Recovering Christmas

  • Cast Number: 14
  • Run-time: 90 minutes
What do you do when the bottom seems to fall out of your personal and professional life?
When it seems that everything is falling apart and nothing more could possibly come along . . along comes a guy who just might be an angel.And to make things even worse it is the Christmas season, the most stressful season of the year!
A 6 act drama with a short song

Cast: 14+
Ulysses (Uke) Jones, supervisor at Ford factory
Delia, Uke’s wife
Jackson 16 year old son
Pam 14 year old daughter
Mikey 8 year old son
Lyla is Delia’s friend
Amy is Lyla’s 16 year old daughter
Twanna is Delia’s friend, Lebron’s wife
Lebron is fellow manager at Ford, Twanna’s husband
Emmanuel is Twanna and Lebron’s 16 year old son
Tom is Uke and Lebron’s boss
Smitty works for Uke
Raymond works for Uke
Angie is the mysterious stranger, (likely male but could be female)
(optionally) any number of non-speaking actors for Act VI

Set:
Act I – Jones family kitchen
Act II & Act IV & Avt V – Uke Jones’ office
Act III – Country Club restaurant
Act VI – Living Room in Jones home

Lighting: as available, would be best to be able to fully darken down the set between acts

Costumes: standard for work or more formal in Act VI

Props: tables, chairs, desks, phones, office equipment, cell phones

Special Instructions:
In Act VI actors are featured by others freezing, handle this with care

Sample of script:

Act I - Jones Family Kitchen

Delia is putting the breakfast on the table, Uke comes on stage, sits at the table

Uke: Mornin’ darlin.’

Uke tries to kiss her cheek, she pushes him away, Delia looks at Uke, frowns

Delia: Now do you mind tellin’ me why you got that old shirt on?

Uke: What’s wrong with this here shirt, I like this shirt, blue, just like the good old Ford blue down at the plant.

Delia: Care to tell me why I bother slaving, washing your clothes, making everything nice, you just throw on any old shirt, makes it look like you have a wife that can’t keep her husband looking decent.

Uke: You do a great job looking after me and the kids, Delia, everybody knows that.

Delia: How are they supposed to know that Uke, you walking around dressed like some homeless tramp. . . No idea why you can’t be more like Lebron, he a supervisor down at the Ford plant just like you. . . Never know it though, him always dressed neat and good looking, not like you.

Uke: I look fine Delia honey, I . . .

Delia: Uke Jones, you look like something scraped up from the Goodwill store is what you look like! . . . Next time somebody at Ford gets a promotion, you just watch, gonna be Lebron, not you.

Uke: Well, Lebron, he’s a good man, deserving of a promotion . .

Delia: What does Lebron getting a promotion do for this family, I ask you, Uke Jones? Your son Jackson, he’s 16 now in case you missed it, soon he will be needing a car . . . Where do you think that car is gonna come from, you with no promotion?

Uke: Jackson will have to work to get the money if he wants a car, same as I did.

Delia: Maybe you didn’t notice, there’s a recession going on in America, where do you figure a 16 year old boy is gonna get money for a car?

Uke: Well Jackson he will have to make do with riding a bike just like every other 16 year old. . .

Delia: “A bike like every other 16 year old” you say? . . . Happen to notice that Twanna’s son Emmanuel has his own car. Likely Lyla’s daughter Amy will have a car soon too.

Uke: Look Delia, I can’t help it if your friends have rich husbands who can buy their kids cars and things, fact is I . . .

Delia: Fact is . . Uke Jones . . fact is you have never stepped up and been able to look after your family. . . Fact is I could have married a dozen guys who would have looked after me proper.

Uke, smiles, tries to put his arm around Delia

Uke: Now tell me darlin’ what would you ever have done, marrying a dozen guys . . ?

Delia pushes Uke away, angry

Delia: Go on and eat your breakfast, don’t be late for work, get fired likely, then just where would I be? . . Maybe time you think of me for once, Uke Jones!

Jackson and Mikey come on stage, sit down at table

Jackson: Is this what I am supposed to eat for breakfast? . . . Mom, you know very well I got a basketball game after school . . . And you are feeding me Corn Flakes? . . . I need decent food if I am gonna perform. . . No one cares about me!

Delia: Jackson why don’t you go and ask your father why he can’t bring home enough money for me to buy decent food, buy myself nice things once in a while.

Uke: Look, you all should know it’s not easy being the only one with a job in this house . .

Delia: What kind of crack is that? . . I suppose that means you think I should go out and get a job . . Not enough that I slave in this house 24 hours a day, now I am supposed to go get a job as well. . . Maybe if some of you tried to follow me around for a day you would think different!

Mikey: Could we just have a quiet breakfast please?

Uke: You are right Mikey, just eat up your breakfast and . .

Pam storms onto stage, screaming

Pam: This curling iron is a piece of junk!

Mikey: Well, it’s Christmas, maybe Santa will bring you a curling iron.

Pam, sarcastic: Mikey . . . Dear child Mikey! . . . I do not need a 7 year old child . . .

Mikey: Eight.

Pam: I do not need a . . child . . . to give me some idiot comments about a person who does not exist . . .

Mikey: I can see where Santa won’t be coming to visit someone in this house . . .

Pam: Get a brain little child! . . The whole Christmas season is based on some fat guy coming down a chimney and some ridiculous baby in some ridiculous manger. . . Neither of which is believed by anyone in their right mind.

Uke: See here young lady . . . I will not have the birth of Jesus discussed in that manner.

Pam: Oh give it a rest Father!

Pam starts to leave the stage

Delia: You can’t go to school without food.

Pam: I will pick up something decent at McDonalds. . . . I need money.

Delia hands Pam money

Pam: Big whoop! . . Five bucks!

Pam storms off stage

Uke, to Jackson: I will try to get to your basketball game if I can get off work in time son. . . Maybe we can go out for a coke after.

Jackson: No can do Dad, there’s a party at Diana’s.

Uke: Diana Underhill?

Jackson: The one and only.

Uke: I don’t want you spending time with Diana or her family.

Jackson: Who my friends are and who I spend time with is no one’s business.

Uke: I forbid you to go there!

Jackson, ignores Uke, holds hand out to Delia:
And I need forty bucks.

Uke, shock: Forty dollars?

Jackson: My turn to buy the . . (grins). . . coke and chips.

Delia hands money to Jackson

Jackson, kisses Delia’s cheek:
Thanks Mom . . Don’t wait up.

Jackson goes off stage

Uke: What did you just do Delia?

Delia: What did you expect me to do, the boy needs spending money, we don’t want him turning into someone who doesn’t pay his share.

Uke: You know very well there will be liquor and drugs at the Underhills.

Delia: Show a little faith in my son Uke! . . Jackson has his head screwed on right, maybe use a little trust. . . . (looks at watch) . . Look at the time! . . You will have to drop Mikey off at school, I am late for my meeting at the club.

Delia rushes off stage, Uke throws his hands up in frustration

Mikey: Just another day in paradise Pop! . . Come on, let’s go save the rest of the day.

Uke: You are a good kid Mikey.

lights down

Act II Ford Plant, Uke Jones’ office

Uke, Smitty and Raymond are sitting around a desk

Uke: Well, the fact is that our productivity is down in the last quarter, and defects are up.

Smitty: I tell you its the steel we are bringing in from China lately, poor quality, that’s what’s causing the rejects.

Raymond: Smitty’s right Uke, its the old rule, garbage in, garbage out.

Uke: Be that as it may Raymond, our group has the worst stats in the whole plant.

Smitty: If I’ve told you once, I told you a dozen times, you’ve gotta fudge the figures, its what Lebron and all the other supervisors do, that’s what makes them look good.

Raymond: And makes us look bad.

Uke: Well no way I am fudging any figures.

Smitty: Well Uke, guess you gotta learn to live with the comparisons with Lebron and the flack from your boss Tom.

Uke: Look, we gotta shape up, . . . now we are behind on the axle order, get a move on, OK?

Raymond: You know you can count on us Uke.

Smitty: And don’t worry so much, old Tom is just cracking the whip is all, . . he gets a lot of jollies outta that.

Raymond and Smitty leave, Uke sits at his desk, head in hands
After a short time Tom and Lebron come in

Tom: Hey Uke, got a minute?

Uke: Tom, come on in. . . Lebron.

Lebron, boastful: Hey Uke, old pal, how is the . . other half . . of the plant doing?

Tom: Actually, that’s why I got us all together this morning. . . See, fact is, Uke’s group are not doing that great. Productivity is down versus your group Lebron. And rejects are way higher than yours.

Lebron: What can I say? Better management gets better results.

Tom: So it would seem Lebron . . So it would seem. . . Anyhow, what I want, Lebron, is that you will spend some time assisting Uke, kinda mentoring him over the next few weeks.

Lebron: Hey hold on a minute here! . . No way I got spare time to babysit Uke or anyone else, my plate is full I tell you!

Tom: Regardless, work it out . . . It is what I expect and it shall happen.

Lebron stands up, snarls at Uke

Lebron: Thanks a lot . . Ulysses Jones . . Useless Jones everyone calls you, your name for sure fits you!

Lebron storms off stage

Uke: I feel sorry for Lebron.

Tom: You know Uke, you amaze me, sometimes frustrate me to distraction. . . . Do you understand what’s going on here? . . . Unless you get your act together I am gonna have to let you go. . . And no one likes to up and fire a man at Christmas. . . I am hoping that with Lebron’s assistance we can get things back to acceptable, and you get to keep your job. . . Do I make myself clear?

lights down

Act III –Pleasant Hills Country Club

Lyla is sitting at a table, drinking coffee, after a few seconds Delia rushes on stage

Delia: Someday I would like to get the guy behind all this nonsense.

Lyla: Hi Delia, and just what nonsense might that be?

Delia: This whole Christmas silliness is what. . . Whoever is behind all this Christmas nonsense needs to be strung up.

Lyla: Well the guy behind Christmas goes back a bit Delia. . . Like over two thousand years.

Delia, smiles: Oh great, here comes the religion commercial. I like you a lot Lyla but you know how I feel about religion. . . And right now all I want is for me and you and Twanna, . . (looks at her watch, frowns) . . when she gets here . . . to plot out our Christmas getaway to Acapulco . .sans kids!

Lyla: Sorry Delia, you are going to have to plan that one without Andrew and I.

Delia, shock: What are you talking about girl? . . You know us three couples we have been doing this for three years now, we deserve to pamper ourselves, get away from this rat race!

Lyla: Well Andrew feels like we should be cutting back, the recession and all, and we should be putting more money aside, never know where this economy is gonna take us.

Delia: What foolishness is that husband of yours talking? Sounds to me like Andrew has been spending too much time with that fool husband of mine, always talking about what we can’t afford, how we need to be . . . “prudent in our spending.” . . whatever that means! . .

Lyla: Well, I think your Uke is right, we all need to show restraint in these times.

Delia: Don’t you go there Lyla! . . We work hard, we deserve some of the perks of our positions in society!

Lyla: Well you and Uke can do as you wish, but Andrew and I won’t be going on a holiday this year.

Delia: Oh sure, like Uke will go when he hears you guys aren’t going! . . Uke has just been waiting for an excuse to back out.

Lyla: Well I am sure that Lebron and Twanna will be going.

Delia: You don’t understand Lyla. . . See, like, this is the Christmas season, and, like, this here getaway to Acapulco is God’s Christmas gift to us, don’t you see?

Lyla, smiles: For sure God had in mind some wonderful gifts for us, at Christmas and all through the year, but somehow I doubt if one of those gifts was a luxury excursion to Acapulco. Acapulco somehow doesn’t quite rank up there with God’s gifts of forgiveness and salvation.

Delia: Oh brother, can you tone down the religion thing a bit Delia?

Twanna comes on stage

Delia: Twanna girl, you tell Delia here to cool it with the religion OK?

Twanna: Delia, I got way more important things than religion on my mind.

Twanna breaks into tears, Delia and Lyla come to her, console her

Lyla: What is wrong Twanna?

Twanna: It’s me and Lebron.

Delia: What happened to Lebron?

Twanna: The fool lost it is what.

Lyla: What happened Twanna?

Twanna: Lebron told me its over between us.

Delia, shock: No way Twanna! . . . You two have been married for going on twenty years, the kids, he’s got a good job, there must be some mistake.

Twanna: Lebron told me I don’t fit his image anymore, he has himself a young thing half my age.

Delia: Well you just tell Lebron that he has his responsibilities and he better get his head straight and stop all this silliness!

Twanna: Delia have you been listening at all? . . . Lebron has moved out . . we are done . .we are . . . .

Twanna starts to sob uncontrollably

Lyla: Oh Twanna, I am so sorry, how can we help, what can we do?

Twanna: Nothing anyone can do.

Lyla: I will be praying for you, and for the kids, and for Lebron as well.

Delia, annoyed: Give it a rest with the religion thing Lyla. Twanna needs real help now. . . Maybe some marriage counselling . .

Twanna: Lebron and me have seen every counsellor in town, nobody’s going to solve this mess. We’ve fought our way through problems in our marriage. But seems like we don’t have the will to solve this one.

Lyla: God can solve even the most hopeless situations Twanna. He came as a powerless, defenceless baby on that Christmas long ago, and he took on the problems of the world, even the problems you and Lebron are facing right now.

Delia, annoyed: Lyla, can’t you see Twanna is hurting, now I am telling you for the last time, quit it with the cheap Bible story answers to real problems.

Twanna: Lyla means well, Delia. And I appreciate what you are trying to do Lyla, . . but right now I need help from someone that can put his arms around me and give me answers and advice, . . someone with flesh and blood, . . not someone from an old book.

Lyla: I’m not offering help from a book, Jesus is real . . he walked this earth just like you and I . . and just as you are going through tragedy and being let down by your husband, Jesus was abandoned by his friends, and he was mocked and beaten and humiliated and put to death.

Delia: Lyla, you know I have had just about enough of your crazy talk. What we all need to do is have a heart to heart with Andrew and Lebron both, show them the error of their ways, . . . . and make our reservations to Acapulco.

Twanna: If you and Uke are going to Acapulco, only thing I can say is have a blast. I won’t be there and sounds like Ly a and Andrew won’t be there. . . And if Lebron is there it will be with his new sugar babe.

Delia: Some Christmas this is gonna be, seems like everyone is setting out to make my Christmas the very worst ever. . . . Thanks a lot you guys!

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