A Christmas Crisis

Savita Mitra and Bea Oertel


When a bus breaks down on Christmas Eve, the passengers have to change their attitudes if they are to get going again.


Joe - bus driver
Steven, Jamie, Harry, Mrs Schmidt, Rachel, Tina, Ashley - passengers


(The bus driver, Joe, takes the passengers' tickets at the Greyhound station as they are getting on the bus.)

Steven: "Can I take my bike on the bus? She's brand new, an early Christmas present from my parents. Her name is Julietta. I don't want her to get hypothermia in the baggage compartment."

Joe (rolling his eyes): "Whatever!"

(Steven drags his bike on the bus.)

Jamie (looking confused): "Is this the bus to Vancouver?"

Joe: "What do you expect, Florida?"

(Jamie gets on the bus.)

Harry (tipsily): "Me and my best buddy are getting on!" (kisses his bottle)

(Harry gets on bus, yells:_

Harry: "Roadtrip!". (Falls over Steven's bike.)

Mrs. Schmidt: "Are we going to get in on time? I can't be late!"

Joe: " We get there when we get there!" Mrs. Schmidt gets on bus.

Rachel: "Hi! How are you?"

Joe: " Okay... please take a seat." (Rachel gets on bus.)

Tina: "Merry Christmas! Are you going to play Christmas carols on this bus?"

Joe: "No, DEFINITELY not!"

Tina: "But...it's Christmas Eve!"

(Tina, disappointed, gets on bus.)

Ashley: Well, I have to keep my shoes at room temperature. If I don't, they will be ruined and if I show up in Vancouver with no shoes, what would my fiance say? That would be UNACCEPTABLE!" (Ashley gets on bus.)

Joe (to himself): "Why am I feeling like I have a zoo on my bus?" (Joe gets on bus and closes door.)

Ashley (to Steven):"If this dirty bike of yours as much as TOUCHES my dress, I will hold you personally responsible. Do you have any idea how much this dress cost?"

Steven: That Value Village reject? $ 7.50 tops!"

Ashley: (offended, to no-one in particular) "I was going to fly but this snow storm kept the planes on the ground. Look at what company I have been reduced to now!"

Harry: "SOMEONE'S got her panties in a knot!"

(Ashley pointedly ignores everyone, looking out of the window.)

Rachel (to Harry): " Oh be nice...", (laughs).

Harry: "Want some... Christmas cheer?"

Rachel: "No, thanks. I don't need that kind of Christmas cheer. No need to drown my sorrows!"

Harry: "Why not?"

Rachel: "Because I know they float!"

Mrs. Schmidt (to Tina): Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is? I HAVE to get to Vancouver on time. My in-laws are arriving today from Germany and I can't be late!"

Tina: "I don't have a watch. But I am expecting one from my mum for Christmas!" (turning to Jamie who is kicking her seat with his feet) "Do you mind?"

Jamie (sarcastic): "Sorry!"

(Everyone is falling asleep. Suddenly the engine starts acting up and quits. Joe tries to start the engine but it's dead. Everyone wakes up and starts freaking out.)

Joe: "Alright, everyone sit down and be quiet! I'm gonna check the engine!"

Harry: "I don't care if we don't make it until tomorrow! I have everything I need right here!" (kisses his bottle)

Steven: "But I HAVE to go to the early bird bike parts sale!"

Ashley: "If I don't come on time, my fiance might dump me and then where will I be!"

Steven (drily): "Stuck on a bus on the Coquahalla!"

Ashley stares at him: "You know what? You really should exfoliate!"

Steven: "Huh?"

Rachel: "My grandparents are expecting me...They will be worried."

Mrs. Schmidt: "If I am late picking up my in-laws, that will not make a good impression! My mother-in-law already thinks I am not good enough for Dieter."

Tina: "I will miss opening presents at midnight! Oh no!"

Jamie: "Not like I got a place to go with anybody waiting for me..."

Rachel: (turning to him) "Oh that's..."

Joe: (gets back on bus) "Okay everyone listen up! The bus isn't working."

Ashley: "Duh, we know that! But what's wrong?"

Joe: "I don't know... My radio is dead too. Does anyone have a cell phone?"

Rachel:" I do... here you go!" (hands him phone)

(Joe dials, waits)

Joe: "There is no reception in this area."

Ashley:" We are all going to die!"

Rachel: "No, we're more likely to freeze!"

Mrs. Schmidt:" Well I am getting cold!" (Others agree.)

Joe: "Well, you all have extra clothes in your suitcases. Who wants to bring up suitcases?"

(Everyone points at everyone else.)

Joe (to Steven): "You, steroid boy, put your muscles to good use!"

Steven: "It's cold out there! I want someone to come with me!" (points at Jamie) "What about that kid? He's not doing anything!"

Jamie: "Alright, alright, I'll go!"

(Both get off the bus, struggle through the snowstorm to get at the baggage compartment. Jamie comes back on bus loaded.)

Ashley:" Be careful with my bags! Did you get all 4 of them?"

(Steven gets on bus, falls on ground.)

Rachel: "Are you okay?" (Gets up and checks on Steven.) "Oh dear, I think he's got hypothermia!" (Covers him up with her coat.)

Harry: "This will warm him up!" (Holds up his bottle.)

Rachel: "No way! Don't you know that this stuff ruins your liver?"

Tina:"I am getting hungry! Does anybody have any food?"

Mrs. Schmidt: "I have home made muffins but I'm not sharing!" (bites into one)

Tina: "Thanks a lot!"

(Rachel joins Jamie in the back of the bus.)

Rachel: "Hi! What's up?"

Jamie: "Not much. What do you have waiting for you in Vancouver that's so great?"

Rachel: "Just the usual, you know, family dinner, cousins, church service, the works. What about you?"

Jamie: "Nothing!"

Rachel: "It's really something!" Jamie: "Just another group home."

Rachel: "Haven't you ever had a real family Christmas?"

Jamie: "Not really."

Rachel: "Well...do you want to come with me to spend Christmas with my family? We'd love to have you!"

Jamie: "Are you sure? Why would you want me?"

Rachel: "That's what Christmas is all about! It's all about giving it away!"

Jamie: "Giving what away?"

(Everyone gathers around Rachel and Jamie to listen.) Rachel: "Giving away the love that God has given us!"

Jamie: "God? What does He have to do with Christmas?"

Rachel: "Didn't you know that Jesus was born at Christmas?"

Jamie: "God, Jesus...I don't get it."

Rachel: "Okay, it's simple. God sent his Son Jesus to be born as a baby at Christmas a long time ago. When he grew up, he died on the cross for all the bad things we've done so we can get right with God again. Jesus was God's gift to us and and we give gifts to remember his gift."

Tina: "Oh, THAT's why we give gifts?"

Rachel: "Uh-huh."

Mrs. Schmidt: "Okay, I'm sorry I hogged the muffins. Who would like one?" (passes around muffins)

Steven (to Ashley): "I'm sorry I was mean about your dress. It actually looks nice."

Ashley: "Oh, it's okay. Sorry for putting you down. Are you feeling better?"

Steven: "Yeah, yeah."

Joe: "This is getting too mushy for me. I'm gonna check on that engine again."

Steven: "Can I come, can I come?"

Joe: "Okay, steroid boy!" (stops himself) "Sorry!"

(Both get off the bus into the snowstorm.)

Jamie (to Rachel): "Are you serious about me coming to your house for Christmas?"

Rachel: "Sure! We often have guests for Christmas. My family is used to it."

Jamie: "Somehow I feel like it wasn't a coincidence that we're all stuck on this bus together. Maybe it was meant to be so we would have to stop and think about what Christmas is really about." (Everyone nods.) "Thanks for the invite, I think I'll come. Is there gonna be turkey?"

Rachel: "Told you, the works!"

Jamie: "All of a sudden I really want this bus to work!"

(Joe and Steven get back on the bus brushing off snow.)

Joe: "Guess what, Steven found out what's wrong!"

Steven: "Aw, it was nothing."

Joe: "It seems like the fan belt snapped."

Ashley: "Oh, I remember when my fiance and I were driving in the Alps in his sports car, the same thing happened. He asked me for my... pantyhose and I told him no so we used his socks."

Steven (holding out his hand): "Okay, cough it up!"

Ashley: "Fine, but only because it's Christmas!" (takes off her nylon stockings and gives them to Steven)

(Steven holds them disgustedly between 2 fingers. Steven and Joe get off bus into snowstorm.)

Rachel (to Ashley): "Thanks for giving up your expensive stockings!"

Ashley: "Well, I'm not that cold-hearted, you know."

Tina (to Rachel): "Do you really believe in God and Jesus and all that?"

Rachel (smiling): "I sure do!"

Tina: "Cool..."

Mrs. Schmidt: "I think I will suggest that we'll go to church this Christmas. It's never too late to start a good tradition!"

Joe: (gets back on bus) "Let's see if we can get this baby moving again!"

(Joe tries to start the engine. It doesn't start.)

Joe: " I think we are out of antifreeze!"

Harry (standing up slowly): "I hope you know how hard it is for me to give this up. But because it's Christmas and you guys are such nice people, I will give up my Christmas Cheer." (hands bottle over)

Rachel: "That's the only thing that stuff is good for!"

Joe: (leans out of the bus) "Hey Steven! Can you pour that stuff into the antifreeze?" (Hands Steven the bottle. Steven pours bottle into engine. Gets back on bus.)

(Joe starts engine with success. Everyone cheers.)

Tina: "Hey, let's all sing Christmas carols!"

Everyone sings: "We wish you a merry Christmas..."


Copyright 2005 Bea Oertel and Savita Mitra, all rights reserved.
There is no fee to perform this play but please notify us if you are performing it, at beaoertel@yahoo.com