THE FIRST OF THE THREE SPIRITS
[The stage is dark, though there is a bed with SCROOGE under the covers. The NARRATORS crawl out of the dark corners. NARRATOR 1 turns on a lamp.]
NARRATOR 1: [Turns on a lamp.] Shhhhhhhhh! [Looks at SROOGE.] He’s sleeping!
NARRATOR 2: Well don’t wake up the old miser! The magical hour is almost at hand!
NARRATOR 3: Indeed! Do you think the old bugger will finally learn his lesson?
NARRATOR 4: He had better learn it or Jacob Marley will come have company!
NARRATOR 1: [Turns on a lamp. Looks startled to see the audience. Turns to NARRATOR 2.] Hey, look at that!
NARRATOR 2: What? [Notices audience.] Ah! An audience!
NARRATOR 1: [To NARRATOR 2] Do you think they know what they’re in for?
NARRATOR 2: [Shakes head, sadly.] The pre-teen hormones? The mood swings? The voracious appetites?
NARRATOR 1: No! I don’t mean as parents. I mean, do you think they know what they’re in for as audience members?
NARRATOR 2: Oooooooh, that. Wait. What are they in for?
[NARRATOR 1 shakes his head.]
NARRATOR 3: Adventure! Time travel! And ghosts!
NARRATOR 2: Ghosts?!
NARRATOR 1, 3, 4, and 5: Yes, ghosts!
NARRATOR 4: Weren’t you paying attention to Act I?
NARRATOR 2: Nah, I was backstage eating all the Christmas cookies.
[All NARRATORS stop and glare at NARRATOR 2.]
NARRATORS 1, 3, 4, 5: Typical!
NARRATOR 5: Scrooge [points to SCROOGE] will be visited by a ghost when the clock strikes one. But not your typical ghost. She’s more like a spirit or a fairy. She’s the Ghost of Christmas Past.
NARRATOR 4: Ooooh! Sounds like someone’s got a crush!
[NARRATOR 5 rolls his eyes.]
NARRATOR 2: What time is it now?
NARRATOR 1: It’s 12:59.
[ALL NARRATORS freeze and gasp! Pause. SCROOGE snores loudly.]
NARRATOR 3: Audience, buckle your seatbelts. You are about to experience time travel!
NARRATOR 5: I’ve never considered Charles Dickens a sci-fi writer before…
NARRATOR 1: Stop pondering! We’ve got to move! [Narrators start to recede into the corners and hide under the bed, except NARRATOR 3, who remains calm.]
NARRATOR 3: And that, dear audience, is how we come to find Scrooge, the old miser, snoring in his bed [SCROOGE snores loudly] one haunted Christmas Eve when the clock struck one. [NARRATOR 3 moves the hand of a clock to the one o’clock position, then exits the stage or hides behind furntire.]
[SOUND TECH. immediately plays one resounding BONG!]
[FIRST GHOST enters gracefully, almost dancing. SCROOGE snores again loudly. FIRST GHOST twirls over to him and playfully teases his face with a feather. SCROOGE snorts, seems to almost wake up, then snores even louder. FIRST GHOST does it again to the same reaction. FIRST GHOST then plugs SCROOGE’s nose until he wakes up with a start.]
SCROOGE: What the…? What is the meaning of this?
FIRST GHOST: So grumpy these days, old man! Don’t you remember what it was like to play like a child? [FIRST GHOST twirls playfully or does cartwheel.]
SROOGE: Play? Bah humbug! I never played! I am a serious man of serious matters!
FIRST GHOST: Ah, but you weren’t always.
SCROOGE: How would you know? [Pause] Have you been spying on me?
FIRST GHOST: [Laughs] Spying! [Laughs.] I never spied on you, Ebenezer Scrooge. But I have been with you, like a shadow, every Christmas in your past.
[Pick up original script here on page 8, starting with SCROOGE: Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?]
Replace page 10 with the following:
MRS. FEZZIWIG: Oh, Mr. Fezziwig, look at all the wonderful festivities! The wonderful music, the wonderful food, the wonderful company, the wonderful dancing!
MR. FEZZIWIG: Yes, Mrs. Fezziwig, you have done it again, my dear!
MRS. FEZZIWIG: Do you suppose everyone is having fun?
MR. FEZZIWIG: Of course! Look at everyone enjoying themselves. [Everyone is dancing.] Look at Ebenezer! He’s dancing up a storm! [YOUNG SCROOGE is dancing and laughing.]
MRS. FEZZIWIG: Everyone is so happy! I am so happy that everyone is so happy!
MR. FEZZIWIG: Mrs. Fezziwig, may I have this dance?
MRS. FEZZIWIG: Why, Mr. Fezziwig, you old flirt, you! [She takes his hand, and they dance down the aisle. Other couples follow. Then they dance back on stage. Other couples follow.]
NARRATOR 3: When the clock struck eleven, the ball ended.
MR & MRS FEZZIWIG: Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! [Shake each person’s hand and exclaim, “Merry Christmas, to each guest as they leave the stage. YOUNG SCROOGE is last.]
MR. FEZZIWIG: Ebenezer, my boy, Merry Christmas! Take the day off tomorrow, you hear me? [YOUNG SCROOGE is smiling from ear to ear.]
MRS. FEZZIWIG: [Produces an orange with a bow on top.] This is for you, Ebenezer! I know it’s not much, but… Merry Christmas! [YOUNG SCROOGE hugs MRS. FEZZIWIG and exits stage.]
MR & MRS FEZZIWIG: Merry Christmas! [Wave goodbye as YOUNG SCROOGE exits.]
SCROOGE: [Laughs gleefully!] I remember that! What wonderful dancing! What wonderful food! What wonderful people!
FIRST GHOST: A small matter to make these silly folks so full of gratitude. He has spent but a few pounds of your money – three or four, perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?
SCROOGE: It isn’t that, Spirit. [SCROOGE should become more emotional as he talks.] Fezziwig had the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our work a pleasure or a toil. [Exclaims] The happiness he gave was quite as great as if it cost a fortune!! [FIRST GHOST smiles and nods. Pause.] I wish…
FIRST GHOST: What?
SCROOGE: [Pause.] I wish…
FIRST GHOST: What do you wish, Scrooge?
SCROOGE: Nah. It’s nothing. [SCROOGE seems sad. FIRST GHOST acts disappointed. SCROOGE returns to a serious tone and demeanor.] Spirit! Remove me from this place. Haunt me no longer! [Spirit takes his hand and the set changes.]
NARRATOR 3: The hour was up. The Ghost of Christmas Past had no more time to show Scrooge his past, when things had been… happier.
NARRATOR 1: As the magic did its work, and Scrooge came back to the present, the old miser was conscious of being exhausted, overcome by irresistible drowsiness.
NARRATOR 5: Suddenly, Scrooge was back in his own bed, tossing and turning in his own covers. [FIRST GHOST has led SCROOGE to his bed. FIRST GHOST exits the stage.] Was it real, he wondered?
SCROOGE: [SCROOGE is in bed, tossing and turning in the covers. He suddenly sits up right as if waking up.] Fezziwig? [Pause.] Spirit? [SCROOGE looks under the bed.] Bah humbug! [SCROOGE goes back to sleep.]
NARRATOR 4: Bah humbug, he says! Clearly our protagonist has not yet learned his lesson.
NARRATOR 5: But don’t forget, dear audience, that there’s hope for Scrooge yet. Jacob Marley promised not just 1 ghost, but 3 ghosts!
NARRATOR 2: More ghosts?
[All NARRATORS look at NARRATOR 2 and shake their heads.]
NARRATOR 1: Two more ghosts! But first, our merry tale cannot continue without living in the spirit of the Fezziwigs. Let us adjourn for a short intermission. Out yonder doors [Points to the doors] are Christmas drinks and Christmas cookies.
NARRATOR 2: Cookies?! [Narrator 2 starts for the door, but Narrators 3 and 4 catch him to hold him back.]
NARRATOR 4: Oh no you don’t! Otherwise they’ll all be gone!
NARRATOR 1: Merry audience, follow me to enjoy the festivity! [NARRATOR 1 and 5 head out the doors and open the doors, like gentlemen, for the entire audience to come through. Then, head back stage to review for ACT III.]
10 MINUTE INTERMISSION
THE SECOND OF THE THREE SPIRITS
[The stage is dark, though there is a bed with SCROOGE under the covers. The NARRATORS (except NARRATOR 2) crawl out of the dark corners. NARRATOR 1 turns on a lamp.]
NARRATOR 1: [Turns on a lamp to reveal NARRATOR 2 eating a cookie. NARRATOR 1 looks at NARRATOR 2 disapprovingly.]
NARRATOR 2: What?
NARRATOR 1: You’re eating cookies again?
NARRATOR 2: I’m hungry!
NARRATOR 1: [Sighs.] Well, can you finish up? We’ve got a show to narrate.
NARRATOR 2: Oh yeah. Right. [Wipes cookies from his mouth.] Where were we?
NARRATOR 5: The Ghost of Christmas Past took Scrooge to his past. But… [NARRATOR 5 stops short because he sees that NARRATOR 2 has taken a cookie out of his pocket and is eating it. NARRATOR 1 looks at him disbelievingly.]
NARRATOR 2: What? I’m still hungry!
NARRATOR 1: [NARRATOR 1 rolls his eyes and sighs.] Teenagers!
NARRATOR 5: Like I was saying, The Ghost of Christmas Past took Scrooge to his past. But Scrooge is back. [All NARRATORS go to look at SCROOGE, who snores softly.] He sleeps now.
NARRATOR 3: But not for long!
NARRATOR 2: Why? How come?
NARRATOR 3: Because Jacob Marley promised 3 ghosts.
NARRATOR 4: [Pretends to be Jacob Marley. In Jacob’s ghost voice:] You will be haunted by 3 Spirits. Expect the first when the bell tolls one…
NARRATOR 5: That was the Ghost of Christmas Past.
NARRATOR 4: [Pretends to be Jacob Marley. In Jacob’s ghost voice:] Expect the second when the clock tolls two…
[SOUND TECH: Play a sound of a giant clock tolling twice.]
[CHANGE SCENE from BEDROOM to GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT’S KINGDOM.]
NARRATOR 3: When Scrooge woke up, he was astonished to see that he was no longer in his bedroom. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green that it looked a perfect grove.
*Pick up original script here (pg. 11), starting with the NARRATOR’s 3rd sentence: “The leaves of holly…”
Pages 11, 12, and beginning of 13 of original script.
On pg. 13, after TINY TIM says, “Hurruh!”replace rest of ACT II with the following:
BOB CRATCHIT: Wonderful dinner, my dear!
MRS. CRATCHIT: Oh, I’m so glad. I’m never quite sure about the quantity of flour, you know!
YOUNG CRATCHIT 1: It was a perfect quantity of flour, Mother!
YOUNG CRATCHIT 2: Here, here!
MRS. CRATCHIT: Oh, thank you, my dears!
BOB CRATCHIT: [Yawns loudly.]
MRS. CRATCHIT: Oh, Bob, you must be so tired. You work so hard! And for what? It angers me so much that that boss of yours doesn’t even have it in his heart to give you Christmas Day off work! [Angry.]
BOB CRATCHIT: I know, my dear, but let’s not show such feelings on Christmas Eve. Christmas is a time for happiness! [Hugs MRS CRATCHIT and ruffles the hair of YOUNG CRATCHIT 1.]
TINY TIM: [Pause.] You know, I feel badly for him.
BOB CRATHCIT: For who, son?
TINY TIM: For Mr. Scrooge. [MRS CRATCHIT is so startled to hear this she drops her fork.]
BOB CRATCHIT: Why, son?
TINY TIM: Well, we have each other. There’s so much love here. [Gestures around the table.] But Mr. Scrooge has no one and nothing… Except his work, I guess. And that’s sad.
BOB CRATCHIT: You know, I’ve never thought of it like that before. But Tiny Tim, you’re absolutely right! I feel badly for him, too!
YOUNG CRATCHIT 2: Me, too!
YOUNG CRATHIT 1: Me, too.
MRS. CRATCHIT: [Pause. Begrudgingly:] I suppose I do, too.
TINY TIM: Please father, I’d like to do something for him.
BOB CRATCHIT: [BOB and MRS. CRATCHIT laugh.] What could we possibly do for Mr. Scrooge, Tiny Tim? Mr. Scrooge is very, very rich. He has everything he wants! And we… well… we are not so rich.
TINY TIM: [Thinks about it.] Well, maybe there is nothing we can give him, but we could pray for him. I think it would be good if we take a moment to remember all those less fortunate than us, just like I hope people take a moment to pray for me, when they see a cripple.
[CRATCHITS bow their heads in silence. Lights dim. NARRATOR 5 lights a candles to speak. When he finishes speaking, he lights NARRATOR 1’s candle and so on.]
NARRATOR 5: And so it was that the Cratchits prayed.
NARRATOR 1: They prayed for the homeless.
NARRATOR 2: They prayed for the hungry.
NARRATOR 3: They prayed for the stateless, the refugees, the victims of violence.
NARRATOR 4: They prayed for those with cancer and disease.
NARRATOR 5: And they prayed for Scrooge.
[Silence for 15 seconds.]
BOB CRATCHIT: Amen.
ALL CRATCHITS: Amen!
TINY TIM: [Looks around at his family. Raises his glass.] God bless us! Every one!
ALL CRATCHITS: God bless us! Every one! [Big smiles here as CRATCHITS toast each other’s glasses.]
NARRATOR 3: [As NARRATOR 3 reads, the CRATCHITS and other NARRATORS should clean up the table, get it off stage, and bring the bedroom scene back on stage.] At last the Christmas dinner was all done. The cloth was cleared, the hearth swept, and the fire made up. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth, while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and crackled noisily. They were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time. And when the scene faded for Scrooge, the Cratchit family looked even happier. The love was overwhelming.
SCROOGE: [Humble. Thoughtful.] Spirit, please, what is the meaning of this?
SECOND GHOST: [Laughs.] What is the meaning of this? [Suddenly angry.] What is the meaning of this? Dear man, if you cannot see the meaning of this than you are more far gone than even I suspected! This, Ebenezer Scrooge, is the present! This is what’s happening while you waste hours in your counting house! But Scrooge! Oh, Ebenezer Scrooge! The present is a fleeting moment. We live in the present, but too soon, it is the past, and I am gone. [SECOND GHOST gets visibly more tired. NARRATOR 5 hands her a cane. She leans on it like an old woman.] I warn you, Scrooge! This scene, this scene of love and happiness and wonder, it will not live forever either! Dear man, you must see! [Pleading.] You must know the meaning by now!
[SOUND TECH: Play same sound that called back Jacob Marley here.]
SECOND GHOST: My time is done.
SCROOGE: But wait! Don’t leave me! Please, tell me! What’s the meaning of all this?
[SOUND TECH: Play same sound that called back Jacob Marley again.]
SECOND GHOST: [Sadly touches Scrooges shoulder.] My time is done. But you have one more chance, Ebenezer. Remember who you were. Remember what you just saw. [Solemnly.] And brace yourself. You will be haunted by one more ghost. [Breathless.] Tomorrow night. At the last stroke of midnight. Beware! [Faints. NARRATORS 1 and 2 help pick her up and help her off stage.]
[SCENE DESIGNERS: Lights flicker. Big projection of many clocks whirling and twirling. SOUND TECH: Clock begins to toll to twelve. This should be big, loud, deep tolls.]
SCROOGE: [Scared! Sees the clocks. Eyes get wide. Freaks out. Runs around stage and then through the audience and through the main doors. This should last for 6 tolls of the clock.]
END OF ACT III