It has been traditional to mount performances at particular times of year for centuries – from the medieval mummer plays to the modern nativity, performances have long been associated with holidays and festivals. That history lends these productions a particular magic and there are now secular and non-denominational scripts which mean that mounting productions of this type no longer needs to exclude anyone.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens adapted by Gary Owen
This is the first play adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel from an award-winning playwright who remains close to the original text but significantly updates the humor and fleshes out in spoken dialogue many of the important character passages from the book. This adaptation is not the stuffy stereotype of Victorian England but is unconventionally humorous, gritty and not at all tame in confronting poverty, greed and issues of unfairness in society: themes that will strikingly resonate with modern audiences.
This adaptation and the large size of the cast make it the perfect edition for the thousands of school performances which are held across the country each year during the holiday season. Unique to this adaptation, playwright Gary Own fills in the missing details in Scrooge’s background to explain his miserliness: how he was sent to a workhouse as a boy, starved, beaten and nearly worked to death. The Constable character from the workhouse then haunts Scrooge and appears every time he chooses money over humanity.
A Christmas musical show featuring an Advent Calendar with characters and objects appearing from the windows, taking the form of a journey towards the light at Bethlehem in an otherwise dark world
The play runs about 45 minutes and can be staged in almost any space using just simple props, or else a formal set with lavish costumes
Casting is also flexible and almost all parts can be play by either male or female
And the option to double-up, redistribute lines, and use additional musicians and dancers, makes it an ideal choice for Primary School, Drama School or Church Christmas production where it can be performed by a class, mixed age cast, or by adults for an audience of children
Aesop’s Fable-ous Christmas Tree by Michael Gravois
Aesop’s fables are given a festive spin …
There’s a mash-up of The Twelve Days of Christmas and The Tortoise and the Hare, where the six birds of Christmas compete in a comical race — with the turtle dove winning, of course. And a tiny snow mouse teaches the abominable snowman that little friends may prove great friends. Ebenezer Scrooge realizes that wealth unused might as well not exist. Santa’s elves dream of a life outside the workshop as they sing a “patter poem” about their ideal careers. And even though the eight reindeer panic when Rudolph gets a cold in the nose, they learn that necessity is the mother of invention
These dozen vignettes illuminate important life lessons by re-inventing the classic fables, blending humor, rhythmic elements, rapping, puppetry, poetry, song and storytelling to create a fast-paced, fun-filled show that’s filled with Christmas spirit.
8 to 50 gender-neutral roles
Single set – runs about 60 mins
Alex and the Warrior by Ann Coburn
Alex wants Grandad home from hospital for Christmas, so he makes a foolish wish. In spite of Cat’s warnings, he asks his favourite computer game character to come and help. But when The Warrior steps out of the screen, with a large sword and a lot of attitude, Alex begins to wonder what he’s let himself in for.
The Warrior’s deadly enemies, the Skarg, soon follow, trying to fit in as human beings in a world they don’t really understand. Alex and Cat struggle to keep The Warrior under control as they head through the winter streets to rescue Grandad, defeat the Skarg, conquer Karaoke and explain carol singing, all on one hectic and exciting adventure. Alex and the Warrior is a quest full of magic and danger, music and laughter: Dickens meets The Terminator in this modern fairytale for all the family.
Cast of 5 required
Christmas on Stage – An Anthology of Royalty-Free Christmas Plays for All Ages – editor Theodore O Zapel
You’ll find Royalty-free plays, readings, and monologs for all likes and all ages in this comprehensive anthology, all dramatizing the true meaning of Christmas. They offer both traditional and contemporary settings, drama and humor, new offerings and old favorites, and can be easily staged with a minimum of costumes and props. They may also be presented as live readings, tape recordings or radio-style broadcasts through sound systems.And since no royalty payments are required for performances, this low-cost anthology is a money-saving program resource for anyone with the responsibility of Christmas programming.
There’s enough material for many years of Christmas planning, and it’s conveniently divided into six sections –
- Elementary Grades
- Middle Grades
- Programs for Teens and Adults
- Readers Theatre for Christmas
- Adaptations from Classics and Legends
- Christmas Readings
This Collection of hilarious festive comedy offers a wonderful alternative to the traditional seasonal play. The five short (10-15 minutes) comedy plays humorously comment on holiday themes – family, the nativity, Xmas cards, and elves!
The 5 Plays are …
Going Home – M1,F1
Newlyweds Greg and Cheryl have resolved to spend Christmas together alone in their tiny apartment for the first time
The Christmas Witch – M2,F1
Two dudes find their relationship challenged when an ex-girlfriend with a penchant for breaking hearts and feasting on human flesh shows up on Christmas Eve
Xmas Cards – M1,F1
Every year, prosperous, conservative couple Ned and Nelly fill out their Christmas cards together. Or rather, Ned tries to fill them out and Nelly slowly drives him insane. Why should this year be any different?
Nativity – M2,F2
Two strangers – one dressed as Mary, the other as Joseph for separate upcoming holiday pageants – meet in the waiting room of the Bethlehem, PA Fertility Clinic one Christmas Morning …
The Student – M2
Winner of the 2009 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival
A two-character holiday comedy about a burnt-out, adult education writing teacher who rediscovers his passion in one of the strangest student-teacher conferences of all time
“Four Stars! Touching and inspiring … a favorite!” ~ Indianapolis Performing Arts Examiner
Published by Cyberpress
Large Mixed Cast
Did you know that Father Christmas has a twin brother called Uncle Holly?
This happy story with seven happy songs reveals the well-kept secret of the twin brothers
We also meet the army of red and green elves and learn about the secret snow tunnel
And how the elves spend their Christmas morning now all the toys are finished
And what Uncle Holly and Father Christmas do for their Christmas dinner
And how they spend Christmas afternoon
Lots of action and plenty of accompaniment on pots and pans!
For children in toddler and play groups, nurseries, pre-school, reception classes and Key Stage 1
It’s also suitable for older children with learning difficulties
Runs about 20 mins
SAW, HAMMER, PAINT AND GLUE
FILLING UP THE SACKS
PLAY IN THE SNOW
LAUGH AND SING AND DO A DANCE
Happy Christmas Tommy – The Christmas Miracle of 1914 – Performance Pack – includes Backing Tracks CD & Full Score – by Anthony James
World War 1, the Western Front, both sides have quickly reached stalemate. Soldiers from Britain and Germany huddle in freezing muddy trenches, while shells and bullets explode around them. But on Christmas Eve 1914, the guns fall silent. For one brief magical moment the spirit and glory of Christmas shined across the battlefields of Flanders and Normandy, touching the hearts of mortal enemies. Dirty, tired, war weary soldiers from both sides climbed from their trenches to enter No-Mans land and to meet each other, to share chocolate, to tell stories, even to play a game of football.
Happy Christmas Tommy is based on that extraordinary Christmas of 1914 – those two days when the reality and futility of war were never so relevant, and the spirit of peace and goodwill never so strong.
Total Characters, Main parts – 4, British troops 4, German troops 4, Girls back home 2, Officers 1, Chaplain. Troops general. (All numbers flexible)
This Performance Pack includes …
An Art Pack – containing instructions as to how to design and construct the scenery, make the costumes and recreate the props
Music Score – score for piano which usually includes guitar chords
Music CD – fully orchestrated Backing Tracks which can be used for performance & rehearsal
This great value festive Collection offers no fewer than 15 Christmas plays
These humorous, down-to-earth plays each bring a fresh perspective to the Christmas story through such creative devices as imagining the thoughts and feelings of fringe characters (like an innkeeper or a servant or one of the magi)
Or by updating the story with contemporary settings and characters
It also offers a variety of practical material for a range of situations – from shorter plays with small casts and lines that can be easily mastered by younger children to more elaborate pieces with sophisticated themes for older children and adults
The flexible scenes are especially valuable for small congregations that lack the resources to mount large-scale productions
No sets are required, and only simple costumes and minimal props are needed
And with a running time of about 20 minutes each, it’s easy to fit them within a Christmas Eve or Advent Sunday worship service
No Stable Too Small
Love Finds a Way
It Wasn’t the Hilton, You Know
Christmas Eve at Angel School
Because God Said So, That’s Why
No Small Parts
“Unto Us a Child Is Born”
Miracles? No Problem!
And seven more!
Published by Cyberpress
Large Mixed Cast
Papa Panov is an old shoemaker, now almost too blind to thread a needle
On Christmas Eve he has a dream that Jesus will visit him on Christmas Day
Eager and anxious, he waits all day
But his only visitors are a tramp, a road sweeper, and a pauper woman with her cold and hungry baby
Despite his disappointment and fading hope, Papa Panov gives them his coat, his money, his soup
And even the tiny shoes he was saving as a present for Baby Jesus
Night falls and his special visitor still hasn’t arrived
Papa Panov thinks himself a silly, old fool
But then he has another dream …
A dream which convinces him his special visitor did come after all
Adapted from a short story by Leo Tolstoy, Papa Panov’s Magic Christmas makes a perfect play for Christmas
The Christmas Cracker
Mother writes a letter to Santa, asking him to help her children find the spirit of Christmas.Santa sends his Sprite, who travels in an enormous Christmas cracker, and who gives the children five crackers to pull. Each cracker contains a different scene showing people giving at Christmas, and the play ends in the stable where, surrounded by the traditional Nativity characters.
Cast : 38 ( mostly variable m/f ) + shepherds, angels etc
Suggested Age Range : 5 to 8 – runs about 45 minutes
Music : Various Christmas songs throughout
Set : Home; Santa’s workshop; in the sky; the soup kitchen; Bethlehem (One Christmas-style backdrop would suffice)
Who Is Welcome?
This is the story of a group of aliens who, whilst following the Christmas star, crash-land on Earth. Here they meet a variety of characters, pirates, animals, kings and shepherds all travelling to Bethlehem to see the new-born king. Worried that they are either too dirty, strange or wicked, they are relieved to find that all are welcome in the stable.
Cast : 36 ( mostly variable m/f ) + shepherds, angels etc
Suggested Age Range : 5 to 8 – runs about 45 – 50 minutes
Music : Various Christmas songs throughout; a suggested list is provided
Set : In a spaceship; in the woods; the stable, or can be played with a backdrop of woods throughout