Saint Nicholas Puppet Shows

Include a puppet show in your celebrations! Here you will find a  script that calls for only one speaker, a narrator, so very young children can be puppeteers just by listening and moving the puppets according to the story.  The script is for a two-part show. They can be performed separately, or at one time.

Quickly create a 'theater' by turning a folding table on its side, or having the audience face the back of a couch, with the puppeteers performing while seated on the couch.

For puppets, enlarge and copy the puppets here. Color or paint them. Adhere them to stiff paper for cardboard. Attach paint stir sticks or large craft sticks to the back with tape.

Before the performance, have the puppeteers listen to the script being read. Then practice once or twice. Have fun!

Puppets

Nicholas' mother

Nicholas' father
Nicholas' uncle
Young Nicholas

Nicholas' uncle
Sad Nicholas
Nicholas delivering the gold
Nicholas running after delivering the gold

Bishop Nicholas
Hungry Townspeople
Ship Captain
Bags of Grain

Script
GOLD AND GRAIN: A Puppet Show of Saint Nicholas Stories
Part 1: Gold
Enter narrator. This person stands beside the puppet theater and reads the script.
Long, long ago, there lived a boy named Nicholas.

Enter Young Nicholas puppet.
He was a happy child, who was greatly loved.

Enter Father puppet, who stands a little back from Nicholas, watching Nicholas puppet who jumps and plays.
Nicholas always had what he needed, for his parents were wealthy. They believed that Jesus wanted them to share what they had, and they taught Nicholas this.

Enter Mother puppet, who stands near Father.
His parents often helped others who were in need, and they took Nicholas with them whenever they did so.

Exit Young Nicholas, Father and Mother puppets.
But when Nicholas was a teenager, a sickness swept through the city. Both Nicholas’ mother and father died. The sad young man was visited by his uncle, a priest.

Enter Sad Nicholas and Uncle.
They spoke of their sadness. The uncle said he would now take care of Nicholas.
“I had always hoped that when I grew up, I would become a priest, like you,” Nicholas told him.
The uncle said, “Did you know that that is what your parents hoped too? You are young, but you can come to my monastery and begin your studies. But you have inherited much wealth, and you can’t bring these riches with you.”
“I know,” said Nicholas. “My parents have always taught me what is the best use for wealth, and I have a plan.”

Exit Sad Nicholas and Uncle.
Nicholas had heard about a neighbor who had become poor. This man had three daughters. In those days, it was expected that when a girl married, she gave a gift of money to the groom’s family. The neighbor girls had no money, so they could not marry and would become slaves!

Enter Nicholas delivering gold puppet, standing still at one side of the stage.
So, late one night after his uncle’s visit, Nicholas filled a bag with gold coins. He pulled on a cape for he did not want anyone to know who he was. Then, staying in the shadows, he ran to the neighbor’s house.    Nicholas puppet runs length of stage, and pauses.  There he quietly dropped the bag of gold into the window. No one inside seemed to hear.

Exit Nicholas delivering gold puppet and substitute the Nicholas running after delivering gold puppet. Have this puppet run across the stage and exit.
Soon after, Nicholas heard that the oldest daughter had gotten married. A few days later, Nicholas made the same delivery for the second daughter.

Enter Nicholas delivering gold puppet, run across the stage, pause at the other end of stage, then substitute the Nicholas running after delivering gold, and exits.
The second daughter was soon wed. So again, Nicholas put on his cloak, filled a bag with gold and set off for the neighbor’s house.

Reenact the running and delivering scene. When puppet has exited, narrator says:
But this time, this third time was different! The happy father of the girls was waiting for him! He wanted to thank the generous person who had helped his family. Nicholas ran fast, but the father ran faster. He caught Nicholas and thanked him, loudly. Nicholas begged him to never tell anyone who gave the gold. The father promised. But do you think he kept that promise?

Allow audience to answer.
If he had kept his promise, do you think we would be sharing this story today?

End of part 1


Part 2: Grain
Narrator:
Nicholas became a priest and then a bishop. He was a good leader, and people often came to him when they had troubles. He did everything he could to help. One year, there was a famine in the city. The gardens and crops had not grown well, and people were hungry, very, very hungry.

Enter hungry townspeople puppet; have them remain to one side.
Their city sat on the edge of the sea. Great ships and huge barges stopped there often.

Enter Bishop Nicholas puppet, close to the hungry townspeople puppet.
Bishop Nicholas had heard that some barges had arrived. They were filled with grain, food that could be made into bread. This grain belonged to the emperor, the ruler who was rich, and never, never hungry. Good Bishop Nicholas was worried about the people who had no food. He went down to the sea, where the grain barges floated.

Move Bishop Nicholas puppet to center stage. From other side of stage, enter the ship captain puppet.
“My good man!” the bishop called to the captain. “We are hungry! Our crops failed. Please, share some of your grain with us.”
The captain looked surprised. “I’m sorry to hear of your troubles, but the grain is not mine to give,” he explained. “This grain belongs to the emperor, and was carefully weighted before we left. I must deliver all of it.”
“Winter comes soon, and people will starve,” Bishop Nicholas persisted. “Is this justice, that some suffer while others feast?”
“I wish I could help,” said the captain. “I really wish I could! But I will be punished if some of the grain is gone.”
“I ask only for a hundred measures from each ship. If you do as I say, through God’s power, you will not find the wheat measures short at your journey’s end.”
The ship captain gazed at the bishop. It sounded crazy, but there was something about this man that made the captain trust him.  And he did.


Enter bags of grain puppet.
The ship captain and his ships left.

Exit ship captain puppet.
Nicholas divided the grain amongst the people. There was enough for everyone for two years and some left over to plant for next year. The people marveled at the miracle of how long the grain lasted. Was their good bishop a saint?

Exit hungry townspeople puppet and bags of grain puppet.
The ship captain’s journey ended, and the grain was again measured. None was missing. He and his sailors were amazed.  And everywhere the captain and sailors traveled, they told stories of the wonderful bishop who cared for his people and brought about a miracle.

Exit Bishop Nicholas puppet.