Theme: An unlikely family, the Barones from TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” attend an advent celebration in church. With much humour and many blunders the family investigate what advent means and why it is a necessary part of the church calendar.
Some appropriate music
Bible Reference: Luke 1:75
Frank Barone (senior)
wife Marie (senior)
son Raymond (mid 40’s)
Director (m or f)
daughter-in-law Debra (mid 40’s)
granddaughter Ally (late teen)
grandson Michael (twin early/mid teen)
grandson Geoffrey (twin early/mid teen)
Set: Uses the body and stage in the sanctuary
Seats for the 4 major actors are installed at one side of the church stage in such a way that their reactions can be seen by the audience
Grandchildren perform on the church stage and at a small table holding the wreath
Narrators are offstage (optionally onstage)
Sound: standard, wireless mics
Costumes: casual to dress clothing
Props: lighter for candles
Wreath and candles
Indivudual candles for actors and congregation, (real or electronic)
Special Instructions: Advent hymns or songs of director’s choosing will be inserted
Joy To The World
O Come Oh Come Emmanuel
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Love Comes Down
Breath Of Heaven
Sample of script:
Frank, Marie are entering sanctuary from the rear
Marie: Hurry Frank, you are gonna make us late . . again!-
Frank: I’m comin’, I’m comin’! . . . Beats me why we gotta go to this Christmas thing!
And if this is a Christmas thing, where is the Christmas tree . . . and the manger?
Ray & Debra follow along behind, looking around, very self-conscious
Ray: Look guys . . Mom . . Dad . . . You guys are kinda like making a scene . . . making us all look like . . . I dunno, . . . morons maybe?
(to various unidentified people in the audience)
Good evening lady! . . Nice dress . . . Ummm . . scarf I guess it is.
Debra, to unidentified people in audience:
Excuse us, we are just going up to our seats way up at the front there. . . .
Sorry we are late getting here, (withering look at Ray), I was ready but Raymond . . . (angry) . . . that’s my husband . . . Raymond had to check out the score of a hockey game before we left the house and . . .
Ray: Not just . . . a . . . hockey game! . . . The Rangers are tied in the standings with the Ducks! . . . No way any ice hockey team oughta be allowed in California where the only ice is in . . like . . McDonalds drinks! . . . And to call the team the . . . Mighty Ducks . . . is . . . un-hockey, that’s what. I swear Gordie Howe must be in turning over in his grave is what!
Frank: Never mind Gordie Howe! . . . How about Bill Mosienko? . . . Mosienko was some hockey player I tell ya and . . .
Debra: Will you two button it up so we can get to our seats? This is all your fault Raymond!
Marie: Well Debra . . . let’s be honest here . . . We first got behind when I had to rescue you with my chicken parmesan . . . again . . . after you served that unfortunate stew concoction!
Debra, angry: It was beef wellington Marie!
Marie: Whatever dear. . . . But I noticed how Raymond’s eyes lit up when he saw my chicken parmesan! . . . Didn’t you Raymond dear?
Ray: It was really quite a . . .
Debra, interrupts with a cough
Ray: It was really quite a . . . wonderful day . . was what I was gonna say. . . honest, I was really gonna say . . . wonderful day.
Debra: Just once if you could just stand up to your overbearing mother!
Frank: Overbearing? . . . You guys don’t know the half of it, try livin’ with her 24/7!
Marie: Come on, all of you, . . (points upstage). . . there’s our seats. . . Remember my grandchildren are the key actors in this Christmas program. . . .
Certainly Ally gets her theatrical talent from my side of the family.
As for Michael and Geoffrey, . . . . their . . . shall we say . . . talents . . . reflect your side of the family Debra.
Debra: I will have you know my grand aunt Arleen Whelan appeared in 25 movies!
Frank: Here we are, sit down, kids are coming on stage, hush!
Director, Ally, Michael and Geoffrey come onstage
Ray: Hey Ally, lookin’ good! . . . Michael, Geoffrey, break a leg out there, OK?
Geoffrey: Hey Dad, thanks for the bear claw you gave me!
Geoffrey takes messy danish out of his pocket, portions fall on the floor
Debra: You actually gave Geoffrey a danish to bring when you knew he was going to be on stage? . . . What exactly were you thinking Ray?
Ray: Look I figured he’s gonna be here a long time and he’s, like, gonna get hungry.
Michael: How come I didn’t get a bear claw too Dad?
Ray: Your mom only bought just, like, one bear claw and that’s all there was.
Debra: I bought a dozen and they were to be shared among the family . . . that is, until your father wolfed them down!
Marie: Perhaps dear, if you were to provide Raymond with a proper diet, with good food, he wouldn’t be tempted by junk food.
Debra: Look Marie, I will have you know that I . . . (wipes away a tear) . . . work hard at preparing good food and I do the very best I can to . . .
Marie: It’s OK Debra dear, I know you never got any training in the kitchen, I am certainly not blaming you for your incompetence.
Director: Excuse me, but could we get started here, we have a program to put on.
Ray: Who are you?
Director: I am the director of our program tonight.
Ray: So you’re like the head honcho here, right? . . . You are like the boss to my kids, you know that huh?
Director: So I am finding out.
Ray: Like that’s my daughter Ally, and my twin boys, Geoffrey and Michael.
They are like, good I think, I mean, like you chose them so you must think they are OK, I mean, like why would you pick them, if they like, stunk at acting, huh?
Director: Fine Mr. Barone, but . . .
Ray: Only thing is, Michael he is kinda like, I dunno, flighty, hard to keep on topic his teachers say. He just keeps talking when he shouldn’t be saying anything.
Debra: Wonder where he gets that from?
Director: Fine we . . . .
Ray: Ally, that’s my daughter she’s OK, I think. . . And even Geoffrey, he’s like, not awful, I think.
Director: Please Mr. Barone can we . . .
Debra: Ray! . . . The director is trying to get started and you are interrupting her!
Marie: Debra, you shouldn’t be negative with your husband like that Debra. Families don’t do that kind of thing dear. I mean you don’t see me being negative or correcting others in the family, do you dear? . . So please . . .
Director: All of you, . . . can we . . .
Marie: What are you trying to say Director?
Frank: What the director is trying to say to all of you is shut your yaps so she (he) can go ahead and get on with the show! . . . Now button it!
Director: Thank you, . . . I think, . . . sir. . . Now then, let’s get started.
Lighting please bring the lights down 40%
lighting down 40% on stage
Offstage Narrators speak, Ray, Geoffrey & Michael look around to find the source of the voice
Narrator1: For Christians around the world this is a very special season.
This is a part of the Christmas season, but separate in it’s meaning and application.
Narrator2: As people grounded in faith and tradition, we call this season . . . Advent.
Michael: Who said that?
Geoffrey: I think maybe it was . . . God!
Ray: Scary for sure!
Ally: It was our narrators! . . . Surely Dad, you should know better!
Ray: I knew that, I really did. Besides, I think God has more, sorta like, a George Burns kinda voice, I think.
Debra: Spoken as someone who got his education in a movie theatre.
Frank: Thing I don’t understand is . . . what’s an . . . advent?
Narrator1: Advent means . . . to come near, to draw close, to journey toward . . .
Narrator2: From an historical religious perspective advent signifies waiting for the Messiah and the journey to Bethlehem, at the time when Jesus was born.
Narrator1: The journey undertaken by Mary and Joseph, of course. But that journey to Bethlehem also involved shepherds, kings and common people.
Narrator2: Their journey took them not just to Bethlehem but more specifically to a manager in a stable, where a baby child was born.
Narrator1: From a Christian perspective advent speaks of the yearly spiritual and emotional journey which believers are, or should be, taking in preparing for Christmas.
Narrator2: Advent signals you and I are coming to Christmas.
Ray: Wait, I am no way goin’ to Bethlehem in the wintertime! And don’t forget I have my sports column to write.
Marie: They are speaking metaphorically Raymond.
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