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Written by:

The Cast: 15 or more
The Set: Flexible; may be 1 or 2 units
Approximate Length: 1 act, 80 min. (includes optional vignettes)


A Christmas Song in My Heart” presents the extraordinary true stories behind some of the greatest Christmas carols of all time.  Discover the events that led to the writing of such classic songs as “Silent Night” and more!  Delight in the true joy of the Season with a Christmas song in your heart!


The stage is set up as the outside of a New York apartment building. Underneath the building are two street level shops, one an Italian restaurant and the other a pawnshop. A large street lamp is casting a small amount of light across the stage and lighting up a small section of a wall where a scraggly looking vine is growing up a brick wall. Some light is coming from small windows in the apartment building. It is a cold winter Christmas Eve night and the streets are bustling with activity.

Cast and Notes

(*) = Fictional name and/or figure in the true carol stories


Mr. Hymnody – Wise gallery curator (in all scenes)

Davey – Not-so-wise student (in all scenes)

Gustavus-Grimm – Everyone’s worst nightmare                                        

I. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Johannes Gutenberg – Inventor of the printing press

Felix Mendelssohn – Composer and conductor

William Cummings – Choral singer

Charles Wesley – Methodist Church founder, preacher

II. “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

Felix Mendelssohn – Composer and conductor

Richard Willis – Yale graduate student

Dr. Edmund Sears – Published poet

Soldiers – Pantomimed cameo appearance

III. “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

Phillips Brooks – Philadelphia Pastor; is 30, looks older

Miss Naysay* – A fearful busybody

Mrs.  Sour* – Another busybody

Mrs.  Dour* – Yet another

Soldiers / Parents – Pantomimed cameo appearance

IV. “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Famed American poet

Charles Longfellow – The poet’s soldier son

V. “The Little Drummer Boy”

The Troubadour – A Juggling Performer of the 1300’s

Bystander – Who Watches the Troubadour

Katherine Kennicott Davis – A Composer and Choir Leader

Captain Georg von Trapp – Of the Famous Trapp Family Singers

VI. “What Child Is This”

A Drunk – Happy fun drunk

William Chatterton Dix – Poet who becomes ill

VII. “Silent Night”

Father Joseph Mohr – Humble Austrian priest

Mrs. Cleanly* – Church custodian

Franz Gruber – Church organist and choir director

Organ Repairman – A roving craftsman

VIII. “Joy To The World”

Isaac Watts – Pastor and prolific poet

Elizabeth Singer – Admirer of Watts

IX.  “O Come, All Ye Faithful” or “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”

Ann* – Mysterious Woman

X. “O Holy Night”

Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure – Wine commissionaire and poet

Parish Priest – A conniver and bigot

Adolphe Adams – An inspired composer

Reginald Fessenden – Retired scientist and violinist

Soldiers – Of two opposing sides; a cameo scene


XI. “Away in a Manger”

Martin Luther – The Great Protestant Reformer

XII. “We Three Kings”

Clement Moore – Land Developer and Poet

John Hopkins, Jr. – Graduate Student and Professor

It should be evident what action may be creatively added to the vignettes from the content of what is scripted.  Several of the carols originated from or figured into times of war, so cameos of soldiers (marching, mock “fighting,” pausing to “sing” or otherwise interacting as appropriate) can be utilized during some of the monologues, as indicated by the content, to add visual variety.

Monologues figure into this production, so actors assigned to those parts need to be captivating and blocked creatively for visual stimulation.  In most cases, the actor may handle or interact with a referenced prop.  Actors are encouraged in monologue sections to directly address the audience and interact with the omniscient character of Mr. Hymnody.  Focused lighting on select monologue sections will enhance the mood of those segments.

Sound effects will be important to bring select scenes to life.  Examples, as indicated in dialogue and select monologues, include: the sound of a horse at a moderate gait, chimes, sounds of battle that are period- appropriate, birds, possible sound of a storm during a dramatic moment, the sound of a stagecoach, etc.

Important Note–Order of Vignettes:  Vignettes I. and II. are related to each other.  Vignette I. may be performed without Vignette II. –but Vignette II. cannot be done without first performing Vignette I.  Likewise, Vignettes III. and IV. are related to each other.  Vignette III. may be performed without Vignette IV. –but Vignette IV. cannot be done without Vignette III.  The remaining Vignettes V., VI. and VII. may be performed independently.  In summary, the following Vignettes are independent “stand alone” stories: I., III., V., VI., VII., VIII., IX., X., XI., and XII.

The production may be performed simply or elaborately, but the area of Mr. Hymnody’s gallery should be given some attention to detail by creating an atmosphere that summons curiosity.  Interesting period artifacts in addition to the main objects that are each vignette’s focus may also be added.   Costuming is virtually all centered in the 19th century.  An exception is the part of Charles Wesley (I.), who lived in the 18th century.

Key to Main Props:  (I.)  Printing press or facsimile; could be large framed picture

                                  (II.)  Military uniform–19th century, preferably Civil War (North)

                                 (III.)  Bust of Abraham Lincoln; could also be large picture

                                 (IV.)  A match

                                  (V.)  Juggling balls

                                 (VI.)  An old document

                                (VII.)  Guitar–19th century

                               (VIII.)  An old letter

                                 (IX.)  Stack of old books

                                  (X.) An old radio–early 20th century

                                 (XI.) A mug

                                (XII.) Sleigh                          And other incidental props as indicated in script content.