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'A Christmas Carol' stage-play script, music & sound effects

Last updated: April 6, 2022

Every Christmas, people across the world license my 'Carol' script and music and sound effects cues for productions ranging from broadcasts to regional theaters, schools and even private parties. There have been hundreds of performances of this script since 1997. Here is information about the play, the cast, music and sound effects. The script is delivered as PDF file via e-mail. Music and sound effects can be downloaded as MP3 files.

ALSO: If the stage-play version is beyond your production capabilities, see my Radio play version of 'Christmas Carol'. The live radio play on-stage version is much simpler to produce since it doesn't require sets, costumes, or memorization, yet still pleases theater audiences who get a kick out of seeing the sound effects artists create the sound of doors, horses, howling phantoms, thunder, etc.

I also offer a shorter, simpler version 'staged-reading version of 'Christmas Carol' which can be inexpensively done by families at home, as a fundraiser, or office party. See 'Christmas Carol' as family/staged-reading version for more information.

TO ORDER: Contact me at and tell me about your intended production. I deliver the script via e-mail as a PDF file, and the pre-recorded music cues and pre-recorded sound effects tracks can be downloaded as MP3 files. The live sound effects (bells, plates, footsteps, etc.) are up to you to assemble, but my script has a "cookbook" section explaining how to make each sound using items you can find in your town.

Other RuyaSonic Plays, Sound Effects and Music Tracks available for Holiday shows

'A Christmas Carol' is Tony Palermo's very faithful stage-play adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic story of  Christmas, memory, and redemption. The dialogue is verbatim Dickens. This adaptation has been performed by professional theaters, community theatre troupes, colleges, churches, high schools and elementary students around the world.

The full stage-play runs one hour--without intermission--but there is a natural place to insert one, just after Scrooge returns from the visit with the First Spirit. But there are two versions of this show--the full-story one-hour version, and a simpler, half-hour version, trimmed for tight time-slot limits.

Changes of gender for characters is permitted as is trimming lines and even whole scenes. While the show makes use of pre-recorded music for scene transitions and as dramatic underscoring, this is not a Broadway-style musical. However, it is possible to employ a choir to serve within scenes as the poor child carolers dispelled by Scrooge and as Marley's colleagues, the moaning phantoms. You can choose to insert carolers at Nephew Fred's parties, the Cratchit household and elsewhere.

'Christmas Carol' stage-play script sample

Here's a free, downloadable stage-play "Christmas Carol" sample script, including scene excerpts and a truncated version of the 19-page appendix:

        SCRIPT SAMPLE - STAGE-PLAY - 'Christmas Carol' - TRUNCATED [PDF]

           You can view/print the sample radio script PDF with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program, which works for PCs, Macs, and Android devices.

Audio clip of the iconic "Scrooge & Marley" scene from my 'Carol' stage-play adaptation - employing voices, music and sound effects:

 MP3 - 'Christmas Carol' - 'Scrooge & Marley' scene

Detailed information about how I've approached Dickens' themes and characters in my adaptation, plus suggestions for your production. From my play script's 19-page appendix:

        Tony Palermo's extensive notes on How to Produce 'A Christmas Carol' as a stage-play.

'Christmas Carol' Stage-play Cast size:

Rarely are more than 7 people on stage at any moment, so doubling is suggested.
Without any doubling, the cast requires:  12 males, 6 females, 9 males or females, 7 boys, 4 girls and 2 boys or girls.

    NOTE: Asterisk (*) indicates role is not used in half-hour stage-play version.


Miserly old man (male)


Charles Dickens (male)


Spirit of Scrooge's partner (male)


Ghost Of Christmas Present- Jovial spirit (male or female)


Ghost Of Christmas Past - Old/Young Spirit (male or female)


Scrooge's kind nephew (male)


Scrooge's young fiancee (female)


Scrooge's meek clerk (male)


Bob's kind/feisty wife (female)


Charity Seeker (male)


Charity Seeker (male or female)


Scrooge's young sister (girl)


Nephew Fred's wife (female)


Bob's crippled young son (boy)


Bob's 12 year-old son (boy)


Bob's 15 year-old daughter (girl)


Bob's 9 year-old daughter (girl)

GUESTS #1, #2, #3*

(3) of Fred party guests (male or females)


Rag and bottle shop owner (male or female)


Coarse cleaning lady (female)


Lower class laundress (female)


Street urchin (boy)

BUSINESSMAN #1, #2, #3*

(3) Greedy businessmen (male)


Poor street caroler (boy)


Bob's 8 year-old son (boy)--one line of dialogue


Bob's 7 year-old daughter (girl)--one line of dialogue


(2) other carolers (boys or girls)


non-speaking part (female)  

9-year old SCROOGE*

non-speaking part (boy)

16-year old SCROOGE*

non-speaking part (male)


non-speaking part (male)


non-speaking part (male or female)


non-speaking part  (male or female)


non-speaking part (boy)


non-speaking part (girl)


non-speaking part (male)

 Also:    Crowds of passersby, moaning phantoms, party goers, Fezziwig's party dancers

Music Tracks to accompany your production of 'A Christmas Carol'

Twenty-two pre-recorded, orchestral music cues serve for scene changes and to dramatically underscore the dialogue at various points. This is NOT a Broadway style musical, with a singing Scrooge or Tiny Tim. The music cues I provide function the way film scores do--to support and color the drama. The instrumentation is strictly Victorian:  brass choir, pipe and reed organs, hand bells, church bells, chimes, cymbals, timpani, fiddle, concertina, music-box, wine glasses (glass harmonica), choirs and strings. This musical underscore adds greatly to the production.

The 36 minutes of 'Christmas Carol' dramatic underscore music cues are downloadable MP3 files--NOT audio CDs

  1. Holiday Playhouse theme (plays under narration) [1:09]
  2. Boy Carolers singing--then cut-off as Scrooge yells 'Bah Humbug!' [0:21]
  3. Foggy Night [1:10]
  4. Marley's Woe [3:05]
  5. The Phantoms [0:54]
  6. Spirit #1 Arrives [0:15]
  7. Christmas Past [2:35]
  8. Fezziwig's Ball [1:15]
  9. Belle's Music Box [1:27]
  10. Return to Bed [0:11]
  11. Spirit #2 arrives [1:02]
  12. Christmas Present/Cratchit Home #1 [1:40]
  13. Christmas Montage - "All around the world" [0:55]
  14. Spirit #3 Arrives [1:16]
  15. Cratchit Home #2 [1:09]
  16. Graveyard Sequence [1:26]
  17. Church Bell Cacophony [1:26]
  18. Christmas Day in London [1:00]
  19. Nephew Fred's Party [0:47]
  20. "Uncle Scrooge!" Toast [0:08]
  21. God Bless Us [1:02]
  22. Outro - Curtain call [0:54]

NOTE: 'Christmas Carol' music tracks are for sale to troupes who are NOT using my script.

    To order just the 22 pre-recorded 'Christmas Carol' MUSIC tracks, contact:

Pre-Recorded Sound Effects for 'A Christmas Carol' - radio drama or stage-play


  • Wind - (either live wind-machine or pre-recorded track)
  • Office clock chime - several cues (striking 7X, 9X)
  • Several different doors closing and locks locking
  • Cymbal rolls - for Ghost's time-travel transitions (6 cues)
  • "Every bell in the house ringing"--then stopping
  • Horse-driven coach - boys heading home for Christmas
  • Crashing and bashing of Marley's Ghost
  • Thunder (3 cues)
  • Scrooge's clock chimes 1X
  • Blindman's Buff crashes (3 cues)
  • Otherworldly 'voice' of Spirit #3 - [9 different "lines")
  • Graveyard Sequence, timed to dialogue (Wind, Thunder crashes, Spirit #3 replies)

NOTE: 'Christmas Carol' sound effects tracks are for sale to troupes who are NOT using my script.

    To order just the 31 pre-recorded 'Christmas Carol' SOUND EFFECTS tracks--without licensing my stage-play, contact:

TONY PALERMO is a playwright, professional sound effects artist, radio director, composer, and educator based in Los Angeles, California.

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