Holiday Under an Hour

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  Dickens' A Christmas Carol

Drama by Joel A. Osborne

32 pages

Approx. 15 m, 15 w, much doubling possible


Here's a delightful and easy-to-do version of Dickens' Christmas story, faithfully adapted for young people and their families. Originally written as a touring show, it is adaptable to any theatre or stage facility. All the beloved characters and scenes are included: Scrooge and Cratchit in the counting house; the Ghost of Christmas Past; Scrooge’s sweetheart Belle at the Fezziwig ball; the Ghost of Ghost of Christmas Present and the Cratchit home with Tiny Tim; and even the sensitive scenes at the pawn shop and graveyard. Of course, there’s the happy ending ...

  Four To Go For Christmas

Holiday Play by Eldridge Publishing Company

57 pages

Flexible cast and performance time


Here are four plays tailor-made for traveling with minimal props and scenery. In "The Christmas Caper" (9 parts), Santa is kidnapped by a little-known fairytale character who just wants to be popular. In "The Night of the New and Improved Christmas" (9 parts), a Madison Avenue public relations firm wants to update Santa and the whole holiday tradition. In "Christmas With the Cratchits" (8 parts), Tiny Tim's family is ecstatic when they think they've won the lottery. In "Million Dollar Christmas" (11 parts), three of the most miserly people ever known must giv...

  Merry Christmas Mayhem

Comedy by Mindy Starns Clark

28 pages

2 m, 3 w, 2 flexible parts


It's the day of Eleanor's annual church Christmas dinner for the poor. She's brought along her new boyfriend, Leo, to meet her grown granddaughter, Jane, for the first time. Jane has also brought along her new boyfriend, Bobby, to meet her grandmother. Unfortunately, they are so busy serving the dinner that the two couples do not get the chance for formal introductions. Through a series of misunderstandings, Eleanor soon thinks Bobby is one of the homeless people while Jane thinks Leo is an insane stalker. The confusion escalates until the final hilarious con...

  One Hundred Elves

Comedy by Dan Roberts

28 pages

3 m, 5 w, 7 flexible.


Theatrical producer J.W. Allsworth is putting together a spectacular holiday production promising to use 100 authentic elves for the big finale. Phelps, the head elf at the North Pole, says he will have the exact number of singers and dancers at the first rehearsal. He’ll keep it as a surprise for Santa when the money earned will pay off the workshop mortgage. But when Phelps comes up short of elves because Santa has already downsized the staff, Phelps must organize a worldwide search for all past employees. He finally comes up with exactly the required numbe...

  Just Like the Ones I Used to Know

Comedy Holiday by Terrie Todd

20 pages

2 m, 3 w, 1 boy, 1 girl


Ted and Jane are hosting Ted’s mother and sister for Christmas. As they share memories of their childhood home (acted out live) it becomes clear that their perspectives about the past are very different. An on-going “falling off the ladder” gag adds to the laughs. Finally, Mom presents them each with a DVD featuring their old home movies. As they watch it together, the realization that perhaps they each had things better than they remember brings a lump to the throat and an appreciation for the value of family. Performing groups can be as creative as desired ...

  String of Lights

Drama by Terry Earp

24 pages

1 w, 1 flexible


This is the story of two displaced people: Esther, an escapee from a nursing home, and Nathan, a young runaway who is fresh to the streets. They break into an apartment and she feeds Nathan a meal he will never forget. Together they create memories, making up events that they each wish would have happened, from merry Christmas holidays to lazy summer days at baseball games. The more they pretend, the more we see that Esther misses her family members who have passed away and that Nathan is deeply hurt by his divorcing parents. The memories they create will tak...

  The Bachelor's Christmas Family

Holiday by Sherry Roseberry

17 pages

2 m, 8 w (doubling possible) 1 b, 1 g, and carolers


This turn-of-the-century Christmas is going to be a white one for bachelor Robert Kelley: white because his white lie has caught up with him! His boss, who only hires family men, wants to meet Robert's wife and kids. Robert decides to rent a family but has to disqualify several zany applicants. He is desperate until he spies sweet Mary O'Riley selling fruit. This one-act play is lighthearted, easy-to-stage and includes suggestions for favorite carols as well as one new song.

  Be Deckin' the Halls

Comedy Holiday by R.G. Orth

32 pages

4 m, 6 w, extras


Accident-prone Arnold is so big and awkward that when accidents happen, they happen big. When Carol asks him over for Christmas Eve, her family is in a panic, not knowing whether their liability insurance will cover everything. His run-in with Miss Gertrude, the choir director, and her carolers brings misery to all. Dianne and Carol get their heads together along with Jack and decide that Constance, a psychology major, is the answer. She helps Arnold - until he happily gets into his car. Laugh your way into the Christmas spirit with this one!

  Christmas Every Day

Comedy by Burton Bumgarner

31 pages

8 m, 8 w


As Christmas day approaches, a young girl asks her father for a story. He spins a delightful tale about a little girl named Betsy who makes a wish to have Christmas every day of the year. Her wish comes true. At first it is all very exciting, with Santa's visit, the opening of packages, the singing of carols, and the arrival of the cousins for dinner. But soon the daily repetition wears thin. Santa is too exhausted to deliver presents and goes to sleep in Betsy's living room. The carolers have no energy to sing, all of the forests are cleared of Christmas tre...

  Tis the Season

Christmas Comedy Holiday by Linda Berry

28 pages

(3 m, 2 w, 2 flexible)(3 m, 3 w)


Celebrate the holiday season in a new way this year! These two short interrelated comedies provide a fresh alternative to traditional holiday dramas. In “‘Tis the Season” (3 m, 2 w, 2 flexible), the Scheduler has called a meeting of representatives of major winter festivals and holidays because the “people upstairs” have decided December is too cluttered with similar events. The group, including Santa, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and Solstice, discuss who could retire, merge, or relocate, but they cannot agree. When the Scheduler is called away, the discussi...

  A Commedia Christmas Carol

Commedia by Lane Riosley

50 pages

2 m, 2 w


In this faithful 1-act adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, a traveling troupe of commedia del arte players re-create the Victorian world of “A Christmas Carol” on a bare stage. All of the many wonderful characters are played by these four actors with cleverness, skill, and comedy. Dickens, an actor, playwright, and enthusiastic theatergoer, used many theatrical characters in his novels, especially characters from the commedia del arte tradition. The most notable of these is Ebenezer Scrooge, who is played in this adaptation by commedia’s big-nosed Punc...

  The First Thanksgiving According to Dwayne

Comedy Holiday by Pat Cook

22 pages

4 m, 6 w


"Four score and seven years ago, Christopher Columbus drove his Plymouth on a rock." This is just one of the tidbits of American history according to Dwayne. When asked in class to explain how America celebrated its first Thanksgiving, he launches into the most lopsided account imaginable. Father and Mother of this Pilgrim family get talked into hosting the event. "You have the table," the Preacher explains. And we finally find out how such Thanksgiving staples came about. "I can't believe we're having turkey," Mother groans. "Hey, I ran over it with the mule...