Summary: Mary and Joseph trying to find a place to stay for the night. There is one room, though they don't get to stay in it - or know about it. The irony is that the room stays vacant all night while Jesus is born in the manger. Keywords: no room, Christmas, innkeeper, inn.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 9min.
Actors: 2M, 2F
(Innkeeper and wife are doing paper work, discussing reservations and renovations.
The stage has a counter (front desk style) with a sign on it reading “Front Desk. Please ring bell for service.” On floor level a bench or a couple of chairs to create sitting area.
IKWife: (looking over papers) Wow. This is amazing! This census has been terrific for business. The noise from room parties, with all the family reunions here, are worth the profit that we’re making this month, don’t you think?
IK: Yah, I guess. As long as I have that new renovation to the east wing paid for after this is over, I guess I can’t complain about a party or two…..as long as none of the guests are complaining. They’re NOT complaining are they?
IKW: No. I think that everyone is getting along just fine. After all, there are so many people to catch up with… childhood friends that people haven’t seen in years....(IK looks annoyed at the long explanation & wife notices) far from complaints. Travelling long distance for family members has made the atmosphere festive really. Seeing everyone just feels fun. The census is like a mini vacation for some.
IK: OK. As long as we’ve got the newly renovated room available…I’m happy.
IKW: You really think that a new king is coming to town and going to be the first to rent our new luxury suite?
IK: Word on the street is that there isn’t a room to be had for miles. The other hotels weren’t thinking. They rented out every space that was available to them…When that new king shows up in town and his men start asking around at the hotels for a place to set their king up in for the night…I’ll be the only one with a room available, and a room truly fit for a king too! Imagine the publicity we’ll get to enjoy. Yes – no room in town anywhere and then – WOW! out of nowhere the Starlite INN on the corner can provide the newly arrived and unannounced King with a room…but not just any room – No, the newest luxury suite the town has to offer…YAH, we’ll become the Inn famous for ALWAYS having room. You’ll see – saving the luxury suite will benefit our reputation down the road.
IKW: I’m going to run and change the laundry. There are many beds to change tomorrow, and I want to begin as soon as people are out and busy for the day.
(Innkeepers wife exits. Innkeeper is still at desk and making a list of morning chores around the Inn. Mary and Joseph approach the stage walking together.)
Joe: Don’t cry, Mary. The welcome at Aunt Sarah’s wasn’t what we expected…but I guess she was just trying to do whatever she needed to keep peace with her neighbours. The gossip and news travelled faster than we did. I am upset too that we’re not welcome to stay with the family tonight. I really thought they’d be excited to visit with us. I won’t give up knocking on doors and asking for a room even if it means that I have to go to every hotel in town. Someone somewhere must have a room for us.
Mary: I am just so tired. I don’t think that I can walk much further. I am beginning to feel a little sick. Maybe I need to eat something and take a little nap. I’m going to sit out here on the bench until you get back from asking if there is a room here to sleep for the night, OK…
Joe: OK, just rest. I’ll be right back. (Joe approaches front desk area. The Innkeeper looks at him) Excuse me? I know it’s a long shot but do you have any rooms available for tonight? Our host home didn’t work out…and now we’re…well stuck really.
(Innkeeper squints and looks at him for a moment…then lights up and his face says that he recognizes Joe)
IK: Well …I’ll be. You’re not Joseph carpenter are you? From the line of David in town here?
Joe: (looking surprised but hopeful now) Uh yes. I’m sorry, but should I remember you?
IK: No. you were just a little fellow when I saw you last. Your family had a company here in town and for a while we did business. Don’t you still have family left in town here?
(IKW approaches Mary at bench. Stands in front of her)
Joe: (looking disappointed.) Yes. But the house is…well…overcrowded. I chose a Bride recently and they, well some of them, don’t exactly approve.
(IKW leads Mary up to the front desk area. IK sees Mary is expecting and makes the mental connection for the disapproval. IK tries to hide the judgement in his mind)
IK: I see. Well – no we’re full up…sorry about that.
IKW: Honey, can I have a word with you please? (They excuse themselves and walk over to the side a little) Poor thing. Look at her. She’s exhausted and you know that they are never going to find a place to stay tonight in town. Let’s give them the suite.
IK: What!? NO. I can’t do that. What would it look like if I gave the suite to them? That looks to me like a little improper situation for a “New Bride”. What would people say if I gave THEM the suite and then had no space fit for a king when one shows up?
IKW: You and your ‘A king is coming!’ antics have to end…I see no king but I do see a couple with a need that we can fill.
IK: NO. No suite. (Relenting) …they can stay in the back shelter. It’s empty and then if people see them leaving in the morning they can assume that they just snuck in there to sleep for the night on their own…The reputation of the Inn will be safe.
IKW: Fine. (They return to Mary and Joe) We have a shelter out back. You can stay the night FREE in there and I’ll bring you out a few things to make it more comfortable.
(Mary and Joe thank them and exit the back stage.)
IK: (talking to himself) What was she thinking? Suggesting that we give the best suite to those people… NO. It will never be said that when the king showed up there was no room at my Inn… ( IK exits back)
© Copyright Bonnie Degagne, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.