Carol's Christmas Catastrophe
Carol's Christmas Catastrophe
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The Pinecone Players’ annual Christmas pageant, directed by former beauty queen Carol Claus, is threatened when the entire cast, fed up with Carol’s “hack directing,” quits an hour before show time. Carol realizes she’ll have to do the whole show herself. Too bad she only knows her own number. In a frantic act of desperation, Carol decides to audition whomever she can find to replace her cast and get the show up in time. In 60 chaotic minutes, meet the strangely wonderful people who show up at the brink of impending disaster to save Carol from ruin. Add to the mix a little Christmas music, a biker Grandma, a disgruntled Fire Marshal, and a mysterious gentleman who has Carol reflect on her (not so merry) future, and you’ve got a comedy of errors that is nuttier than a fruitcake!


SYNOPSIS


It’s an hour before the curtain rises on The Pinecone Players annual community Christmas pageant. The stage is black, when twinkle lights appear in the formation of a Christmas tree. We hear Carol asking Timmy in the darkness if “it” needs more lights. Timmy says, “Maybe a few more on top.” The lights come up on Carol and Timmy. Carol is wearing a hoop-style skirt adorned with twinkle lights. Timmy stands next to her on a step ladder wrapping lights around Carol’s beehive. This is Carol’s outfit for the show’s finale, as she boasts to Timmy – whose names she continually forgets – about her wizardly magic as a director.

Uh-oh! Carol’s not the only one who is forgetful. Timmy reveals to Carol that her entire cast quit the night before after dress rehearsal because they found her to be a ‘hack’ director. Even the donkey in the nativity scene quit!

Carol is livid as she is panicked, and sends Timmy out into the streets to find people to audition for the show. Meanwhile, two strapping, young men named Ricky and Mickey wander onstage. They’re here for the party! Carol inquires, “What party?”  The guys tell Carol they have friends in the show who are throwing a big bash after quitting on their ‘hack’ director. Mickey rereads the text message on his iPhone. Ooops! That was last night. A twinkle light goes off in Carol’s beehive! She asks Mickey and Ricky if they can dance. They rip off their shirts and perform a Chippendale’s style dance number. They’re in! Only, Carol reminds them that this is a family show, and hands them two gingerbread men costumes to change into.

Timmy returns with Jack and Jill, two hikers who were outside filling their water bottles. Carol casts them as Mary and Joseph, and then has Timmy show them to the dressing rooms. Alone onstage, Carol pours out her frustrations to a Snowman set-piece (an actor) that she calls Frosty. The Snowman consoles Carol, before calling her a hack director. Timmy enters, as Carol threatens to lug the Snowman down to the furnace. When Timmy asks Carol who she is talking to, she says the Snowman, only the Snowman appears frozen. Carol’s beginning to think she’s losing her mind. Timmy chimes in, “You’re JUST beginning to think that?” The two of them exchange words. Timmy quits the show and is heading to the North Pole in his super-hero costume to tell Santa Claus how despicable Carol is. Carol looks directly at the audience, “And I thought I had a vivid imagination?” 

Suddenly, an older gentleman steps up from the audience and onto the stage.  His name is The Boss, and bears uncanny resemblance to Boss Hogg from the iconic TV show Dukes of Hazard. The Boss has Carol reflect on her Christmas past, present and future. Carol’s past was great, but the present and future appear bleak. Carol has not time for this. She begs The Boss to play Santa. No such luck. The Boss no sooner leaves, when Carol hears a roaring motorcycle. Moments later, Carol’s Harley driving, whiskey-drinking Grandma stumbles on stage. She’s brought Carol her annual gift: a fruitcake. Carol hates fruitcakes! Carol tells Grandma the pinch she’s in. Grandma does a dance routine with Mickey, Rickey, Jack and Jill (“If The World Is Your Stage”). Grandma throws her back out. Carol asks if there’s a doctor in the house. The Doctor comes up from the audience to check Grandma out. A smitten Grandma checks him out, and they leave together.

It’s crunch time for Carol, who needs to cast the role of Santa Claus. She calls three people up from the audience to audition. Two of them are actors: an androgynous woman named Bert, and a short, stocky man named Ernie. The third person is an actual audience member. They each sing a verse of “Jingle Bells.” Then, Carol has the audience vote, but the process is interrupted when the Fire Marshal makes a surprise visit. He finds several fire code violations. Carol and the Fire Marshal sing a parody of “We Three Kings.” After the number, the Fire Marshal makes a decision to shut down the theatre. Carol needs a miracle— not to mention a Santa Claus AND Snow! The Fire Marshal says if she can produce either one of those phenomenons, he’ll overlook the violations. Suddenly, it not only begins to snow, but Timmy returns from the North Pole with Santa Claus. Timmy has helped save Carol’s show. Carol apologizes to Timmy after finally learning the joy of Christmas past, the promise of Christmas present, and the hope of Christmas future. Carol, Santa and the rest of the cast sing “Jingle Bells” along with the audience.

QUOTE


Fast-paced and witty, a high-octane holiday confection.


Characters:

Carol Claus – 30's. Former beauty queen/director. Her motto in life? "It's all about me!"

Timmy – 20's, scatter-brain. Carol's stage manager. Has a fascination of being a superhero

Ricky – 20's, good-looking. Carol's backup dancer/Gingerbread Boy.

Mickey – 20's, good-looking. Ricky's buddy. Carol's backup dancer/Gingerbread Boy

Jack – 20's, svelte. Hiker, who stumbles upon the Pinecone Theatre.

Jill – 20's, perky and cute. Jack's girlfriend. Ditsy.

Snowman – Any age. Believed to be a prop, but is a real person in costume.

The Boss – Think "Boss Hogg" from "Dukes of Hazzard."

Grandma – Feisty Harley-driving "Granny" who moves like a person half her age.

The Doctor – Handsome actor, who is planted in the audience and brought on-stage.

Ernie – Shorty, stocky, man. A "plant" in the audience who auditions for Santa.

Bert – Frumpy woman, who auditions for Santa. Her real name is Bertha.

Fire Marshal – No non-sense Fire Marshal, who threatens to shut the theatre down.

Santa Claus – Eternal. Saves the "play" at the last minute, along with Timmy.

Casting notes:

  • With the exception of Carol and Jimmy, some of the roles can be doubled/tripled.
  • Timmy can double as Ernie & Jill can double as Bert.
  • The Boss, Doctor & Fire Marshall can be played by one actor.
  • It’s even possible for the same actor to play Santa.

 

Setting: 60 Minutes before Curtain at the Pinecone Players Community Theatre

Tony Jerris is an accomplished playwright, author and screenwriter. His Off-Broadway play Tell Veronica! ran in New York City before premiering in Los Angeles, starring Charlene Tilton in the title role. As an author, Tony has written numerous children’s books, including The Littlest Spruce, which won Best New Children’s Book at The North American Book Exchange. His book Marilyn Monroe: My Little Secret was ranked one of the ‘Best Top 20 Marilyn Books’ by Gutsy Books. As a screenwriter, Tony has placed in The Writer’s Digest Screenwriting Competition, Project Greenlight Screenwriting Contest, and received honorable mention in The Nicholl Fellowship Awards. Tony resides in Los Angeles.

Bruce W. Durbin began his writing career in 2005 by penning the novel Lessons In Terror which he later adapted into a screenplay. Bruce has since written over 50 feature length screenplays in almost every genre, as well as several short scripts, demo reels, and TV pilots. In 2008, his first feature length screenplay, Cold Heart Canyon, was released on DVD.  He has had numerous shorts filmed including Cliche, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, and the animated children’s film, White Dragon. Bruce’s screenplay Prayer Warrior is based on his book Art Of Prayer.  In addition to screenplays, Bruce has had several books and articles published in numerous magazines and on websites.

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Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Carol’s Christmas Catastrophe, click here.

Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.

The required materials for Carol’s Christmas Catastrophe include:

Production Scripts

Available Products:

Print Edition – Beautifully bound scripts available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!

Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.

Performance Tracks 

Logo/PR Pack – Includes high-resolution logo artwork and a ready-designed show poster.