Finding Columbiana’s Christmas

CHARACTERS/COSTUMES GARE - black shoes, white socks, high waist black pants, white shirt, skinny black tie, big glasses with tape around bridge GARTH - black shoes, white socks, high waist black pants, black shirt, skinny white tie, big glasses with tape around bridge SANTA – Santa outfit LITTLE GIRL – typical girl clothes SINGING ELVES (3) – typical elf costumes DR. PRUDERHIME – lab coat, “Einstein” wig, big glasses with tape around bridge, beard SET PROPS Projector and screen – stage right Two wing back chairs, fireplace, decorated Christmas tree with 4 strands of lights and star on top – stage middle Three guitar stands – stage left GI Joe toy Blank credit card (one for each performance) (big screen is down) (video of Santa and Gare sitting by the fire reading some letters from kids) SANTA: …and Santa, I promise to treat my little brother real good, even though he stinks real bad when mommy forgets to change his diaper. Love, Johnny, 243 Glenwood Ave., Boardman, OH. Ho, ho, ho. Garehart, don’t you love these letters from the children? They’re so innocent and trusting. GARE: Yes sir, they are, they surely are. Well, that does it for the state of Ohio. All the GPS information checks. Shall we move on to Pennsylvania? SANTA: Yes I….. wait a minute. Isn’t there another small town just south of Boardman? Columbus… Columbia… GARE: SANTA: Columbiana? Yes! That’s it. Nice little park, lots of antique shops.

GARE: But a unusual school mascot – a Clipper plane. Must have a cosmetology school for airline pilots somewhere in the area. (looks at GPS) You know, it’s strange, but there’s no listing in the GPS unit for Columbiana.
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SANTA: None for Columbiana? Why, that can’t be! I made almost 5,000 deliveries there last year. GARE: I’m sorry Santa, but there’s nothing in here for Columbi…. Wait! If that’s the case, then there will be no deliveries to Columbiana for Christmas this year! SANTA: Why is that?

GARE: Because the GPS information has been downloaded to the sleigh satellite and the code has been encrypted. SANTA: Well, just un-encrypt it!

GARE: I’m sorry Santa, but there’s only one person who can do that. And I have a feeling that person may be behind all this… (end video, Garth comes in stage left) GARTH: Well, well, well, isn’t that interesting: Santa and his new GPS guru trying to figure out what happened to the whole town of Columbiana. (laughs) Makes you just marvel at this new technology doesn’t it? Well, let me start at the beginning. Long, long ago in a far away place… No, that’s a little too far back. Not too long ago in the North Pole, just after Rudolph rose to fame, demand was up 35% over the previous year. It was about the same time all you baby boomers decided to have your 2.3 kids and spoil them rotten with everything you didn’t have when you were a kid. So Santa had Turning Technologies develop a specially enhanced GPS unit to make sure no one got left out of the gift delivery schedule. Anyway, I used to be the GPS guru – Gartholomew Paulson Sniddle – you can call me Garth for short. Yes, I used to be the GPS guru. But then they kicked me out of the N.P. for “confiscating” one measly GI Joe. In fact, here he is. (takes the GI Joe from back pocket and shows it) I call him Joe and I keep him right next to my… well he stays in my back pocket. They said I stole him. I said I was entitled to an extra toy after all those years faithfully guiding the sleigh through blizzards, white outs, meteor showers and acid rain – not to mention the smog in L.A. Anyway, I knew it was coming - Rudolph’s second cousin tipped me off. So I had a plan. If I couldn’t “confiscate” anymore, I would figure out a way to keep an entire town from getting any presents. So I looked for the biggest town in the world and it happened to be Columbiana, OH. And I promptly deleted Columbiana, Ohio off of Santa’s GPS unit. It wasn’t until later that I found out Columbiana is actually the biggest “little” town, and it’s not in the world but in Ohio. But by that time it was too late. (laughs)

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Yup, 2008 will go down in history as the first year a whole town goes without Christmas and everyone in the N.P. will know who’s responsible. Maybe then they’ll take me back since I am the only one who can undo the GPS code. And if not, (pulls out GI Joe from back pocket) Joe and I will just watch every year as Columbiana suffers through Christmas withdrawal until they beg me to come back. Ok, well, end of story. Thanks for coming everyone. It’s been great. Wasn’t that worth ten bucks? Don’t drink too much egg nog trying to drown your sorrows. Merry UnChristmas. (laughs – exit stage left) (newspaper headlines come up, videos of towns people reacting to not having Christmas in Columbiana – reporter interviews mayor, police chief, random family, school principal, therapist) (end video, Garth comes in stage left) GARTH: (sarcastically) Cry me a river of tears. Oh, things are so terrible...gimme a break! You all need to get over this co-dependency on the whole “presents” thing. I mean, don’t you celebrate birthdays around here? Sheesh, just load up on the birthday gifts… (Gare enters stage right) GARE: Alright Garth, you can give it up now. We’re on to you. We know you changed the code. GARTH: Well would you look at that! Ladies and gentlemen, if it isn’t ol’ Garehart Plumebrook.Schriderhiggle. GARE: GARTH: (looks at audience) You can call me Gare. So, how’s everything at the N.P. Gare? Frosty?

GARE: No we’re keeping pretty warm making extra Gi Joes this year… and reprogramming the GPS unit. GARTH: So you think you solved the GPS mystery do you? Boy, you’re good. It only took you two months to figure out I was the one that deleted Columbiana, Ohio off Santa’s GPS unit. What a super sleuth! GARE: Actually Garth, I knew it was you as soon as I saw the missing coordinates. I waited this long because I began working on the code. And now I have it to the point where I’ve promised Santa I’d have Columbiana back in the GPS by tonight (looks at watch) In fact, I told him I would have Columbiana back online by the end of this play.

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GARTH: You what? You told… (laughs uncontrollably) Oh that’s funny. That is really funny. Gare, you’ve been hittin’ the egg nog a little hard lately haven’t you? Come on, you’ve been on the job now, what, nine months or so? GARE: a new one. Well, actually eight and a half – HR lost my sample and I had to give them

GARTH: (shaking his head) Gare, Gare, Gare, Gare, Gare. What makes you think you can re-program the GPS at all, let alone by the end of this play? GARE: Well, for one, we’re the actors and we can keep this thing going until next week if we have to. But we won’t. I have 75% of the code figured out and now there only eight missing elements. GARTH: And what might those be?

GARE: (looking nonchalant) Oh, the final clues for each of the four quadrants in Columbiana… GARTH: GARE: (sarcastically) Ooo, you’re good. And the magic music.

GARTH: (sarcastically) Ooo, you’re real good. And you think you can program Columbiana back into Santa’s GPS by the end of this play, huh? Well, have at it. I’ll just mosey over to the Encore Café and get me a nice, refreshing, skinny, four pump, 165 degree, mocha latte, no whip, extra caffeine, because we’re going to be here for awhile. Later. (big screen up) GARE: Later Garth. Enjoy your nice, refreshing, skinny, 4 pump, whatever. We’ll call you when we’re done. (to audience) Alright, this is all very simple. You see, all I had to do was take the coordinates of Columbiana, enter them into world wide terra nova super computer, then take S squared, multiply by the square root of E = MC squared, subtract the latitude from the longitude, add a little sugar… well, let me just show you. (points to secondary screen with graphic of Columbiana) This is Columbiana. This is Columbiana on drugs – just kidding. We are here. And you can see that the town is divided into four squares or quadrants as we say in the scientific community. Now, I have the GPS programmed to the point where we just need to solve the four remaining clues in each quadrant and sing the magic music tunes which are what you all call Christmas carols. I’m not sure why you call them carols because I don’t know any Carol that lives in the N.P.... unless they hire her for overtime. The reason we call them magic music tunes is because every time you all start singing them down here,
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which is usually right after thanksgiving, we all hear you, and know it’s time to ramp up the work in the N.P. So, there are four sets of clues and four magic mu.. ah, Christmas carols for each of the four quadrants in Columbiana. But, and this is a very big but: they have to be the right carols and they have to be sung by the folks who live in that part of town, at the top of their lungs. I know it sounds complicated, but stick with me here. Now, I’ll admit this was a little beyond me when it comes to the clues. Actually it was waaaay beyond me. So I thought and I thought and I thought some more and it finally hit me - Dr. Joseph A. Pruderhime! Dr. Pruderhime was the original navigator for Santa before he went to electronic navigation systems. He did it all by math calculations! He’s a brilliant man! A little eccentric… he’s a lot eccentric! But he’s brilliant. Unfortunately he started to get a little forgetful. One year Santa missed a whole block of deliveries because Dr. Pruderhime transposed a decimal point. Fortunately we found the mistake before morning and sent the packages early delivery. Not too long after that Dr. Pruderhime decided to retire south, as in South Pole. He’s doing research on how global warming is affecting Klondike Bars… or is it bears? Anyway, I knew if there was anybody who could get us on the right path it would be him. (comes off the stage and takes cordless mic into the audience) He’s coming to us via satellite tonight. So let’s dial him in. Dr. Pruderhime can you hear me? Hello, Dr. Pruderhime? (pre-recorded video – interacts with Gare who is live) Dr. PRUDERHIME Hello Garehart. Why yes, I can hear you fine. GARE: Ah Dr. Pruderhime, why are you upside down?

Dr. PRUDERHIME Well as you know, I’m on the South Pole. And someone standing on the South Pole is upside down to someone north of them because north is up and south is down. I can show you the calculations if you’d like…. GARE: Ah, no that won’t be necessary

Dr. PRUDERHIME Ok. Well I know you have commitments to Santa and all, so let me get right to it. First, you all know there four quadrants to Columbiana that have to be reinstalled on Santa’s GPS unit, right? Right? So, as soon as I got the terrible news about Columbiana, I traveled to a location in each of those areas to find the clues. You see, it’s a combination of science and art… of high tech and high touch… of neutrons and protons… make sense? GARE: Ah, not really.
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Dr. PRUDERHIME Well, let me explain. You see I traveled to each quadrant in Columbiana and searched for clues that would help figure out the magical music tune that would be sung by folks in that particular quadrant, thereby unlocking the code for that part of town. It’s all very simple, see? My first route took me from the new clock on Main Street, East on East Park St, North on Elm St, East on Herbster, to the stadium at Firestone Park. As you can see, this picture comes from Firestone Park, which is in the NE part of Columbiana. It’s a picture of the school mascot the Clipper plane. Now, I’m not sure why this is their mascot, but I think there must be a cosmetology school for pilots somewhere in the area. Then I moseyed on up to the community pool (shows picture) and saw they had a diving board. And I thought Hmmm, dive, plane, red. Red, plane, dive. Plane, red, dive. Then it hit me (slaps forehead) I could have had a V8! No, not really. Too much salt. So, it’s very simple. Here are the math calculations. You take S squared, multiply by the square root of E = MC squared, subtract the latitude from the longitude, add a little salt and pepper…. GARE: Ah, Dr. Pruderhime… Is there any way you can cut to the chase, here?

Dr. PRUDERHIME Oh yes, of course. So you have a school mascot that’s a red plane and you have a diving board at the community pool. And a plane can do a nose dive. But if you look at it from a different angle, you know it’s not about the dive, it’s about the nose. Get it? The clue has to do with something that has a red nose and flies! (looks at watch) Oh my goodness! You’ll have to figure it out from there because Lost is about to come on, and you know how I love to help people find their way! Signing off from the South! GARE: Wow. That wasn’t much of a clue - something that has a red nose and flies. What Christmas song could that refer to? Can someone help me? What do you think? (audience member calls out Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (hopefully)) GARE: That’s it! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! Thank you! Now, we need to know of there is anybody here from the NE part of town. So, do we have any folks who happen to live in the NE quadrant of Columbiana – east of Main St. and north of E. Park St? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. (asks a few people their name and where they live) Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, have a seat.
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(Goes back on stage) I’ve arranged to have very special guests with us tonight in anticipation of our magical music.. ah, Christmas carols. They were actually on tour somewhere but graciously came as soon as they heard about our dilemma. Would you join me in welcoming the world famous, incredibly talented, always lovable… The Singing Elf Trio!! (recorded music starts, SET on stage balcony sitting and talking, realize they’re on, run down the ladder, grab their guitars and run to the edge of the stage and sing…) We’re glad to be of service, To get your Christmas back, And if we’re unsuccessful, We’ll only charge you half! HEY! GARE: SET: Hey guys! Great to have you! Thanks nice to be here.

GARE: So I understand you interrupted your tour just to come and help us find Columbiana’s Christmas. Where did you come from? SET 1: Well, we were headlining in Vegas when we got the call from N.P. headquarters. GARE: SET 1: GARE: do you?? Whoa – Vegas – that’s quite a gig! Yeah, but we talked to Mick and the RS. They agreed to cover for us. Wait… Mick… the RS… You don’t mean Mick Jagger the Rolling Stones

SET 2: Ah, no, not exactly. Mickey Mouse and the Rollicking Singers. This is a family show dude! Besides would you want to see a 65 year old singing “I can’t get no satisfaction”? GARE: Well, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Anyway, are you guys ready to help us sing the magical music tunes and get Columbiana their Christmas back? SET: Oh yeah, right on, let’s go, you bet, etc.

GARE: Terrific! We’ve figured out that the Christmas carol for the NE quadrant of Columbiana is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. (to audience) So, the guys in the band are going to lead us, and you all get to participate, OK?
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(SET leads audience in song, at the end everyone cheers, high fives, celebrates, first strand of Christmas tree lights come on) GARE: That wasn’t so hard was it? (comes off the stage and takes cordless mic into the audience) And you can see how the NE quadrant of Columbiana is back online (points to graphic on back screen as big screen is coming down). Now we move on to Columbiana’s SE quadrant. And to get us started let’s check back in with Dr. Pruderhime. Hopefully he’s not too wrapped in watching Lost. Doctor, are you there? Dr. PRUDERHIME: Yes Garth I am. And I see you were successful at restoring the NE quadrant back. It just so happens that we’re at a commercial break with Lost, so this is great timing. GARTH: You seem to be a big fan of Lost.

Dr. PRUDERHIME: I certainly am. In fact, a couple years ago they asked me to write the final episode where they find their way back off the island. They had heard about my work with Santa. But I haven’t been able to come up with the right calculations yet. That’s why the show keeps going on and on and on. I didn’t have near the problems with Gilligans Island. Anyway, back to the task at hand. The second clue was a little more straightforward for me. I started at the new Main Street clock, went East on East Park St. and left into the community cemetery. Here’s a picture of the cemetery, (shows picture) which is in the SE quadrant of Columbiana. Now this wasn’t as exciting as being in the park, you know. In fact, things were pretty dead up there. But the clue came to me as I was thinking about my little pet terrier that passed away three months ago. He was the nicest dog. His name was Columbus and he never bit anyone, or hogged the covers. And now he’s in doggie heaven. And then it hit me! (slaps forehead) I could have had a V8! No, not really. Too much salt. But it’s very simple. Here are the math calculations. You take S squared, multiply by the square root of E = MC squared, subtract the latitude from the longitude, add a little ketchup and mustard…. GARE: Ah, Dr. Pruderhime… Is there any way you can cut to the chase, here?

Dr. PRUDERHIME Oh yes, of course. So, if my dear Columbus is way up there in doggie heaven and he’s an angel, then the clue has something to do with angels in high places. (looks at watch) Oops, I better go, Lost is back on. Good luck with the clue!
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Signing off from the South! GARE: So that’s the clue - something that has to do with angels in high places. What Christmas song could that refer to? Can someone help me? What do you think? (audience member calls out Angels We Have Heard on High (hopefully)) GARE: That’s it! Angels We Have Heard on High! Thank you! Now, we need to know of there is anybody here from the SE part of town. Now, do we have any folks who happen to live in the SE quadrant of Columbiana – east of Main St. and south of E. Park St? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. (asks a few people their name and where they live) Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, have a seat. (Goes back on stage) Alright, let’s bring back our special musical guests to help us with this song. Welcome back the world famous, incredibly talented, always lovable… The Singing Elf Trio!! (recorded music starts, SET on stage balcony sitting and talking, realize they’re on, run down the ladder, grab their guitars and run to the edge of the stage and sing…) We’re glad to be of service, To get your Christmas back, And if we’re unsuccessful, We’ll only charge you half! HEY! GARE: Alright guys, we have the Christmas carol figured out for the SE quadrant of Columbiana. It’s Angels We Have Heard on High. OK? Now, do we have any folks who happen to live in the SE quadrant of Columbiana? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, take it away guys. (SET leads audience in song, at the end everyone cheers, high fives, celebrates, second strand of Christmas tree lights come on) (a member of the SET goes over and whispers something into Gare’s ear) GARE: Ah, ladies and gentlemen, apparently the Singing Elf Trio drove all night and got in just before this show. And they are wondering if we could take a short intermission while they… well, while they go tinkle. I guess that’s what elves do when… well whatever. So, we’re going to take a little break. Feel free to get another Coke and big bag of delicious hot popcorn and we’ll be back soon. (curtain closes)
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INTERMISSION (curtain opens) GARE: Alright, welcome back everyone. (comes off the stage and takes cordless mic into the audience) We’re doing well! Both the NE and the SE quadrant of Columbiana are back online. We’re half way there! Two down and two to go. Now it’s time to move on to Columbiana’s SW quadrant. And to get us started let’s check back in with Dr. Pruderhime. Doctor, are you there? Dr. PRUDERHIME: quadrant back online! GARE: Yes Gare I am. And congratulations on getting the SE

Ah, Dr. Pruderhime – why are you right side up now?

Dr. PRUDERHIME: Oh yes, well, I got to thinking about it, and I realized I could just reverse the polar coordinates of the video camera, hang the tripod from the ceiling and I would be right side up! Although you all look very funny upside down. Well, no matter. Let’s get on with it. Getting the location for the SW quadrant of Columbiana was fairly easy. I traveled from the new clock on Main Street – by the way has everyone seen the new clock on Main street? Isn’t it nice? (everyone applauds) So, I traveled from the clock going south on Main Street to the Post Office. (shows picture) I knew there was something about the Post Office that would help us with the magical music tunes for this part of town, but it wasn’t clicking. And then it hit me! (slaps forehead) I could have had a V8! No, not really. Too much salt. But it’s very simple. Here are the math calculations. You take S squared, multiply by the square root of E = MC squared, subtract the latitude from the longitude, add a little Sweet and Low…. GARE: Ah, Dr. Pruderhime… the chase?

Dr. PRUDERHIME: Oh, yes of course. Everyone knows that one of the hazards of delivering mail is the pet dog who gets surprised when the postman – postperson I should say – walks on to their porch to deliver the mail. I mean, it’s no wonder the dog let’s loose when he thinks his owner’s being robbed or worse. A couple years ago, legislation was introduced that would solve this problem by requiring postmen – ah postpeople – to wear bells around their necks that would jingle, therefore letting the dogs (and the whole neighborhood) know they’re in the area delivering mail. GARE: That’s sounds like when you put a bell around a cow’s neck so you know when he’s coming.
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Dr. PRUDERHIME: That’s exactly what it was. In fact, the PO Union (Post Office union) really got PO’d. They even threatened to go postal on us! So the bill got killed instead. But the clue remains - bells that jingle. And that will help you get the next magical music tune. And now I need to skedaddle. I’ve just about figured out the last episode for Lost. Signing off from the South! GARE: So that’s the clue - something that has to do with bells that jingle. What Christmas song could that refer to? Can someone help me? What do you think? (audience member calls out Jingle Bells (hopefully)) GARE: That’s it! Jingle bells! Thank you! Now, we need to know of there is anybody here from the SW part of town. Now, do we have any folks who happen to live in the SW quadrant of Columbiana – west of Main St. and south of W. Park St? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. (asks a few people their name and where they live) Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, have a seat. (Goes back on stage) Alright, let’s bring back our special musical guests to help us with this song. Let’s welcome back the world famous, incredibly talented, always lovable… The Singing Elf Trio!! (recorded music starts, SET on stage balcony sitting and talking, realize they’re on, run down the ladder, grab their guitars and run to the edge of the stage and sing…) We’re glad to be of service, To get your Christmas back, And if we’re unsuccessful, We’ll only charge you half! HEY! GARE: Alright guys, we have the Christmas carol figured out for the SW quadrant of Columbiana. It’s Jingle Bells – ever heard of it? OK? Now, do we have any folks who happen to live in the SW quadrant of Columbiana? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, take it away guys. (SET leads audience in song, at the end everyone cheers, high fives, celebrates, third strand of Christmas tree lights come on)

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GARE: That was great! Three out of four. We’re doing terrific! And you can see how the SW quadrant of Columbiana is back online (comes off the stage and takes cordless mic into the audience) Let’s move on to the last area - Columbiana’s NW quadrant. And let’s check back in with Dr. Pruderhime one last time. Doctor, are you there? Dr. PRUDERHIME: Oh, yes, ah we’re here and ready to go. It took me a little more time to figure out the last episode of Lost than I thought it would. GARE: So, how did you decide to end the show?

Dr. PRUDERHIME: Well, I think it’s quite brilliant if I do say so myself. You see, they never were on an island. It was just a dream that Jack had when he bumped his head during a tornado. And now he’s back in his hometown and his auntie and uncle are gathered around his bed and he’s telling them the story… Isn’t that brilliant? I don’t think there’s ever been a TV show or movie that had such a clever ending! GARE: (sarcastically) Ah, no I can’t think of one…

Dr. PRUDERHIME: So, let’s get on with the last clue for the NW quadrant of Columbiana! I see by the graphic that Columbiana is almost totally back on the GPS unit. But relatively speaking, this last area was the most difficult of all to decipher. I started my travels starting at the new clock on Main Street, going north on Main, west on West Salem St, north on Middle St. and turned right into the library. Here’s a picture of it. (shows picture) Now, you would think there are plenty of clues in the library with all those books and all, but I looked and I looked and I looked some more and wasn’t getting anywhere. And then it hit me! (slaps forehead) OK, everyone say it with me… I could have had a V8! You really shouldn’t - too much salt. But it’s very simple. Here are the math calculations. You take S squared, multiply by the square root of E = MC squared, subtract the latitude from the longitude, add some pickles…. GARE: Dr. Pruderhime…

Dr. PRUDERHIME: Oh, yes of course – the chase. I realized the clues weren’t actually in the library. What’s across from the library? Anyone ? Anyone? That was my Ben Stiller impersonation. Yes! Joshua Dixon elementary school. (shows picture) And what happens behind the school on the playground? Yes! Recess. And what kind of mood are the kids in when they get to go play on the playground? Yes! Joyful! So, you take that clue and then combine it with the library where you have the world at your fingertips through reading. Joy… world… joy… world… Funny thing is… I know those are the
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clues, but all I can come up with is Jeremiah was a bullfrog. So I hope you can figure out from there. Well, thanks for letting me be part of the team that gets Columbiana back on Santa’s GPS unit. I’ve got to go pitch my wildly original and creative ending to the Lost producers. Signing off from the south! GARE: So those are the clues – joy and world. What Christmas song could that refer to? Can someone help me? What do you think? (audience member calls out Joy to the World (hopefully)) GARE: That’s it! Joy to the World! Thank you! Now, we need to know of there is anybody here from the NW part of town. Now, do we have any folks who happen to live in the NW quadrant of Columbiana – west of Main St. and north of W. Park St? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. (asks a few people their name and where they live) Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, have a seat. (Goes back on stage) Alright, let’s bring back our special musical guests to help us with this song. Let’s welcome back the world famous, incredibly talented, always lovable… The Singing Elf Trio!! (recorded music starts, SET on stage balcony doing rock, paper, scissors, realize they’re on, run down the ladder, grab their guitars and run to the edge of the stage and sing…) We’re glad to be of service, To get your Christmas back, And if we’re unsuccessful, We’ll only charge you half! HEY! GARE: You know guys, I was going to tell you after the first time you came down here, we actually wanted you to stay on the balcony and lead from there. But it was so fun watching you stumble all the way down here I decided to let you do it every time. SET: Gee, thanks a lot, etc.

GARE: By the way, you guys keep singing that if we’re unsuccessful getting Christmas back you’ll only charge us half. What is your fee anyway? SET 2: $2,000 plus expenses!
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Finding Columbiana’s Christmas
SET 1: Excuse him. We had to drive all night to get here and he’s a little testy. We talked to our accountant and since this is for a worthy cause, we’ll just take the fee as a deduction on our taxes. You see it’s really very simple. You just take the standard honorarium, multiply by the depreciation, subtract the adjusted gross income using the accrual method, add a little mustard… GARE: Ah, we should probably keep things moving. We have one more magical tune to get the NW quadrant back on the GPS. It’s Joy to the World – ever heard of it? OK? Now, do we have any folks who happen to live in the NW quadrant of Columbiana? Stand if you do and let us see who you are. Ok, remember, it’s absolutely important that you sing as loud as you can, or the code won’t be restored – got it? OK, take it away guys. (SET leads audience in song, at the end everyone cheers, high fives, celebrates, fourth strand of Christmas tree lights come on) GARE: That’s wonderful! We did it! (points to secondary graphic) All of us with the help of good Dr. Pruderhime! We’ve restored Columbiana back on Santa’s GPS unit. What a great effort by everyone. (applauds) I just feel like we need to cap it all off with the greatest Christmas song ever written, don’t you? It’s the mother of all Christmas songs, it’s the big cahuna of yuletide melodies, it’s the greatest melody ever sung by human voice, it’s the... SET 1: Ah, Gare, can we cut to the chase here?

(big screen down) GARE: The Hallelujah Chorus! Written by none other than George Frideric Handel. You guys know that don’t you? (look at each other like yeah, right but say Yes. Oh yeah.) Good. I was going to have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir help us out but we tried getting them on the stage balcony and they wouldn’t all fit. So if you all would stand, let’s celebrate not only Christmas in Columbiana, but Christmas everywhere! (recorded music starts, as the song progresses, pictures come up of the evening, videos of elves doing chorus line, reporter doing moon walk, crying family high fiving each other, Dr. Pruderhime doing dance, principle clapping, at the last chorus – (big screen goes up) and there’s a massive celebration, fireworks on the secondary screen, strobe lights, roving spotlights, etc., Christmas tree star is lit) (Garth slowly walks in from rear stage right during celebration) GARTH: Wow, you guys made some progress, I’ll give you that. You got the four riddles figured out, you sang the magical music tunes and you even added on an extra one for good measure. And nice touch with the Christmas tree lights. You did pretty good getting this far.
Page 14 Copyright 2008 Printed 2/27/2009

Finding Columbiana’s Christmas
GARE: Getting this far? What do you mean getting this far? We did it. We got the riddles, we got the music we… GARTH: (very serious) I mean this. (shows card) The one thing you didn’t “get” Gare was that everything you did had to be encoded on this media card before it can be placed on the GPS. (with contempt) And did I tell you it’s the only one of its kind, Gare? GARE: (reaches for it) Let me see…

GARTH: Uh-uh, Gare. Why do you think it was so easy for me to go have a skinny, four pump, 165 degree, mocha latte, no whip, extra caffeine? Because I knew no matter what you and these people did, I held the trump card, literally. And I have the power to decide whether or not there is Christmas in Columbiana. (pulls out scissors and cuts up card, throws them I the air, graphic of Columbiana slowly goes blank, lights go out on the Christmas tree) Nice try Gare. But Christmas in Columbiana is not going to happen this year. In fact, it’s not ever going to happen. Later. (Gare stares in disbelief, recorded music starts, Gare slowly picks up the card pieces, slowly walks to the wing back chair to the (stage) left of the fireplace and sits down) (after song, Santa comes in from stage right expecting to hear good news) SANTA: GARE: SANTA: GARE: SANTA: Gare? Gare? Where are you? Over here Santa. So, how did it go? It didn’t. I didn’t know about the card. The card.. what card?

GARE: The magnetic card that everything has to be encoded to. It’s so simple. Why didn’t I figure that out? Nothing can be finalized until it gets on to the card. SANTA: Well, just get another one. There has to be another one somewhere.

GARE: That’s just it – there isn’t another one… It’s the only one of its kind. I tried Santa. I really tried. I’m sorry. SANTA: GARE: Gare – somehow I think if we still believe… NO! It’s too late. Garth had the card. He cut it up. It’s too late.
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Finding Columbiana’s Christmas
(Santa sits down at the other chair by the small screen, 6 to 8 kids start bringing in presents from the back, Santa and Gare begin to realize what’s happening, Garth comes in from stage left as the presents are set in front of Santa and Gare) GARTH: (standing off to the side) Hey, what are you kids… Wait, you can’t do that! Where did you get these? Columbiana wasn’t in the GPS! How can this be? (goes on until all presents are there) SANTA: My, my. Where did you children get all these presents?

LITTLE GIRL: These people brought them Santa. (points to audience) Would you help us deliver them to kids who really won’t have any Christmas this year? SANTA: Why, I’d be delighted to my dear.

(little girl picks up a present, walks over to Garth who is standing off to the side) LITTLE GIRL: Mr. Garth, I know you don’t have a lot of friends and your other GI Joe is pretty old, so, I brought this just for you. I hope you like it. (little girl hands the toy to Garth, walks back to the others, recorded music starts, Garth stares at present, looks inside it, gently lays it down, walks over to Santa, looks at the kids) GARTH:` SANTA: Wow… Wow. It’s not about the GPS unit is it? No.

GARTH: And I really couldn’t keep Christmas from happening in Columbiana even if I wanted to could I? SANTA: No Garth, you couldn’t. You see there’s something more powerful than electronics, or satellites or a magnetic card. It’s what took place when these good folks brought their gifts as they came in tonight. They just did what God did that very first Christmas. They gave something valuable with no strings attached – just because of love. GARTH: Well, I guess I really don’t have anything to give… (puts hands on back, feels GI Joe, brings it out, looks at it) Santa, do you think a kid somewhere might be able to love a used GI Joe? SANTA: Yes Garth. I think that would be a wonderful gift.

(Garth puts the gift down with the others, kids surround him, curtain closes)

Page 16 Copyright 2008 Printed 2/27/2009

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