version of this great story:
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N=narrator, who also reads longer
explanations in brackets [ ]; shorter sections in the brackets are there to
tell the actor something important. The underlined words
are defined in the vocabulary section above.
N: Ebenezer Scrooge (a rich businessman) loves money, is never generous,
and hates Christmas. To him, the holiday is just an excuse for lazy people
to take a day off of work (robbing their bosses, who must pay for their
holiday). He thinks that the feasts and gifts are a waste of money. He
doesn’t share the “joy” and “good cheer” that most people feel at Christmas,
and expresses his dislike with the phrase “Bah, humbug”.
1. N: In this scene, Scrooge is upset because his clerk wants to “waste
coal” to make their cold office more comfortable.
Ebenezer Scrooge [angrily, and pointing to his coat]: Mr. Cratchit!
These are garments. Garments were invented to protect people from the
cold. Once purchased, they may be used indefinitely for the purpose for
which they are intended. However, coal burns. Coal is momentary and
coal is costly. There will be no more coal burned in this office today, is
that quite clear, Mr. Cratchit?
Bob Cratchit: Yes, Sir.
Scrooge: Now please get back to work before I am forced to conclude
that your services here are no longer required.
2. N: Scrooge’s nephew Fred comes in to wish his uncle a Merry Christmas,
leading to an argument about the holiday. Fred gives a convincing speech
about the good reasons to like Christmas:
Fred Holywell: Uncle, there are a great many things from which I have
derived good, from which I have not profited, Christmas among the rest. But
I’ve always thought of Christmastime as a good time, a kindly, forgiving,
charitable time; a time when men and women seem, by one consent, to open
their shut-up hearts freely to their fellow creatures. So, though it has
never put a scrap of gold or silver into my pocket, I do believe that
Christmas has done me good, and I say “God bless it.”
Cratchit [claping in agreement]: Well said!
Scrooge: [angrily, to Cratchit] Another sound from you... and
you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation.
N: that is, “by losing your job”
Fred: Don’t be cross uncle. Come dine with us tomorrow. I want nothing
from you; I ask nothing of you…. Why can’t we be friends?
N: Scrooge leaves the office to go to “the exchange”—a place where people
buy and sell large amounts of food or other things. Outside his office, he
mistakenly thinks Cratchit’s handicapped son is a beggar.
3. Tiny Tim: Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge.
Scrooge: Don't beg on this corner, boy.
Tiny Tim: I'm not begging, Sir. I'm Tim Cratchit. I'm waiting for my
Scrooge: Tim Cratchit? Well, you'll have a long wait, then, won't you?
Tiny Tim: Merry Christmas, Sir!
Scrooge: Bah, humbug. [he walks off]
4. Mr. Pemberton [at the Exchange]: Ah, Ebenezer. We were afraid you
wouldn't come. The Exchange is about to close, Sir.
Scrooge: Well, I'm here, aren't I?
Mr. Tipton: Good. You'll take our bid, then? I take it you've changed
Scrooge: Yes, I have changed my mind. The price has gone up.
Mr. Pemberton: Gone up? But that's impossible!
Scrooge: If you want my corn, you'll pay yesterday’s price, plus five
percent interest for making me wait.
Mr. Tipton: That's outrageous, Scrooge. If we have to meet your price,
our bread will be more expensive. The poor will suffer.
Scrooge: Then buy someone else's corn. Good day, Sirs.
Mr. Pemberton: Damn it, Scrooge, that's not fair!
Scrooge: No, but it's business. I'll give you a second to make up your
Mr. Tipton: All right, Scrooge, we have little choice. Done and done!
Scrooge: Good. Make sure that a check for the entire amount is
deposited with my clerk. I don't ship until I have cash in hand.
N: On Christmas Eve, Scrooge’s former partner comes from the grave to
try to save Ebenezer from his own terrible fate: forever wearing chains that
symbolize his greed and endless sorrow for having failed to be generous
with his money while he was alive. Marley enters through the wall, and after
much effort he manages to frighten Ebenezer.
5. Scrooge [frightened]: What do you want with me?
Marley's Ghost: Much! In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley. Now I
must wander through the world, wearing this chain I made in life by being so
miserly. I only cared about business, but not about the common
welfare. Now, I am here to warn you. You still have a chance to change,
Ebenezer. Three spirits will come to you. Expect the first when the bell
N: At one o’clock, the first ghost arrives. The Ghost of Christmas Past
shows Scrooge glimpses of his childhood and youth, pointing out how
he changed from someone who enjoyed life, to someone who loved only money.
No one can see or hear Ebenezer or the Ghost. First, we see a glimpse
of Scrooge in boarding school; he has often been left alone at school
during the holidays. His father does not like to see him because Ebenezer
reminds him of Ebenezer’s dead mother. But one Christmas, Scrooge’s beloved
sister, Fan, comes to take him home for the holiday.
6. Young Scrooge: Fan? [they hug]
Fan: Dear, dear brother! I've come to take you home for good! Father
is so much kinder now than he used to be. One night, he spoke with me so
gently that I worked up the courage to ask him if you might come home, and
he said yes! We came in a coach to pick you up; it's right outside!
Young Scrooge: You've grown into quite a young woman, Fan.
Fan: And you've grown into quite a young man, never to need see this lonely
place again. Come on, let's not keep Father waiting.
N: They go outside to meet their father, Silas. Young Ebenezer starts
to hug Silas, but the elder man holds out his walking-stick, preventing the
boy from doing so.
Silas Scrooge: There-there, boy. Let's have a look at you. Well, they
haven't been over-feeding you, that's evident. I imagine Fan's told you that
you're not moving back to this school. It's time you made your way in the
world. I've arrange an apprenticeship for you. You'll move into Mr.
Fezziwig's establishment in three days.
Fan: Three days, Father? It's been YEARS since we've had my brother at
home! I was hoping we'd have him for longer.
Silas Scrooge: LONGER? Three days is QUITE long enough for both of us.
Don't you agree, Ebenezer?
Young Scrooge: Indeed, Sir. Quite long enough.
N: The ghost shows us that Mr. Fezziwig loved Christmas, and taught
his employees to love it, too. We also meet Belle, the woman Ebenezer loved
before he turned his heart only to cold matters of business.
Next, the Ghost of Christmas Present (a huge, jolly spirit)
shows Scrooge holiday joy, even among the poor (like his clerk Bob), and he
tries to show Scrooge why helping others is so important.
Our first example is at the Cratchit home. Scrooge looks on
as Mrs. Cratchit serves a small goose to her grateful family.
7. Scrooge [to the Ghost]: It's such a small bird.
Ghost of Christmas Present: It's all Bob Cratchit can afford,
because of how little you pay him.
N: Scrooge sees how much Bob loves his handicapped son, and asks the
Ghost of Christmas Present about Tiny Tim’s future.
8. Scrooge: Tell me, Spirit... Will he live?
Ghost of Christmas Present: I see an empty place at this table. I see
a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows
remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.
Scrooge: No. Say he'll be spared.
Ghost of Christmas Present: If these shadows remain
unaltered by the future, none other of my species will find him here.
N: That is, no other “Ghosts of Christmas Present” will see
him—so Tim will die within a year.
Ghost of Christmas Present [mocking Ebenezer]: But if he is to die,
then let him die... "and decrease the surplus population!"
Scrooge: You use my own words against me?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Yes! So perhaps, in the future, you will
hold your tongue until you have discovered where the surplus
population is, and who it is. It may well be that, in the sight of
Heaven, YOU are more worthless and less fit to live than millions
like this poor man's child.
N: Later, the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Ebenezer to his nephew
Fred’s house; he and guests are talking about Scrooge.
(continued in the next column)