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A Christmas Carol

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Used Only for Educational purposes.
Scene 1
Chorus sings.
NARRATOR: Marley was dead. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. The register
of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker and the chi
ef mourner.
(Enter SCROOGE from stage left. He crosses to the office on stage right. ) Scroo
ge
signed it for he and Marley were the partners for many years. Scrooge was his so
le
executor, his sole administrator, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Sc
rooge was
not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that on the very day of the funer
al, he
concluded a shrewd business transaction.

Scene 2
In the office are two desks, a pot belly stove between them, various filing cabi
nets, a coal
bucket near SCROOGE S desk, and a hat rack near the door.
NARRATOR: Scrooge never painted out old Marley's name. There it stood years
afterward above the warehouse door¬--Scrooge and Marley. (SCROOGE goes in and
sits at his desk. Enter CRATCHIT from stage left and he crosses over to the offi
ce and
enters.)
Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marle
y,
but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him. Once upon a time--of
all the
good days in the year, on Christmas Eve Old Scrooge sat busy in his counting house
(He sits down at his desk, then looks down at his meager fire, pokes at it, then
goes by
SCROOGE to get another lump of COAL.)
SCROOGE: Waste!
CRATCHIT: Beg your pardon, sir?
SCROOGE: Waste, Mr. Cratchit! Waste! We are here to make money, not spend it. If
you waste my goods you might find yourself without employment!
(CRATCHIT does not get the lump. Instead, goes back to his desk, tries to warm h
imself
at his CANDLE. Enter FRED from stage left carrying a gift.)
FRED: (Holding out a gift for SCROOGE.) A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!
SCROOGE: Humbug. (SCROOGE refused gift.)
FRED: Christmas a humbug, uncle? You don't mean that, I am sure! (He sets a gift
on
corner of book.)
SCROOGE: I do. Merry Christmas! What is Christmas time but a time for buying thi
ngs
for which you've no need nor money. A time for finding yourself a year older and
not an
hour richer. What reason do you have to be Merry? You're poor
enough.

FRED: Come, then. What right have you to be dismal? You're rich enough.
SCROOGE: Bah! (He pushes gift to the floor)
FRED: Don't be cross, uncle! (He picks up gift and sets it back on the table)
SCROOGE: What else can I be when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry
Christmas! Humbug!
FRED: Uncle!
SCROOGE: Nephew! Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine!
FRED: But you don't keep it!
SCROOGE: Then let me leave it alone. What good has it ever done you?
FRED: There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I hav
e not
profited, I dare say. Christmas among the rest. But I have always thought of Ch
ristmas
time as a time for forgiving. A charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know
when men
and women seem to freely open their shut-up hearts. Therefore, Uncle, though it
has
never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me
good, and
will do me good; and I say, "God bless it"! (CRATCHIT starts clapping.)
SCROOGE: (To CRATCHIT, scowling.) Let me hear another sound from you and you'll
keep your Christmas by losing your employment! (He gets up and goes to his filin
g
cabinet to put some papers in. To FRED) You're quite a powerful speaker, sir. I
wonder
you don't go into Parliament!
FRED: Don't be angry, Uncle. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.
SCROOGE: Humbug! Dine with you (he laughs) I'd rather dine with the devil.
FRED: It would be a great joy to me and my wife.
SCROOGE: Your wife yes I heard she was poor.....didn't bring much into the
marriage. Why did you get married?
FRED: Because I fell in love! I love her and she loves me.
SCROOGE: Because you fell in love! That is the only thing more ridiculous than M
erry
Christmas. Good Afternoon!
FRED: I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why can't we be friends?
SCROOGE: (He sits at his desk.) You are wasting my time nephew.....Good Afternoo
n!
FRED: (He starts to leave, but after a few steps, he turns back to SCROOGE. ) I
am
sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel
, to which
I have been a party.
SCROOGE: Hummph!
FRED: But I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last, so a Merry Christmas, Uncle.
SCROOGE: Good afternoon!
FRED: And a happy New Year!
SCROOGE: Bah, humbug! (Fred walks to CRATCHIT.)
FRED: Merry Christmas, Bob!
CRATCHIT: Merry Christmas, sir. (Exit FRED stage left. Three MISSIONARIES enter
from stage left and cross over to the office. They enter. One of them blows on a
tuner to
get their pitch and start singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. )
SCROOGE: Stop that confounded racket! State your business and be quick about it.
I
have work to do.
1ST MISSIONARY: Scrooge and Marley, I believe. Do I have the pleasure of
addressing Mr. Scrooge or Mr. Marley?
SCROOGE: (Not looking up.) Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years. He died
this very night.
2ND MISSIONARY: We, no doubt, have his generosity well represented by his
surviving partner.
1ST MISSIONARY: (Crosses between SCROOGE S and CHRATCHIT S desks.) At
this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable
that we
should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly
at the
present time.
3RD MISSIONARY: Many thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.
SCROOGE: Are there no prisons?
2ND MISSIONARY: Plenty of prisons, sir.
SCROOGE: And the workhouses? Are they still in operation?
1ST MISSIONARY: They are.
3RD MISSIONARY: I wish we could say that they are not.
SCROOGE: The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigor, then?
1ST MISSIONARY: Both are very busy, sir.
SCROOGE: Oh! I was afraid from what you said at first that something had stopped
them in their useful course. I am very glad to hear they are still operating.
2ND MISSIONARY: (Not looking up.) A few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to
buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth because at this time the w
ant is
more keenly felt.
3RD MISSIONARY: What shall I put you down for?
SCROOGE: Nothing.
2ND MISSIONARY: You wish to remain anonymous?
SCROOGE: I wish to remain alone. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I ca
n't
afford to make idle people merry. My taxes help support the establishments I hav
e
mentioned and those who are badly off must go there.
1ST MISSIONARY: Many would rather die.
SCROOGE: If they would rather die, they had better do it and decrease the surplu
s
population.
2ND MISSIONARY: But, sir! Certainly you don't mean that, sir.
SCROOGE: With all my heart. (He stands and gets a book from off his shelf.) If
I could
work my will, every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips woul
d be
boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through the heart!
3RD MISSIONARY: But surely you want to help them!
SCROOGE: It's not my business. (Sitting down at his desk and looking up somethin
g in
the book.) It s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to inter
fere
with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon!
(They exit stage left.)
(CRATCHIT looks at his pocket watch and starts getting his SCARF and COAT on.)

SCROOGE: You'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose.


CRATCHIT: If it is quite convenient, sir.
SCROOGE: It's not convenient and it's not fair. If I were to stop half a crown f
or it, you'd
think yourself ill-used. And yet, you don't think me ill-used when I pay a day s w
ages for
no work.
CRATCHIT: Christmas only comes once a year, sir.
SCROOGE: (He stands. He starts buttoning his coat and putting on his scarf.) A p
oor
excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December! But I suppose
you
must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier the next morning!
CRATCHIT: (He goes out the door.) I promise, sir. Merry Christmas, sir!
SCROOGE: Humbug.
(SCROOGE prepares to exit by putting on his cape and hat. The lights dim on the
office
and the set changes to the city street.)

Scene 3
The street is a busy place with many people coming and going with presents. Othe
rs are
entering and leaving shops. A group of CAROLERS stand in the middle singing two
verses of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. THEODORE stands listening to the music.
Standing on the corner and supported by his small crutch, TINY TIM waits for his
father.
The CAROLERS hum another verse during the following scene. Enter CRATCHIT.)
TINY TIM: Father!
CRATCHIT: Tiny Tim! Aren t you cold waiting out her?
TINY TIM: I was waiting for you, Father.
CRATCHIT: Well, you don t have to wait any longer! Let s get you home. (He picks up
TINY TIM.)
TINY TIM: Did you have a nice day at work?
CRATCHIT: Yes, and I was able to get Christmas Day off. I will be home the entir
e day!
TINY TIM: Oh, Father! That s wonderful!
CRATCHIT: Let s get you home! (They exit off left.)
(Choir sings two more verses of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. )
(SCROOGE enters from stage left approaches THEODORE, a young, poor man.)
THEODORE: A beautiful song, that was! Expertly done!
CHORUS LEADER: Why, thank you very much, sir!
THEODORE: Sing another!
(The CHORUS hums the same hymn during the following scene. THEODORE sees
SCROOGE coming. THEODORE crosses over to SCROOGE.)
THEODORE: Oh, Mr. Scrooge! Just the man I wanted to see!
SCROOGE: Do you have your loan payment?
THEODORE: I would like to talk to you about, Mr. Scrooge.
SCROOGE: What need is there for talk? You either have the money or you don't.
THEODORE: I know I owe you a great deal of money
SCROOGE: And you have missed three payments.
THEODORE: I am dreadfully sorry for that, sir.
SCROOGE: Then remedy the situation by making your payments current.
THEODORE: I can't at this time. I need more time.
SCROOGE: And I need my money.
THEODORE: I know you do, sir. But
SCROOGE: Did you not agree to the terms of the loan?
THEODORE: Yes, but-
SCROOGE: And did you not sign a paper promising to pay the loan back?
THEODORE: It's just I don't have the
SCROOGE: I feel I have been more than reasonable to wait this long.
THEODORE: You have, sir. It's just that
SCROOGE: You expect me to give you more time while I get absolutely nothing agai
n?
Are you aware you could go to prison for this?
THEODORE: I am, sir. I just need more time.
SCROOGE: You have it, then. (Starting to exit right.) .
THEODORE: Thank you, Mr. Scrooge!
SCROOGE: You have until tomorrow.
THEODORE: (Quickly crossing to SCROOGE.) But, Mr. Scrooge! That's Christmas
Day!
SCROOGE: I am well aware of the calendar.
THEODORE: Where will I find money on Christmas?
SCROOGE: That is none of my concern. Good day.
(SCROOGE crosses away from THEODORE.)
THEODORE: But!
(SCROOGE Stands to the side looking through his pocket transaction book as the
CHORUS finishes their song. The CHORUS LEADER crosses to SCROOGE.)
CHORUS LEADER: Sir, is there a Christmas song you would like to hear? You name
the tune and we will sing it for you!
SCROOGE: Bah!
CHORUS LEADER: But surely you must have a favorite carol you would like to hear
on
Christmas Eve!
SCROOGE: Christmas Eve! Humbug! (Exit SCROOGE right. The set changes to
SCROOGE S apartment while the Chorus sings Good Christian Men Rejoice! )