It’s like Christmas in July…in May! It’s never too early to get into the Christmas Spirit or for a head start in planning your program’s winter spectacular. Before you log out for summer break, set your holiday plans now!
Here are 9 Holiday Shows that will pack the house in December:
- If you like It’s a Wonderful Life
- A Powerful Holiday Story
- Strong Women Leads
- For Kids
- Small Cast
- For the Jane Austen Fan
- A Jewish Christmas Play
If you like It’s a Wonderful Life:
Musical, 3W, 3M + Ensemble
Synopsis: In this holiday musical we meet the Pazinskis, 4 kids and 2 parents living over a saloon in lower-middle class Buffalo, NY. Christmas 1959 is not very merry for the Pazinskis. Dad is going through a mid-life depression and refuses to buy a Christmas tree. Sister Clarissa is threatening to expel 12-year-old Rudy for performing a blasphemous one-man Nativity Scene where he plays all the characters as Hollywood celebrities. Mom wants the happy man she married returned to her, and the two teenagers, sensing their parents’ discord, are worried that this may be their last Christmas together as a whole family.
With comic songs and dream sequences, the Pazinskis come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a family on this most stressful of holidays.
Musical, 3W, 3M (Flexible) + Ensemble
Synopsis: Holly, a business exec from “the city” gets snowed in at a quaint Vermont B&B for Christmas and begins to fall for its non-threateningly rugged owner. The issue: it’s the very B&B her company is supposed to take over!
Play, 3 flexible
Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told—plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop culture, and every carol ever sung. A madcap romp through the holiday season!
Content Notes: Some mild adult language and content
Play, 4M, or 3M and 1W, or 1M (solo)
Synopsis: “Marley was dead, to begin with…” —and what happens to Ebenezer Scrooge’s mean, sour, pruney old business partner after that? Chained and shackled, Marley is condemned to a hellish eternity. He’s even given his own private tormentor: a malicious little hell-sprite who thoroughly enjoys his work. Desperate, Marley accepts his one chance to free himself: To escape his own chains, he must first redeem Scrooge. So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during which Scrooge’s heart, indeed, is opened; but not before Marley—in this irreverent, funny, and deeply moving story—discovers his own.
A Powerful Holiday Story:
Musical, flexible casting
Synopsis: The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.
Strong Women Leads:
Synopsis: The Wonderettes are back! This seasonal celebration finds the girls entertaining at the annual Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. When Santa turns up missing, the girls use their talent and creative ingenuity to save the holiday party! Featuring great ’60s versions of holiday classics such as “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Run, Rudolph, Run,” and “Winter Wonderland,” the result is, of course, marvelous! This energetic and glittering holiday package is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.
Musical, 5W, 2M
Synopsis: It’s “Golden Girls” meets “Designing Women” with a heaping helping of well-known Christmas tunes and clever new country and western ditties. Christmas without the Silver Belles… just wouldn’t be Christmas! When Oralene, the longtime director of small town Sylva Ridge’s Christmas Pageant, suddenly passes away, the Silver Belles must come to the rescue! With the spirit of Oralene looking on, the sterling-hued vixens band together, discover their talents and pull out all the stops to keep the beloved pageant alive.
Contains adult language.
Musical, 10W, 9M
Synopsis: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world–so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be biting or cigar-smoking in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon everyone is calling for reluctant director Grace Bradley to cancel the whole thing. It’s up to the Bradleys and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes in this buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic.
Musical, 4 (any)
Synopsis: This quick-change version of the Charles Dickens classic is set in a Victorian music hall. The Royal Music Hall Twenty-Member Variety Players are beset with a widespread case of food poisoning. This leaves only three surviving members to soldier on through a performance of A Christmas Carol. The undaunted trio gamely face missed cues, ill-fitting costumes, and solving the problem of having no one to play Tiny Tim. Done in the style of British Music Hall, Scrooge In Rouge abounds in bad puns, bawdy malapropisms, naughty double-entendres, and witty songs. A raucous holiday treat!
For the Jane Austen Fan:
video via Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, CA
Full-Length play, 3M, 4W
Synopsis: In this delightful companion play to Miss Bennet, Gunderson and Melcon once again bring Austen’s beloved characters to the stage for a yuletide sequel to Pride and Prejudice. While Miss Bennet depicted the newly wed Darcys’ Christmas gathering on the ground floor of Pemberley, The Wickhams takes audiences to the downstairs servants’ quarters for that same celebration. Mrs. Reynolds, a no-nonsense housekeeper; Cassie, an eager new maid; and Brian, a lovesick footman, are bustling with preparations for holiday guests. But their work is interrupted by the midnight arrival of the definitely not invited Mr. Wickham—Lydia’s rogue of a husband and Mr. Darcy’s sworn enemy. The Wickhams is a charming holiday tale that explores the confines of class and the generosity of forgiveness.
A Jewish Christmas Play:
Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in this new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, Coney Island Christmas introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays.
Jingle all the way into the holiday season with these titles and more!