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A Christmas Song [a modern adaptation of Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol']

by WaltzingDreams


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

CAST

Elliot Scrooge- The Vice President of the Student Council of their college. He is seen bitter and short tempered at the beginning of the story but his character slowly progresses like in the original as Ebenezer Scrooge. 

Tammy- She is the President of the Student Council. She is sweet, caring and a helpful friend but is also sickly. Her counterpart in the original is Tiny Tim.

Fredrick- The Auditor of the Student Council. He is a close friend of Elliot and Tammy. His equivalent in the original is Fred, Scrooge's nephew.

Jacob Marley- The older stepbrother of Elliot. He's been dead for three years but comes back from the grave to warn his brother of his fate.

Sam Archer- A childhood friend of Elliot.

Ghosts: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Christmas Future

The Council: Kim, Angelo, Angel, Jem,Patricia

BI Student



(The scene opens to a stage portraying an auditorium half decorated by the student council. A half adorned Christmas tree is at the left, on the board is a countdown to the days left before Christmas. There is a mirror on the floor, a music player, food and other Christmas décor around the place. The Council members, each wearing the council’s band/ID are decorating the place, though a little lazily as they casually talk about their plans for the holiday.)[Audible instrumental music could be heard, lights front of the stage]

SCENE 1: (Auditorium, The Council, Scrooge, Fred) [Ad Lib is allowed and advised]

KIM : ...I’ll be going to the province for the holiday.

ANGELO: Really? Good for you. Meanwhile, I’m just…here.

KIM: Then I’d be with my family and we’d watch all those movies again!

ANGEL: *during a separate murmur conversation with others* No, I just don’t feel the Christmas spirit, not at all. Not even the food, parties, or mall sales could get me there nowadays.

JEM: What? You’re just tired, the Christmas spirit will compel you!

PATRICIA : Not so much as Angelo needs it!

KIM: Oh yeah! (to ANGELO)*slyly* Have you asked her yet?

ANGELO: W-what? No.

KIM:*tsk tsk*

PATRICIA: Really? Come on, how long are you going to wait to ask her out?!

ANGEL: Yeah. *pause.* You can say that going out with you could be her gift! It’s Christmas after all.

JEM : Have courage already! You don’t have anything to lose!

ANGELO: I’d be asking—*is interrupted by the entrance of SCROOGE and FRED, the Auditor, carrying a large box of other ornaments*

THE COUNCIL: *atmosphere changes dour and there is a sudden silence as they look at him*

SCROOGE: *bitterly* Well? Get back to work, the décor won’t hang itself. *he sets the box down and starts fixing some décor*

COUNCIL: *seriously goes back to work quietly*

FREDRICK:*low speech* (to SCROOGE) No need to use that tone.

SCROOGE:I didn’t ask for this. I’d rather be at home finishing the papers Tammy left me, resting a bit or at least reading a good article!

(Here, the students talk about SCROOGE behind his back. About his bitterness, he just got to be VP because the teachers liked him for his academics, his unwillingness to help out unless forced, his violence when mad, his harshness in words, always seems to be distant and mad etc. Ad lib)

FREDRICK: *calmly says to SCROOGE* Just relax, you’ve had quite a year. *is aware of the things the others are saying* I’m pretty sure the school and Tammy appreciate the things you do.

KIM: *accidentally says an insult too loud that SCROOGE actually heard him*

FREDRICK: *tries to divert the conversation* Hey, Elliot.At least all this work would result into something beautiful tomorrow! *SCROOGE ignores him*

Come on, aren’t you even excited to see how it’s going to turn out when we open this auditorium for the students?

SCROOGE: No, Fred, I am not.

FREDRICK: Going to the party tomorrow could relieve you of stress a little.

SCROOGE:  I am not going.

FREDRICK: Why not? It’s a party for the Council and the School, you should be there.

SCROOGE: Tammy should do her job as the President for once. She should be able to manage things without my help. This is a party we’re talking about: anyone can be there. The teachers and parents, don’t get me started on the underclassmen and freshmen! They would come up and make conversation; commenting about the school and the council to me and they expect me to satisfy them with good feedback? I’d have you know that running a huge college with *hands gestures to the Council* this team, is very difficult. It is hard to keep up this unaltered image, Fred, and going to a useless Christmas party could change what they already see in me, obviously.

JEM: How could a Christmas party ever be useless?

SCROOGE: Well, for one we have better things to do! We could use this energy, money and time to do actual school matters.

KIM: We are doing this for the joy of the students and that should be enough to satisfy your concern

SCROOGE: Oh, why does everyone want to invest on temporal happiness?!

ANGELO: Why do you go against all those who do?

SCENE 2: (Council, Tammy, Fred, Scrooge)

**Sudden silence TAMMY ENTERS saying her lines**

TAMMY: *holding another box full of decor* Sorry it’s only been now, guys. *notices the Council’s uneasiness* Is anything wrong?

SCROOGE: *forced smile* Nothing. *goes back to work*

COUNCIL: *others greet Tammy, then goes back to work* *they talk in low tones comparing the ever-nice Tammy to the sour Scrooge*

TAMMY: *does some decorating**tries to make conversation with Scrooge but he ignores her* *after a while, she coughs badly*

COUNCIL: *starts to take notice of this*

TAMMY: *covers it up with a smile* I’m fine, don’t worry. *looks at Scrooge and calls for him*

COUNCIL: *back to work*

FRED: (to Tammy, aside as Scrooge approaches them) *low tone* Are you sure you can handle this? You’ve been working non-stop since yesterday. Have you missed your meds?

TAMMY: Shh, not now, Fred. Here he comes.

*Fred leaves them*

SCROOGE: What is it? Not another favor you cannot do.

TAMMY: There are circumstances, Elliot, that call for reason and understanding especially in the case of—.

SCROOGE: Just get on with it, what is it you want me to do? I’d listen to myself if I wanted a lecture on ‘reason.’

TAMMY: But not on ‘understanding’ apparently.

SCROOGE: Are we just going to stand here and waste each other’s time or what?

TAMMY:  I’m going abroad, Elliot. I need to go on the 26th as soon as possible. I won’t be back till next year. **pause** What?

SCROOGE: *cruel smile* You chose such a convenient time to suddenly leave all of this to me, didn’t you?

TAMMY: What?! If given much of a choice, I would rather stay here and help out with all this.

SCROOGE: “all this”?! ‘All this,’ Tammy, is your own fault!

TAMMY: *slight panic* Scrooge, this is between you and me, the Council needn’t be—

SCROOGE: *interrupts her* You could’ve kept the pathetic Christmas celebration private in your own home like what they all do, but then this idea of suddenly having a charity Christmas party in our auditorium to help beggars comes to mind then all of you (referring to the COUNCIL) chose to side on with her! Beggars are thieves in disguise, you blasted crowd. (to TAMMY) Now you’re going to leave because you cannot handle such a large responsibility that you took on upon yourself. Then, again depending on me to save your sorry hide and keep this boat afloat?

TAMMY: *starts to breathe deeply, trying to bottle her anger as the COUNCIL speaks of how disrespectful Scrooge was*

SCROOGE: (to TAMMY) What now?! Have we totally lost the girl whom we voted for—

TAMMY: *dismissively* I will not hear anymore of this, Scrooge. You will tell me if you have decided to take up the responsibility of holding office while I’m gone tomorrow at the Charity Christmas Party, alright?

SCROOGE: No, Tammy. *getting ready to leave* I will not hear anymore of this, you should know by now that I have had enough. My answer is No. *walks away*

TAMMY: *calls out to him when he reaches the door* Scrooge.

SCROOGE: *turns around halfway*

TAMMY: Merry Christmas.

SCROOGE: *leaves and slams the door behind him*

COUNCIL: *makes comments about that scene as they go back to work*

**Tammy and Fred stand alone**

TAMMY: *sadly* I pity the soul.

FRED: He never should’ve said those things about you.

TAMMY: I pity his soul.

SCENE 3: (Scrooge’s bedroom, Scrooge, Jacob Marley’s Ghost)

(Scrooge’s bedroom is seen at the back of the audience. The right side is his bed, opposite is a mirror hanging on the wall. There are no Christmas decors. A window is covered with a curtain and on the floor there are scattered newspapers with various dates are seen.)

SCROOGE: *enters the bedroom, speaking to himself throws some dialogue to the audience too* Pathetic. Give a Christmas charity? If only people would be more sensible to spend their time on more important things! I hate Christmas. Then they suddenly think of a charity. I hate Christmas. The songs, those choir children won’t stop! I hate charity! I hate Christmas. Too many lights at night! I hate Christmas. Charity?! Rubbish. Feeding burglars, killers, rapists, cheats, imposters, liars, pretenders, lazy bums who don’t work as if they serve a better purpose in this world! *goes to the windows to draw the curtains* As if they—*he sees the ghost, screams and falls back in horror*

*gets a gun underneath the cushion* *approaches the curtain, gun in both hands and draws the curtain again for a peep* *draws the curtain with other hand to reveal to the audience that the ghost wasn’t there anymore* And I thought I was seeing things… I’m just tired.*retreats to the couch and relaxes. Soon falls asleep*

(The clock strikes midnight)

MARLEY: *suddenly emerges from the shadows, creeps to the couch* (to SCROOGE) Hey, bro!

SCROOGE: *screams and grabs for gun* *shoots the ghost*

MARLEY: *sad look* You know it’s useless, I have been dead for three years, Elliot!

SCROOGE: *continues to shoot, but then runs out of ammo after 10 shots*

MARLEY: *sad smile* Running away from those wicked dogs we threw stones at? Those summers at Aunt Catherine’s? Johannes Sinclair?

SCROOGE: *confused* Jacob? Are you him? My brother Jacob?

MARLEY: Yes. I’ve come here to warn you, Elliot.

SCROOGE: Warn me? Warn me of what?

MARLEY: These are the chains of hardship, Scrooge. I had forged them during my lifetime here on earth. All the cruelties I had done to others, the hatred I kept, the regrets my soul had, the pain I had caused: all these are wearing me down. This is a reminder of what a life I had led.

SCROOGE: What? But you were a successful man! You had a stable job, a good monthly income, all the respect of your fellow lawyers at the firm!

MARLEY: I learn now that life’s not about all those things. Money, an occupation, your so called ‘respect’ they now cause me pain! I had not known what it was like to have true friends or happiness! I did not know that I could end up like this! Chained, alone and filled with misery and self hatred! If I were wicked, a million times more is the pain in the afterlife! I did not live life to its true purpose.

SCROOGE: I do not understand you.

MARLEY: I knew you wouldn’t. That’s why I will send you three more spirits after me, tonight. They will urge you to change your ways so that you wouldn’t end up like… like me.

SCROOGE: *darkly with increasing anger* You are not my brother. My brother taught me that everything in life must be earned through hard work, practicality and selfishness! It is true, still, that all those who are on top of everything are the cruel ones, am I right? Tyrants of governments, kingdoms, empires, cities, and countries are the ones who hold power and they are fine the way they are! I always wanted to be like Jacob when I grew up: he is my rich and respected brother! You are not him!

MARLEY: Fine if you don’t believe me, but all my intentions are true. I want you to change so we won’t share this same sad fate.

SCROOGE: My brother would never end up like you. *goes back to sleep on the couch*

MARLEY: *he exits*


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125 Reviews


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Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:37 pm
Songmorning wrote a review...



Hi! I was craving a Christmas story this Christmas, so I typed "Christmas" into the search bar and this came up. I love "A Christmas Carol", and I was intrigued at the idea of a modern rendition of it, so I started reading. This is actually the first script I've read on YWS, so I'm looking forward to see how it will play out. I'll be writing my reactions to lines as I read them, as though I'm annotating in the margins. I'll also include grammar nitpicks and whatnot. :)


Audible instrumental music could be heard,

The word "audible" here is redundant, so you can simply take it out. Also, change "could" to "can", to make it present tense.

KIM: Then I’d be with my family and we’d watch all those movies again!

I think you should change "I'd" to "I'll" and "we'd" to "we'll", since in her first line she said, "I'll".

At least all this work would result into something beautiful tomorrow!

Better as: "...all this work WILL result IN something beautiful tomorrow!"

SCROOGE: Just get on with it, what is it you want me to do? I’d listen to myself if I wanted a lecture on ‘reason.’

TAMMY: But not on ‘understanding’ apparently.

I loved those lines. That was a great comeback on Tammy's part, and I liked the use of quotes.

but then this idea of suddenly having a charity Christmas party in our auditorium to help beggars comes to mind then all of you (referring to the COUNCIL) chose to side on with her!

First of all, I love the idea of a Christmas party as a charity for beggars, and I love the way the emotion is rising in this scene.
Secondly, though, you need to break up the sentences a bit here. He is speaking quickly, so it should run together a bit, but this is a little too much of a run-on sentence. I'd recommend starting a new sentence at "then all of you..."

A gun? I know you're trying to make this modern, but Scrooge is a college student. I'm surprised that he has a gun. Is he living in a dorm? Guns probably aren't even allowed in dorms...And if he actually fired it off, people would come running whether he was in a dorm or an apartment, or in any other living situation where there are a lot of other people. But I'd be surprised if he could afford his own house...I'm just not sure about the gun part.

Well, I've read to the end of this part now. Overall, a solid beginning, and some good points about worldly wealth leading to misery when it's obtained through cruely. Of course, I believe in the virtue of hard word to become successful, but not in exploiting others for that end. I do have one general criticism that you left a little too much space for ad-libbing. There are some places where you might actually write out some lines, such as a few of the insults the council was muttering against Scrooge. While I was reading that, I felt that I would have a difficult time keeping up that much creativity if I was an actor in the council. Other than that, it's great, and I'm looking forward to see what will happen next (although I kind of already know how the story goes). :)




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Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:32 am
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ThereseCricket says...



Hello. ^^

I'm sorry I took so long to get around to this, but after reading through I found that I wouldn't be able to actually help you out. I don't actually write plays, so I don't know exactly how they work. However, I can tell that this is well written, so this deserves a like from me. *likes*

Thank you for using my review for food thread! If you need a review on a novel chapter, then I'm your girl. :D Thankss

~Cricket






Awh, then thanks for the effort to read it :))



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Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:26 pm
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AstralHunter wrote a review...



Salutations.

A remake of "A Christmas Carol," eh? That's a rather ambitious task, but one I would be happy to review - even if you are on the other side. ;)

So, Scene 1. The dialogue in the beginning is nothing more than natter, but then Scrooge enters, and the whole atmosphere changes. Before I get to that though, I want to discuss your formatting. Generally, the additional information appears in parenthesis, yet you decided to place it between asterisks. Since that is how we describe actions and tones here on YWS, I suppose that is allowable, but I don't think it will be tolerated if the script was to be submitted professionally.

Okay, having established that, we can continue. The rest of Scene 1 is as to be expected - it conveys to the reader (or the audience, if it was being performed) that Scrooge is a cold, indifferent and uncaring person - your typical senior administrator/manager. I assume this is the only point of Scene 1, since that is the only message it communicated.

Scene 2: Essentially, the dialogue is flat - but in a good way. We get the feeling that Scrooge really is an unpleasant person, whereas Tammy is quite the opposite. No surprise, since we all know Scrooge is, well, a scrooge. However, here is very condescending towards those less fortunate and he gives us ample examples of hate-speech. Basically, it characterises him even further and creates the contradiction with Tammy.

Then, we get to Scene 3. Scrooge's older stepbrother appears to Scrooge as a ghost and warns him of his fate, so Scrooge decides to shoot him? And not once, but several times. Firstly, that indicates he cares so little for others that he is willing to kill them, but isn't he worried that the shooting will alarm his neighbours? I am certain he doesn't care whether it bothers them, but if they call the police and find he was shooting at no one, he'll either be arressted or taken to an asylum.

Furthermore, his reaction to Jacob's warning is also going a bit over the top. Many antagonists (the majority of today's elite included) have questionable morals - and they know it - but would they deliberately call themselves cruel and selfish? Not likely.

Thus far, your script is well-written, but other than modernising A Christmas Carol, you haven't done much. Some originality would be appreciated, and perhaps you could develope the characters in a unique way. After all, you want your story to have a lasting impression, don't you?

On to the next part!


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Thanks for the feedback! I've been waiting for a critique like this, thank you for satisfying that! A night fury reviewing this doesn't really bother me. hehe.

Also keep in mind that what is here in YWS is only scenes 1-8 out of 20 ^.^

Thank you again for the review, I'll be sure to remember all that.



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Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:43 pm
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yellow wrote a review...



OH. MY. GOSH. THIS IS AMAZING!

Hello there, WaltzingDreams! This play write is amazing!

First off, there are NO nitpicks whatsoever! So you can sit back and enjoy the compliments run out of my heart and soul.

I really LOVE how you made a new age, modern, revised version! The old one is still great too, but I absolutely love this one! It's ingenious! There have been many versions of it following the original, but this is (as said almost a million times,) is amazing! Great job with this piece! I would like to hopefully read more of your works! Don't give up and always write, WaltzingDreams!

-Unknown391625

(P.S. Merry Christmas!)






Thank you so much! ^^. I will upload the next 3 scenes later.
Thanks and merry Christmas too! :)




No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.
— John Donne