8 characters; 3F, 4M, 1 Either; 4 pages in length. Approximately 5 minutes running time. A theatrical adaptation of the Christmas poem for children written by Andy Pavey.
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas is a theatrical adaptation of the beloved Christmas poem A Visit by St. Nicholas by Clement Moore. The story comes to life as Father, his family, and a precocious little mouse narrate his experience about the night he was visited by Santa Claus and his reindeer. The stage directions add humor and dimension to this beloved tale. A great addition to your next holiday production for kids!
Andy Pavey is a commissioned playwright, who writes short plays for Drama Notebook. He is a student who attends UWC-USA. 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. In addition to writing, Andy is an avid backpacker!;
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
At rise: There is a Christmas tree and a fireplace center stage. The parents’ bed is stage right. The beds for the children are stage left. The CHILDREN have turned in for the night. The MOTHER is in bed, sitting up and reading. As lines are said, actors act them out. The FATHER checks on the children, then walks towards his bed and delivers the next line.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
The MOUSE wanders in, sneaking around, unseen. The MOUSE can also wander around for the entirety of the story, always quiet.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
The FATHER gets in his bed.
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap—
SANTA comes clattering in (far downstage—not yet inside) with a large bag of gifts. He is bumbling along, trips, drops the bag, and a “breaking glass” sound effect might play.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
The FATHER jumps up in a panic.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
The FATHER runs over to an imaginary window.
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
MOUSE (also looking around outside )
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
The BIG SISTER joins her FATHER by the window.
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
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