Christmas Cafe

Book By: Burton Bumgarner
Play #: 8327
Pages: 43 pgs
Cast: Flexible cast (minimum 15 actors)

"The Christmas Café" is set in a restaurant where Betty, the waitress and cook, serves customers from three different familiar holiday stories: "The Night Before Christmas" by Clemet Clarke Moore, "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, and "The Nutcracker" by E.T.A. Hoffman. In "All of the Other Reindeer," Blitzen is burned out and upset that he's always last on the team. The other reindeer have suggestions: Cupid thinks he needs a love life; Donder suggests a good stock portfolio, Prancer thinks an exercise regime is the answer. Baffled, the other reindeer call in Santa's newest hire, a reindeer called Freud. They tell her Blitzen has jealousy and anger issues. Finally, the waitress Betty simply suggests another reindeer take a turn being last. Finally Blitzen has a better outlook. In "Bah! Humbug!" Marley's Ghost goes to Scrooge's house, but a century and a half too late! The Spirits of Past, Present and Future confront him, but everything's messed up. Now Tiny Tim is a football player. In "Nutcrackered," E.T.A Hoffman is struggling with writer's block. Young Clara and her brother Fritz give him inspiration when they tell him a wild story about a magical nutcracker. The play may be performed on a bare stage with café tables and chairs. The genders of some of the characters may be altered to fit the director's needs.

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Production Script - $6.95 each
Must order at least one per performer.
Performances - $55.00
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Productions

DANCE DIMENSION 1 Performance(s)
WHITMAN, MA 12/1/2018
EASTSIDE JUNIOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BUTLER, IN 11/30/2018
COQUILLE JRSR HIGHSCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
COQUILLE, OR 12/15/2017
KILLEEN SCHOOLS 3 Performance(s)
KILLEEN, TX 12/15/2017
COX MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
COLUMBIA, TN 12/1/2017
BUFFALO PERFORMING ARTS THEATE 2 Performance(s)
BUFFALO, OK 11/17/2017
OAKDALE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
EDMOND, OK 12/8/2016
ACT IT UP! THEATER GROUP 3 Performance(s)
CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH 12/2/2016
OAKBROOK PREPARATORY SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SPARTANBURG, SC 12/15/2015
LANCASTER MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
LANCASTER, TX 12/11/2015
BIG BAD DRAMA COMPANY 1 Performance(s)
LOVETTSVILLE, VA 12/2/2015
NORTHERN MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
HAGERSTOWN, MD 12/1/2015
WANDO HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC 12/16/2014
CARLISLE HIGH DRAMA CLUB 1 Performance(s)
CARLISLE, OH 12/4/2014
SALEM ACADEMY 1 Performance(s)
WINSTON-SALEM, NC 11/19/2014
HOLSTON MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
BLOUNTVILLE, TN 12/19/2013
CLARK MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
FRISCO, TX 12/17/2013
HALE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MOUNDVILLE, AL 12/15/2013
BIG BAD DRAMA COMPANY 2 Performance(s)
LOVETTSVILLE, VA 12/14/2013
HOLSTON MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BLOUNTVILLE, TN 12/13/2013
SUNRISE RIDGE INTERMEDIATE SCH 2 Performance(s)
ST. GEORGE, UT 12/11/2013
MT. PLEASANT CHURCH OF GOD 1 Performance(s)
DILLSBURG, PA 12/8/2013
MARY G. MONTGOMERY HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SEMMES, AL 12/5/2013
BUFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
LANCASTER, SC 12/18/2012
SHILOH CHARTER SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
PLANT CITY, FL 12/13/2012
MATTSON MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
COVINGTON, WA 12/12/2012
PICACHO MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
LAS CRUCES, NM 12/10/2012
HORSE HEAVEN HILLS MIDDLE SCH 1 Performance(s)
KENNEWICK, WA 12/6/2012
COLUMBIA THEATRE COMPANY 4 Performance(s)
HUNTSVILLE, AL 11/30/2012
LUMPKIN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
DAHLONEGA, GA 12/9/2011
WALNUT HIGH 3 Performance(s)
WALNUT, CA 12/3/2011
YULEE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
YULEE, FL 12/19/2010
DRAMA CAMP PRODUCTIONS 2 Performance(s)
MOBILE, AL 12/16/2010
REEDY POINT PLAYERS, LTD. 3 Performance(s)
DELAWARE CITY, DE 12/10/2010
WESTER MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
FRISCO, TX 12/3/2010
ONSTAGE PERFORMANCE GROUP 8 Performance(s)
BARRIE, ON 11/25/2010
HOLLIS MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
HOLLIS, OK 12/15/2009
JOHN OWENS JR-SR HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
READING, MI 12/12/2009
JENKINS MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
PALATKA, FL 12/8/2009
BEAVER DAM BAPTIST CHURCH 3 Performance(s)
BEAVER DAM, KY 12/2/2009
ST MARKS LUTHERAN CHURCH 1 Performance(s)
CHARLOTTE, NC 12/21/2008
MARBLE FALLS MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
MARBLE FALLS, TX 12/15/2008
EAST WHITTIER MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
WHITTIER, CA 12/15/2008
DEMOPOLIS MS 1 Performance(s)
DEMOPOLIS, AL 12/10/2008
PIGEON FORGE MS 2 Performance(s)
PIGEON FORGE, TN 12/9/2008
SULLIGENT HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SULLIGENT, AL 12/6/2008
UKIAH HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
UKIAH, CA 11/30/2008
FARMVILLE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
FARMVILLE, NC 12/18/2007
CEDAR RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
DECATUR, AL 12/10/2007
ANKENY ELKS LODGE #2722 1 Performance(s)
ANKENY, IA 12/9/2007
WESTER MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
FRISCO, TX 12/7/2007
GOSNELL HIGH SCHOOL 2 Performance(s)
BLYTHEVILLE, AR 12/3/2007
EMERSON TAYLOR HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
TAYLOR, AR 12/1/2007
SHAWNEE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
SPRINGFIELD, OH 12/1/2007
LDS CHURCH - BRISTOL, VA 1 Performance(s)
ABINGDON, VA 12/20/2006
PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL 4 Performance(s)
EL PASO, TX 12/18/2006
LITTLE TOWN PLAYERS 2 Performance(s)
BEDFORD, VA 12/16/2006
CAVALIER HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
CAVALIER, ND 12/15/2006
EISENHOWER MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
OREGON, OH 12/13/2006
BUTTE HIGH SCHOOL 1 Performance(s)
DORRIS, CA 12/13/2006
THEATRE GROUP 2 Performance(s)
PINEVILLE, NC 12/12/2006
HOMER JR. HIGH DRAMA CLUB 1 Performance(s)
HOMER, NY 12/8/2006

Behind The Scenes

PLAYWRIGHT BURTON BUMGARNER

TALKS ABOUT "CHRISTMAS CAFÉ"

 

Q: What inspired you to write this play?

A: I wanted to have some fun with some of our holiday traditions. I selected the familiar poem "The Night Before Christmas" by Clemet Clarke Moore, "Christmas Carol" and "Nutcracker" by E.T.A. Hoffman. In thinking about these familiar tales, one wonders: Do the reindeer ever suffer from work related stress and burn out? What if Marley's Ghost and the three Christmas Spirits visited Scrooge's house in the wrong century? Before "Nutcracker" was a ballet it was a children's short story. What if its writer suffered from writer's block? What if Clara and Fritz showed up and provided needed inspiration? What if Uncle Drosselmeier was really a klutz?

 

Q: What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?

A: I love Blitzen's anxiety dream: "I'm in the barn and the trough is full of reindeer food. Only I'm trying to move toward it, and the harder I try and get to dinner, the faster dinner moves away. I never get my food. And all of the other reindeer are laughing and calling me names. And they won't let me join in any reindeer games, either. Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa shows up and tells me if I can make my nose light up, I can be the leader. Only my nose won't light up, so I'm right back where I started, only I'm hungry. Then I wake up." The entire play is funny, but that one really cracks me up. Maybe it's because I have so many anxiety dreams myself.

 

Q: Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?

A: The characters are slightly (or not so slightly) altered creations of other writers. They're part of our holiday heritage and legacy. They are so familiar they are clichés. The exception is Freud, who was the father of modern psychoanalysis. In this play he's a she, and she's a reindeer.

 

Q: What did you try to achieve with this play?

A: Holiday cheer.

 

Q: Do you have anything else you'd like to add?

A: I want actors and audiences to have a great time.