Long-time educator Claudette Francis combines her love of both scripture and courtroom drama in her newly released play, The Mystery of the Nativity Photo by Ruane Remy

New play explores the Nativity's mysteries

  • December 21, 2012

Toronto - Madhuri Ramadeen credits a Christmas play from her childhood for bringing her to Christ.

It was 51 years ago in Guyana that the then 12-year-old Ramadeen, who comes from a Hindu and Muslim background, auditioned for the part of Mary, the mother of God, in a play written by her teacher, Claudette Francis.

Instead of casting her as Mary in The Star of Bethlehem, Francis cast Ramadeen, to the child’s disappointment, as the Star. Ramadeen thought the  role of Mary would put her front and centre, where she could shine, but it was being the role of the Star that taught her most about the Christmas story.

Francis “took it upon herself to extend the play a little past the Nativity story and the reason also for why Jesus was born,” said Ramadeen, who now lives in Toronto. “So when I was learning my lines, I didn’t know then, but I know now that it was Holy Spirit-inspired.”

As she found herself saying her lines and singing Glory in the Highest, Ramadeen suddenly realized that this story of Jesus held truth.  

Five decades later, after educating children in Guyana, Montreal and Toronto, Francis is once again sharing the truth and meaning of Jesus’ birth and early childhood through a play.   

Her new play, The Mystery of the Nativity, teaches readers about the Christmas story through the fictional trial of King Herod.
Combining her passion for high-profile criminal trials and Scripture in what she calls spiritual fiction, Francis places Herod in the courtroom facing four criminal counts, including murder for his role in ordering the death of male babies.  

Francis recalls her own childhood in Guyana as inspiration for her plays.  

“I still feel very nostalgic about the Christmas pageant preparations at home in Guyana,” she said, thanking her parents, grandparents and other ancestors for passing on the Christian faith.  

Her mother would wake her and her siblings up at 10 o’clock on Christmas Eve and soon afterwards they would be dressed as shepherds and ready to join the other children in the neighbourhood for the pageant in church.

“That was joy beyond anything I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “I always used drama, plays and so on to get over my faults.”
Francis chose to infuse The Mystery of the Nativity with humour based on the feedback from her last published play, The Mystery of the Resurrection, also a court drama.  

She hopes this play will encourage readers to open their Bibles and read about the Christmas story for themselves.

Jesus told the apostles to go out into the world and preach the Good News to all nations, said Francis.

"As I am right now, I can’t go into all of the world, but what I can do is write books and get the books into all of the world."  

For more information on the book call (647) 884-4674 or e-mail claudettefrncs@yahoo.ca.


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