Away in a Manger

Madeline Jaye Birkeland made her acting debut on December 1st, 2011 in a performance as the Christ Child in her ward nativity that is already stirring up Oscar buzz.  Fans were in awe of her peaceful portrayal of the Divine Infant.

When asked what the hardest part was while prepping for the part, Madeline said she spent all four months of her life preparing so that she could get through the 45 minute show without fussing. 

She said, "When I read the script, which was inspired by the scriptures and the hymn Away in a Manger, I was surprised when I read the line 'The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes'.  I know that Christ was perfect, but I am definitely not perfect. So playing a perfect baby was difficult and took a lot of work."

Her onscreen mother, and mother in real life, Haley Birkeland agrees. "Most actors and actresses have to work hard in order to make themselves cry.  But it is 100 times more difficult for a baby to suppress that instinct. Madeline did a great job keeping her cool while she was on a hot stage surrounded by Primary children and adults dressed as angels, shepherds, and wise men."


We asked Madeline if it was difficult to play a male role as a female actress. She replied that she was inspired by the actress Mary Martin who played Peter Pan. "If you are a good actress, gender doesn't matter."

Besides making a slight cooing noise when her daddy smiled at her, Madeline didn't make another sound during the entire production. Fans praised her for her performance remarking that "She was the most quiet Baby Jesus I've ever seen!"

Others couldn't get over her wispy white hair and glorious thighs with rolls upon rolls of darling baby fat.

Luckily Madeline isn't self conscious of her weight.

"I'm a girl with curves!" She proudly states.

We look forward to seeing more from this rookie actress.

Okay so besides the Oscar nod and the quotes from Madeline this is all pretty much true, including the part that Madeline was silent for the entire performance. Madeline played the Christ Child and Brett and I played Mary and Joseph for the ward nativity. It was a wonderful experience that we all enjoyed.