10 characters; 4M, 4F, 2Either; 10 pages in length. Approximately 10 minutes running time. A comedic adaptation of the Dickens tale written by Andy Pavey.

A Christmas Carol is a comedic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved tale. In this short version, the visiting ghosts are rather unusual. The host of Christmas Past is Belle, Scrooge’s former fiancé – awkward! The Ghost of Christmas Present is, well, a present, and The Ghost of Christmas Future is a rapper and wannabe comedian. Despite their quirkiness, will the ghosts be able to help Scrooge snap out of his need for greed? They’ll have to tug on his heartstrings and purse strings to instill the Christmas spirit into the old miser!

Andy Pavey is Drama Notebook’s resident playwright. Andy has written over 40 plays for Drama Notebook’s Script Library and each one will have you laughing out loud. Andy hails from the tiny riverside town of LeClaire, Iowa. Andy enjoys writing (of course), reading, backpacking, and riding his bicycle. After studying for two years at UWC-USA, an international residential school in New Mexico, he returned to his home state to attend Grinnell College. He previously spent nine years with Davenport Junior Theatre, the second-oldest children’s theatre in the United States, where he acted in productions, managed the props building, and wrote plays for young actors to perform. Enthralled with creative writing since he was very young, he is thrilled to be working with Drama Notebook to inspire others to think outside the box.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

SCROOGE
BOB CRATCHIT
MARLEY
TINY TIM
MRS. CRATCHIT
SISTER #1
SISTER #2
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST (BELLE)
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT
GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE

At rise: A stark office with a table and a few chairs. SCROOGE is working away while BOB CRATCHIT prepares to leave for the day.

BOB CRATCHIT
Boss… I was wondering if I could have the day off tomorrow for Christmas. I’d like to spend it with my family.

SCROOGE
(feigning kindness) Well, I don’t normally do this, but out of the kindness of my heart… (harshly:) No.

BOB CRATCHIT (bewildered)
What? Why not?!

SCROOGE
You’re always talking about how you need more money, Bob, so you should be delighted – no, thrilled – to work on Christmas so you can earn it.

BOB CRATCHIT
But Mr. Scrooge, sir, Christmas is different. You know that.

SCROOGE
Oh, why? Because of so-called “Christmas spirit” and “kindness” and “holiday cheer” and “spending time with the ones you love?” That sounds like a bunch of baloney to me. Always has.

BOB CRATCHIT
Actually, yes. Those sound like perfect reasons.

SCROOGE
Fine, Bob. Take tomorrow off. No pay. If you change your mind, I’ll be here doing some thrilling paperwork. You are welcome to join me. I’ll whip up some of my famous sardines. It’ll be a party.

BOB CRATCHIT
Uhh… That’s a very tempting offer, sir, but I’m afraid I’ll have to pass.

SCROOGE
Fine. Suit yourself.

BOB CRATCHIT starts to leave, but looks back and says:

BOB CRATCHIT
Have a very Merry Christmas, boss!

SCROOGE shakes his head and waves BOB CRATCHIT away. SCROOGE finishes up his paperwork, puts on a coat and scarf, and leaves his office to go home. He gets into bed (or just sleeps on the edge of the stage, depending on the set), then looks to the audience and says:

SCROOGE
Christmas. Bah humbug. What a worthless time of year.

SCROOGE rolls his eyes and goes to sleep. He snores extremely loudly. After a few moments, MARLEY enters. MARLEY is a ghost dressed in rags and wearing chains that drag along the ground.

MARLEY (creepily)
Scrooge… Ebenezer Scrooge…

Nothing happens. MARLEY looks at SCROOGE, confused. SCROOGE snores especially loudly.

MARLEY (creepily)
Uhh.. Scrooge… Wake up… I have a message for you… And you’re not going to like it one bit…

SCROOGE snores again.

MARLEY (loudly)
Oh, come on, old man! Wake up!

SCROOGE sits up, startled, and sees MARLEY.

SCROOGE
Marley? Jacob Marley? Is it really you?

MARLEY
(creepily) Yes, it is I! Jacob Marley! (a beat, then, genuinely:) Thank you for finally waking up, by the way. I really appreciate it.

SCROOGE
But – there’s no way it’s you. You passed away years ago.

MARLEY
Indeed. I have been doomed to wander the earth, chained up and kinda dead. (to the audience) I mean, just look at me. I have not aged gracefully.

SCROOGE
Why have you chosen to visit me tonight?

MARLEY (creepily)
I come to you with a warning. I lived my life focused on nothing but wealth and possessions. I was a greedy man. I see you walking down the same path here today. Before the night is over, you will be visited by three ghosts. If you don’t listen to them and change your ways, your spirit will wander around just like me… (unsure) except, uh, carrying even heavier chains this time. Or something. Sounds scary, right?

SCROOGE (defiantly)
Not at all. No one can force me to change – especially not you and these “three ghosts.” I live my life the way I live it.

A beat.

MARLEY (genuinely)
Are you happy, Ebenezer? Do you have joy in your heart anymore, old friend?

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