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Returning from church, Mother, Father, & Charlie enter through door...Father carrying newspaper under arm.
(Charlie) I don't care what everybody else said, that's what they really thought. All that other stuff is okay but the main good thing about church is that the Herdmans aren't there.
- Taking off my coat
- (Father) That's not a very Christian sentiment, it seems to me.
Collecting the coats
(Mother) It's a very practical sentiment. Charlie was black and blue all last year because he had to sit next to Leroy Herdman in school.
Exits to hang up the coats
(Father) Is he the worst one? Leroy?
(Charlie) That doesn't make any difference. Gladys isn't big, but she's fast, and she's mean, and she bites.
(Father) I'm sorry I asked. Just stay away from all of them.
Father sitting on the couch
(Mother) You'd feel terrible, wouldn't you, Bob?
(Father) Well...actually, I didn't plan to go. You know how crowded it always is, they can use my seat. I'll just stay home, put on my bathrobe, relax...there's never anything different about the Christmas pageant.
(Mother) There's going to be something different this year.
(Mother) Charlie's going to wear your bathrobe
Mother exits into kitchen
(Father) You just thought that up, Grace!
(Beth)...Elmer's sick of being Joseph all the time just because his father's the minister. Nobody wants to be Joseph.
(Charlie) Nobody wants to be in it!
- To Beth
- (Father) What are you going to be this year?
(Beth) I'm always in the angel choir.
(Father) Well, why can't Charlie be in the angel choir?
(Charlie) Because I can't sing!
(Father) From what I've heard in the past, that's not a serious drawback. Away In A Manger always sounds like a closet full of mice.
Bringing me coffee as I'm reading paper on couch
(Mother) They're right, of course. She directs the pageant, she runs the potluck supper, she's chairman of the Bazaar...I think Helen Armstrong would preach the sermon if anyone would let her.
(Father) Is that George Armstrong's wife?
(Father) Well, maybe she'll try to manage the hospital, because that's where she is. I saw George at the drug store and he told me his wife broke her leg this morning...she'll be in traction for two weeks and laid up till the first of the year.
(Mother) The first of the year!...Why, they'll have to cancel Christmas.
- (Father) She's in charge of Christmas?
- Freeze after Mother's lines
(Mother) I have to direct the Christmas pageant.
- (Father) Does that mean I have to go?
- Move to dinner table during Beth's speech
Seated at dinner table
(Charlie) Like when they put you to sleep?
- (Father) No such luck...Beth, we need salt and pepper...and napkins...
- Beth exits to kitchen
After Mrs. Armstrong's speech...Grace, because they'll be your biggest problem...
- Taking slice of bread from Charlie
- (Father) You will leave some for the rest of us, won't you, Charlie?
(Charlie) I'm hungry. Leroy Herdman stole my lunch again.
(Father) How can you let him do that to you, day after day?
(Charlie) How can I stop him?...Where's the chicken?
(Father) Grace, where's the chicken?
During Mrs. Armstrong's speech...You'll have to get someone to push the baby angels on...
- Leave dinner table, grab coat and exit door
- ...They think because it's a play...
- Ring doorbell
- ...that they have to wear lipstick, and it looks terrible. So tell them...
- Ring doorbell
- ...I'll talk to you later...
- Ring doorbell, Mother answers door
- (Father) Lady, can you give me some supper? I haven't had a square meal in three days.
(Mother) Oh, for heaven's sake, it's you!
- (Father) I was very lonely at the table
- Enter, take off coat
(Mother) Well, I guess Helen feels lonely at the hospital
Move back to dinner table
(Father) Not as long as the telephones are working.
(Mother) Yes. She suggested your father.
- (Father) Does that mean I have to go?
- Mrs. Armstrong's speech
- Curtain down / scene change
Enter from Stage Right carrying grocery bag...
(Mother) ...if I'd been up and around, this never would have happened! Well, let me tell you...
(Father) Don't tell me, I'm on your side...the car's over there.
(Mother)...After all, they raised their hands and nobody else did, and I don't care...
- (Father) Good for you, Grace. The car's over there...
- Try to move Mother over to car
(Mother) And you're going to help me!
- Stopped by last line
- (Father) Does that mean...
(Mother) Wait till I turn the lights on. Now, watch your step.
- Carrying a potted tree/plant
- (Father) I can't even see where I'm going. I don't know what in the world you expect to do with this thing...
(Mother) Where are the kids?
(Father) All the kids in the world are down in the basement, putting on bedsheets.
(Beth) It's just going to be awful, you know. They look like trick or treat--all dirty and fastened together with safety pins and wearing their mouldy old sneakers...Mary and Joseph, I mean. The look like refugees or something.
(Father) Well...that's what they were...Mary and Joseph. The were refugees, in a way. They were a long way from home, didn't have any place to stay, didn't know anybody. They were probably cold and hungry and tired...and messy.
(Mother) Oh, dear...Do you think I should...
(Father) I think you worry too much. Now...I'm going to push baby angels onstage, and I'm going to hand out shepherds' crooks and then push them onstage...When do you want me to do all that?
Mother hands me the script
(Mother) Just follow the script.
- Flip through script
- (Father) Baby angels...shepherds...Wise Men...It doesn't seem to say here where the fire engines come in.
- Pat mom on shoulder
- (Father) Just kidding.
- Collect shepherds' crooks and exit
While choir sings 'While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night'...
Hand-out crooks and guide shepherds onto stage
Choir sings 'Angels We Have Heard on High'...
Guide baby Angels from Stage Left to Stage Right
Choir sings Silent Night...
Sing Holy night with Mother
(Beth) It did seem real, as if it might have happened just that way. We all thought the pageant was about Jesus, but that was only part of it. It was about a new baby, and his mother and father who were in a whole lot of trouble--no money, no place to go, no doctor, nobody they knew. And then, arriving from the East--like my uncle from New Jersey--some rich friends.
- Look out curtain, look around...
- Meet Mother center stage...congratulate and hug
- Exit to the rear
Enter with Mother and Charlie wearing bathrobe
(Father) I guess that's about it. Any kids left down stairs?
(Mother) No, everyone's gone...You know you have your bathrobe on. You aren't going to wear it, are you?
(Father) Why not? Maybe people will think I was a shepherd. I wouldn't mind being taken for a shepherd in this Christmas pageant.
(Beth) You and Alice Wendleken!
(Father) ...What about the lights?
(Mother) They're on a timer. They go off at midnight.
- Looking at watch
- (Father) That's not far away...It's almost Christmas.
- Wait for others...take a bow!