"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Ye know not when He cometh"

This is posted for all those who asked to see my latest work...

“Ye know not when He cometh” one act
Running time, aprox. 40 min                
 by P. A. Hanrion
Prologue:  (Prelude Music, fades, softens, and then fades to under voice of narrator. Narrator can stay seated and read from large book)
Glenna Rae:  (walks on stage to chair in front right, after she is seated notices audience)   Oh, my, look at all of you out there; you must be early for the wedding just like me.  Now I must admit Most of the time…te-he, I’m barely on time, but almost never late.  And today…I guess we all need to wait, so while we do, there is a story about another wedding I’d like to share…So sit back… relax… take a break… and imagine you’re there.
(Curtain will be open so stage set is part of the decorations: stage set with ivy arch up stage slightly right with several benches Narrator continues, music will fade as she speaks)
Years ago in this very valley, long before the City of Santa Clarita had begun and there was no freeway.  There were no stores; there was no mall, only two markets and a general store at the top of the hill way up Pico canyon.  If you wanted anything different than what the general store carried, you had to drive through the long pass to find one of the few malls in the San Fernando Valley.  So most did their shopping local, and went up the hill.  The store was remote and the last little bit was uphill on a dirt path, but most everyone went there anyway and it was said by many… “if the man up the hill doesn’t’ have it, or can’t fix it…then you don’t want it”.  Luckily at the beginning of the path was a small park where people could rest before and after the hike.  It became a gathering place for those who walked to meet the man in the shop who had what they wanted and could fix most anything they brought for repair.
Emily:  (Enters stage rt. and while talking, goes to sit on bench by park gazebo carries a map) Here I am, in Santa Clarita, everything I read about it declared it was such a nice place so when work wanted me to move, I was okay with it.  The weather is great, but I miss the fall leaves, the snow and my friends. I don’t seem to fit in around here.  And now I’m Invited to the wedding…I hardly know the groom, and have never met the bride.  I hope the shop at the top of the hill has something nice for a gift that will fit into my small budget.
Ashley:  (Enters stage left, goes to sit on bench with back to Emily, has newspaper with sale ads.)    I thought finishing my degree at school, then getting a decent job would make things easier.  But I guess it doesn’t matter where I go the bills seem to follow.  I can’t seem to stop spending.  I have so many credit cards I’m using one to pay the other.  And every purchase comes with regret.  I need to stop and do what my Bishop says and follow a budget.  Hmmm (looks at paper) But I’ll do that after I hit this one day sale and maybe find the perfect wedding gift. (exit stage left)
Jill:  (Enters stage left with bags, back pack, purse…etc., sits where Ashley was) I’m so excited about this wedding. I can finally spend some time with adults.  I’m so discouraged, first tending all my kids, and now the Bishop has asked me to be the nursery leader….again.  I guess they must think I don’t have a brain, all I do is clean up snot…But he said to pray about it, well… it makes me want to scream and then say... NO… but then again I know I’ll pray about it. Darn it! (Spills papers on floor… Emily turns to help)
Emily: You look like you could use some help, (helps to pick up papers) … are you here to go up the hill to the store. I’m new in town and have never been there, let me help carry your things, what is the shopkeeper like?  Are there nice affordable things in the store?
Jill: Thanks so much, I could use your help…Oh, yes…the shopkeeper can help with most anything and the view from up there is amazing…after the hike, you can come to my house and I’ll introduce you to my friends around the neighborhood.  Let me tell you about the shopkeeper…                                                                                                                                    
                                     music“The Shopkeeper”
Jill:   Everyone knows his face; the shopkeeper on the hill.
All through the night, the light in his window burns                              
He a-waits your call; and everyone says he sees the light that’s within your heart
Carefully wisely, perfectly planned, he knows what each person may need. He can see to your soul. 
And can guide to a path, and help you to succeed
Emily:      He can look here inside my heart?    Knows how to stop the dart
That can steal all my will?  The shopkeeper on the hill
Both:  I know he’s true kind; the shopkeeper on the hill
Rugged and steep each step of it worth the climb His door is open still, the shopkeeper on the hill
Glenna Rae:  Every woman in the town, when she visited the shop for the first time was given a lamp.  Each was as different as the women.  The shopkeeper carefully crafted the lamps and hoped his gift would complement a quality he knew each could develop within herself.  But the most important thing was to keep the light well cared for so when needed, it could keep the darkness from creeping in.  Each woman had a choice.  She could use her gift wisely-carefully, or foolishly…not checking to see if the bulbs were fresh or the cords were frayed, or never use it at all.  If her lamp was worn, or broken, the shopkeeper would quickly repair it for there was no other place in their valley that could keep the light burning brightly.
(Behind Narrator, Emily and Jill, cross stage at the end of the passage, from left to right and exit...  Emily has lamp; pantomimes excitement… Narrator smiles and continues.)
And yet there were a few who never seemed to make it up the hill.  They were always too busy and had excuses, very convincing excuses. Megan was one of those who never seemed to get up the hill to the shopkeeper, between soccer for the boys, ballet for the girls, keeping her house clean, laundry, planning her young women’s lesson, baking bread, and doing genealogy there was never time.  On the outside, to others…things looked fine, but on the inside her light began to flicker and die…something was missing… And she got depressed easily because everyone around her seemed so perfect, and she always felt a mess… Her work was never done, and she fell into bed each night so tired, often her prayers were forgotten.  She worked so hard to do everything right, and every once in a while tried to strengthen her light.
Megan:  (sloppy hair, messy, bags of stuff….and a long long list)   I don’t think I can find time to get a gift for the wedding, much less go to the celebration, I never seem prepared.
Music “More”  
Always someone needing my time.  Always something on my mind
Weighs on me, pulls at me. Help me lay down my load
For what I need most.  I will come to you today
Nothing can take your place. I will push the world away and find some time to pray
Everything else can wait. Nothing matters more than you today.  Nothing matters more today
Away in the back of my mind, somehow I will find the time to kneel and pray for help today
But in trying to be everything I’m missing the strength your love can bring
To know you, to feel you; Help me do what is right.  And remember my light
Megan: I’m late to pick up Zach from soccer; my trip up the hill can wait for another day.
Glenna Rae: Too bad, time slipped by…and she had such good intentions.  (sigh as Megan exits stage right)   And there were others in the village that somehow never got the true message of what the light could be or should be. They never sat by their lamp to enjoy the brightness warmth and inspiration it could bring.
Enter together stage right…Shellie, Stacey, and Shelly,
Shellie:  That sister with the appendix, Oh, the pain must have been severe,                                                            I’m glad she called the ambulance…it should soon arrive there.
Shelly: Thank heavens these emergencies don’t happen every day…But I’m glad we left the soup for her and got out of the fire truck’s way
Stacey: (stops to gesture at stage left) Oh look the path to the top of the hill and the shopkeeper…I don’t know about you, but I’ve neglected my lamp, I’m so busy serving…I don’t know when I’ll ever get up there to have my lamp looked after…in fact I don’t even know if it will turn on. But that’s Okay; I have very good night vision and have eaten a lot of carrots lately…trying out lots of different Jell-O recipes.   I’ve been swamped with helping plan the food for this wedding.  So how are we coming with the menu?
Music “Lime Jell O Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise”
Shelly:    Ladies the food will soon be ready
today The Relief Society enrichment class and I have adorned every tray.  
For the wedding will be so grand. Our biggest best event
Shellie:  And we’ve just made a dish for it…you’ll think is heaven sent
Shelly: It’s my Lime Jell-O Marsh Mallow Cottage Cheese Surprise  
Shellie: With slices of pimiento…you won’t believe your eyes!
Shelly: All topped with a pineapple ring and a dash of mayonnaise.               
 My vanilla wafers round the edge will win your highest Praise
Stacey: And Sister Green’s Red grape mélange that’s filled with peanut mousse          To be followed by a chicken mold that’s made is the shape of a goose
Shellie:    And Ladies who must watch those pounds we’ve found a special dish
Strawberry ice enshrined in rice with bits of tuna fish
Shelly:           And my lime Jell-O marshmallow cottage cheese surprise
Shellie:    (Truly a creation that description defies)
Shelly:           I did not steal that recipe its lies I tell you lies!
Stacey:          (clears throat)    will go so well with Kimber Johnson’s creation of the week:  Shrimp salad topped with chocolate sauce and garnished with a leek.
Shellie:  But if all this is too much for you permit me to advise…
Stacey:          More Lime Jell-O Marshmallow cottage cheese surprise…
Shellie, Stacey:    We’ve made heaps
(All exit stage right, bubbling with pleasure)
Glenna Rae:   There were so many in the town who were trying to keep their light burning bright by visiting the shopkeeper regularly.  But often, they missed the mark like those three….with their grand plans…and all-be-it…good intentions… by getting so caught up in details they couldn’t see the many needs around them, or those who had lights that needed a little help to get back their lamp’s glow.
Amber:  (Jogging…enters in work out garb)  Whew, jogging five miles a day, going to the gym, then getting my nails done, takes so much time, but I must take this afternoon off from my chores to shop for a new dress for the wedding.  I simply can’t make it up that dusty hill to the shopkeeper today, besides I never use that lamp I was given when I first moved here, and none of my friends do either, although it does make a lovely decoration, and the colors do go well with my new sofa, 
Music “Work of Art” 
with perky snotty innocence
What a beautiful piece of work, a magnificent work of art                     
 I’ve never seen a design like it or as finely crafted a lamp     
As my beautiful piece of work.
How many hours did it take to carve and smooth and shape.
Friends will think I’ve spent much more I’m sure, and flatter with such fine words full of grand compliments on my taste. 
I will put it out for view. Most will think it’s new. I wish I had two
To supplement my residence, I can really show it off, Oh  my beautiful piece of work, magnificent work of art,
They’ll see just what it means to me, I’ll display it with care                                 
So all can see how wonderful I must be…Magnificent work of art
(As Amber crosses stage to exit stage right. She passes Ashley who has arms full, she stops wrinkles her nose then turns to Ashley with a fake smile)
Amber:  Must get going, Hi, Ashley, where have you been…Oh…you got something neEEEEw…  I’ll be over later to see it.  (On the way out) She should really stay home and take care of those bratty kids of hers.
(Ashley sits down while)
Three Sisters:  Pat’s silly song “Called to serve”
Here’s our Motto… Strive to serve each other  
Sound the call and to your aid we’ll troop
Like the mail man, rain and snow won’t stop us              
Faithful with our pot of soup soup soup soup
Service Render service…If it’s flu or gout or croup                                    
Service render service If you sprits tend to droop.                                    
Forward pressing forward if your hurt and you can’t stoop                              
We can fix it here my dear with our pot of healing SOOOOOOOOOOOOOoup
 (Ignore Ashley and march off stage)
Glenna Rae: Service without the light of wise inspiration may as well not be done at all, some things can’t be helped with a bowl of soup…they need food for the soul.
Ashley:  I wish I didn’t have to work and could stay home all day like Amber…maybe I’d have time to make the budget I’ve been thinking about, and I know she thinks my kids are wild, but hers are truly angels…while two of mine have learning disabilities and can never sit still, I don’t think I’ve been able to stay in the chapel and take the sacrament for over eight years.  I need the strength to carry on and make it up the hill just this once, and then I can wrap this present for the wedding.  I’m so tired    (Lights fade to evening, and Sandi enters from stage right to sit near Ashley on bench)
Sandi G:  Oh, my…I was just coming down the hill from the shopkeeper. Let me share my light and walk with you so you don’t have to walk alone. It will give you a little break.
                                                 Music “Lantern”
Evening lights retire one by one;
Tired eyes are setting with the sun.                                                           
And surely as the day is done, I can share my light,
Faces that I’ve never seen before
Some I’ve known so well I can’t ignore 
Their voices calling at my door.  Lost as the wind blow
And by the father’s light, deep within the night someone I can help to wash their tears, brilliantly it glows so our faith can grow, to stop whatever hurt the darkness brings, Bringing hope, giving life, burning brightly  it’s our Father’s light
Ashley:  I would give every tiny part, every hidden corner of my heart to mend my world that’s torn apart.  Healing the aching, reaching out, something in my soul cries out loud not for me but so much more for those within my broken heart…….Trembling and shaking
Sandi: and in the father’s light you can win the fight you can turn to him no matter what                                                                                 
Together:  Brilliantly it glows so our faith can grow   And stop whatever hurt the darkness brings, Sharing hope, burning bright,  So we can walk in our Father’s light  
(Exit up stage right and cross behind…entrance of three sisters from down right)
Three Sisters:  Pat’s silly song     “Called to Serve” tune
Here’s our motto, Strive to serve each other. 
Sound the call And to your aid we’ll troop                                       
Like the mail man, rain and snow won’t stop us.  
Faithful with our pot of soup soup soup soup             
Service Render service, If it’s flu or gout or croup.
Service render service, If your sprits tend to droop               
Forward pressing forward, if your hurt and you can’t stoop                       
We can fix it here dear with our pot of soup soup soup
Stacey:  Guess they (motions to where Ashley and Sandi Exit) don’t need any soup…so it looks as if our work here is done.  We better get all dressed up for the wedding.
(Sisters exit down stage right)
Glenna Rae:  In the village although many had good intentions, they didn’t see some needs almost right in front of them.  Some who were struggling with a lamp that had completely gone out and who was at great peril of getting lost in the dark?     
Stacey S.:  (enters with letter in pocket and puts down broken lamp….reads letter, when done holds it to her heart)    “Mom, I’m having a great time, The Italian is coming along pretty good.   We had to put up the portable baptismal font for the first time here in two years.  No Problem though, it was like Legos and then we had our first baptism, it wasn’t the Pope like I promised, but we’re working on it.  Mom, I love the lord and teaching the gospel, and I’m beginning to like pasta to. Love your missionary James.”
My last one out of the house, I guess I’m an empty nester now.  Every time I walk by his quiet room, I start to cry.  It feels so weird, not to be changing diapers, and helping kids with homework.  I keep telling George I leave on the TV all day because the house is too quiet, but now I’m hooked on some stupid shows. And with my Mother passing away, I don’t even have her to take care of… And these hot flashes.  I feel like my life is over and I’m useless. Like I’ve been fired from the only job I ever wanted and I can’t get up the energy to do much of anything. 
I don’t know if I can make it up the hill to have the shopkeeper look at my broken lamp.                          But I know he’s the only one who can help me now.
Music“Only One”                                              
I’ve walked through sorrow ‘til I could walk no more.  I’ve felt the winds of change blow so hard it’s chilled me to the core And pain has knocked at my door, but I have never hurt like this before,
Only he can take the pieces of my heart and make them whole…Only he can part the darkness and breathe light into my aching soul. One way, one light, one hope, only one.  I’ll pick up my sadness hidden and concealed.  I’ll gather all of them even ones that seem impossible to heal                                  
And I’ll place them all in His hands. What I cannot restore…he can.  Only he can take the pieces of my heart and make them whole, Only he can part the darkness and breathe light into my aching soul.    One way one light one hope, only one
(Slowly gets up and turns to go up the hill and exits left…. off stage)
Glenna Rae: hmmmm Did I forgot to tell you? It was the Shopkeeper who was the bridegroom, and ten special women were asked to bring their lamps so the glow would bring honor to their great friend as he entered his home for the celebration.  The ladies were so excited to be honored, and they waited for the call to finally come to fulfill their greatest wish.
(All ten sisters enter and gather in groups around the stage sitting on benches) 
All: two parts “Lead Kindly Light”, by John Henry Newman,
Lead Kindly Light, a-mid th’ encircling gloom, lead thou me on
The night is dark and I am far from home lead thou me on
Keep thou my feet I do not ask to see
The distant scene one step enough for me
(five foolish now gather and separate from the wise)
(unwise) I was not ever thus nor pray’ed that thou
Shouldst lead me on…I loved to choose and see my path:
but now, Lead thou me on.  I loved the garish day, and spite of fears  Pride ruled my will Remember not past years
Glenna Rae: As they waited for the bridegroom to arrive, the hour became late and they fell asleep,
(Moves to center and walks among the sleeping)

Glenna Rae: “The Bridegroom”
One day the light giver will come                                                                            
And claim those who bear hisflame                                                                      
The very trees and skies will praise his name
And some will run to meet him And find his arms at last    
And others will know their time has passed                                                  
The door will close and they will go…never to enter in                                    
They will not know him when he comes
Glenna Rae: The eleventh hour came and went, a still hush of darkest night fell over the sleeping town; then, the cry came that the bridegroom was on his way, and all the women arose excited to prepare their lamps, but something was amiss.  And some plans went terribly wrong. (lights of unwise will not light)
Stacie:   I thought I was well prepared, and that fixing my lamp would be a waste.
Stacey: Yes, we were prepared in everything except what truly mattered. 
Shelly: But we’ve been so much help to everyone else, surely….someone will share the light of their lamp so we can go to the wedding.
(The five prepared shake their heads…no we won’t help)
Ashley: We can’t help, I wish we could, but hurry you may have time to drive to the valley and get your lamps to work, better hurry, he’s coming.
Amber: But, But, I used all my extra money to buy a new dress for the wedding and didn’t have any left to get a bulb. Well, harrumph, (hands on hips) it never occurred to me he would arrive so late and we would really need our lamps, how rude… I assumed they were for decoration. And thought they wouldn’t need to be truly lit up…(whiney) someone should have told me.  Now I have to go to the ATM and find a store that’s open late.  (Stomps off…exit stage right)
Megan: Oh, hey, wait for me, I need a ride, I used all my gas taking my kids around, and I was so consumed with daily necessities of running my home I’ve kept putting off that trip to the shopkeeper to make sure my lamp would light.  I simply ran out of time.  (Runs after Amber)
Glenna Rae:  After begging the other women for help, the wise women had to tell the foolish that what had been prepared could not be shared and they could not risk letting their own lamps lose their light.  As much as they longed to help their friends there was nothing the wise women could do.  Finally the five foolish women ran out of sight, and the wise began to thank the shopkeeper for his guidance and love.
Emily: He lifted me and strengthened me, led me to the help of dear friends.  (Goes to Jill)
Jill: I was led to reading the scriptures, and that gave me discernment to see the needs of others, and I am blessed.
Sandi:  And after going through sorrows of my own, his spirit led me to others who needed his light
Ashley: When I thought I could not go on, he made up the difference.  I followed his light and was led from the darkness.
Stacey: And When I had nothing but sadness and disappointment he offered consoling peace and although my lamp was almost out, now it shines bright.
Glenna Rae: So the Wise Women went forth into the home with lamps held high to celebrate…and the door was shut and would not open again…(All wise leave stage right)
  “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh”
“When he comes”
Glenna Rae:  (joins others as they enter)
We are all invited to the feast
Wise enter singing and join Glenna Rae:
Each one of us is welcome,
From the greatest to the least. 
We hold the invitation in our hands,
It’s written in each crevice of our own lamp. 
So Promise to prepare to be there on that day. Dancing in his glory as we celebrate
Foolish Enter:  Like a lamp, the Master planned each of us with his grand design
All:   The lamp gives the light; it will burn through the night, as we wait for him to come again
Wise to unwise: There will always be enough if you run to him to fill it up Drop, by drop by drop
All:      Till we know him perfectly when he come for us
Repeat from Like a lamp with parts…all move to front.
Encore music for bows, wise+Glenna…then unwise…
Repeat singing…from like a lamp with parts…as exit one by one…to shopkeeper’s
Amber’s lamp never lights…and Sandi, comes to share hers
Last virgin stands in front, meets eyes with Glenna Rae…
Both lift lamps…and last virgin goes to shopkeepers
After music fades…
GlennaRae, turns to audience…

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