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THE POLAR EXPRESS

A play with music for Those who Truly Believe


Based on the 2004 Motion Capture Computer-Animated Fantasy Film & The Classic Children's Story by CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG
Adapted for the Stage by L. HILL & C. JOURDYN
Featuring Music by GLEN BALLARD & ALAN SILVESTRI

SYNOPSIS:
For one doubting child, an astonishing event occurs. Late on Christmas Eve night, the child lies in bed hoping to
hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa's sleigh. When to the childs surprise, a steam engine's roar and
whistle can be heard outside the window. The conductor invites the child on board to take an extraordinary
journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, the child receives an extraordinary gift
only those who still believe in Santa can experience...

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Listed in order of appearance

NARRATOR, Adult Sarah Keller.................................................................................................................Brittany Bretz


PETER KELLER, Sarahs Father..................................................................................................................Harrison Judd
SARAH KELLER................................................................................................................................Madison Henderson
CATHY KELLER, Sarahs Mother.............................................................................................................Hannah Ritchey
JO, Sarahs Doubting Sister.....................................................................................................................Sydney Penrod
CONDUCTOR.........................................................................................................................................Elizabeth Carver
DEBORAH & BARBARA JOHNSON.....................................................................................Jillian Pratt, Sydney Schnabel
BILLY SMITH................................................................................................................................................Brock Kugler
BECKY THOMPSON..................................................................................................................................Bella Ortmann
TRAIN CHILDREN ............................................................Morgan Fowler, Stasja Harris, Angela Heck, Joey Gryglewski
Matt Muniz, Emily Quinn, Rachael Raub, Shelby Salger, Alyssa Watson
WAITERS/ELF CHOIR............................................................................................................AMS Select Womens Choir
ELF ANNOUNCER..................................................................................................................................Mason Ambrose
ELVES......................................................................................................Alex Harper-Mill, Kaitlyn Potts, Alexis Schaub
SANTA.................................................................................................................................................................Himself

SCENES & SONGS:


SCENE 1: The Night Before Christmas................................................................Narrator, Sarah, Father, Mother, Jo
SCENE 2: All Aboard the Polar Express....................................................Jo, Conductor, Train Children, Becky, Billy
SONG: The Polar Express..................................................................................................Train Children
SCENE 3: On Board...........................Conductor, Train Children, Waiters, Deborah & Barbara, Jo, Becky, Billy
SONG: Hot Chocolate!.....................................................................Conductor, Train Children, Waiters
SONG: When Christmas Comes to Town..............................................................................Billy, Becky
SONG: The Polar Express REPRISE............................................................Conductor, All Train Children
SCENE 4: The North Pole................................Conductor, Train Children, Becky, Jo, Billy, Deborah & Barbara
SCENE 5: Santas Arrival/Departure........................................................ Conductor, All Train Children, Santa, Elves
SONG: Santa Claus is Coming to Town................................................Elf Choir, Company, AUDIENCE*
SONG: The Spirit of the Season...............................................................................................Company
SCENE 6: Heading Home...............................................................................................Conductor, All Train Children
SCENE 7: The Bell Rings ...........................................................................................Jo, Sarah, Mother, Father
SCENE 8: BELIEVE!.....................................................................................................................Narrator & Company
SONG: Believe FINALE...........................................................................................Narrator & Company
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 1

THE POLAR EXPRESS


_____________________________________________________________________________________
SCENE 1: The Night Before Christmas
_____________________________________________________________________________________
OVERTURE
OPENING VOICE-OVER MUSIC
(Spotlight on NARRATOR)
NARRATOR (ADULT SARAH):
On Christmas Eve my parents tried desperately to put my sister and me to bed as they did every year.
Although my sister and I were believers through and through... going to bed on such an exciting night was
always a little difficult for young children like us. Wed toss and turn and run to check the window... Wed
listen closely to every little sound; trying to stay awake until we heard him come... Yet, somehow wed wake
up on Christmas morning and find that Santa magically visited us throughout the night.
On one particular Christmas Eve, many years ago, I was no exception... as I pleaded with my parents to let me
stay up, in the other room lay my sister in her bed with worries of her own... A friend at school had insisted,
'There is no Santa!' Can you believe it?! She knew her friend was wrong... but even worse, she thought ...
what if her friend was right?
On that Christmas Eve, my doubting sister lay quietly in her bed. She did not rustle the sheets. She breathed
slowly and silently. She was listening for the same sound I was... only, she was afraid shed never hear it...
The ringing bells of Santa's sleigh....
(Fade out Spotlight, Fade in Downstage)
FATHER (PETER):
All right. All right, Sarah, you had your water. Now let's get you upstairs and into bed.
SARAH:
But... But... But, I have to...
FATHER (PETER):
Come on sweetie, its late and you need your rest.
SARAH:
But she said Santa would have to fly faster than light...to get to every house in one night.
FATHER (PETER):
So...
SARAH:
(Quickly continues) And to hold everyone's presents...his sled would be bigger than an ocean liner!
FATHER (PETER):
Your sister said that? Oh she was just kidding you. She knows there's a Santa.

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 2

THE POLAR EXPRESS


SARAH:
She said she wasn't sure... She wasn't sure if Santa was for real!
FATHER (PETER):
Of course Santa is real. He's as real as Christmas itself.
MOTHER (CATHY):
...But he won't come until you're sound asleep, young lady. Off to bed now... Sweet dreams.
FATHER (PETER):
Santa will be here before you know it. So go upstairs to sleep.
SARAH:
Ok... Good Night.
CONFLICT HARP
JO:
(To herself) How can Santa be real? Hes a fairy tale just like the tooth fairy. Nobody could deliver millions of
presents in just one night. Thats impossible! (She hears people coming and runs to her bed.)
FATHER (PETER):
She's gotta be asleep by now.
MOTHER (CATHY):
She used to stay awake all night waiting for Santa.
FATHER (PETER):
Think those days are just about over...
MOTHER (CATHY):
That would be sad if that were true.
FATHER (PETER):
Yeah, an end of the magic...
MOTHER (CATHY):
(Whispering) Merry Christmas, sweetheart
FATHER (PETER):
She's out like a light... An express train wouldn't wake her up now.
(Fade out on Parents. Parents exit... Spotlight on JO.
...Scene Continues seamlessly into SCENE 2)

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 3

THE POLAR EXPRESS


_____________________________________________________________________________________________

SCENE 2: All Aboard the Polar Express


_____________________________________________________________________________________
JO:
"End of the magic?! What does that mean? (She ponders for a moment.) What if Santa actually is real and
hes not a made up story? (She falls asleep.)
(JO awakens from the sound of a bell followed by an acceleration of rumbling.)
POLAR ENTRANCE
JO:
What is that?! (She jumps out of bed and runs to her window. A light blinds her as she stumbles backward.)
Whoa!...whats going on? (JO runs outside.)
{RED CURTAIN Opens fully with a flood of smoke and bright lights shining on JO.}
CONDUCTOR:
(Off Stage) All Aboard! {(He appears from the smoke)} All Aboard! (JO walks over to conductor.)
Well, you coming?
JO:
Where?
CONDUCTOR:
Why to The North Pole of course, this is The Polar Express!
JO:
The North Pole?
CONDUCTOR:
I see... hold this please (hands lantern to JO) Is this you? (He shows JO a clipboard)
JO:
(She looks at clipboard) Yeah...
CONDUCTOR:
Well it says here: NO photo with department store Santa this year, NO letter to Santa and you even made
your sister put out the milk and cookies. Sounds to me like this is your crucial year. If I were you, I would think
about climbing on board. Come on, come on. (He looks at clock) I've got a schedule to keep. (JO stands there
staring at the CONDUCTOR) Suit yourself.
(The train starts to pull away and JO gets on train.) {When JO gets on the train, a burst of smoke is followed behind
her. Train interior revealed and TRAIN CHILDREN sing The Polar Express chorus}
'CAUSE THAT'S THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
WHOO, WHOO, THE WHISTLE BLOWS
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 4

THE POLAR EXPRESS


THAT'S THE SOUND OF HER SINGING
DING, DING, THE BELL WILL RING
GOLLY, LOOK AT HER GO
YOU WONDER IF WE'LL GET THERE SOON
ANYBODY'S GUESS
'CAUSE THAT'S THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
WHEN WE GET THERE
WE'LL SCREAM, "YAY!"
WE'LL ARRIVE WITH
A BANG, BANG, BANG
BOOM, BOOM, BOOM
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY
WITH A COMFY SEAT AND LOTS TO EAT
BOY, IT'S JUST THE BEST
WISH IT WOULDN'T EVER HAVE TO END
WITH A LITTLE LUCK, WE'LL BE ON TIME
THERE'S NO NEED TO STRESS
'CAUSE THAT'S THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
(All laugh and chatter excitedly)
DEBORAH:
Hey, you! Yeah, you! Do you know what kind of train this is?
JO:
Huh?
DEBORAH:
Train!!Do you know what kind of train this is?
BARBARA:
Well, do ya?
JO:
Uhh.. .ummm
BECKY:
(to DEBORAH & BARABARA) Of course, its a magic train. (To JO) Were going to The North Pole.
DEBORAH:
We know it's a magic train. Actually it's a Baldwin 284 S3 class steam locomotive...
BARBARA:
...built in 1940 at the Baldwin Locomotive Works and it weighs 456,100 pounds.
CONDUCTOR:
Tickets. Tickets, please. Tickets. (to JO) Ticket, please.... Try your pocket

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 5

THE POLAR EXPRESS


JO:
Nothing.
CONDUCTOR:
Try your other pocket.
JO:
(JO pulls out ticket and reads what the ticket says) The Polar Express, Round Trip.
CONDUCTOR:
(Grabs ticket) Thank you, miss...
DEBORAH:
Boy, that guy sure likes to show off.
BARBARA:
Look what that wise guy punched on my ticket. "L-E."
DEBORAH:
What the heck does that mean?
CONDUCTOR:
Next stop, 11344 Edbrooke.
DEBORAH:
(Looking out the window) Were heading for the other side of the tracks.
BARBARA:
Oh no! Not the other side of the tracks!
(The train comes to a halt. Children peek out the windows, eavesdropping.
The CONDUCTOR gets off to greet BILLY)
CONDUCTOR:
(to BILLY) Well? You coming?
DEBORAH:
It's just another pickup.
BARBARA:
That's weird. I thought you (to JO) were supposed to be the last one.
CONDUCTOR:
(to BILLY) Why, to the North Pole, of course. This is the Polar Express! Suit yourself. (BILLY gets on..)
Take your seats, please! Let me remind you we are on a very tight schedule. And I've never been late
before...and I am certainly not going to be late tonight.
Now, everybody, take your seats, please! Thank you.
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 6

THE POLAR EXPRESS


(Continue seamlessly to SCENE 3)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

SCENE 3: On Board
_____________________________________________________________________________________
CONDUCTOR:
(Continues...) Your attention, please! Are there any Polar Express passengers in need of refreshment?
ALL TRAIN CHILDREN:
Me, Me, Me! Yes! I do! (adlib, etc)
CONDUCTOR:
I thought so...
SONG: HOT CHOCOLATE
ENSEMBLE:
[CHORUS:]

HOT! HOT!
HOT! HOT!
HOT! HOT!
HOT CHOCOLATE! (Together)
HOT! HOT!
HOT! HOT!
HOT! HOT!
HOT CHOCOLATE! (Together)

[VERSE 1:]

HOT CHOC-O-LAT! (Together)

CONDUCTOR:
OOH, WE GOT IT!
HEY, WE GOT IT!
SAY, WE GOT IT!
HOT CHOCOLATE! (Together)
OH, WE GOT IT!
SO, WE GOT IT!
YO, WE GOT IT!
HOT CHOCOLATE! (Together)
HERE, WE'VE ONLY GOT ONE
RULE:
NEVER EVER LET IT COOL!
KEEP IT COOKIN IN THE POT,
YOU'VE GOT...
HOT CHOC-O-LAT! (Together)

[REPEAT CHORUS]
[REPEAT CHORUS]
[VERSE 2:]
(HERE, WE ONLY GOT ONE RULE)
(NEVER EVER LET IT COOL!)
KEEP IT COOKIN IN THE POT

HERE, WE ONLY GOT ONE RULE:


NEVER EVER LET IT COOL!
SOON, YA GOT HOT CHOC-O-LAT!

[REPEAT CHORUS]

[REPEAT CHORUS]

[REPEAT VERSE 2]

[REPEAT VERSE 2]

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 7

THE POLAR EXPRESS


DEBORAH:
You know, Montezuma, the king of the Aztecs would drink 50 quarts of hot chocolate every day...
BARBARA:
Yeah, it was thick as mud and red. He put chili pepper in instead of sugar. Get it? Hot-chocolate? (Both laugh)
TRAIN CHILD 1:
How do you know?
TRAIN CHILD 2:
Ive never heard that before!
TRAIN CHILD 8:
Thats not even true!
DEBORAH:
Yes it is!
BARBARA:
... And did you know that it can take at least 3 minutes for a train to come to a complete stop when only
going 40mph.
JO:
(to BECKY) Where you going with that?
BECKY:
It's for him, the boy back there.
JO:
I don't think we're allowed to leave our seats.
DEBORAH:
Yah! Thats true.
BARBARA:
It's a violation of safety regulations for a kid to cross moving cars without a grown-up.
BECKY:
(Sarcastically to DEBORAH & BARBARA) I think I'll be okay...
JO:
Are you sure?
BECKY:
Yes, Ill be fine. Now... are you coming? (To JO)
CONDUCTOR:
(Enters, noticing BECKY with HOT CHOCOLATE in hand) What about this lad in the back? Did he get any
refreshment?
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 8

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BECKY:
(Shakes her head No) I know we are supposed to stay in our seats but...
CONDUCTOR:
(Interrupts her) Well, take some to him, by all means.
(JO and BECKY walk to the next car and find BILLY singing to himself.)
SONG: WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN
BECKY:
(to JO) Shhh... listen!

BILLY:
LA LA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA LA
IM WISHING ON A STAR AND TRYING TO BELIEVE.
THAT EVEN THOUGH ITS FAR, HELL FIND ME CHRISTMAS EVE.
I GUESS THAT SANTAS BUSY CAUSE HES NEVER COME AROUND.
I THINK OF HIM WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN.
BECKY:
THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR, WHEN EVERYONE COMES HOME.
WITH ALL THIS CHRISTMAS CHEER, ITS HARD TO BE ALONE.
PUTTING UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE WITH FRIENDS WHO COME AROUND.
ITS SO MUCH FUN WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN.
PRESENTS FOR THE CHILDREN WRAPPED IN RED AND GREEN
BILLY:
ALL THE THINGS IVE HEARD ABOUT, BUT NEVER REALLY SEEN
BECKY AND BILLY:
NO ONE WILL BE SLEEPING ON THE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS EVE, HOPING SANTAS ON HIS WAY
(MUSIC INTERLUDE)
BECKY:
PRESENTS FOR THE CHILDREN WRAPPED IN RED AND GREEN
BILLY:
ALL THE THINGS IVE HEARD ABOUT, BUT NEVER REALLY SEEN
BECKY AND BILLY:
NO ONE WILL BE SLEEPING ON THE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS EVE HOPING SANTAS ON HIS WAY
BECKY:
WHEN SANTAS SLEIGH BELLS RING

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 9

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BILLY:
I LISTEN ALL AROUND
BECKY:
THE HERALD ANGELS SING
BILLY:
I NEVER HEAR A SOUND
BECKY:
AND ALL THE DREAMS OF CHILDREN
BILLY:
ONCE LOST WILL NOW BE FOUND
BECKY:
THAT'S ALL I WANT WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN.
JO:
THATS ALL I WANT...
ALL:
WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN.
BECKY:
Look! (Points to the sky)
JO:
The northern lights!
CONDUCTOR:
Hey, you three. We just crossed it. Latitude 66 degrees, 33 minutes. The Arctic Circle. You see those lights in
the distance; they look like lights of a strange ocean liner sailing on a frozen sea.
(Continues) That... is The North Pole!
SONG: THE POLAR EXPRESS REPRISE
ITS A MAGIC CARPET ON A RAIL
NEVER TAKES A REST
FLYING THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS AND THE SNOW
RIDE FOR FREE AND JOIN THE FUN
(YOU CAN RIDE FOR FREE)
IF YOU JUST SAY YES!
CAUSE THATS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
YOU BET!

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 10

THE POLAR EXPRESS


WOOO WOOO THE WHISTLE BLOWS
THATS THE SOUND OF HER SINGING
DING DING THE BELL WILL RING
GOLLY LOOK AT HER GO!
YOU WONDER IF YOULL GET THERE SOON
ANYBODYS GUESS
CAUSE THATS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
WHEN WE GET THERE WELL SCREAM YES! (YEAH)
WELL ARRIVE WITH A BANG BANG BANG
BOOM BOOM BOOM
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY!
ITS A CHOO CHOO WITH A STUNNING VIEW
THAT RIVALS ALL THE BEST
BUT YOU WONT SEE IT ADVERTISED
ITS A SIMPLE FACT WE STAY ON TRACK
THOUGH SOMETIMES WE DIGRESS
BUT THAT CAN ONLY HAPPEN ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
HISS HISS THE STEAM HISSES
THATS THE SOUND OF HER BREATHING
CLANG CLANG THE BOILER BANGS
WHAT A WONDERFUL SHOW!
WITH A COMFY SEAT AND LOTS TO EAT
BOY IS THIS THE BEST!
WISH IT WOULDNT EVER HAVE TO END
WITH A LITTLE LUCK WELL BE ON TIME
THERES NO NEED TO STRESS
CAUSE THATS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
LIGHTS ARE GLEAMING FAR ACROSS THE SNOW
YOURE NOT DREAMING
MAY I PRESENT THE NORTH POLE!
IF ITS PENGUINS YOU EXPECT TO VIEW
YOU SURELY HAVENT GUESSED
THEY ALL LIVE DOWN AT THE OTHER END
WITH A LITTLE LUCK WELL BE ON TIME
THERES NO NEED TO STRESS
CAUSE THATS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
BOOM BOOM THE WHISTLE BLOWS
THATS THE SOUND OF HER SINGING
DING DING THE BELL WILL RING
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 11

THE POLAR EXPRESS


GOLLY LOOK AT HER GO!
IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US COME ALONG
ILL CHECK MY MANIFEST
CAUSE THATS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE POLAR EXPRESS
WHEN WE GET THERE WELL SCREAM YES! (YEAH)
WELL ARRIVE WITH A BANG BANG BANG BOOM BOOM BOOM
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY
IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US COME ALONG
YOU CAN BE OUR GUEST
CAUSE THATS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN
ON THE ROLLER COASTER THE POLAR EXPRESS!
(Transition seamlessly to SCENE 4)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

SCENE 4: The North Pole


_____________________________________________________________________________________
CONDUCTOR:
We made it with five minutes to spare. We made it! Welcome to the North Pole!
BECKY:
There should be elves... where are the elves?
TRAIN CHILD 3:
Where are the elves?
TRAIN CHILD 4:
Yeah, where are the elves? (etc.ad libs by other children)
TRAIN CHILD 9:
(Disappointed) I dont see them!!
CONDUCTOR:
They are gathering in the center of the city. That is where Santa will give the first gift of Christmas.
DEBORAH:
Who gets the first gift of Christmas?
BARBARA:
I hope it will be me! Ive been extra good this year.
CONDUCTOR:
He will choose one of you.
TRAIN CHILD 5:
Look!! Elves! (TRAIN CHILDREN excitedly cheer, talk, adlib and look for the elves out the windows)
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 12

THE POLAR EXPRESS


CONDUCTOR:
All right. All right , ladies and gentlemen. Two columns, if you please. Shorter in the front, taller in the back.
Even-numbered birthdays on the right, odd-numbered on the left. No pushing. No pushing.
But let's not dilly-dally. It's five minutes to midnight.
BARBARA:
(Whispering to DEBORAH) That seems like a gross miscalculation.
DEBORAH:
(Speaking up) Hey, what gives? It was five minutes till midnight four minutes ago.
CONDUCTOR:
(Annoyed) Exactly. Columns of two. One, two...
BECKY:
Excuse me...
CONDUCTOR:
Question?
BECKY:
What about him? (points to BILLY)
CONDUCTOR:
(to BECKY) No one is required to see Santa. (to the group) Ladies and gentlemen, you do not have to hold
hands but please remain in your columns while we are in transit.
BECKY:
(to JO) Come on...
JO:
But we arent supposed to leave the group.
BECKY:
I know but it is Christmas Eve and we are going to meet Santa. You dont want Billy to miss this do you?
JO:
Well no... but....
BECKY:
Then come on.
BARBARA:
Hey... where are those two going?
(The group starts to walk off stage as JO and GIRL cross to BILLY)
BECKY:
Look, you have to come with us.

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 13

THE POLAR EXPRESS


JO:
Yeah, shes right...
BILLY:
Christmas just doesn't work out for me. Never has and probably never will.. .
BECKY:
But Christmas is such a wonderful, beautiful time. It's a time for giving and being thankful,
for friends and family. People hang decorations and lights. Santa leaves presents under our Christmas trees.
BILLY:
Christmas just... (pauses) it just doesn't work out for me.
JO:
Look, I don't know if Christmas is gonna work out for you or not but this is Christmas Eve. Don't stay here by
yourself.
BECKY:
Yes, come with us, we'll go together. (The three look around and realize they have separated from the group)
JO:
Oh no! Which way did they go?! Were lost!
BECKY:
(Pausing, Listening) You hear that? The bell.
JO:
What bell?
BECKY:
The sleigh bell.
JO:
Sleigh bell?
BECKY:
Don't you hear it? That's the way we should go. Come on!
JO:
We're lost! (Sits. Depressed)
BECKY:
(Not paying attention to JO) Yes. I hear it.
BILLY:
I hear it too.
JO:
I don't hear anything.
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 14

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BECKY:
Okay, it's down this way.
JO:
Are you sure?
BECKY:
Absolutely.
JO:
Why can't I hear anything? I don't know about this. I don't hear it. Do you?
BECKY:
I think we should follow those arrows over there...
JO:
We're gonna miss everything.
BECKY:
(Sees stacks of presents ready to be shipped) Hey, look. Presents! (Runs and begins examining all the presents)
BILLY:
(Finding one in the stack) This one is going to my town. To someone named, Billy! ...My name is Billy... It's
going to Edbrooke Avenue. That's my address!
JO:
Come on. Well be late!
BILLY:
But look! It says, "Merry Christmas, Billy. From Mr. C!" I think I know what it is. I wanted one of these my
whole life. (Starts to open the present)
JO:
(Stopping BILLY) Wait, wait. Stop. Read it!
BILLY:
But I...
JO:
It says, Dont Open until Christmas
BECKY:
(Spotting the DEBORAH & BARBARA) Hey! What are you two doing here?
DEBORAH:
Same as you, checking our presents.

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 15

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BARBARA:
...Making sure were getting everything on our lists.
DEBORAH:
I found one present. All it had was stupid underwear.
BECKY:
Hey! Listen! Did you hear that? Sleigh bells! Were here!
JO:
It's still five minutes till Christmas? I think we're gonna make it!
DEBORAH:
Of course.
BARBARA:
... It's been five to for the last hour.
TRAIN CHILD 6:
(Enters, spotting the missing children) Hey! Weve been looking for you! (The TRAIN CHILDREN enter with an
ELF guide and reunite)
TRAIN CHILD 7:
Nice to see you again!
CONDUCTOR:
Cutting it kind of close, aren't we? Santa is almost here!
(EVERYONE cheers, adlib. Santa is on his way! Hes Almost here!, etc. ringing bells ELF CHOIR gets in place).
(Continue seamlessly to SCENE 5)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

SCENE 5: Santas Arrival/Departure


_____________________________________________________________________________________
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
ELF ANNOUNCER: (In an announcers voice) And now... Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls... You better watch
out! You better not cry...Introducing the Official Elf Choir of the Northern Hemisphere: The North Pole Singers!
(Everyone claps and cheers)
ELF CHOIR:
YOU BETTER WATCH OUT,
YOU BETTER NOT CRY,
BETTER NOT POUT,
I'M TELLING YOU WHY...
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 16

THE POLAR EXPRESS


HE'S MAKING A LIST,
AND CHECKING IT TWICE;
GONNA FIND OUT WHO'S NAUGHTY AND NICE...
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!
HE SEES YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING,
HE KNOWS WHEN YOU'RE AWAKE,
HE KNOWS IF YOU'VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD.
SO BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
O! YOU BETTER WATCH OUT!
YOU BETTER NOT CRY,
BETTER NOT POUT,
I'M TELLING YOU WHY...
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!
(Music Interlude)
ELF ANNOUNCER: AUDIENCE, this time please join us in singing while we wait for his grrrrand entrance... the one,
the only.... The Man with the Bag, Mr. Jolly Ol Kris Kringle Himself...SANTA CLAUS!
(Everyone claps and cheers and COMPANY SINGS... INCLUDING AUDIENCE)
YOU BETTER WATCH OUT,
YOU BETTER NOT CRY,
BETTER NOT POUT,
I'M TELLING YOU WHY...
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!
HE'S MAKING A LIST,
AND CHECKING IT TWICE;
GONNA FIND OUT WHO'S NAUGHTY AND NICE...
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!
HE SEES YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING,
HE KNOWS WHEN YOU'RE AWAKE,
HE KNOWS IF YOU'VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD.
SO BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
O! YOU BETTER WATCH OUT!
YOU BETTER NOT CRY,
BETTER NOT POUT,

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 17

THE POLAR EXPRESS


I'M TELLING YOU WHY...
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING... TO TOWN!
(Bells toll and Sleigh bells begin to ring)
BECKY:
Aren't those bells the most beautiful sound? He must be here! (Spot him) He is! He's here! Hes
Here!(CHILDREN begin to cheer excitedly)
JO:
Where?
BILLY:
I see him. He's over there.
EVERYONE :
(Cheers and celebrates) ITs SANTA! Santas here! Merry Christmas! ad libs, etc.
JO:
I can't see him. I can't see him. I can't see him!
DEBORAH:
(Pointing at JO in shock) Doubter!
BARBARA:
(Gasps) Doubter!
(A bell from SANTAS Sleigh falls off and lands in front of JO. She picks up the bell and shakes it but hears nothing.)
JO:
(Examining the bell) Okay, Okay...I believe...I believe! (She shakes the bell and finally hears it ring)
SANTA:
What was that you said?
JO:
I...I believe! (Looking up, astonished) I believe this is yours. (Hands SANTA the bell)
SANTA:
Well...Thank you. (Begins to scan the crowd for a child to pick) Now, who should receive the first present...
(CHILDRENS hands fly up to be chosen, ad lib)
DEBORAH:
Me, me. Pick me, Santa.
BARBARA:
No! Pick me, pick me! I want the first gift. (DEBORAH & BARBARA begin to argue and fight)

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 18

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BECKY:
(To DEBORAH & BARBARA) What are you doing? Stop it.
SANTA:
(to DEBORAH & BARBARA) Patience and a smidgen of humility might also serve you both well.
DEBORAH & BARBARA:
(In unison, ashamed) Yes, sir...
SANTA:
(to BECKY) And you, young lady... A lady of decision, full of confidence and spirit, Christmas spirit. Keep up the
good work.
BECKY:
Thank you.
SANTA:
(to BILLY) And Billy. It is Billy?
BILLY:
Yes.
SANTA:
I see you've made some new friends.
BILLY:
Yes, sir. I sure have.
SANTA:
That's a lucky lad. There's no greater gift than friendship. (to EVERYONE) And speaking of gifts, lets have this
young lady right here. (to JO) Now...what would you like for Christmas?
JO:
Me?
SANTA:
Yes, you. (JO whispers what she wants to Santa) Yes...Indeed. Hmmm.. Yes, indeed. (to EVERYONE) The first
gift of Christmas! (Holds up the bell) This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas... as am I.
Just remember...the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart. (Midnight tolls.) (to JO) Merry Christmas! Lets
Celebrate the Spirit of Christmas!
(Music Begins)
CONDUCTOR:
(to JO) Better keep that in a safe place.
DEBORAH:
(Examining the bell) Man alive!! An authentic, first edition, mint condition, Kris Kringle Bell!!

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 19

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BARBARA:
You sure are lucky!
(Begin to load/pass presents for departure)
SONG: THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON,
THE SPIRIT IN THE AIR
COME HERE IT IF YOU LISTEN
EVERYWHERE, SO MUCH CARE, LIKE A PRAYER
WHATEVER IT IS YOU NEED TO SHARE IT
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON...
YOU CAN HEAR IT IN THE AIR
PEOPLE SMILE AS THEY PASS YOU BY
THE DAY WILL BE HERE SOON
DREAMS ARE DANCING IN THE CHILDRENS EYES
HEARTS ARE SINGING, BELLS ARE RINGING, TOO
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON, FILLING HEARTS WITH LOVE AND CARE
LET THE SHINING STAR
INCREASE IT EVERYWHERE
MAKE IT THERE, LIKE A PRAYER
WHATEVER IT IS YOU NEED TO SHARE IT
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON...
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON...
(SANTA prepares to fly away as everyone continues celebrating.)
SANTA:
Ho Ho Ho, Pull, Comet. Pull, boy! Prancer, that's a girl. Good boy, Dasher. Ho Ho Ho!

SNOW IS FALLING AS YOU RUSH DOWNTOWN


THE CITY SEEMS TO GLOW
HAPPY WISHES FOR THE HAPPY SOUND
HEARTS ARE SINGING, BELLS ARE RINGING, TOO
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON, FILL HEARTS WITH LOVE AND CARE
LET THE SHINING STAR INCREASE IT EVERYWHERE...
EVEN THERE, LIKE A PRAYER
WHATEVER IT IS YOU NEED TO SHARE IT
IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON
YOU CAN HEAR IT IN THE AIR...

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 20

THE POLAR EXPRESS


IT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON
YOU CAN HEAR IT EVERYWHERE...
BECKY:
It's everything I dreamed it would be.
BILLY:
Could all this be nothing but a dream?
JO:
No.
BILLY:
How do you know for sure?
JO:
I... I just believe.
SANTA:
(Offstage) To the top of the roof. To the top of the wall... Now, dash away, dash away... Dash away all!
(Everyone Cheers, ad lib Good Bye Santa! Merry Christmas!, etc )
(BLACKOUT)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

SCENE 6: Heading Home


_____________________________________________________________________________________
CONDUCTOR:
All Aboard! All Aboard! Show your tickets. Have your tickets ready. (to KNOW IT ALL) All right, you two...
Tickets, please.
DEBORAH:
Lean. (to BARBARA) Whatever that's supposed to mean...
CONDUCTOR:
Lean is spelled with four letters. I believed I punched five.
DEBORAH:
Hey, are you saying I don't know how to...? (Look again)
BARBARA:
Oh...Were sorry. It says learn, our mistake.
CONDUCTOR:
Lesson Learned. (to BILLY) Ticket.

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 21

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BILLY:
Depend On (Flips ticket over) Rely On (Flips ticket over) Count On
CONDUCTOR:
That is some special ticket.
BILLY:
Sure is.
CONDUCTOR:
So can you count on us to get you home safe and sound?
BILLY:
Absolutely. Me... and my friends.
CONDUCTOR:
Ticket.
BECKY:
It says lead, like lead balloon.
CONDUCTOR:
I believe it also is pronounced lead, as in leader, leadership, lead the way. Follow you anywhere, ma'am.
BECKY:
Oh... Thank you!
CONDUCTOR:
(to JO) Ah, yes. The young gal with all the questions... ticket.
JO:
It says...
CONDUCTOR:
(Interrupts her) Its nothing I need to know.
JO:
Oh... (Nodding and Smiling).
CONDUCTOR:
All Aboard! Last call, All Aboard! (He goes onto the train as JO looks at his ticket.)
JO:
Believe. (She walks onto the train.)
BECKY:
Come on, let's see. Show us the bell.

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 22

THE POLAR EXPRESS


JO:
Ok. (She looks in her pockets) Its...Its gone.
BECKY:
Where is it?
JO:
I lost it. I lost the bell from Santas sleigh.
BILLY:
Dont...Dont worry well find it. (CHILDREN ad lib...yeah dont worry, yeah well find it yeah well help
you, all of us etc.)
BECKY:
Yah, lets hurry up and find it right now. Come on! (The train-whistle blows) Its too late...Im sorry.
JO:
I will never find it now. I got the first gift of Christmas, a bell from Santas sleigh... and I lost it.
CONDUCTOR:
11344 Edbrooke Ave. Next stop 11344 Edbrooke Ave. (BILLY stands up and starts following the conductor.)
DEBORAH:
Hey, where you going?
BILLY:
Home.
DEBORAH:
Oh, okay.
BARBARA:
See ya later.
BILLY:
See ya. (He walks over to JO) Thanks for stopping the train for me. (Shakes her hand)
JO:
Youre welcome and Merry Christmas, Billy.
BECKY:
Have a wonderful Christmas, Billy.
CONDUCTOR:
11344 Edbrooke Ave.
BILLY:
Goodbye everyone!

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 23

THE POLAR EXPRESS


CONDUCTOR:
Watch your step, please and Merry Christmas. (BILLY walks away as the conductor waves on the train.)
BECKY:
Look! (BILLY runs outside with a present) Santa got to Billy's house already.
BILLY:
Look, look! Santa got here! He made it, he made it!
BECKY:
(to JO) Isn't that amazing?
JO:
It is amazing... (she sits back in her chair) Wow... that is amazing.
CONDUCTOR:
Its your stop young lady.

BECKY:
I'm sorry about the bell; it was a really special present.
DEBORAH:
Well, you know what they say. It's the thought that counts.
JO:
Yeah...
BARBARA:
Well, see ya.
JO:
(to BECKY) Well...see ya.
BECKY:
See ya. (Hugs JO)
CONDUCTOR:
Watch your step, please.
JO:
Thank you.
CONDUCTOR:
No, thank you. One thing about trains: It doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get
on... Merry Christmas!
JO:
Merry Christmas. (She watches as the train leaves, waving to her friends.)
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 24

THE POLAR EXPRESS


[(Scene Change) Red Curtain Closes. Blackout]

___________________________________________________________________
SCENE 7: The Bell Rings
_____________________________________________________________________________________
SARAH:
(JO is asleep and SARAH comes barging in.)Wake up! Wake up! Santa's been here! Santa's been here!
JO:
(Wiping her eyes) Huh?
SARAH:
Hurry up. Hurry up! Santa's been here!
JO:
What?! (She is pulled out of bed by SARAH)
SARAH:
Mom, Dad, wake up. Wake up! Santa's been here!
MOTHER (CATHY):
(Parents enter) Well, it looks like Santa has been here.
FATHER (PETER):
Yeah (Yawning) look at all the presents for you.
SARAH:
Look! He brought us all kinds of stuff! Look, a train! This is the beautiful-est, most wonderful-est Christmas
ever.
JO:
This has been a pretty good Christmas after all.
SARAH:
Wait. Look. Here's one more, and it has your name on it.
JO:
(She opens the box) Uhh...
SARAH:
What is is?
JO:
(Reading to herself) I found this on the seat of my sleigh, thought you might want it back.- Mr. C

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 25

THE POLAR EXPRESS


MOTHER (CATHY):
Oh, what a beautiful bell. Who's it from?
JO:
Santa.
MOTHER (CATHY):
Santa?... really? (Looks at PETER, assuming it was him. She shakes the bell. It doesnt ring) Oh, that's too bad.
FATHER (PETER):
What's this?
MOTHER (CATHY):
A bell from Santa.
FATHER (PETER):
Hmm ... (Looks at CATHY, assuming it was her, He shakes the bell. It doesnt ring) Broken. Sorry about that,
sweetie. (He hands JO the bell and parents exit. JO shakes the bell as she and SARAH listen to it ring.)
MOTHER (CATHY):
(OFFSTAGE) Come to the kitchen when youre ready, kids! Breakfast!(Parents exit; JO and SARAH remain at
tree; temporarily frozen. Lights fade out everywhere but tree)
Spotlight NARRATOR.
SCENE 7 Flows seamlessly into SCENE 8 FINALE.
SARAH & JO unfreeze and begin listening to the bell and playing with the train at the tree when
NARRATOR begins speaking

_____________________________________________________________________________________
SCENE 8: Believe!
_____________________________________________________________________________________
NARRATOR (ADULT SARAH):
(Enters) That Christmas, in that moment, my sister was changed... I knew in my heart, she too, was a true
believer... like me! Our special sisterly bond could never be broken...
At one time, most of our friends, too, could hear the bell. But as years passed, like our parents, it fell silent
for them...
For some, it seemed like the magic slipped away, but it would return again every Christmas day, and though
I've grown older...the bell still rings for me and the spirit and magic of Christmas still lives strong in my heart...
(MUSIC BEGINS)
(Continues) As it does for all who truly... believe...
SONG: BELIEVE FINALE
NARRATOR (ADULT SARAH):
CHILDREN, SLEEPING.
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 26

THE POLAR EXPRESS


SNOW IS SOFTLY FALLING.
DREAMS ARE CALLING,
LIKE BELLS IN THE DISTANCE.
WE WERE DREAMERS, NOT SO LONG AGO.
BUT ONE BY ONE, WE ALL HAD TO GROW UP.
WHEN IT SEEMS THE MAGIC SLIPPED AWAY...
WE FIND IT ALL AGAIN ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
(BILLY, BECKY enter SL)
BILLY:
BELIEVE IN WHAT YOUR HEART IS SAYING,
HEAR THE MELODY THAT'S PLAYING.
BECKY:
THERE'S NO TIME TO WASTE,
THERE SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE.
(FATHER and MOTHER Enter and Join SARAH and JO at the Christmas Tree)
BILLY, BECKY, NARRATOR:
BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU FEEL INSIDE,
GIVE YOUR DREAMS THE WINGS TO FLY.
YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED, IF YOU JUST BELIEVE.
(Red curtain opens to reveal CONDUCTOR, WAITERS, POLAR EXPRESS & TRAIN CHILDREN)
CONDUCTOR:
TRAINS MOVE QUICKLY TO THEIR JOURNEY'S END.
DESTINATIONS... ARE WHERE WE BEGIN AGAIN.
CONDUCTOR, WAITERS & TRAIN CHILDREN:
SHIPS GO SAILING, FAR ACROSS THE SEA.
TRUSTING STARLIGHT, TO GET WHERE THEY NEED TO BE.
JO:
WHEN IT SEEMS THAT WE HAVE LOST OUR WAY...
WE FIND OURSELVES AGAIN ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
COMPANY:
BELIEVE IN WHAT YOUR HEART IS SAYING,
HEAR THE MELODY THAT'S PLAYING
THERE'S NO TIME TO WASTE,
THERE SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE.
BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU FEEL INSIDE,
AND GIVE YOUR DREAMS THE WINGS TO FLY.
YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED, IF YOU JUST BELIEVE.
(Lights Begin to Fade behind Red curtain, spotting front ensemble)
SARAH & JO:
IF YOU JUST BELIEVE.
THE POLAR EXPRESS - 27

THE POLAR EXPRESS


BILLY & BECKY:
IF YOU JUST BELIEVE.
NARRATOR:
IF YOU JUST BELIEVE...JUST BELIEVE...JUST BELIEVE.
(Exit)
(RED CURTAIN Closes)

CURTAIN CALL
Order:
ELVES/ELF ANNOUNCER
WAITERS/ELF CHOIR
MOTHER/FATHER
NARRATOR/SARAH
TRAIN CHILDREN
DEBORAH/BARBARA
CONDUCTOR
BILLY/BECKY
JO
SANTA

THE POLAR EXPRESS - 28