The Night before Christmas somewhere in Poland
Note: Work in schools is scored from 1 and 2 (fail) - 6 (extra excellent). Originally the fresh intake of first year students had to put on this play.
College Students: (Tearful students with heavy books, drop them with a thump on the table where third student is drinking coffee)
1A I can't believe how much work we have to do for homework.
2B Yes, these teachers are just crazy!
3C And what for, we always get such low marks anyway!
Students take their books and leave the room angry or crying
(English Teachers come in and sit down marking books and test papers):
4D These third year students don't know a split infinitive from a subordinate clause! (Marking papers quickly) Two ,Two, Two!
5E What has happened to these Second Years' sense of time! It should be, 'past' in the 'past' and 'future in the past'; that's what I always say! 1, 2 plus, 3 minus.
6F Goodness Gracious! These First Year students are already showing some real, early promise! I'm very optimistic about this year's intake of new English Philology students! (Marking papers quickly) 3 minus, 3plus, 4.
(After a few moments, while the teachers work away at checking papers)
7E Oh, I'm really getting sleepy suddenly!
8F Yes, I wonder why?
9D All these tests!
10E Marking tests late!
11F Getting up early!
12D Burning the candle at both ends, and can you believe it's nearly Christmas ... Huh!
(He speaks bad temperedly, doesn't enjoy Christmas. Soon they yawn and stretch and, one by one,start nodding off and fall asleep, heads on their desks... there is a special kind of sleepy magic at work!)
Ghosts come in. They sneak up on the teachers and wake them up by clanging their chains and whooing. Together in chorus they say...
13G,H,I, We're the ghosts of your Christmases past! (Dreamy sing song tone)
Teacher's answer in dreamy chorus
14D,E,F: What do you want with us you horrible ghosts?
15ghostG: Remember when you were young and struggling students?
16teacherD: Yes. of course! It wasn't that long ago you know!
17ghostH: Whoo was your favorite teacher then? Whoo?
18teacherE: When I was a student, our best teacher was such fun! Always told us funny stories.
19teacherF: Made jokes!
20teacherD: Was fair and friendly!
21teacher E: Taught us all kinds of interesting and important things!
22ghostI: But why are you so tough on your students now?
23ghostG: Yes, and what happened to 'fun'? Whoo! Whoo! (Rattling the chain and angry)
24teachersDEF: What do you want us to do? (A bit scared and apologetic, in a dreamy sing song chorus)
25GhostG: Soon it's Christmas!
26Teachers DEF: Ye..es?
27ghostI: Christmas is about being more real!
28ghostG: And more humane!
29ghostH: Yes, be kinder and nicer!
30ghostI: And give a little bit more than before!
31teacherD: But I am human and I'm perfectly fair! I give everyone exactly what they deserve.
32teacher E: They all know they'll never get beyond 2+ unless by a miracle.
32ghostG: No!...whoo! whoo! (angrily)
34ghostH: But Christmas is about doing the impossible!
35ghostG: Giving the miracle to those who don't have!
36ghost I: Helping the helpless!
Ghosts pick up their chains and disappear in a flash. Teacher's all drop back into a deep sleep.
Teachers wake and stretch!
37teacherD: What a strange dream I had! Ghosts!
38teacher E: You too? Christmas ghosts?
39teacherF: Me too. Ooh!(Expressing the fear and anxiety of the dream)
But Christmas's coming! (After a pause and in a much more optimistic, even excited tone)
40teacherE: (Thoughtful) I guess they're right about us being a bit hard on the students!
41teacherF: Alright! We could re-check, ...maybe just this once - in case!
42TeacherD: Let's give it a try!
Teachers stretch and start marking papers again
43teacher D: Ah, these third years can use some help with their clauses, but they sure have 'split infinitives' down to a fine art... 3+, 3+, 4!
44teacherE: Yes, I'm so glad the second years are at last able to say 'through'(sru), 'thought' and 'thorough'! 3, 4minus, 4 plus!
45teacherF: You know! It doesn't even have to be Christmas, and I can see, these first years ... are very good material! 5, ...5plus, ...6! (extreme emphasis as the conclusion of the play)
Teachers stand-up and call in the rest of the cast and they all link arms and chorus...
46WholeCastABCDEFGHI: Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy new year!
(and bow and exit)
A group of students sitting in the Cafeteria, waiting to leave for a party. (The aim is to tease the audience and to raise the anticipation of the audience for the Christmas celebration.)
1/A: Is it time?
2/B: I don't know. Is it time?
3/C: One wonders. ...Time?
4/D: Did you hear the one about Father Christmas?
5/E: Which one?
6/D: The one about his nationality.
7/F: What about it?
8/D: What nationality do they say Father Christmas is?
10/D: No, North-Pole-ish! Come on . That's a joke!
11/H: Ha-ha, ...Is it time?
13/A: And, do you know the way?
15/C: Yes, how do we get there?
16/E: Same route.
15/F: Probably down the hill and up the other side.
18/I: Not really.
19/A: Is it time yet?
20/B: Don't know.
21/C: Snack time!
22/D: Time you put your mobile phone away!
23/E: I think exercise is the most important!
24/F: How in the world did those Chilean miners pass the time!
25/G: You know, proper diet and healthy living, these are the key to beauty and longevity!
26/H: Absolutely, ...more education, I always say!
27/I: Now if you'll just take out your dictionaries...
28/A: When can we go?
29/B: Not time yet?
30/C: "Time waits for no man."
31/D: I'm always waiting for my girlfriend, though!
32/E: Make-up...stuff like that.
33/F: If we just wait long enough, something's just got to happen!
34/G: Maybe we'll evolve into a higher species?
35/H: Or, go off!
36/I: Hey! Don't pass time by passing wind!
37/A: If we just knew what to expect!
38/B: Then time wouldn't stand still so!
39/C: ...Time yet?
40/D: ...Time yet?
41/E: What time is it by the way?
42/F: Wish I knew!
43/F: Nothing like a bit of certainty around here.
44/G: Certainty and sanity, they go hand in hand.
45/H: Yes, yes, but is it time?
46/I: Hard to say... not easy I imagine...
47/A: If only we knew exactly.
48/B: Exactly, then we'd know!
49/C: What it's about?
50/D: Yes, it's about time!
51/E: Without doubt!
52/F: But is it?
53/G: What is it?
54/H: Oh, I think I know
55/I: Me too. It's a party.
47/B: What sort of party?
48/C: Christmas Party
49/D: Ah yes, but what time is it?
50/E: I think you mean, is it time?
54/I IT'S TIME!
55/ A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I PARTY TIME!
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