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"The Play of the Nativity of the Child Jesus" is a Christmas episode of the CBS show Studio One in Hollywood, originally presented live, as the thirteenth episode of its fifth season, at the television anthology Westinghouse Studio One on the evening of December 22, 1952. Directed by Franklin Schaffner, it is a rare modern network television production of an authentic mystery play, mostly culled from the York and Chester mystery plays of the 14th and 15th centuries in England. The presentation has been preserved on kinescope. It has been issued in several DVD public domain versions. It can also be seen complete online on Internet Archive.

The play was performed in what is now known as Elizabethan English. Although it takes its text straight from fifteenth-century English, the words were not pronounced as Middle English would be, but in a more modern manner. The cast included Thomas Chalmers, Paul Tripp, and Miriam Wolfe. Hurd Hatfield serves as narrator.

Music

TitleWritten byPerformed by
"Snow in the Street"William Morris (lyrics)
Ralph Vaughan Williams (music)
The Robert Shaw Chorale
"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" Traditional
"So Blest A Sight"Uncredited soprano soloist
The R.S. Chorale
"Coventry Carol"
("Lullay, Lullay, Thou Little Tiny Child")
The R.S. Chorale
"Masters In This Hall
"What Child is This?"The R.S. Chorale (Humming)
Excerpt from "Balualow"
from "A Ceremony of Carols"
Benjamin Britten (music)The R.S. Chorale
"This Endris Night"Traditonal
Introduction from "Le Coq d' Or"Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (music)

Cast

Actor/actressCharacter
The Robert Shaw Chorale (voices)Themselves
Betty FurnessHerself - Commercial Spokeswoman
Lloyd Bochner (uncredited)Magi Who Delivers Myrrh
John Cannon (voice)Himself - Announcer
Thomas Chalmers (uncredited)King Herod
Hurd Hatfield (uncredited)Narrator
Paul Tripp (uncredited)Joseph
Miriam Wolfe (uncredited)The Virgin Mary

External link

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