Last updated: November 9, 2021
Radio-plays are uniquely suited for COVID-19 remote productions as part of distance-learning classes or in-person, social-distanced ensemble performances—both of which can be recorded for distribution via broadcast, Zoom, or other web-based platforms. I DO license on-demand downloads, with no restrictions as to what platform (your website, YouTube, etc.)
A comical Christmas Carol--in reverse! This is a radio-on-stage show, similar to my adaptations of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol', but a bizarre inversion of the tale of Scrooge's journey from miser to nice guy.
This is a story that turns Dickens "Carol" on its head, but winds up affirming the very things that the original does. It is not a nasty parody of the original 'Carol'. I've based it upon my very faithful adaptation of Dickens' original tale and it shares many of the same music cues and rhetorical flourishes.
This play is particularly well-suited to troupes with many female members--as many roles are written to be gender-neutral, so Auntie's heir and assistant can be either male or female. The same goes for several of the Spirits.
Auntie Scrooge plot synopsis
Set in modern times, this tells the tale of Auntie Scrooge, a kindly, old great-great-great-great-grand-niece of the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge. Auntie runs an ice cream company in Connecticut--full of singing cows and traditional goodies, but she runs afoul of conniving underlings who seek to replace egg nog with the Taiwanese tea, milk & tapioca beverage, Boba--also known as "Bubble Tea."
In the Scrooge family tradition, Auntie is visited by Marley's ghost--but not Jacob Marley. Instead, it's the late reggae star BOB Marley--in dreadlocks and a Santa suit, dragging gift boxes and chains behind him. He explains how tough it is to be a saint, hoping to save Auntie from future "compassion fatigue."
Auntie is then visited by three Spirits to try to wring the niceness out of her. (They ultimately fail, but the journeys are illuminating and funny.) The Ghost of Christmas Past-Due tries to show the cheery Auntie that the optimism she had in her youth was a waste of time. The Ghost of Christmas Presents shows Auntie that commercialism has triumphed--via a visit to her efficiency expert VP, Bobbie Cratchit's family, full of bratty kids and a Tiny Tim that plays the ukulele and falsetto-sings "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." Auntie also witnesses her nasty niece, Fredericka's crass Christmas dinner at a movie popcorn counter.
The Ghost of Christmas 3.0 turns out to be a tech-support call from "off-shore," who explains that the Christmas spirit has been outsourced and likens Auntie's future to that of a worn out smart-phone.
Thoroughly dis-spirited, Auntie attends the company Christmas party and announces she's turning the business over to Fredericka and Bobbie. She wraps all her kindness, generosity and goodwill in a handkerchief to discard, but accidently drops it into the punchbowl with the company's last batch of egg nog. As the party-goers drink it, all Heaven breaks loose and everyone is soon swinging from the chandeliers. But amidst the joyous revelry, the Christmas tree catches fire and burns the building down.
At this point, the cynical narrator is about to conclude his despondent tale, when Auntie grabs the radio script out of his hand and tears it up. "From now on, we improvise," Auntie declares and rallies the employees to rebuild the business by selling spiked egg nog. The show ends with a wild musical number, "Egg Nog! Who Spiked the Egg Nog?" which some troupes have turned into an audience sing-along. Bob Marley's Ghost returns to sing the verses.
You can view/print the sample radio script PDF with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program, which works for PCs, Macs, and Android devices.
Throughout the play, are never more than 5 characters in a scene, so a small cast can easily perform the entire show. However, you can employ anywhere from 8 to 18 actors.
3 men, 3 women, 8 men-OR-women, and optionally, 2 girls (but those roles can be handled by women--as in the golden age of radio.) With doubling of roles, this show has been done with only 8 actors (2 men, 6 women)