THE LAST OF THE SPIRITS: THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE
[ACT IV must start right as ACT III is finishing. As the NARRATORS, the GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT, and SCROOGE from ACT III are running off the stage, the NARRATORS and SCROOGE from ACT IV must immediately take their places, running on stage. This scene is hectic!]
[SET DESIGNERS: The scene must show a number of clocks all whirling and twirling.]
[SOUND TECH: You will take over the giant clock tolling to twelve.]
[NARRATORS you must YELL over the tolling. You should be frantic, running around the stage to set the scene. Something scary is happening…]
NARRATOR 1: Dear audience, beware! Dark magic is happening here!
NARRATOR 2: Behold us [All NARRATORS clap twice], the narrators of this world.
NARRATOR 3: Behold him [points at SCROOGE], your Ebenezer Scrooge.
NARRATORS ALL: Let us begin. [All NARRATORS clap twice].
NARRATOR 4: Scrooge stood shocked and horrified as he watched the clocks twirl and spin. [SET DESIGNERS: Show a day passing, ideally behind a spinning clock.] An entire day was passing in mere seconds.
NARRATOR 5: And what was it Jacob Marley said?
NARRATORS ALL: Expect the third spirit on the next night at the last stroke of twelve. [Look to clocks. When the last toll strikes 12, ALL NARRATORS look to the back of the audience where the GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE will be and GASP! As the audience turns to behold the GHOST of CHRISTMAS FUTURE, NARRATORS should hide in the background.]
SCROOGE: [Terrified.] Ghost of the Future! I fear you more than any spirit I have seen. What do you have in store for me?
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: [Silently shakes his head.]
SCROOGE: Will you not speak to me?
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: [No response. Pause. Slowly points a bony finger into the darkness of the projected screen.]
[SET DESIGNERS: This scene should project a scary, dark, woods scene or bare branches. SOUND TECH: Play soft sounds of eerie whistling wind.]
SCROOGE: I fear you, Spirit, but lead on! The night is waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit!
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: [Ghost leads Scrooge around the stage while the scene changes.]
SET DESIGNERS: Project a futuristic city scape – one that looks empty, sad, scary.
NARRATOR 3: They scarcely seemed to enter the city; for the city rather seemed to spring up about them. But there they were in the heart of it amongst the businesspeople.
NARRATOR 2: The Spirit stopped beside one little know of businesspeople. [GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE points a bony finger towards them. BUSINESSPEOPLE are sitting on three chairs next to each other, as if a bench. Each is reading the Money section of a newspaper.] Observing that the hand was pointed at them, Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk.
[BUSINESSPEOPLE ALL cackle wickedly, like wicked witches.]
BUSINESSMAN 1 (MAN WITH MONSTROUS CHIN): [Mean, as if you’re gossiping] I don’t know much about it either way. I only know the old man is dead. Finally! [Laugh meanly. Hits BUSINESSWOMAN 2 to prompt her to laugh. BUSINESSWOMAN 2 laughs meanly and hits BUSINESSWOMAN 3. BUSINESSWOMAN 3 laughs meanly. ALL BUSINESSPEOPLE sigh, as if the end of a good joke. Go back to “reading” newspaper.]
BUSINESSWOMAN 2 (ANOTHER GENTLEMAN): When did he die?
BUSINESSMAN 1 (MAN WITH MONSTROUS CHIN): Last night, I believe.
BUSINESSWOMAN 3 (A RED-FACED GENTLEMAN): Who cares when he died? The real question is, what did he do with his money? [ALL BUSINESSPEOPLE laugh wickedly.]
BUSINESSMAN 1 (MAN WITH MONSTROUS CHIN): I haven’t heard. Did he have any family?
BUSINESSWOMAN 2 (ANOTHER GENTLEMAN): Family? That mean old man? Who would marry him? [ALL BUSINESSPEOPLE laugh wickedly.]
BUSINESSWOMAN 3 (A RED-FACED GENTLEMAN): Perhaps he gave it to his company.
BUSINESSWOMAN 2 (ANOTHER GENTLEMAN): He hasn’t left it to me, that’s all I know! [ALL BUSINESSPEOPLE laugh wickedly.]
BUSINESSWOMAN 3 (A RED-FACED GENTLEMAN): Oh! Look at the time! Gotta get to work.
BUSINESSWOMAN 2 (ANOTHER GENTLEMAN): Gotta get to work!
BUSINESSMAN 1 (MAN WITH MONSTROUS CHIN): Gotta get to work!
BUSINESSWOMAN 3 (A RED-FACED GENTLEMAN): Goodbye! (Exit stage right.)
BUSINESSWOMAN 2 (ANOTHER GENTLEMAN): Goodbye! (Exit through main audience doors.)
BUSINESSMAN 1 (MAN WITH MONSTROUS CHIN): Goodbye! (Exit stage left.)
SCROOGE: Spirit, is there no compassion for the poor man they speak of? Does no one care?
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: [Silent. No response. Pause.]
NARRATOR 4: The Ghost, silent as ever, conducted Ebenezer Scrooge to poor Bob Cratchit’s house – the same dwelling that Scrooge had visited before. But this time, Scrooge did not find a happy scene. Instead he found a mother at her sewing. [MRS CRATCHIT is sewing a black blanket.]
NARRATOR 5: Quiet. Very quiet. And oh so cold. The Cratchits, who had been so noisy and joyous, stood still as statues. [Pause.] Finally, the mother laid down her work, and put her hands up to her face.
MRS. CRATCHIT: The color hurts my eyes. [Rubs her eyes.] They’re better now again. It makes them weak by candlelight, and I wouldn’t show weak eyes to your father for the world! [Looks at her watch.] It must be near his time to come home.
PETER: Past it rather. But I think he has walked a little slower than he used to these past few evenings, Mother.
MRS. CRATCHIT: [Reprovingly.] I have known your father to walk with him--[Pause, stifles a cry. Recovers herself.] I have known him to walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder very fast indeed. But Tiny Tim was so light to carry, and his father loved him so much that it was no trouble – no trouble. [Pause.] There is your father now!
[BOB CRATCHIT enters very, very sad.]
PETER: Hello, father. Welcome home.
BOB CRATCHIT: [Pause. Very sadly.] Peter.
[PETER brings BOB CRATCHIT a chair next to MRS CRATCHIT. BOB is so distracted, he almost doesn’t see it. PETER leads him to it so he sits.]
MRS. CRATCHIT: You went today, then, Bob, dear?
BOB CRATCHIT: Yes, my dear. I wish you could have gone. It would have done you good to see how green the place is. [Pause.] But you’ll see it often. I promised Tiny Tim that we would visit his gravesite every Sunday. [Pause. Starts crying.] My little, little child! My little child!
[MRS CRATCHIT and PETER wrap the black cloth that MRS CRATCHIT has been working on over BOB CRATCHIT’s shoulders and escorts him out the main doors. SCROOGE and the GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE move to the center of the stage.]
SCROOGE: No! Spirit, tell me these visions are not true! Tell me that Tiny Tim doesn’t die!
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: [Silent. Unresponsive.]
SCROOGE: Please, Spirit! Please!
[SOUND TECH: Play the same sound that called back Jacob Marley.]
SCROOGE: Spirit, something informs me that our parting moment is at hand. But I must know, what is the reason for all this unhappiness? Who is responsible? Spirit, please answer me!
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: [Silently points a bony finger toward the projector as it changes SCENES to a dark, gloomy graveyard.
NARRATOR 1: The Ghost of Christmas Future pointed a bony finger, and suddenly Scrooge found himself in the middle of a dismal, wretched, ruinous graveyard.
[SOUND TECH: Play sounds of eerie whistling wind.]
*Pick up the original script here, at the top of page 17, with the NARRATOR’s lines (NARRATOR 3).
*Replace last NARRATOR paragraph on page 20 with:
NARRATOR 3: Scrooge was better than his word! He did it all, and infinitely more!
NARRATOR 1: And to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, Scrooge was like a second father!
NARRATOR 2: Scrooge became as good a friend, as good a boss, and as good a man as any good man the city had ever known.
NARRATOR 4: Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but his own heart laughed, and that was quite enough for him. And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well.
NARRATOR 5: Dear audience, may that be truly said of all of us. And so, as Tiny Tim observed…
TINY TIM: God bless us! Every one!
END OF ACT IV