There is a lot of humor in the script, but things take a serious turn when the real message comes toward the end. A word of exhortation and some scripture helps everyone to see what has happened and to repent. The play within the play is actually never seen. The actors learn that they always need to make room for Jesus in every area of their lives and especially in their Christmas project.
There are 24 characters, 13 males and 11 females.. some can be altered and ages can vary. 60 minutes. One set.. no scene changes.
THEO. Biggest part.
KRISTINE. Medium part
LEE. Medium part
VAL. Medium part
GAYLE. Medium part… one scene only
BEN. Small part
DEDE. Small part
PUPPET CHARACTERS: OLIVIA, GRAMMA, JOEL, HEIDI, SEBASTIAN, EARL, FREDDIE, LEONARD, AVERY, OSWALD, HANK, MARY, RAFAEL, GRAMPA, BETH, MINDY, EFFIE. (Puppeteers may have to operate more than one puppet.)
(Theo enters and walks solemnly to the front of the stage and begins to
read Luke chapter 2)
Theo: (reading) Now it came about in those days… (after a while he
Lee: This isn’t going to work! (enters coming up the aisle)
Theo: What’s the matter?
Lee: It’s just too dull.
Theo: Hey! It’s God’s word! You shouldn’t say it’s dull!
Lee: Okay.. so its not dull.. but I don’t think we should start the
play this way. We will lose the audience before we ever get started.
Why don’t we just start with Mary and Joseph coming into Bethlehem?
Theo: So, you don’t want me to read anything, then?
Lee: Well, that’s what I think. We might use some narration later on..
but I don’t think we should start right out with it. Don’t worry..
you’ll have something to do.
Val: (entering from the side) Lee, I think we should discuss any
changes that we need to make and then vote or something. It’s not like
you are the director, you know.
Lee: We don’t have a director, remember? We didn’t think we needed
Val: Right. So, I don’t think you should act like one.
Lee: I’m just making a suggestion… you are all free to share your
Ben: (entering from other side) I think Lee is right, Val. I don’t
think we should start with the verses. We need something right at the
start to get their attention.
Val: Fine… I’m okay with that, too. I just didn’t want it to look
like someone was running the show. We agreed that we would do this as
a team effort.
Lee: Like I said, you are all free to share your opinions, too. I
just happen to have a lot of them. I’m sorry if I was stepping on
Val: So.. you want to start with Joseph and I coming into Bethlehem?
Lee: If you like the idea… it was just a suggestion.
Val: Fine… lets do it, Ben. (Lee and Theo step to the side)
Ben: Now.. how will I know what to say?
Val: It’s improvisation, Ben.. you just make it up as you go. I think
I will start with some contractions or something. (grabbing her
stomach).. Ohhh… Joseph, I think tonight’s going to be the night! I’m
having some more pains. You need to find us a room to stay the night.
I hope we can find a room in this crowded city.
Ben: (laughing) Now what am I supposed to say?
Val: Well.. you wouldn’t laugh! You are Joseph! What would Joseph
say? He wouldn’t laugh at his wife… he would have some compassion.
Ben: I don’t think I can do this.
Lee: Its not working. We need a script.
Val: Where are we going to get a script?
Ben: I thought you wrote a script, Valerie.
Val: It had way too many characters in it! We don’t have enough
actors for my script. I think we can do the improv idea if you just
try a little harder.
Ben: I can’t do that.. just give me some lines to memorize and I’ll be
okay. Besides.. if you improvise.. you might say something that
wouldn’t be true to the scripture and then it would be too late to
change it. They might throw us out of the church for trying to rewrite
the Bible. If you have a script, then you can let someone in authority
read it and approve it, and then we have something solid.
Lee: Hey, here’s an idea! (to Val) Why don’t you write one with fewer
Val: I don’t have time to write another script! That took me a long
time to write the last one. How was I to know that only a few of us
would want to do this? You know what? This isn’t working. I’m going
home. See you all later. (she exits)
Ben: I guess she’s right. I can’t do this without a script..and we
don’t have time to write a new one. If you get any more great ideas..
let me know. See ya. (he exits)
Theo: What a bummer, Sis. There must be a way to work this out.
Lee: It just wasn’t meant to be, Theo. I would write a script, but I
just don’t have the time. Besides, Val is much better at it. She
wrote a really good script. The pastor read it and he loved it! It
just had way too many characters! Well.. I guess we should go… you
wanna grab a burger?
Theo: Naw.. I think I will just stay here for a bit. I feel like
praying about this whole thing. Would you want to stay and pray with
Lee: I kind of think its too late now. There is no solution. This
Christmas play just ain’t going to happen! See ya at home, Bro. We
could pray there if you like. (exits)
Theo: See ya. (drops to his knees) Lord, I don’t think we should
have given up so fast. We didn’t come to you at all with our problem..
and we have not because we ask not. I’m asking now, Father, if there
is any way that we can put on this Christmas play for our church, then
please show us how it can be done. Everyone liked Valerie’s script,
but we don’t have enough actors. I think we lack faith. I think we
lack a oneness of spirit. I confess to you that we have been wrong and
have gone about this whole thing the wrong way. Please forgive us and
show us the way it can be done. I trust in you, Lord. In Jesus’
name.. Amen. (as he is praying.. puppet Olivia comes up in the front
section just behind Theo)
Olivia: That was a nice prayer.. I bet the Lord answers that one!
Theo: Who said that? (turns around) Oh.. there you are! You scared
Olivia: I’m sorry.. didn’t mean to sneak up on you. I’m Olivia.
Theo: Hi.. I’m Theo. How long have you been there?
Olivia: Long enough to know that you want to put on a Christmas play.
I think that sounds exciting!
Theo: Well.. it would be but we don’t have enough actors for the script
we have. And Ben doesn’t like to improvise, and we don’t have time to
come up with a new script. Plus.. we don’t have a director, and I
think we need one. Thats just my opinion.
Olivia: What about me? Could I be in your play?
Theo: Really? Can you act?
Olivia: Well, they don’t call me Olivia de Haviland for nothing!
Olivia: Oh.. she was a famous actress a long time ago. Some of my
friends called me Lawrence Olivia, but I don’t like that too much,
since he was a man. I can see by the look on your face that you haven’t
heard of Lawrence Olivier either.
Theo: Another old actor? (she nods.) Well.. thats great.. but I’m
afraid that just one more actor isn’t going to make a whole lot of
Olivia: Well, I have a lot of friends.. and I bet they would love to
be in your play. In fact, we may even have a director in the bunch!
Shall I ask them?
Theo: Wow! Really? You really think they would do it?
Olivia: Sure! Just bring me a copy of the script and I will pass out
all the parts. Actually, I think I’ll ask Sir Freddie if he would
direct it, and he could help decide who should play what part. Be sure
to mark which parts are already taken.
Theo: Wow! God is answering my prayer already! I better go call the
rest of the gang. We will meet you back here at this time tomorrow!
Olivia: That will be great! (she exits)
Theo: This could be the answer to my prayer! (he exits)
(Grandma and Joel enter at the upper stage)
Grandma: So.. what would you like for Christmas this year, Joel?
Joel: Oh.. I dunno… I haven’t really thought about it all that much I
Grandma: Well, I suppose that is good, then you don’t necessarily have
your heart set on something.. and then get your focus off of the real
meaning of Christmas.
Joel: It is kind of strange that I don’t have ideas.. because I usually
have a long list put together by now.
Grandma: Most kids your age do. So does that mean that you will be
happy with whatever it is you happen to get?
Joel: Well… I don’t know if I would go that far! I mean, what if I
got something really stupid!!
Grandma: Joel! Just when I thought…. (Heidi hurries in and interrupts)
Heidi: Grandma! Joel! Did you hear the news?
Joel: What news, Heidi?
Heidi: Olivia just told me that there is a guy named Theo or something
who wants to put on a Christmas play or something and he needs a lot of
people to be in it!
Joel: Wow… that could be interesting.
Grandma: So where did Olivia meet this Theo or something?
Heidi: At the church. He was praying and she heard him praying and so
she asked him all about it. They have a play but they don’t have
enough actors.. and they don’t have a director. Olivia is going to ask
Grandma: Oh.. Mr. Freddie would make a fine director. He has that
Joel: I think he prefers to be called Sir.. instead of Mr.. and
speaking of presents.. I finally thought of something I wanted for
Heidi: Oh Joel! How can you talk about Christmas presents at a time
like this? We need to spread the word about the play! And if you
want to get a good part, you better go and talk to Sir Freddie right
Grandma: We will help spread the word. Come on Joel. You need to
take your mind off of that subject that I brought up earlier. (she
begins to exit and he follows)
Joel: No. I’m glad you brought up that subject, because I had not been
thinking about what I wanted….but now I have….(as he exits)