By Peggy Barnell & Diane Cornett
A stage play about a stage play. The Children’s Director becomes exasperated with one particular cast member while rehearsing for the church’s annual Christmas pageant - an ADHD problem-child, Evan. When things reach a breaking point, the traditional story is portrayed as seen through Evan’s eyes. (40 minutes running time with suggested music.)
Evan - 10 yr-old boy with ADHD
Emma – Evan’s twin sister -his rival and often antagonist
Trevor – Evan’s older brother - the peace-keeper
Becca – Evan’s younger sister - she sides with her sister
Jeff – (Dad)
Sherry – (Mom)
Susan (or Sam) – Children’s director
2 “Blues Brothers” - adults or children who can sing or imitate the original duo.
(as many animals as you can gather)
(The animals are children in costume)
(Scene begins with the four siblings, at the bus stop or on their way to the bus stop)
Emma: (angry) Evan, stop it!
Evan: What? I didn’t do anything!
Emma: I said stop it right now – and I mean it!
Evan: What a whiney-jerk-face you are.
Emma: Evan Conroy! You know very well you are not supposed to call me a jerk-face! (Turns to her older brother) Trevor!!
Evan: O-o-o-h… Well, look who’s saying it now!
Emma: You know very well that I didn’t actually say the word.
Evan: Excuse me? Am I the only one here who just heard Emma say the word ‘Jerk-face’ as in "J-E-R-K" face?
Evan: (sing-song) Jerk – face! Jerk-face! Emma is a tiny-whiney jerk-face!
Emma: I’m telling Mom!
Evan: Go ahead, Emma. I don’t care. You’re just a squealer anyway!
Emma: You just think that you are so funny, don’t you?
Trevor: Evan, why don’t you know when its time to stop talking?
Evan: Well, she said it, too. If she thinks she’s gonna get me in trouble for saying the "J" word, you all heard her say it. You’re my witnesses!
Becca: I’m not either a witness! You’re the one in trouble, Evan!
Evan: Well, it’s just because I have sisters that want to rat me out all the time! (he pulls her hair or knocks down her books)
Emma: You leave her alone, Evan! (Becca begins to cry a little)
Trevor: (steps up to separate Evan & Emma somewhat) They’re not ‘ratting you out’ Evan. Just step back– and take a breath.
Becca: Yeah – take a breath, Evan! (mad, not helpful)
Emma: You always try to make it sound like we’re the ones being bad. You always try to turn it around and blame us!
Evan: No, you two always gang up on me. I get the blame for everything!
Becca: That’s because you are to blame for everything!
Trevor: Becca, stop it.
Emma: You cause trouble everywhere, Evan – School, church, the library, the doctor’s office, Wal-Mart… everywhere!
Trevor: Emma, that’s not-
Evan: Well it’s not my fault! At least it’s not always my fault! And at least I’m not a stupid little goody-goody-whiney-jerk-face-baby… (he’s in high gear now and hard to stop)
Trevor: (tired of playing referee, big sigh) Oh, brother…
Emma: (smug) And that is exactly why you’re not in the Christmas play this year!
Emma: I heard Susan tell Angie Raider at church yesterday. She said you wrecked everything last year.
Evan: What? What are you talking about?
Emma: I heard her. She said Evan Conroy caused one big headache after another and she couldn’t tolerate it again this year.
Evan: She did not say that!
Emma: Did, too. I heard her.
Evan: Well…that’s just fine – ‘cause I don’t want to be in any stupid play anyway!
Trevor: Emma, sometimes you act just as bad as Evan does.
Becca: We don’t want you in the play!
Evan: Good! I don’t want to be in the play, Becca!
Trevor: Knock it off, everybody! (big sigh) How did I get this job?
(Fade to black out)
(scene opens with Jeff & Sherry - Mom and Dad -sorting laundry at home)
Jeff: (holds up a pair of tan or light gray socks) Would these be considered lights or darks?
Sherry: (grabs the socks) Darks.
Jeff: How does one single family produce so much dirty laundry in so little time? Didn’t we just do this a week ago?
Sherry: You helped me with the laundry a week ago. I’ve done 3 or 4 loads since then.
Sherry: At least that many. It piles up quickly.
Jeff: No wonder our water bill is so high. (pause) What’s this? (he holds up a small blanket with rips & stains & holes in it)
Sherry: That used to be the blanket that Evan had on his bed. He decided to use it as a parachute when he attempted to fly by jumping off the porch roof on the east side of the house.
Jeff: Oh… (not surprised) That explains the scratches I saw on his upper arms.
Sherry: Yeah, luckily the shrubs broke his fall.
(brief pause while they sort clothes)
Jeff: Oh, Susan talked to me Sunday about the Christmas play.
Sherry: Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that.
Jeff: Did she tell you she wants Evan to be in it?
Sherry: She said she wants all the kids to be in it, including Evan.
Jeff: After last year’s fiasco, I wasn’t sure there would even be a Christmas play.
Sherry: I’m just glad Susan is willing to try again. Evan faces so many negatives in the course of a day, at least at church he gets some positive feedback – besides what we try to give him.
Jeff: I don’t know, Sherry… I’m not sure we should let him be in it.
Sherry: We can’t let the other kids be a part of the play and exclude Evan. What kind of message would that send to him?
Jeff: Maybe we can find some other kind of creative outlet for him – and…and…. make it like a special thing that only Evan gets to do.
Sherry: And what would that be?
Jeff: Well…I dunno. Let’s put our heads together and try to come up with something.
Sherry: Jeff, Evan loves theater – you know he does. It would break his heat to not be able to be in the play, especially if his brother and sisters are involved. Not to mention all the picture taking and parties surrounding the production. Evan will look back on this holiday as the Christmas he wasn’t allowed to be a part of something that all the rest of his family was involved in.
Jeff: Ok, Ok. But just let me refresh you memory regarding last year’s production. (becomes very animated to entertain his wife) I believe it was the first part of the second act when Evan became bored, and started untwisting the light strands on the Christmas tree he was supposed to be standing quietly beside. The tree ended up falling over onto little Sarah Daniel’s head, which caused Evan to laugh uncontrollably. And when Evan shouted, "Hey, cool Christmas hat, Sarah", Sarah began to cry hysterically which promptly caused her to hyperventilate and pass out. Then as Sarah’s mom ran onto the stage to see if her daughter was still breathing, she got tangled in the downed Christmas lights and fell headlong into the flute player, Julie Barton. The highlight of the evening was watching Sarah, her mother and Julie the flute player being taken away by ambulance.
Sherry: (smiling at the memory of the ridiculous events) That was indeed a chain of unfortunate events. At least no one was seriously hurt.
Jeff: But it all started with Evan’s inability to sit still and follow simple directions.
Sherry: But Evan didn’t mean to…
Jeff: Sometimes I really wonder if he has a clue, Sherry. I mean, think about it. You know what his attention span is like. I’m not sure any of the things he learns at church, or the things we say to him, sink in.
Sherry: It’s funny. I’ve never known of twins that could be more un-alike than Evan & Emma. You know, Emma apparently overheard Susan talking about her concerns regarding Evan and the upcoming Christmas play with one of the other leaders. And of course, she filled Evan in with every last, little detail. It really hurt his feelings. (slight pause) Jeff… honey, we just can’t throw up our hands and give up on Evan. I think he grasps more than he lets on. I think he understands the basic meaning of Christmas – as well as any other ten year-old can understand the birth of Jesus and that significance. We just can’t say no to this opportunity because he might misbehave.
(Evan has entered quietly in the back ground and hears the last 1-2 sentences)
Jeff: We just have to impress on him the importance of listening to Susan and following her directions.
Sherry: And maybe one of us can be there for the rehearsals and help him if he needs it…
Evan: (enters – bouncing off the walls with excitement) So I can be in it? I can be in the Christmas play?
Jeff: (he looks at Sherry with a question in his eyes) Evan… buddy… your mom and I were just talking it over. I’m just not sure…
Evan: Oh, please, please, Pul-eeeeese. I promise I’ll listen. I promise I’ll be good. I really will. I will! I will! I will!
Jeff: Whoa-a-a…. settle down. Take a breath, Evan. This is exactly why we’re discussing whether you being in the play is a good idea. (hand gestures of calming) Calm down…calm…
Sherry: Evan, it’s going to be really important for you to not just listen to Susan, but to do everything that she tells you to do.
Evan: I will, Mom. I really will. I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever Susan says.
Jeff: (looks at Sherry - he‘s still quite unsure about this) I guess we can see how the rehearsals go – and if it’s not working out…
Sherry: Well, Evan’s had a whole year to grow a little more and mature a little more. I bet he’s gonna do really well.
Evan: (jumping) Yes! That’s right! It’ll be great! It’s gonna be an awesome play!!
(Fade to blackout)
(To be continued)
© Peg Barnell and Diane Cornett. All rights reserved.
THIS IS NOT THE FULL SCRIPT. To obtain a copy of the full script, a royalty payment is required. This may be discussed with the author, who can be contacted through her website, www.peggybarnell.com