The 12 Plays of Christmas, Part 4: Jeremy Richter’s Christmas Carol

christmas carol

Jeremy Richter is an accomplished actor, playwright, musician, father, and much more.  He’s also a dear old college friend that I shared the stage with on several occasions nearly twenty years ago.  Fortunately, neither one of us has aged a bit (a-hem) since then.  When I put this Twelve Plays of Christmas project in motion, he was one of the first folks I thought of.  I contacted him and he didn’t disappoint.  Jeremy adapted a full length play version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol titled Being a Ghost Story of Christmas that is faithful to the original and a fun read.  I particularly like how he opens the play, with an ode to the gravediggers from Hamlet.  It’s posted below.  For more information, contact the author at jeremyfrichter@gmail.com.

  • 1
    Stave I: Marley‘s Ghost
    (A graveyard, although barely past three o’clock, it is
    already quite dark. Two gravediggers are at work; well,
    one – the Younger – is, the Elder is laying back, perhaps
    slugging away at a flask. A crowd is gathered at a nearby
    grave, quietly singing a standard Christmastime hymn.
    After a few stanzas, the Elder picks up the tune and
    brashly bleats and cackles along to the refrain.)
    ELDER
    (singing, if you call it singing)
    Hark!, the herald angels sing . . . Glory to the new born King!
    (Beat.)
    I don’t get it.
    YOUNGER
    (a break, leaning on his spade)
    Get what?
    ELDER
    That. (indicating) The singing . . .
    YOUNGER
    It drives out the devil.
    ELDER
    What?!
    YOUNGER
    The devil . . . the originator of sorrowful anxieties and restless troubles, flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God . . . Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful.
    Then one forgets all wrath, impurity, and other devices.
    (Pause.)
    ELDER
    Who the hell said that?!
    YOUNGER
    Martin Luther, I think . . . or perhaps Shakespeare . . .
  •  2
    ELDER
    (after a slug)
    Bloody hell . . .
    YOUNGER
    (still in thought)
    . . . He said a lot of that stuff.
    (Beat. Perhaps the Elder’s flask has run dry, perhaps
    he’s tired of the pomp and circumstance of the nearby
    funeral, regardless, he pays notice to the stone he’s been
    lying against.)
    ELDER
    Well, Marley was dead to begin with.
    YOUNGER
    There is no doubt whatever about that . . . the register of his burial was signed by the clergyman . . .
    ELDER
    Wait . . .
    YOUNGER
    (continuing)
    The clerk . . .
    ELDER
    No . . .
    YOUNGER
    (continuing still)
    The undertaker . . .
    ELDER
    That’s not . . .
    YOUNGER
    And the chief mourner.
    ELDER
    That’s not what I meant . . .
    YOUNGER
    Beg pardon?
  •  3
    (Pause.)
    ELDER
    (slowly, with emphasis)
    Marley was dead to begin with.
    (Beat.)
    YOUNGER
    He was?
    ELDER
    Yeah.
    YOUNGER
    To begin with . . .
    ELDER
    That’s right.
    YOUNGER
    How dead was he?
    (Beat.)
    ELDER
    As dead as a door nail.
    YOUNGER
    Bloody hell . . .
    ELDER
    Yeah.
    (Pause.)
    Mind, I don’t know what there is that is particularly dead about a door nail. Personally, I might have been inclined to regard a coffin nail as the deadliest piece of ironmongery in the trade.
    YOUNGER
    Well . . .
    ELDER
    But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile . . .
  • 4
    YOUNGER
    Perhaps they mean the big one; the one where the knocker sits. Think of its size and antiquity.
    ELDER
    What?!
    YOUNGER
    That one would seem dead enough for any proverb! Think of the number of times it’d been stuck on the head!
    ELDER
    I’m beginning to wonder the number times you’ve been struck on the head.
    YOUNGER
    Or, they might mean “dead” as in clenching, you know . . . A carpenter will hammer a nail through a door and then pound it flat on the inside so it can’t be removed. Making the nail . . . the doornail dead!
    (Beat.)
    ELDER
    Bloody hell . . .
    YOUNGER
    It seems plausible.
    ELDER
    Even so; Marley was dead to begin with.
    (Beat. The Elder begins to gather his things.)
    YOUNGER
    Scrooge knew he was dead?
    ELDER
    Of course he did! How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and Marley were partners! Scrooge was his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee . . . his sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event rather he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and . . . solemnized it with an undoubted
    bargain.
    (Beat.)
    YOUNGER
    How so?
  • 5
    (Beat.)
    ELDER
    A hole. A sack. And residual mud where even worms wouldn’t dwell.
    YOUNGER
    Bloody hell . . .
    (Pause.)
    ELDER
    No wind that blows is bitterer than he . . . no falling snow is more intent upon its purpose . . . no pelting rain less open to entreaty. The heaviest of rain and snow and hail and sleet can boast of the advantage over him in only one respect: they often
    come down handsomely . . . Scrooge never does.
    (Silence. Then, back to business.)
    ELDER
    Come . . . (referencing the freshly dug grave) Is she to be buried in Christian burial when she willfully seeks her own salvation?
    YOUNGER
    I tell thee she is . . .
    (The lights fade on the graveyard, and rise, albeit dimly,
    on a counting house – Scrooge & Marley’s Counting
    House – and the street outside. A bell ringer stands
    ringing beside his kettle accepting money for the
    poor; a group of children sprint through the street,
    chasing one another home; a group of carolers sing
    outside a window of the counting house. The streets
    are a-buzz with life and celebration. It is, of course,
    Christmas Eve. Inside the counting house, however,
    things are dull, dismal and much, much colder.
    Scrooge, in his counting house, has kept his door
    open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, Bob
    Cratchit, copying letters. Scrooge has a very small
    fire, but Cratchit’s fire is much smaller. Cratchit
    sheepishly reaches for his shovel and rises to
    fetch another coal from the box kept in Scrooge’s
    office. Without looking up, Scrooge clears his
    throat with a growl as if to say, “Get back to work!”
    and Cratchit sits again. Soon the caroling outside
    Scrooge’s window has lasted long enough.)
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The Twelve Plays of Christmas, Part 3: More Bitsy and Boots Holiday Fun

BookCoverPreviewBBHoliday

The Bitsy and Boots plays are a series of five full length, family friendly, romantic comedies that have been real crowd pleasers with churches and community theatres in West Virginia, Texas, and Michigan.  All five are available on Amazon and have gone on to top Amazon’s Comedy Plays and Christian Literature charts in the US, Canada, and Germany.  More importantly, the First United Methodist Church in Huntington, WV has used these plays to raise over $10,000 for a variety of church mission projects.

The most recent play in the series, A Bitsy and Boots Holiday Special, featured a number of holiday themed pieces, including this Christmas scene.

A Bitsy and Boots Holiday Special – Scene 2 – Christmas

 (It is late at night, dark, Christmas Eve. A man, dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, is in the home of Bitsy and Boots. He is loading presents into a large bag.)

MAN

Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas.

(BITSY appears in the doorway.)

BITSY

Boots, you were right.

BOOTS

What? Let me see. Oh, my. I knew I heard something.

BITSY

I’m going to call 911. You get your gun and get ready to pump this punk full of lead.

(They disappear while the burglar continues to pack his bag full of presents. After a few moments, they re-appear.)

BITSY

Got it?

BOOTS

Got it.

BITSY

I’ll get the lights. Let’s go.

BOOTS

FREEZE!

MAN

(screams)

BITSY

Put down the bag, thief.

MAN

Wait!

BITSY

Shoot him, Boots.

MAN

No!

BITSY

What are you waiting for?

BOOTS

Hold it. The safety is on. There.

MAN

(taking mask off)

Don’t shoot!

BITSY & BOOTS

Tommy!?

TOMMY

I can explain.

BITSY

It better be good.  You could have given me a heart attack.

BOOTS

What were you thinking?

TOMMY

I was…

BITSY

What? Spill it.

TOMMY

I’m taking Christmas back.

BITSY

You’re what?

BOOTS

What does that mean?

BITSY

You better leave Christmas right where it is, young man.

TOMMY

Have you ever heard of Chester Cheatum?

BOOTS

No.

BITSY

Yes you have. He’s that’s the blowhard with the talk show.

BOOTS

The guy that’s on late at night?

BITSY

Yeah.

BOOTS

Oh, Max loves his show.

BITSY

He would.

TOMMY

He’s not a blowhard. He’s actually really smart.

BITSY

Oh, please. That guy’s a dimwit. I can’t believe you watch that show.

BOOTS

Did this Chester Cheatum put you up to robbing us?

TOMMY

In a way…I wasn’t…well, I was, but listen…I had to do it. I had to take Christmas back. Christmas has become too commercial…and…it’s not really about…people have taken the…I’ve been watching Chester’s show…and he makes some great points. He said, what if everyone woke up Christmas morning and all the presents were gone. Then, we’d be forced to spend time together and focus on each other and not on all of these stupid presents…

BITSY

Be careful. That stupid present you’re waving around right now cost me a hundred bucks.

BOOTS

And it’s for you, Tommy.

TOMMY

Really? What is it? No! …we’d focus on each other and the spirit of the season, he said, we’d end of having an even better holiday because of it…Chester said it would look like a Frank Capra movie in here.

BITSY

If you don’t put those presents back, it’s going to look like a Halloween movie in here.

TOMMY

Come on, Bitsy. Don’t you ever feel like this whole Christmas thing has gotten out of hand?

BITSY

No.

TOMMY

What about you, Boots? Am I just crazy?

BOOTS

You might be Tommy, but you get it honestly.

TOMMY

I just felt like maybe I could do something…different…maybe it would make a difference.

BITSY

What were you planning to do with all the presents?

KAT

(entering)

What is going on? Ah, burglar!…Tommy! Tommy, what are you doing?

TOMMY

I can explain.

BITSY

Tommy is saving Christmas by stealing all of our presents so we can focus on the true spirit of the season.

KAT

What?

BOOTS

A man on the TV told him to do it. Tommy always was very impressionable.

TOMMY

It all made sense the way Chester Cheatum described it.

KAT

Chester Cheetah?

BOOTS

No, I think he said Cheatum.

BITSY

Not, Cheetah like the Doritos cat or whatever it is.

KAT

Obviously I’m having a bad dream. (exiting) I’m going back to bed. Happy Holidays.

TOMMY

Merry Christmas! See, she never says Happy Holidays. This is all part of the war on Christmas.

(Long pause.)

BITSY

Shoot him, Boots. Just in the leg or something.

BOOTS

Bitsy!

BITSY

I’m kidding. Tommy, sit down.

TOMMY

It all made so much sense on the show.

BITSY

Sure it did. He’s on at midnight and you probably had one too many of Ida’s special eggnogs in you.

TOMMY

Yeah…no…I’ve been watching him every night. It started here at Thanksgiving when you all went out for Black Friday, but I’ve been watching at home, too.

BITSY

Listen, I understand your frustration. And this Cheatum fellow probably does make some fine points about the spirit of Christmas, but around here we do things a bit differently than some idiot on the TV. We don’t steal from each other to make a point.

TOMMY

I know, but…

BOOTS

It’s just not nice, especially at this time of year.

BITSY

In this house Christmas is about the Lord above, family, eggnog (not the kind Ida makes for goodness sakes), ham, and presents. And if you ever doubted which one of those comes first then clearly your aunt and I and the good folks at the Methodist Church didn’t do our best in raising you.

TOMMY

You’re right.

BOOTS

Well said, Bitsy.

BITSY

Now let’s get those presents out of that bag and back under the tree and get some sleep before Santa comes knocking.

TOMMY

Presents…oh, no.

BOOTS

What’s wrong?

BITSY

What is it now?

TOMMY

I didn’t buy anybody presents.

BITSY

You what?

TOMMY

I figured there wouldn’t be any, so why waste time and money…

BITSY

Well, that’ll teach you.

BOOTS

You didn’t buy anything for Kat or for your children?

BITSY

What kind of monster are you?

TOMMY

Kat took care of presents for the kids, but…

BITSY

You didn’t buy anything for the woman that brought them into the world.

TOMMY

I’m in trouble.

BOOTS

Yes you are.

BITSY

You best just take the car and keep driving away from here.

BOOTS

And Kat got you such a nice present.

TOMMY

She did? Oh, man. She always does. What am I going to do?

BITSY

Calm down. Calm down. We got a supply closet for just such an occasion…well, not quite for this occasion, but…

BOOTS

The backup presents. That’s a great idea.

TOMMY

What are the backup presents?

BITSY

Boots, go grab some stuff out of there. (Boots exits.) The backup presents are hidden in a closet at the end of the hall. It’s not just for Christmas, but birthdays, whatever. If somebody stops by that we weren’t expecting, and that seems to happen a lot around here, and we don’t have a present for them, then one of us sneaks back to grab a backup present.

TOMMY

What a great idea.

BITSY

We’ll see. I haven’t stocked it in a while. I’m not sure what’s back there.

BOOTS (returning)

Let’s see if any of this will work.

BITSY

Okay, we have a mixer…that’s not very sexy….vacuum cleaner bags, really Boots.

BOOTS

That could be a very handy gift…probably not for this occasion, though.

BITSY

Here’s some jewelry.

TOMMY

Isn’t this the exact same jewelry you got Kat’s mom last year?

BITSY

Oh, yeah. We bought that in bulk. You see how this system works, though.

TOMMY

I see, but none of this is going to work.

BOOTS

Did you see the popcorn popper? (Pause.) Kat loves popcorn.

BITSY

Yeah, she can munch away on her favorite buttery treat while she’s signing the divorce papers.

TOMMY

Oh, man…

BITSY

What’s this?

BOOTS

What?

BITSY

Boots, how did this get in there?

TOMMY

What is it?

BITSY

It’s a necklace.

TOMMY

It’s nice.

BITSY

Yes, it is.

BOOTS

Wasn’t that…

BITSY

Yes, it was.

TOMMY

What?

BITSY

Tommy that necklace belonged to your mother. I forgot we had it and I don’t know it ended up in that closet.

BOOTS

I haven’t seen that necklace in thirty years.

BITSY

It’s beautiful…and she was beautiful wearing it. We didn’t keep much of her things when you came to live with us…but we kept that. You should give it to Kat.

TOMMY

No, I couldn’t.

BOOTS

Go ahead, Tommy.

TOMMY

It doesn’t seem right.

BITSY

It’s a Christmas miracle, dummy. It’s either that or this collection of Johnny Carson VHS tapes. Boots, that closet could probably use an update.

TOMMY

Thank you.

BITSY

It’s perfect.

BOOTS

She’ll love it.

BITSY

Get it wrapped up and come to bed.

TOMMY

I will.

BITSY

And put those presents back under the tree.

TOMMY

I will.

BOOTS

Goodnight. Love you.

TOMMY

Love you, too.

BITSY

Come here. Love you.

TOMMY

I love you, Bitsy.

BITSY

Good night, now.

TOMMY

Good night.

BITSY

Wait a minute. Did you buy presents for me and Boots?

TOMMY

Um. Well.

BITSY

Uh-huh.

TOMMY

How would you feel about a popcorn maker and a signed copy of Left Behind?

BITSY

How would you feel about eating at Speedway for your Christmas dinner? You got about four hours to come up with something better, that’s what I think. (she exits.)

BOOTS

You don’t have to get me anything, Tommy, but if you do a gift certificate for a foot massage would be greatly appreciated. Or those vacuum bags. I really don’t think that’s a bad gift. It’s the kind of thing that, when you need to change the bag, it seems like there’s never a replacement, so you have to go all the way down to Wal-Mart and…never mind…it’s late…goodnight.

TOMMY

Goodnight.

(Lights out.  Curtain.)

To read more:  http://www.amazon.com/Bitsy-Boots-Holiday-Special-ebook/dp/B00RWQ17GG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The 12 Plays of Christmas, Part 2: Bitsy and Boots

BookCoverPreviewBBHoliday

The Bitsy and Boots plays are a series of five full length, family friendly, romantic comedies that have been real crowd pleasers with churches and community theatres in West Virginia, Texas, and Michigan.  All five are available on Amazon and have gone on to top Amazon’s Comedy Plays and Christian Literature charts in the US, Canada, and Germany.  More importantly, the First United Methodist Church in Huntington, WV has used these plays to raise over $10,000 for a variety of church mission projects.

The most recent play in the series, A Bitsy and Boots Holiday Special, featured a number of holiday themed pieces, including this opening scene set on Black Friday.

A Bitsy and Boots Holiday Special – Scene 1 – Black Friday  

(Lights up on the quaint home of Bitsy and Boots. Tommy is asleep on the couch, as Bitsy quietly enters the living room. She crosses to the dinner table and begins packing her purse. It is late at night and the lights are dimmed.)

BOOTS

(offstage)

Bitsy!

BITSY

Shhhh! Keep it down. Tommy is sleeping.

BOOTS

What?

BITSY

I said…

BOOTS

I can’t hear you, Bitsy.

BITSY

(much louder)

I said Tommy is…

TOMMY

(wakes frightened)

Ahhh!

BITSY

…sleeping.

BOOTS (entering)

Oh, I’m sorry, Tommy. Did we wake you?

TOMMY

Yeah…

BITSY

What are you sleeping out here for anyway? Kat kick you out?

TOMMY

No. I was watching football. Must have nodded off. What time is it?

BOOTS

1:35.

BITSY

We don’t have much time.

TOMMY

1:35 in the morning? What are you doing…oh, no.

BITSY

You know what day it is, Tommy?

BOOTS

I’m so excited.

BITSY & BOOTS

Happy Black Friday!

TOMMY

I can’t believe you’re going shopping at this hour.

BITSY

It’s not just shopping, boy. This is war. Look at this.  (hands him a piece of paper.)

TOMMY

It’s a map…of Wal-mart…are you serious?

BITSY

Wouldn’t be much of a war without a plan of attack.

(phone rings)    

BITSY

Get it. Quick.

TOMMY

Keep it down. The kids are sleeping.

BOOTS

Shhh. I’ve got it (she fumbles with the phone, then picks it up). Hello.

MAX

(over the speakerphone, very loud)

Hey, honey.

BOOTS

Oh Lordy, I must have hit the speakerphone button.

TOMMY

And the volume button. It’s way too loud. Kill it quick.  You’ll wake the children!

BOOTS

Wait, Max, it’s on the speaker and too loud.

TOMMY

Max is going?

MAX

Sorry it’s so noisy here. I’ll speak louder so you can hear me.

BITSY

He’s already there. That’s why he left halfway through Thanksgiving dinner. He had to get a place in line.

TOMMY

(crossing to kitchen)

I must be dreaming. This is crazy, even for you all. (he exits)

BOOTS

(still fumbling with the phone)

Where are those stupid buttons?

MAX

You all headed out soon? It’s pretty ugly down here.

BOOTS

Oh, Max are you okay?

MAX

I’m fine. I just mean there’s a lot of really ugly people down here. It’s beginning to look a bit like a zombie movie. And I’m tired. I’m ready for bed. I thought you all were going to be here by now.

BITSY

(grabbing the phone away from Boots)

Do you have our tickets?

MAX

Yes, I have tickets for the laptop…

BITSY

The two hundred dollar one?

MAX

Yes, Bitsy…and the TV and the George Foreman grill…people are looking at me like they’re real hungry, though. I don’t think everyone got one of these (whispering) PlayStation tickets.

BITSY

We didn’t have PlayStation on the list.

MAX

I know. I guess I just kind of got caught up in everything.

BITSY

Stay focused. Does our map jibe with what you’ve seen down there?

MAX

Yeah, it’s right on. I don’t know who you have on the inside, but they nailed it.

BITSY

Good.

BOOTS (grabbing the phone back)

Let me talk to him.

TOMMY

(returning from the kitchen)

I put on some coffee.

BITSY

No time. Five hour energy drinks all around.

MAX

Boots, if these people find out I’ve got these special tickets . . . What’s holding you guys up?

BOOTS

We’ve almost finished packing our survival gear. Did somebody get the baseball bat?

TOMMY

You all are nuts. I’m glad Kat doesn’t go in for this kind of stuff. She never has. I think that’s one of the things that I love most about her. She’s as much the opposite of you all…

(KAT enters.)

KAT

Sorry I’m late. I’ve got the protein bars and the mace…Tommy…

TOMMY

Kat? What are you doing?

KAT

I agreed to help your aunts with their Christmas shopping.

TOMMY

What do you need mace for?

BOOTS

We’ll be there in a few minutes.

MAX

Hurry up. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this.

BOOTS

Love you.

MAX

Love you too, Boots.

BOOTS

We ready?

BITSY

Let’s roll.

(Front door bursts open. It’s IDA.)

IDA

Any suckers wanna try to beat me to the closeout Paula Deen cookware?

BITSY & BOOTS

Hi Ida. We’re ready.

KAT

Hi, Ida.

IDA

I see we got a new one this year. You sure she’s up for it?

TOMMY

Why does Ida have a hammer? You can’t take a hammer.

IDA

I’m returning it.

TOMMY

You’re taking back a hammer?

IDA

Yeah, I’m done using it. How do you think I got all my money, Tommy? I didn’t get it by keeping every little thing that I buy. Besides, I figure having a hammer will work nicely for intimidation purposes. Keep the crowd honest. I wouldn’t actually use it on anyone.

TOMMY

Well, I hope not.

IDA

He’s not going, is he? He’s kind of a buzz kill.

KAT

No, Tommy is going to stay here and take care of little Opal and Henry, aren’t you?

TOMMY

Of course.

IDA

Is Max in position?

BOOTS

He’s down there waiting on us with the tickets.

IDA

Tickets? What in the world is happening in this country? I remember the good old days when you’d just wait until they open the doors and then it was every man for himself.

TOMMY

This is awful.

BITSY

Is it? See that scar, Tommy. That’s from six stiches I took for getting your Teddy Ruxpin, circa 1985. The one you wanted so bad you cried. Don’t play like you’re innocent in this whole matter.

IDA

Five hour energy?

BITSY

Got it.

IDA

Money? Oh, I’m sorry. I have plenty, but I sometimes forget I’m among commoners. If you need to arrange for a loan while we’re out, I will negotiate reasonable interest rates and loan periods for you.

BITSY

We have plenty, Ida.

KAT

And I just cashed out the Christmas fund.

TOMMY

Hey, I thought we talked about moving some of that money into the boat fund.

KAT

No, you talked about that. I thought it was a stupid idea.

TOMMY

Well, you know that’s my money, too.

KAT

Fine, you want to tell the kids Santa’s not coming so daddy can play Ohio River Baywatch in his new boat next summer?

IDA

I’d be careful making the little woman mad, Tommy. She’s about an hour away from doing all of your Christmas shopping.

TOMMY

I love you, Kat.

KAT

Yeah, yeah.

TOMMY

Honey…be careful down there.

BOOTS

Let’s go already. Max isn’t responding to my texts. I’m afraid he might be getting weak. He needs reinforcements.

EVERYONE

Come on. Bye, Tommy. Get some rest. Etc. (Kat, Bitsy, Boots and Ida exit)

TOMMY

Love you! Be careful! My goodness.

(He exits into the kitchen briefly, returns with a cup of coffee, sits, and turns on the TV.)

TV NEWS REPORTER

This is breaking news from your local news station, where Southern Ohio State Senator Max Malone has been arrested for his involvement in some kind of an altercation at the South Point Wal-Mart…

TOMMY

Oh, no.

TV NEWS REPORTER

…apparently a fight broke out…we’re not sure what happened, but one customer told us that another customer had a beef with Max Malone over a political matter and also wanted one of his laptop tickets…Mr. Malone has a history of run ins like this and it’s made him something of a laughing stock among…

TOMMY

(flipping channels)

I can’t watch this…

TV HOST

Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious about the upcoming holiday season?

TOMMY

Yes, I do.

TV HOST

Remember how simple it was back in the good old days…

TOMMY

Yeah…

TV HOST

It can be that way again, folks.

TOMMY

It can?

TV HOST

Christmas is just a few weeks away. And this year you are going to take Christmas back.

TOMMY

I am?

TV HOST

You are!

(Lights fade on Tommy watching TV.)

To read more:  http://www.amazon.com/Bitsy-Boots-Holiday-Special-ebook/dp/B00RWQ17GG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The 12 Plays of Christmas, Part 1: A ten minute play about donkeys, elephants, and Christmas

Christmas is only three months away, and I am endeavoring to post twelve holiday themed plays between now and then.  It may eventually be for a play collection I’ve always wanted to put together titled The Twelve Plays of Christmas, but for now it’s just for The Joy of… blog.  I have a couple and hope to write some more, but I seriously doubt I’ll be able to pen so many in such a short period.  I may look to colleagues, friends, family, and students to help me.  In short, send me some Christmas plays.  joyjonathan@yahoo.com

Play #1 is my ten minute work (I’d really like them all to be ten minutes or less) Little Donkeys and Elephants.  This two character comedy has been performed in Columbus, Ohio by the Frogs with Fangs improv troupe, and in New York City as a part of one of John Chatterton’s Short Play Labs in Times Square.  The play also won Best of the Fest honors at the Northport One Act Play Festival (Northport, NY) in the Spring of 2013.  It’s one of seven plays featured in my Short Plays and Monologues collection.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008R2UN4G?*Version*=1&*entries*=0  Enjoy!

Little Donkeys and Elephants

A ten minute play

By Jonathan Joy

Copyright 2011 by the author.

(Lights up on two kids:  Amy, 8 and Billy, 7)

AMY

I can’t believe you’ve never done this.

BILLY

It sounds kind of silly to me.

AMY

It’s not silly if you want Santa to know what you want for Christmas.

BILLY

But we’ve never done this in my house before.

AMY

You have to make a list of all the things you want and set it by the fireplace.

BILLY

What if you don’t have a fireplace?

AMY

Stop asking questions and listen.  You leave it here and Santa sends his elves to pick up the list.  Then, Santa knows what you want.  You must do this four to six weeks before Christmas to give Santa time to prepare.

BILLY

But I’ve never done this and I usually get everything on my list.

AMY

That’s because your mom probably does it for you.  You’re seven years old now.  It’s time to take some responsibility for yourself.  Now where is your list?

BILLY

It’s right here.

AMY

Let me see.

BILLY

It’s private.

AMY

I have to proofread it carefully.  The elves do not carry out the wishes of little kids with sloppy grammar.

BILLY

What?

AMY

It’s true.  That’s what my mom told me.

BILLY

Isn’t your mom an English teacher?

AMY

She is.  Why?

BILLY

No reason.  Forget it.  Here.

AMY

Okay.  Just give me a minute.  Okay.  I usually prefer to type mine, but your handwriting isn’t that bad.  It’ll do.  X-Box, Neopets, Easy Bake Oven, really?

BILLY

So what?  Keep reading.

AMY

World peace?

BILLY

Yeah.

AMY

You want Santa to bring you world peace?

BILLY

Well, not me necessarily.  My dad said that at this time of year we should think about other people’s needs more than our own.

AMY

Your dad sounds like a real liberal whack job to me.

BILLY

What?

AMY

You heard me.

BILLY

What does that even mean?

AMY

My dad is a conservative like our founding fathers.

BILLY

My dad works a Special Metals.  What does that have to do with anything?

AMY

It’s not his job.  It’s his political affiliation.

BILLY

I don’t know what that means.

AMY

It means that your father is one of the people trying to tear this country apart and my father is one of the people trying to stop him from doing it.

BILLY

My dad is not trying…

AMY

Let’s just cross world peace off the list.  It’s an inane request anyway.  Sometimes, war is necessary to keep an appropriate balance of power in the world.

BILLY

Okay.

AMY

I’ll let you keep the easy bake oven even though it’s a girl’s toy and it will make you soft and play into your father’s liberal Democrat tendencies.  But I would encourage you to re-think it.

BILLY

No.

AMY

No.  Fine.  Is this all you want?  Four things?  One of which is patently absurd.

BILLY

I don’t know.  That’s all I really want.

AMY

Okay.  Fine.  It’s a bit shorter than my list, but it will do.  We’ll lay them on the hearth.

BILLY

And then what?

AMY

We wait.  Santa’s elves will come and take them back to the North Pole.

BILLY

It’s kind of creepy.

AMY

I agree.  The idea of Santa Clause delivering presents to all the boys and girls in the world does smack of Socialism a bit.  My father has discussed those concerns with me and we have been able to work through it, but we are always cautious.

BILLY

What are you talking about?  I meant it was creepy that elves are going to be crawling around your house looking for your Christmas list.

AMY

I wouldn’t worry about that.  Dad has sixteen guns in the house.  If an errant elf doesn’t watch himself, he could wind up with a face full of lead.  How many guns does your father own?

BILLY

I don’t think he has any guns.

AMY

Well, then why does he want to take my father’s guns away so badly?

BILLY

I don’t think he does.

AMY

Liar!

BILLY

Why are you yelling at me?

AMY

I’m not yelling.  We’re having a political debate.

BILLY

I don’t want to play with you anymore.

AMY

That’s fine.  I’ll make sure your list is delivered to Santa.

BILLY

Okay.

AMY

I believe the two of us can work through our differences and meet in the middle on many important issues.  In fact, we must do so in order to curb the divisiveness of the current climate in this country.

BILLY

I’m going to go home now.

AMY

All right.  Have a nice night.  Merry Christmas.

BILLY

Yeah.  Happy Holidays.

AMY

What did you just say?

BILLY

Happy Holidays.  Why?

AMY

Oh, you have so much to learn.  We’ll discuss it tomorrow.

BILLY

Okay.

AMY

Good night.

(BILLY exits.  Lights fade on Amy.  Blackout.)