharing of mind.

Another thing that will be difficult for this short role is standing on stage while the youth choir sings to him. It takes a good actor to stay in character on stage while saying nothing.

Jesus would be wearing the typical "biblical" dress.


As to casting, something to keep in mind is that Mary would have been a teenager.
Mary has no lines; her singing voice is clearly the priority. She should simply portray innocence and an openness to the things of God. As is usually the case, the Mary song in this musical is very "mental"—portraying a woman trying to come to terms with a mysterious, supernatural event in her young life. As is also usually the case, the lyricist has given Mary a bit more eternal wisdom that I would like, but I think it's okay. I think it would be sufficient to find an older teenager with a good voice, who can sing expressively from the heart. More acting ability than that is probably not necessary.


On a certain level, Joseph is optional. If your Innkeeper is a really good actor, he could sell his song without other bodies on stage. On the other hand, since I think I've proposed a good work-around for Mary, there's nothing to prevent her being on stage for "An Ordinary Stable", which means Joseph could be too, since he need not sing—or even act, for that matter. He simply needs to look interested. I would probably play the three of them entering together (as if he is conducting them toward their lodgings), crossing to center stage, where the Innkeeper will sing his song.

If you wished, Joseph could also be onstage when Mary is singing her song, but if so, you'd want him to be a better actor. It takes a better actor to say nothing at all--yet look like he has a reason to exist. Joseph could be off to the side, reacting lovingly to what she is singing, etc.


After Harry the angel, this is your most flavorful character. You want someone who can really have fun with the role. This is one of those solos where vocal quality is not nearly so important as the ability to be interesting on stage. Let him take command of the stage, move around, play off the audience, as well as Mary and Joseph. They can be slightly intimidated by him.

If the Innkeeper does not sing with the choir on the chorus, give him some business with Joseph, such as miming how much he can charge: Joseph would rummage through his money bag (secreted in his girdle), while the Innkeeper stands there impatiently tapping his toe; Mary pleading with him to let them stay for the little they have. You could even extend it further: during the second chorus, have the Innkeeper's wife enter from the opposite side, give him what-for, pull on his ear, etc., timed so that right before his exit, he'll have something really pithy to say about her and things in general.

Music Information
The music for this production is from the Christmas musical From the Realms of Glory (WORD, 1996) by Dave Clark and Russell Mauldin.

From the Realms of Glory Harry Son of God Angels Jesus Bethlehem Nazareth Earth Heaven Lamb of God Sacrifice Death Mary Joseph Innkeeper Christmas

PDF for Production (2705)
Plain Text for Review (1600)

(Download: right-click / View: left-click)

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by Dr. Radut.