Once Upon A Tree

$40.00

Are you looking for a Christmas extravaganza? This Christian play has it all…toys that come to life, a kind old toy store owner, a villain who is trying to ruin Christmas (and the whole town forever) and a mystery. Merryton is a special town and they love to celebrate Christmas. The problem this year is that someone stole the star from the top of the town Christmas tree. The mayor hires a private detective and the mystery begins.

 

Description

Meanwhile, the toys in the toy store come to life and they are also trying to solve the mystery of the missing star. Many of the toys are based on recognizable characters and much of it is humorous. The villain is Mrs. Murray and her very strange grounds keeper who are trying to remove all religious references from the town’s public activities. Meanwhile, while everyone is upset about the star and trying to guess “who-done-it”, one Christian family is reaching out to the lonely toy store owner and trying to be his friend. They share the gospel with him over dinner and he gets saved. The British P. I. is about to solve the case, when the Christian puppeteer confesses to the crime to protect the real thief, the toy store owner. But as a new believer, he confesses everything and soon all is forgiven and the town has a happy ending. Well, except for Mrs. Murray. This would make a great musical, however you would have to provide your own songs, none are included here.A large cast of over 50 plus extras. (speaking parts for 53) Good mixture of adults and children, or could be all children. Gender can be easily changed in many of the roles. Should run about 65 mins without songs.

CAST OF CHARACTERS:

MR. BAXTER: Speaks 1291 words. A kind, lovable and lonely old toy store owner.

MRS. MURRAY: Speaks 987 words. Outspoken town atheist. Over the top character who is played to be disliked.

AUNT CHARLOTTE: Speaks 916 words. Sweet, lovable lady who runs the bakery and gets caught up in the mystery.

PEGGY: Speaks 687 words. A Christian wife and mother. Her family’s hearts go out to Mr. Baxter.

IRA: Speaks 630 words. Owner of the hardware store. Has an ongoing, but friendly feud with Aunt Charlotte.

NEVILLE CHARLESON: Speaks 605 words. British private investigator, a proper English gentleman.

THOMAS: Speaks 583 words. Peggy’s Christian husband. Shares Christ with Mr. Baxter.

KITTY CANNON: Speaks 502 words. TV news reporter.

MOLLY PIPPINS: Speaks 482 words. A colorfully dressed and
intelligent doll, based on Mary Poppins.

PASTOR HUNTER: Speaks 439 words. Community church pastor.

YANCY: Speaks 438 words. Mr. Baxter’s employee.

MAYOR EWELL: Speaks 374 words. Mayor of Merryton.

QUENTIN: Speaks 333 words. Son of Thomas and Peggy Amberson

SKYLARK HAMMOND: Speaks 299 words. A detective doll.

MEREDITH: Speaks 294 words. Daughter of Thomas and Peggy.

DOLORES: Speaks 236 words. Christian mother of Haylie.

OLIVER: Speaks 235 words. Christian puppeteer.

COLENE: Speaks 199 words. Oliver’s friend, the pageant lady

UNDERHILL: Speaks 174 words. A stranger in town.

G.I. JACK: Speaks 161 words. A military doll, a leader.

FASHIONELLE: Speaks 151 words. A pretty, fashion doll.

CLIFTON, THE CLOWN: Speaks 122 words. A clown doll.

FIONA: Speaks 102 words. Neville’s British assistant. She’s learning to be proper, but slips into her cockney ways.

EUSTICE: Speaks 98 words. Mrs. Murray’s grounds keeper. A very odd character with a whiny and nasally voice.

CHIEF WARREN: Speaks 92 words. Chief of police.

JUMPITY JAN: Speaks 89 words. A springy-legged doll.

HAYLIE: Speaks 81 words. Daughter of Dolores.

FANCY FRANCIE: Speaks 80 words. Doll with a fancy dress.

O’ROTTEN AU GRATIN: Speaks 78 words. A potato toy. (Based on Mr. Potato Head)

BART: Speaks 72 words. Friend of Quentin.

ROSIE RUGS: Speaks 63 words. Doll made from rugs. (Based on Raggedy Ann)

BEETLE MAN: Speaks 62 words. Super hero doll dressed as a beetle with a Beatles haircut. (Based on Spider Man or Green Hornet)

COWBOY: Speaks 54 words. A cowboy doll.

MIGHTY MAN: Speaks 44 words. Super hero doll (Based on Superman)

PISTACHIO: Speaks 44 words. A marionette puppet (Based on Pinnocchio)

LONNIE: Speaks 33 words. Ira’s mischievous employee.

TRACY THE TRAIN: Speaks 31 words. A toy train. (Based on Thomas the Train)

VIOLET: Speaks 30 words. Yancy’s girlfriend.

INDIAN: Speaks 28 words. Indian doll.

DONKEY: Speaks 28 words.

COW: Speaks 21 words.

SHEEP: Speaks 21 words.

WINDOW WASHER: Speaks 18 words.

HARLEY BROWN: Speaks 18 words. Doll based on Charlie Brown.

CAMERAMAN: Speaks 15 words. Runs camera for Kitty Cannon.

VERY SMALL PARTS: 4 strangers in the audience, a mumbling doll in a box, a dog.

DROOL BIB BOBBY: A baby doll with water coming out his mouth

WENDY WEE WEE: A baby doll in diapers.

EXTRAS: Animals in the ark, other dolls, other townspeople.

This play was written with a large cast in mind, obviously a lot of children. Music can easily be added in many places to make it a great musical. No songs are included with the script.

The set needs to look like a street, with a Christmas tree at one end. The three shops on the street are a bakery called “The Cookie Jar”, a toy store in the middle called, “The Toy Shoppe” and a hardware store. Perhaps, “Merryton Hardware”. The toy store splits in the middle and opens up to reveal the inside of the store with shelves covered with toys and dolls. This is always center stage and appears several times. The doors to the bakery and hardware store can open for exiting through, or can be painted with the exits just to the sides.

The only other scene change comes when you go twuce to the Amberson’s dining room. This appears center stage with just the table and chairs and lighting.

Costumes and make-up could be a challenge as you have animals, toys and dolls to create.

Scene from middle of play:

MRS. MURRAY
And you’re sure this is going to work? Because I don’t want to have to make another trip back here if it doesn’t!
IRA
It should work Mrs. Murray. Would you like me to explain to Eustice how to do it?
MRS. MURRAY
Oh, I’ll probably just do it myself. It’s been a busy day and poor Eustice is exhausted. But I would say that it has been a very productive and rewarding day!
IRA
Well, that’s good.
MRS. MURRAY
Yes. We were at the mayor’s office today to complain about all the religious underpinnings of Christmas celebrations on public property in town.
IRA
Huh?
MRS. MURRAY
It’s happening right under your nose, Ira! Wake up! They’re singing religious songs on Main Street, almost every shop in town still continues saying ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Holidays’…Ira…there are laws in place about these kinds of things. And all this noise about the missing stars! Well, I for one, am glad they’re missing! They represent a religious thought! Just put some pointy thing up there!
IRA
But Mrs. Murray…
MRS. MURRAY
However…we made some progress today. I believe we have broken through. The mayor could not deny that I had a good case against this conspiracy. If we don’t keep an eye on this, it could get out of hand. You know that those people are always trying to get prayer back into the schools. Well, we have to make sure that they are not reading the Bible in school in front of innocent children, or saying prayers at public meetings and events….or peddling their religion on street corners or from door to door. And certainly not on the streets of Merryton! We have to put religion in it’s place! Right, Eustice?
EUSTICE
Yes, Mrs. Murray. Can we go home now? I think it might snow and I need to put some salt on the walkway.
IRA
Mrs. Murray…why don’t you forget about all of this…
MRS. MURRAY
I’m not going to give up, Ira. I will see this thing through. It will be a rainy day in hell when Eustice and I give up on removing the word ‘Christmas’ from the disgusting December hoopla over nothing in this town. Isn’t that right, Eustice?
EUSTICE
Yes, Mrs. Murray. I think the temperature has dropped 10 degrees in the last 10 minutes…
MRS. MURRAY
Oh, stop your whining!
(To Ira)
You haven’t heard the last of this, Ira. You just wait and see!
There is a loud clap of thunder.
MRS. MURRAY
Well…what are you waiting for, Eustice? Let’s go!
They exit as Ira just stand there shaking his head. Neville and Fiona approach.
NEVILLE CHARLESON
I beg pardon…sir…are you the proprietor of this here establishment?
IRA
Yes…Ira Haggard. Are you the detective?
NEVILLE CHARLESON
Neville Charleson’s the name…and this is my assistant, Fiona.
FIONA
Ello guvnor!
She extends her hand as Neville gives her a dirty look because she wasn’t speaking proper English. She cowers back, embarrassed.
NEVILLE CHARLESON
Would you happen to know a woman named Colene who was seen around this area earlier today?
IRA
Yes…I know her. The pageant lady. Are you the people investigating the missing star? Because I have something that I think you should know about.
NEVILLE CHARLESON
Indeed.
IRA
Yes…It’s that woman who just left here. Marguerite Murray. She just said to me that she was glad that the stars were missing. She thinks they are too religious and should not be on top the trees. And yesterday, I heard her say that she would yank them if she were tall enough. Well, I wouldn’t put it past her to get that goon of hers to help her do just that!
NEVILLE CHARLESON
Goon?
IRA
Her grounds keeper, Eustice…or whatever he is. If I were you…I would start right there!
NEVILLE CHARLESON
I’m indebted to you. You have been a marvelous source of help. It appears we have moisture in the air…so I think we shall be getting in. Good day.
FIONA
Good day, Luv.
They exit as he goes back inside.
FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE EIGHT: INT. THE TOY SHOPPE
In the dark, we hear sounds of thunder and rain…quite a storm, as it dies down…
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
(Shouting in the dark)
Someone left the water running!
MIGHTY MAN
It’s raining!
JUMPITY JAN
I’m scared. Can we turn on the lights?
COWBOY
What’s the matter? Afraid of a little storm?
JUMPITY JAN
So what if I am?
ROSIE RUGS
I wouldn’t mind having the lights on.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
I’ll get ‘em.
The lights come up center stage and we see the inside of the toy store full of life-size toys. All awake and moving.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
There! Is that better?
JUMPITY JAN
(A doll with springs for legs so she can jump high)
Thank you.
COWBOY
That rain is not letting up. It’s coming down cats and dogs out there!
DOG
(Running forward)
Really?
COWBOY
Sorry. Figure of speech.
MOLLY PIPPINS
(A motherly type of doll who has apples all over her clothes. Could be British like Mary Poppins)
You know, it talks about that in this picture book over here. The story about the big boat.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
Yeah! The one that was built by…uh…uh…
MOLLY PIPPINS
Noah.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
That’s the guy.
O’ROTTEN AU GRATIN
(He’s a big potato)
Any room on that ark for a few more?
MOLLY PIPPINS
I don’t think most of us would look authentic. I mean, would you ever see Mighty Man, Beetle Man or Fancy Francie on Noah’s ark?
O’ROTTEN AU GRATIN
I guess you’re right. To be authentic, there would have to be two of us.
MOLLY PIPPINS
That wasn’t exactly what I meant.
FASHIONELLE
(A fashion doll)
So, what is that book about, anyway?
MOLLY PIPPINS
About a huge flood that covered the entire earth, so all the animals got in this big boat.
FASHIONELLE
Are we in danger of a flood?
MIGHTY MAN
(A flying super hero type)
Don’t you worry your pretty little head, Fashionelle. I will protect you. If the floods come, I can take you to higher ground.
INDIAN
I can do rain dance!
COWBOY
It’s already raining!
INDIAN
To make rain stop, Cowboy!
COWBOY
That doesn’t work!
INDIAN
Are you saying that my dancing not work?
COWBOY
If the moccasin fits!
INDIAN
(Pulling out a tomahawk)
Take that back!
G.I. JACK
(An army doll)
Okay, you two… stop fighting.
FANCY FRANCIE
(a pretty doll with a fancy dress)
Yes…we have to think about this rain situation. I don’t want the rain to mess up my fancy dress.
FASHIONELLE
Or my hair!
ROSIE RUGS
(A shabby looking doll like a Raggedy Ann)
Do any of us know how to swim?
MOLLY PIPPINS
I think we all need to calm down and just hear the story. And who better to tell it than the characters themselves.
At this all the animals start coming out of the ark.

G.I. JACK
Alright everyone…now that we are all calmed down about the storm…we need to talk about something really important!
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
What’s that, G.I. Jack?
G.I. JACK
Didn’t you hear what they’ve been talking about in the store? Someone stole the stars from the tops of the Christmas trees!
ROSIE RUGS
That’s terrible!
FANCY FRANCIE
Who would do such a thing?
BEETLE MAN
(A super hero dressed as a beetle with a Beatles haircut)
I think it was that Colene lady…the one who came in the store. She was asking Mr. Baxter where she could find some stars. She really likes stars.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
You could be right, Beetle Man. That makes sense!
FASHIONELLE
I don’t think it was her. It couldn’t have been her!
ROSIE RUGS
You’re just saying that because she said she liked to buy fashion dolls as prizes.
JUMPITY JAN
I think it was Yancy!
G.I. JACK
Why do you think that, Jumpity Jan?
JUMPITY JAN
Because he said how much he likes the stars and how they shine. I think he wanted them for his own tree at home.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
You could be right, Jumpity Jan. That makes sense, too.
G.I. JACK
Well…if we are going to seriously discuss this robbery, then we should call on an expert. I know he’s in one of these boxes.
He finds a large box and removed the lid. A detective doll climbs out (with the funny hat and big pipe and large magnifying glass, and looks like Sherlock Holmes) and everyone gasps.
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Skylark Hammond here! I’ve been listening to your conversations and I believe that there is something that all of you have been missing about this case.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
What’s that, Skylark?
SKYLARK HAMMOND
The thief of the Christmas stars could be someone in this very room.
They all gasp again.
SKYLARK HAMMOND
That’s right. Here we are in close proximity to the crime scene, and someone here could have easily done the dastardly deed!
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
You could be right, Skylark! That makes a lot of sense!
COWBOY
But which one of us could pull it off? Huh?
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Why…you could, Cowboy. You could pull them right off the tree with your lasso. Everyone knows that cowboys are good with a rope. Or perhaps it was you, Indian. You could have shot them down from the trees with your bow and arrow.
INDIAN
That is not truth!
COWBOY
Makes more sense than me using a rope!
INDIAN
(Raising his tomahawk again)
Take that back!
G.I. JACK
That’s enough, you two. Let’s hear what the detective has to say.
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Mighty Man could have easily done it.
MIGHTY MAN
What?
SKYLARK HAMMOND
You can fly, can’t you? You could have flown right up there and grabbed them.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
That could be right!
MIGHTY MAN
What about Molly Pippins? She can fly too! I’ve seen her!
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Or maybe Beetle Man. Everyone knows that beetles can crawl up things…it wouldn’t be that hard to crawl up those trees.
BEETLE MAN
You can’t prove that! Besides, Mighty Man and I are superheroes…we’re the good guys! We don’t steal stars off of Christmas trees! Go ahead and search my box! I don’t have them!
MOLLY PIPPINS
You can search all our boxes, Skylark.
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Whoever took them, probably hid them.
JUMPITY JAN
I don’t like you trying to blame one of us!
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Is that because it was you, Jumpity Jan? You could have jumped all the way up there and grabbed those stars.
MOLLY PIPPINS
Why would one of us take the stars? This whole thing is ruining Christmas and we all love Christmas! You hear the people talking…and instead of a jolly Christmas spirit, they are upset about the missing stars. We should all be thinking about becoming someone’s Christmas present under the tree.
FASHIONELLE
Yes, Molly Pippins is right. This whole topic is simply exhausting! We all need to get some rest, so we can look our best.
Some mumbling is heard and everyone starts looking around. They clear and reveal in the back a box with a doll inside but covered with plastic. No one can hear what the doll is saying from inside the box.
MUMBLING DOLL
Mumble mumble
FASHIONELLE
What did she say?
ROSIE RUGS
We can’t hear you!
FANCY FRANCIE
I can’t wait to be someone’s present under their tree!
JUMPITY JAN
You have a better chance than some of us.
FANCY FRANCIE
Why do you say that?
JUMPITY JAN
Because we have lame names! How would you like to be called Jumpity Jan?
O’ROTTEN AU GRATIN
You think your name’s bad…that’s nothing. I’m O’Rotten Au Gratin! How would you like that name?!
Bobby has been hiding behind some boxes and he takes a mouthful of water and then steps out to say his name. As he starts to speak, the water pours out of his mouth.
DROOL BIB BOBBY
(As water falls)
Well…I’m Drool Bib Bobby!
A baby doll in diapers steps out.
WENDY WEE WEE
I’m Wendy WeeWee!
Everyone around her steps away a few steps and looks horrified at her.
SKYLARK HAMMOND
Well, actually…I never really liked the name Skylark.
A bald kid walks out
HARLEY BROWN
Never mind your names… how would you like to be bald at age 12? How does this happen?
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
Oh, good grief…Harley Brown!
MUMBLING DOLL
Mumble mumble
FANCY FRANCIE
What?
ROSIE RUGS
We can’t hear you!
MOLLY PIPPINS
You know…our names aren’t what makes people want us. We’re dolls…
MIGHTY MAN
Ahem…I prefer the term…Action Figure!
MOLLY PIPPINS
Right. And we need to face the fact that kids want different things these days. They want electronic toys. They want computer games and video games. Dolls and action figures are less popular. We’re just ordinary toys…so don’t get your hopes up.
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
Who wants a clown anymore?
TRACY THE TRAIN
Kids don’t even want trains anymore!
MUMBLING DOLL
Mumble mumble
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
What? What did she say?
ROSIE RUGS
Give it up, dolly! No one can hear you in there!
G.I. JACK
It’s not just the kids, you know. The parents want different things to. They want electronics and computers and jewelry and clothes.
FASHIONELLE
I like clothes. If they buy me, they get 3 changes of clothes.
ROSIE RUGS
Stop bragging about your extras…just because none of us have extras…
FASHIONELLE
Rosie Rugs! It’s no wonder you’re not popular. Look at those clothes! You call that a dress? It’s time to toss that one out and get something much newer! And your hair!! You really need to do something about that hair. Are you made from old rugs or something?
MOLLY PIPPINS
Fashionelle! Let’s be nice. This is serious. We need to consider what is happening. It’s true…what Jack is saying is true… they want clothes! They want stuff!
G.I. JACK
There’s lots of things that people want now days!
CLIFTON THE CLOWN
Yeah…you’re right. People want things!
O’ROTTEN AU GRATIN
Big things!
WENDY WEE WEE
Small things!
ALL
Things!

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