Summary: A variation on Charles Dickens' story of Ebeneza Scrooge. In this, the Spirit takes Scrooge back in time to see the arrival of Jesus, and subsequent events through to His crucifixion.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 30min?
Actors: A large cast, the majority non-speaking.
Characters: Narrator, Scrooge, Spirit, Maid, beggars, carollers, demons, innkeeper, Mary & Joseph, Jesus, shepherds, Wise Men, Anna, Simeon, Herod, henchmen Scribes, Pharisees, Soldiers, Pilate.
Note: A full soundtrack for this play is available by emailing the author at the email address at the foot of this script.
(Beggars enter hobbling on crutches and holding hands. Carollers enter and take position. Mona (caroller) walks over to beggars and drops a coin in little girl's cup, then returns to her position. She looks at song choices with the other girls.)
Narr: Ebenezer Scrooge was a miserable old man. In fact he was miserable before he became old. Quite wealthy he was, at least as far as money was concerned. And he guarded every miserable penny he ever earned. He had no friends, no heart and no charity. He despised anything that got in the way of his making money, but mostly he despised Christmas.
(Enter Scrooge )
Scrooge ??: Christmas ? Christmas, sir, is a humbug.
(Carollers begin singing. Scrooge approaches carollers.)
Scrooge: What is this racket? What do you have to sing about?
Mona: Why it's Christmas, sir. We're singing the praises of the saviour.
Scrooge:?? Saviour indeed. Will the saviour pay your mortgage which I hold, and is due tomorrow ?
Mona: But tomorrow is Christmas Day, sir.
Scrooge ??: Did I take a holiday when you sought the money for the mortgage?
Mona: Well no, sir, but....
Scrooge ??: No buts, and move this wretched noise to another location (waiving cane).
(Carollers scurry off and Scrooge moves on to the beggars, who hold out their tin cup as he approaches.)
Scrooge ??: (To beggars) Begone with you, wretched urchins, go to the work houses where you belong. I do believe I sent your parents there last week. Begone with you!
(Beggars run off and Scrooge makes his way into his house where he hangs his hat coat and scarf. He puts on house robe and nightcap and sits to eat soup which he takes from the fire/ stove. Plays with his coins and mumbles about Christmas being a humbug. Slowly he leans back and nods off.
??(Spirit enters and sits in other chair)
Sound fx: Scrooooge.
(Scrooge ??stirs looking around, then leans back to sleep.)
Spirit ??Sound fx: Scrooooge.
(Scrooge jumps up, sees spirit and hides behind his chair.)
Scrooge?? : Who are you .?
Spirit?? : I am the spirit of Christmas.
Scrooge ??: I...I don't believe in spirits.
Spirit?? : Well then, quit talking to me and go back to sleep.
Scrooge ??: But you're here .. whatever you are. What are you doing in my house?
Spirit ??: Your house Scrooge, I thought it belonged to the widow Peterson.
Scrooge?? : It did, but she defaulted on the mortgage .
Spirit?? : Yes, and you had her sent to debtor's prison where she now sits cold, desperate and hungry. And on this Christmas Eve, when the world celebrates the birth of the saviour.
Scrooge :?? Christmas is a humbug and I don't believe in the saviour, as you call him. I am my own saviour.
Spirit ??: Are you indeed? That, Ebeneser, is why I'm here, to show you what Christmas is really about.
Scrooge?? : And what if I don't care to listen your dribble.
(Accompanied by thunder and light effects, demons enter thru fog and stop.)
Spirit: Dribble, Mr. Scrooge ? Dribble ?. I have been sent to you by almighty God. (Eerie music) Hear me or go with them (points to demons)??
Scrooge ??: (visibly shaking) What do they carry ? it looks like a tombstone. Who's name is upon it? There is no date. It's mine, isn't it ? Very well, I will listen to you but send them away. Please send them away.
Spirit??: Can't save yourself, Mr. Scrooge ? (pointing at demons) ..go from whence you came ,... for now.
Spirit: Come with me, Mr. Scrooge .
Scrooge?? : Where are we going?
Spirit ??: Back, Ebeneser, back in time some 2000 years.
( Scrooge comes forward to stand beside Spirit .)
??Spirit??: Behold, Ebeneser.
(Cue lighting on Mary and J at road)
(Entrance music for Mary and Joseph, “O little town of Bethlehem” ?)
(Mary and Joseph come from street , stopping by fence in front of gate, where they meet with inn keeper, who lets them know he has no room but directs them to stable.)
Scrooge?? : Who are they?
Spirit ??: The virgin Mary and her husband Joseph, and she carries a son. His name will be Jesus , his title will be Immanuel, which means God with us. Mary is his mother but God is His father. He is the saviour you do not believe in, Mr. Scrooge . They seek a room for Mary to give birth. But there is no room in any of the inns, so the saviour will be born in a stable.
Scrooge?? : Humph, what kind of saviour would be born in a stable.
Spirit ??: The kind that chooses to identify himself with the poor and lowly on this earth. The very people you have no use for, Mr. Scrooge. (Scrooge looks uncomfortable.) In that stable was born the saviour of the world.
(Mary and Joseph make their way into stable.)
??(Mary and Joseph emerge as music begins, “What child is this”)
Spirit?? : Behold Ebeneser, the Christ child.
(Mary and Joseph do walk-about with baby Jesus.)
Scrooge ??: Yes, yes, I have seen all the figures and the pictures and still I have no idea what good it is for me that I believe on a little baby. What can He possibly do for me.?
Spirit ??: He can save your wretched soul, Ebeneser Scrooge .
Scrooge?? : How ? I don't see how a baby can do that for me, and what's more, why do I need saving and from what ?
Spirit?? : From your sin, Mr. Scrooge, need I elaborate ?
Scrooge ??: ( shakes his head no)
(Music for walkabout)
( Mary and Joseph looped around , stopping to see Anna and Simeon, and end back at the stable, sitting in front of it)
(Music for shepherds begins, who are sitting by their fire.)
(“While shepherds watch..”)
Spirit ??: An angel from God has told the shepherds of His birth and they will seek Him out to worship at His feet.
Scrooge:?? Yes, well I certainly would not grovel at the feet of anyone.
Spirit?? : We will see, Ebeneser, we will see.
(Shepherds make their way to the crèche and fall down to worship the saviour. They then leave back to their fire)
(Music for Herod begins and 2 henchmen lead the way in front of Herod, yelling "Make way, make way for Herod, king of the Jews". Herod takes seat on his throne and converses with henchmen.)
Spirit ??: He will consult with the scribes (scribes/ Pharisees come to Herod and show him scrolls) and when they tell him about the birth he will conspire to have the child killed.
Scrooge ??: Why, I don't understand!
Spirit ??: Greed and power, Mr. Scrooge, something I believe you are quite acquainted with.(Scrooge again looks uncomfortable)
(Scribes leave after consulting with Herod)
(Entrance music for wise men, “We 3 kings”. 3 kings enter from front of house carrying gifts and scrolls, looking at the stars and walking by the crowd , yelling out in French and English "Have you seen Him ? Have you seen the one born king of the Jews ? We have been following his star". (They make their way to Herod.)
Spirit ??: Herod will want them to tell him when they find the Christ child, but God will intervene.
(Wise men stand before Herod .)
Voice of Herod. You Magi go and seek the child, and when you have found him return to me so that I may worship him as well.
(Herod and henchmen leave the field quickly and determinedly, with henchmen yelling out again)
Henchmen: Make way you peasants , clear the way for king Herod.
(“We 3 kings resumes”. Looking at the stars, Wise men slowly make their way to the stable where they too fall down and worship the saviour. They leave their gifts.)
(Lights fade out on manger)
(Wise men leave. Mary and Josephthen leave.)
Scrooge?? : Well there you have it, I guess we're all done then.
Spirit?? : Done? We are just beginning, Mr. Scrooge . Do you think He came to this earth just to be born a baby and that's it, it's over? I tell you nay, but He came to teach, to live the perfect life, to die in your stead and rise again. Behold, Ebeneser, Jesus the saviour
(Entrance music for Jesus and company. Beggars are helped to the field along with a dead man on a stretcher)
(Jesus leads the way with disciples and his mother Mary and others walking beside Him as He teaches. As He approaches lame man, He talks to him and then takes him by the hand, standing him on his feet. Lame man is ecstatic and dances around showing the others. All are overwhelmed, pointing and commenting to each other. He proceeds to a dead person, laying with his face covered. Jesus stops, looks up, praying, and then extends His hand. The dead man awakes and is joyful. All the people around Him are jubilant and excited. They move on and come to a place where Jesus again stops to teach.
(Pharisees song plays and they enter . By actions of pointing etc they are accusing Jesus of breaking the law.)
Spirit?? : These are the Pharisees, Ebeneser, the religious leaders of the time. They are accusing Jesus of breaking the law. They want Him dead.
Scrooge ??: But why, what has He done that's so wrong ?
Spirit ??: That's just it, my friend, He has done nothing wrong. His righteousness threatens their leadership.
(Jesus by His actions is harsh with the Pharisees sending them away. (Whip used)
(Jesus and company leave.)
(Loud music for soldiers entering from front, and marching to song "Soldiers of the Sanhedrin." They proceed in front of crowd and circle around, then exit.)
Spirit: They seek the saviour, the Pharisees have sent them to arrest Him.
(cue for entrance of Pilate and company)
(Ominous music for entrance of Pilate, who moves to his seat, possibly with accompanying men announcing his entrance.)
Scrooge ??: Who is that fellow; he looks rather important ?
Spirit ??: That, sir, is Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, and he will be holding court, for the Jews have brought him one Jesus of Nazareth. They want Him dead.
(Jesus enters under Roman guards, with crown of thorns on. He is dragged of Pilate, who makes motions as conversing with Jesus. Jesus stands still with his head down.
Scrooge: ??(visibly upset) Spirit, why does He not speak in His defence , He has done nothing wrong.
Spirit ??: A good question, Ebeneser, and it has a very good answer. He says nothing because He stands there in your stead, Mr. Scrooge, yours and every other man, woman and child ever born. As a lamb to the slaughter.
(Guards take Jesus as Pilate signals them. Placing bar for cross on His shoulders, they walk slowly towards cross location while “Man of Sorrows” plays. Light stays on cross station till guards arrive with Jesus, then fade to black.)
(A few lines from "For Those". Guards stand 3 crosses in the dark.)
Spirit:?? He was crucified on a cruel cross between 2 thieves.
??(Lights come up on 3 empty crosses.)
Spirit?? : Behold, Ebeneser :
Scrooge ??:What am I to behold ? An empty cross, what hope do I have in an empty cross? Where is the saviour?
Spirit ??: In the tomb, Mr. Scrooge, for 3 days and nights. And after the third day the women went to the tomb and angels told them He was not there but He was risen. (Cue for women to go to the tomb.) He lives, Mr. Scrooge, He lives.
(Jesus appears as Resurrection Song begins. Women and disciples gather around Jesus as he walks singing towards music room gate. Jesus and followers exit.)
Spirit ??: He will ascend to the right hand of the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us.
Scrooge ??: (Drops to his knees in anguish and grovels at the Spirit's feet.) Oh spirit, what deed can I do? What work can I work that I might be saved?
Spirit ??: No deed or work can save you, Ebeneser . The scriptures declare "by grace are ye saved thru faith. And that not of yourself for it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." Believe, Ebeneser, repent of your sins and believe on the finished work of Christ and you shall be saved. That Mr. Scrooge is why he came , that is what Christmas is all about.
??(Spirit makes a circular motion in front of Scrooge and then leads him by the hand to the chair where he lays back, asleep.)
(??A Christmas song plays softly as maid enters.)
Maid:?? Good morning, Mr .Scrooge .
Scrooge?? : ( slowly waking) What! Oh Mrs. Dilabough, I,ve had the most remarkable evening , the Spirit was here , the spirit of Christmas to be precise, and he took me back in time and, and .....
Maid??: 'ere, spirits indeed, are you quite yourself Mr. Scrooge?
Scrooge??: Myself ? I should hope not, my dear, I certainly should hope not. What, what day is it?
Maid : What day is it? Why, it's Christmas Day, sir.
Scrooge?? : So it is indeed , how wonderful. Christmas Day, my very first Christmas, Mrs.Dilabough.
Maid: ??What ! Have you gone mad, sir.?
Scrooge ??: Mad ? No not at all, my dear. I have come to my senses, my spiritual senses. I have received the finished work of Christ on the cross. That's what Christmas is all about, you see. It's not just about a baby, why it's about His whole life and death and resurrection
??(Cue Christmas carol music)
Scrooge: Listen to that, sing it with me, my dear, and all you people as well, tout la monde.
(All cast face audience to sing closing carol.)
© Victor Cooper. All rights reserved.