A Family Blessing

$35.00

This Thanksgiving story can be used at any time of year. The Thanksgiving theme is not crucial to the story and could be easily changed to Christmas or to a non-holiday theme without very much adapting.

Description

The story is about the Dowell family and a complete family reunion for the first time in 20 years. Three brothers and their families gather at the NYC home of the richest brother, who just learned he is broke and needs to file bankruptcy. The oldest brother has arrived with his 10 children and he has a surprise secret: The family farm has struck oil and they are all about to be rich. He has the right to keep all the money, but he chooses to share it with his siblings. A sub plot involves two young cousins who have musical talent and desire to move into some type of musical career. One of them has an aunt present who happens to be a Broadway producer, but she has never been one to help out anyone in her family to get their start. The story mixes comedy and drama, antics of the hired staff, and musical performances to round out the production.Cast of 24 includes (7 adult males, 5 adult females, 12 children ages 7-16) The play runs about an hour not counting the musical numbers.

Excerpt:
ELIZABETH
Why would God call someone to become an entertainer?
RUTH
Do you think he only calls preachers?
ELIZABETH
Well… and missionaries. You know, He wants people to go to Africa and help the natives in the villages. I get that.
RUTH
He wants to reach the lost. Perhaps the theater world of Broadway is a huge mission field. I can see where God would want Christians to make an impact there.
ANGELICA
I’m not sure that most of the people in the theater world want to be saved. Although I know a lot of them that probably need it… desperately. Same thing in Hollywood.
RUTH
I’m sure there are probably Christians in all those places. I just wonder if it is hard to keep your eyes on Jesus when you are in that world.
ELIZABETH
I think that’s hard no matter where you are and what you are doing.
RUTH
The Bible tells us that we should not love the world. I think sometimes it’s hard not to.
ELIZABETH
(Wishing to change the subject)
Well… what is the world, really? It’s such a big word. Such a big place. Encompasses so much.
She looks around.
ANGELICA
Something wrong, Bethie?
ELIZABETH
Angelica, please call me Elizabeth in front of the family.
ANGELICA
Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll try. What are you looking around for?
ELIZABETH
The flowers. There were supposed to be flowers delivered for this room.
BONNIE’S THOUGHTS
Uh oh.
RUTH
Everything looks fine, Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH
Bonnie! Do you know anything about this?
BONNIE
Ma’am?
ELIZABETH
The flowers. Why have they not arrived?
BONNIE
They haven’t?
ELIZABETH
Well! Do you see them?? I left very clear instructions that they were to be placed around this room!
BONNIE’S THOUGHTS
Think fast, Bonnie…
BONNIE
Perhaps Clyde knows.
ELIZABETH
Well, call him at once.
Bonnie pulls out her cell and sends a text.
ANGELICA
What happened?
ELIZABETH
I ordered flowers for this room! They should have been here last night!
RUTH
You ordered them? Oh. Flowers are so expensive.
ELIZABETH
I don’t understand what could have happened?
ANGELICA
Well, don’t get yourself worked up. Someone probably made a mistake. Or maybe they are just a little late.
ELIZABETH
From last night?
Clyde enters
ELIZABETH
Clyde! Did the flowers ever arrive?
CLYDE
No, Mum.
ELIZABETH
Well, why ever not?
CLYDE
Uh…
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS
How do I get myself out of this one? Mr. D doesn’t want her to know about this.
ELIZABETH
Can you get them on the phone for me?
CLYDE
Perhaps you should speak with Mr. D.
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS
I certainly hope that was the right thing to do.
ELIZABETH
Why should I talk to him? He doesn’t have anything to do with this!
CLYDE
I believe he might know about the flowers, mum.
ELIZABETH
What?
J. W. Enters
J. W.
Elizabeth! What is going on? I can hear you clear in the other room.
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS
This is about to get very ugly or…
ELIZABETH
John Walter! The flowers I ordered for this room never arrived. I just realized it. I guess I’ve been so pre-occupied…
J. W.
It’s fine. We don’t need them.
ELIZABETH
But I ordered them! Whether we need them or not is not the point! Clyde said that you might know something about it.
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS
Oh dear…
ELIZABETH
I’m sure he’s mistaken…
J. W.
No. He’s right. The florist called with a question and I just canceled the order.
ELIZABETH
Why would you do that?
J. W.
Well, I thought you wanted them for when people arrived and everyone was already here, so…
ELIZABETH
Well, that’s the last time I use that florist. What was their silly question?
J. W.
It’s not important.
ELIZABETH
I wish you had called me. I didn’t just want them for last night… they would have lasted the whole weekend. What was it? Did they lose our address? Such incompetence!
J. W.
No, nothing like that.
ELIZABETH
Then what??
RUTH
(To the ladies)
Perhaps we should go back in the other room.
ANGELICA
I suppose you’re right, but this is turning into a doozy. It’s like a Tennessee Williams play.
The 3 ladies exit.
J. W.
Can we talk about this later?
ELIZABETH
No! I want to know why you would do that! What were they asking about? They should have just delivered!
BONNIE’S THOUGHTS
Mr. D is good, but I just don’t see him pulling himself out of this one.
J. W.
It was your card.
ELIZABETH
My card.
J. W.
You had maxed it out.
ELIZABETH
Really? How is that possible? Well, even so, couldn’t you have just given them another one?
J. W.
No, I couldn’t. Elizabeth… I haven’t told you…
ELIZABETH
Haven’t told me what? What are you not telling me John Walter??
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS
Here it comes. I was right. It’s going to get ugly.
J. W.
Our finances…
ELIZABETH
Oh don’t be ridiculous! We have lots of money!
J. W.
Let me finish. (Pause) We don’t. I made some bad investments.
ELIZABETH
What? What bad investments? What are you talking about?
J. W.
I’ve been keeping this from you. It’s bad, dear. I’ve been trying to fix it but it just got way over my head. I’m afraid it’s out of control.
ELIZABETH
What? What’s out of control? Don’t be silly, darling. Call Ralph. He’ll know what to do.
J. W.
Ralph has been working very hard on this.
ELIZABETH
Well, what does he say?
J. W.
He said that I need to file bankruptcy.
ELIZABETH
Bankruptcy???
She starts to get weak and faint and he helps her to sit down.
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS & BONNIE’S THOUGHTS TOGETHER
We may have to call 9-1-1
J. W.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I was trying to save you from all of this and just fix it.
ELIZABETH
But I’ve been spending a lot of money for this weekend! Why did you ever let me do this??
J. W.
And you have done a wonderful job. Everything is perfect and we are all having such a good time.
ELIZABETH
Will we lose the house? Everything?
J. W.
I don’t know. Maybe. Let’s not think about that right now.
ELIZABETH
Oh, that’s easy for you to say! You never think about anything! I thought you were the one with the brains! How could you be so careless??
Victoria enters the room
VICTORIA
What’s going on?
J. W.
Never mind, honey.
VICTORIA
But something is happening. Mom is obviously very upset.
J. W.
Please just go in the other room.
VICTORIA
I won’t. If there is a problem I have a right to know about it. Don’t treat me like a child!
J. W.
You are a child!
VICTORIA
Did somebody die?
J. W.
No, nothing like that.
ELIZABETH
You need to tell her, John… or she will think something else.
J. W.
Vicky sweetie…
ELIZABETH
(Interrupting him)
Victoria, we are broke! Your father lost all our money in bad investments and I just found out about it.
VICTORIA
What do you mean, broke?
ELIZABETH
Broke Victoria! Broke! What is it about that word that you don’t understand?? We don’t have any money! That means we have to move. That means you probably will have to change schools! We may have to sell all our nice things… like that piano!
J. W.
Calm down.
J. R. and Adam enter. Clyde and Bonnie see them and realize it looks bad that they are watching.
CLYDE’S THOUGHTS
I think it’s time to go
BONNIE’S THOUGHTS
I’m outa here!
They exit. Adam whispers to J. R. and leaves the room.
VICTORIA
This is not happening. Daddy, please tell me that this is some kind of really bad joke.
J. W.
I’m sorry, honey.
VICTORIA
How can we be broke? You are a successful businessman! Can’t we fix it? Don’t we have tons of money in the bank?
J. W.
It will take everything we have to pay off all the debts… and we may still have to file bankruptcy.
J. R.
Dad?
ELIZABETH
You can forget about college, Junior. It’s over! It’s all over!
Victoria runs into her parents arms and the three of them are huddled in a heap of despair as J. R. looks on.
LIGHTS OUT.

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