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Live Nativity at East Newton Baptist
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East Newton Baptist Church will be adding a touch of dramatic flair to its annual Nativity presentation, "Mary, did you know: Living Nativity Drama", at 7 p.m. today through Wednesday. With the help of passionate director Scott Palma, the church hopes to breathe more life into the traditional Nativity.

Palma has been providing Pastor Tom Lee with his livestock as props in the living Nativity scene for five years, allowing it to become a staple in Covington during the holiday season at the church, 11290 Ga. Highway 278 East.

Palma felt that speaking parts would add weight to the presentation, so he proposed the idea to Lee. Originally, the scene featured a narrator guiding viewers through the production. Lee loved the idea and Palma wrote the script.

"(Palma) may not be a member of our church, but he’s all about the community," said Lee. "He’s been very gracious to come out every year and help us out by doing this."

Palma, owner of Scott Palma Landscaping, juggles between owning a business, raising his livestock and performing theater. A lifelong thespian, he has performed in hundreds of local productions. A regular performer for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Opera, Palma has also appeared in commercials and films like "Run Ronnie Run" and "Ben 10."

"It’s either a way of life or it not," said Palma, about the balance in following a passion and earning a living. "Everything I do now, I have been doing all my life."

Palma plans to make "Mary, did you know" as part of a trilogy, with Easter and the Pentecost. He will be portraying Joseph in "Mary, did you know."

"To include singing, acting, music, lighting and adding a story to it, it raises the level of the art," said Palma. "Pastor Lee has done a great job. It’s his vision. It’s great one."