Family Holiday


Family Holiday
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A relaxing holiday is turned on its head in this hilarious farce about family secrets and coming out.

RJ goes home for the holidays, hoping to have a nice, relaxing time with his family and best friend. Things don’t turn out as he expects when he arrives to find his sister newly single, his Nana on a health kick, his mother frantically dashing in and out, and his father nervous about all of the strange behavior. Secrets are revealed and RJ is stuck in the middle of this fast-paced holiday farce for modern times.


Act I

Middle-aged parents Ron and Judith are arguing while they wait for their children RJ and Junior to come home for a holiday visit. While Ron is out of the room, Judith makes a mysterious phone call. Nana, Ron’s mother, enters. She is on a health kick and laments that she forgot her yoga mat. RJ, Ron and Judith’s son, enters bearing presents and a pie. He is a veterinarian and tells them all about some of his adventures at work. RJ notices that there is no Christmas tree, just a very large potted plant. RJ asks about Junior, his sister, who hasn’t arrived yet. They disclose that she has recently broken up with her boyfriend, who they all call Kong, because of his large and hairy stature. Judith gets a phone call on her cell, and after leaving to answer it, Ron says she has been getting mysterious calls for a while. She then makes a hasty exit to “go to the store.” While Ron has RJ alone, he tells RJ that Judith has been acting strangely and asks RJ to investigate. RJ reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, Nana has been making RJ a smoothie. After distracting Nana and dumping the smoothie in the plant, Ron tells RJ he has a lot on his mind, and asks about RJ’s old college roommate, Hamilton, who is gay. Judith re-enters, having bought another pie at the store. Nana re-enters and enlists Ron’s help to move her futon mattress in the basement. They exit, leaving Judith with RJ, who tries to find out about her strange behavior. Judith gets another phone call and quickly exits. Junior, RJ’s sister, enters bearing gifts and a pie. She immediately comes out as a lesbian to RJ, who is taken by surprise. She swears him to secrecy, and he agrees. Judith re-enters on her way to the store, saying she’s going to get cool whip, for the pies. Nana and Ron come back from the basement, and Judith returns from the store without the cool whip. Nana thinks Judith is acting weird because she’s having an affair and takes Ron to the basement again to finish moving the futon. Judith leaves RJ and Junior alone, and Junior is afraid that her being gay is the cause of her mothers’ strange behavior. Judith overhears them talking, specifically the “gay” part and exits, unnoticed. When Judith re-enters, she immediately gets another phone call and exits again. Junior is reminded that she needs to charge her phone and goes upstairs. Judith tries to question RJ, but Nana, Ron, and Junior all re-enter. The women exit to the kitchen to catch up and work on dinner, leaving Ron and RJ. Ron asks if he has found out why Judith is acting so strangely. He suspects it’s because she found out that he is gay, and he comes out to RJ, who is shocked. Judith makes another hasty exit to the store, and Ron tells RJ that he accidentally met up for a tryst with a guy he met online, who happened to be RJ’s college roommate, Hamilton. RJ tells his father that he’s fine, and that everything will work out. RJ doesn’t think that’s why Judith is acting weird. The doorbell rings, and Andy, RJ’s best friend, enters. He has been invited over for the holiday, and he has brought presents and not a pie, but brownies. Nana and Junior come in to say hello, and Nana goes to make Andy a smoothie. Andy states that he still has his lifelong crush on Junior, who is still not interested. Judith returns, and makes another hasty exit. They all wonder what’s causing her odd behavior. The tension builds, and Andy wonders if he should leave, but they tell him to stay. Mom has, again, “run off to the store.” The family leaves Andy and RJ alone, and Andy confides that he has to talk to RJ about something. RJ jokes that Andy is coming out to him, and Andy gets highly offended and leaves in a huff. He immediately returns, asking RJ how he knew. RJ is shocked again, as Andy has quite the reputation for being a lady’s man. Andy confides that he’s been keeping it a secret, mostly so his father won’t find out. The family, sans Judith, returns and cut short the conversation. Judith returns, and send everyone off to prepare for dinner except for RJ. She confesses that maybe she has been acting odd, and that it’s because she is having an affair. Just as she states this, Nana enters and overhears them. Nana triumphantly says, “I told you so!” and Judith is in a panic. RJ swears Nana to secrecy, and they all exit for their holiday dinner.

Act II

We return after dinner, and Judith gets another mysterious phone call. With the odd behavior spreading, everyone is becoming more and more suspicious of each other. Junior is worried that RJ told mom she is a lesbian, Ron is worried about Judith finding out about him, and her multiple phone calls, and Judith is worried about Nana divulging her affair. Judith returns, saying that everything will be fine now, and the family all chat and catch up. Ron states that he went to a new store in town called the Dreamcatcher, a hippy shop, and makes fun of it, and the proprietor. Judith becomes distraught\ and tells Ron about the actual dreamcather that she bought him for Christmas. He apologizes, and RJ sends everyone away to talk to his mother and try to calm her down. She is frazzled, and RJ asks about the affair. Judith confesses that the affair is with a woman, and she too comes out. RJ is more and more shocked at the turn of events, when he finds out that his mother is seeing the owner of the Dreamcatcher shop, and that she is the one who has been making all of the phone calls. Judith tells him that she told her new lover that she was going to confide in RJ, and the two of them have been in a panic ever since. Everyone comes back, and RJ asks them all if the entire day has been some sort of prank. They all leave Nana and RJ alone, and RJ leans on Nana for some moral support. When everyone returns, they are all together, talking about what’s been happening. Hamilton’s name comes up again, and Ron gets frightened that his secret will be exposed. Junior is scared too, and asks Andy out on a date. Andy, thinking this will be a good cover, agrees. Ron asks Judith to come along, to make it a double date, and Judith is surprised. Mom gets another call, and Ron snatches her phone. He sees that the number calling is from the Dreamcatcher, and Judith panics. While they all try to cover their secrets, things come to a boil and RJ finally blurts out that they are ALL gay. Their secrets are out, and they are all shocked. RJ states that his love for them all has not and will not change, and they all wonder if RJ is gay as well. He tells them all no, and everyone but RJ goes off to have some pie. When he is alone, RJ takes out his phone and makes a call. He talks to his girlfriend, who was concerned about meeting the family because she is black. He says that he doesn’t think it will be a problem. End of show.


It tickles both the heart and funny bone in an indescribably festive fashion that is utterly delightful!



RJ (Ronald Junior), The son, a veterinarian. Late 20’s-early 30’s

Junior (Judith Junior), RJ’s sister, late 20’s-mid 30’s

Judith, Mom. Ron’s wife. A tad neurotic, 50’s

Ron, Dad. Gruff, no nonsense, 50’s

Nana, Feisty, Ron’s mother, 70’s

Andy, RJ’s oldest friend. Laid-back. Late 20’s-early 30’s

Setting: The living room of a nice, middle class family home. Northeast United States. 2012.

Performance Royalties for AMATEUR and EDUCATIONAL Groups, please fill out an application for your personalized quote.

Performance Royalties for PROFESSIONAL Theaters will be quoted as a box office percentage, with a minimum guarantee based on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote.

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials).

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.

“Cathro is a masterful fictionist of farce, finding the striking balance between the situations of which the audience is aware of and those which the characters are aware of and bringing them together in one tightly-paced and sharply penned script. Layering comedic punches that are heartier than grandma’s eggnog, Cathro continuously showcases his keen understanding of humor and how to maximize laughs while still delivering in earnest raw dialogue that sounds natural when delivered. Tucked safely away, like a hidden present underneath the lowest branches of the tree, Cathro even includes a powerful and heartwarming message of love at the crazy cracked core of this Christmas calamity.” –TheatreBloom

Family Holiday delivers all the comforts of ‘home sweet home’ and is the shining star atop the theatrical Christmas tree.” –TheatreBloom

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement. Your materials will be sent to you digitally by your Licensing Representative.

The Authorized Materials/Production Package for Family Holiday are all fulfilled digitally and consist of:

Acting Edition

Stage Manager Script

Director’s Script