The Hitchhikers - A Christmas Play
By Kathy Warnes
ANGEL CHOIR: O Come Little Children
(Bill and Lori are sitting on the stage steps. There is a manger in front of a church sign that says--------------Church.)
LORI: You’d better stay awake in church today, Bill.
BILL: I can’t sleep. Something weird’s going on in front of the church and it’s keeping me awake.
LORI: What do you mean something weird?
BILL: I mean there’s something crying out in front of the church?
LORI: Do you mean something or somebody?
BILL: I mean there’s a lot of yelling going on out there.
BECKY: I don’t hear anything.
BILL: Open the door a little wider. Then if you don’t hear it, you’re deaf.
LORI: (Opening door. As she does so, everyone can hear the howls of a baby)
Wow, it’s a baby crying. But where is it?
BILL: It’s lying there in the manger.
BECKY: Don’t call the baby an it. That’s a terrible way to talk about a baby.
BILL: Okay then, what is it, a boy or a girl?
BECKY: (Looking closely) I think it’s a baby
BILL: How did a baby get in the manger in front of the church?
LORI: Did you have anything to do with it?
BECKY: Who me? Why do I get blamed for everything?
LORI: I wasn’t blaming you. I was just stating a fact.
BILL: That baby is sitting there playing in the straw.
LORI: I wonder if the mother and father are around.
(As she says this, a man and a woman come on stage. They are dressed in ragged
blue jeans and shirts.
BILL: What’s the matter with you guys? You don’t have any coats on and it’s ten
degrees below zero out there.
JOSEPH: We’re going to the Salvation Army Store to see if we can buy a coat.
BILL: Only geeks buy clothes from the Salvation Army.
MARY: I don’t know what a geek is, but I do know what being cold feels like. We’ve got the money to buy one jacket and I’m getting one for Joseph.
BECKY: Is your name really Joseph?
JOSEPH: Yeah, it is. So what?
BILL: What difference does it make whether his name is Sam or Joseph or Fred?
LORI: It’s just a funny coincidence, that’s all.
BILL: What is?
LORI: That his name is Joseph. There was another Joseph and a manger in Bethlehem a long time ago. His wife’s name was Mary and they had a baby son.
MARY: My name is Mary.
LORI: Alright, that’s still a coincidence. And this baby can’t be the baby Jesus.
BILL: Who’s trying to explain anything? What are you comparing them to anyway?
BECKY: You know what I’m comparing them to –the story of the birth of Jesus?
BILL: That’s stupid. They aren’t riding a donkey and they didn’t come here to pay their taxes, did they?
LORI: I don’t know. (To Mary) Why did you come here?
MARY: Our pickup truck broke down and Joseph wanted to stop here and ask if you knew where we could find a garage.
BILL: There’s a gas station down on Main Street. Where’s the truck?
JOSEPH: It’s parked out in front of the church.
BILL: Come with me. I’ll show you where the garage is. It’s not a very long walk.
JOSEPH: Wait a minute. I have to get something out of the back of the truck before we go.
BILL: I suppose you have a donkey in the back of your pick up truck?
JOSEPH: How did you know? We’re taking him to my brother’s place to sell.
LORI: This is the Christmas story right in front of us
BILL: Are you telling me you think this baby is baby Jesus and we’re having a modern manger scene here? I suppose the next things you’ll see are the stars, the shepherds, and the wise men. Get real!
LORI: I’m just looking for another Christmas miracle. What’s so weird about that?
BILL: Any kind of miracle is unreal in this modern world.
BECKY: How do you know?
BILL: I know people and how rotten they can be.
MARY: Sometimes they can be nice. A lady gave us some milk for the baby and a blanket.
BECKY: You can help Joseph push the truck down to the garage can’t you , Bill?
BILL: Who’s going to take care of the baby?
LORI: I can take care of the baby and then Becky can while Mary takes a nap inside the church. We have a nice cot in the nursery.
JOSEPH: What are we going to do with the donkey?
LORI: You can leave him here by the manger.
(Clancey the donkey comes on stage)
MARY: (Patting him on the head) Take it easy, Clancey. You can rest for a few minutes while the truck gets fixed.
(Bill and Joseph push the truck. Lori leads Clancey to the manger and Clancey brays loudly).
LORI: I’ll bet Clancey’s lonely. I know, I’ll get somebody to keep him company.
(She goes and gets Spanky the stuffed dog and brings him in by the manger.)
LORI: Spanky meet Clancey. Clancey, meet Spankey.
(Clancey shakes hands with Spankey.)
BECKY: Maybe we should introduce Clancey to the baby, too. Clancey meet the baby. Baby, meet Clancey.
(Clancey shakes hands with the baby)
LORI: Mary, maybe we should take the baby over to my house and put him to bed. He’s probably pretty tired.
BECKY: He can sleep in your bed, not mine.
LORI: It won’t hurt you to share your bed.
BECKY: He doesn’t have plastic on his diapers or plastic pants either.
MARY: Don’t worry about it. I’ll just put a blanket on the straw in the manger and he can
(She places the blanket over the straw in the manger and sits the baby on top of it.
BECKY: He doesn’t act very sleepy.
MARY: He’ll wear himself out pretty soon.
LORI: Would you like a cup of tea or something, Mary?
MARY: I’ll just sit here and hold the baby and rest for a minute.
(She sits down and promptly falls asleep.)
BECKY: I hope she doesn’t snore.
LORI: She probably didn’t get any sleep last night. She said they traveled all night in the truck.
BECKY: I’ll get a blanket for her, too.
(Becky gets a blanket and puts it over Mary)
LORI: She’s sleeping, but the baby isn’t.
BECKY: You can keep the baby quiet and tell who ever is doing it to stop baaing like lambs.
BECKY: Yes, I hear a lamb.
(A lamb comes on stage)
BECKY: There’s usually a shepherd with a lamb.
LORI: I think he’s coming right now.
(A shepherd walks on stage. He is dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt. He stands by the manger.)
LORI: He doesn’t look like a shepherd. He looks like a cowboy.
BECKY: Did you expect him to be wearing a cloak and carrying a staff?
LORI: Sort of.
BECKY: We’re not talking about Bible times now. We’re talking about modern times.
LORI: There were shepherds at the manger scene.
BECKY: There were wise men too. Are you going to tell me that three wise men are going to walk through that door?
(As soon as she says this, a figure in a robe with a paper bag over its head walks in.)
LORI: I told you a wise man was coming in. Here he is.
BECKY: If he’s such a wise man, why is he wearing that paper bag?
LORI: Maybe he doesn’t want anybody to know what he looks like.
BECKY: Wise man, why don’t you take off that paper bag? You’re supposed to be wearing a crown of jewels. And you’re not really supposed to show up until a few weeks from now anyway.
LORI: Just stand there by the manger, wise man.
BECKY: Watch the paper bag, wise man.
(The wise man holds the paper bag firmly on his head. He mumbles something).
LORI: He says he’s watching it.
BECKY: Now all we need are the angels.
(An angel appears, only it is a male angel wearing shorts, knee socks and one wing.)
LORI: You may be an angel, but you’re not the right kind of angel. You don’t even have two wings.
ANGEL: I am a real angel! I am the right kind of angel! Just because I tripped and fell and broke my wing and skinned my knees doesn’t mean I’m not the right kind of angel.
BECKY: Go stand by the wise man and the shepherd. We’ll find something to do with you.
LORI: What are we waiting for anyway? Everybody is just standing around watching the baby play.
BECKY: I think we’re waiting to see if Joseph gets the truck fixed.
LORI: Even if he does, he and Mary and the baby had better stay with us tonight. It’s too late to go back on the road tonight.
JOSEPH: (Waling back into the room) I told you the brakes on the truck were bad.
BILL: It’s a shame you waited to tell me about the brakes after I pushed it into that stone wall.
JOSEPH: The mechanic said they’d have it fixed by tomorrow.
BILL: You and Mary and Joseph and the baby can stay with us tonight.
BECKY: No, we already decided. They’re staying with us.
BILL: I asked him first.
BECKY: Mary is already sleeping. Joseph and the baby can sleep right to her.
BILL: Who are these other people>
BECKY: There’s a shepherd, an angel, and a wise man.
BILL: What are they doing here?
LORI: I’m not sure if they came with Joseph and Mary or if they came on their own.
BECKY: We can ask them. Hey shepherd, you look more like a cowboy, but I have a question. Did you come here on your own?
SHEPHERD: I’m a sheepherder in New Mexico. Joseph and Mary picked me up when I was hitchhiking from New Mexico to New York to see my mom. I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to be a shepherd out in the fields the night when Jesus was born. Did you ever wonder that, Becky?
BECKY: I’ve never even wondered what it would be like to be a shepherd.
SHEPHERD: I wish I could have been there at the manger.
LORI: All right, wise man. It’s your turn. How did you get here?
WISE MAN: (Talking in a muffled voice)
LORI: Joseph and Mary picked you up in East Orange, New Jersey and gave you a ride here?
WISE MAN: (More muffled talk)
LORI: Someone told you there are oil wells around here and you want to get rich so you can get the baby and Lucy the best gift money can buy?
WISE MAN: (Mumbles)
LORI: You found the oil wells but they’ve been dry for 150 years?
WISE MAN: (More mumbles.)
LORI: Joseph said it matters more that you give yourself to God instead of your money. That’s true, wise man.
WISE MAN: (Mumbles)
LORI: Okay, I’ll let you know if the oil wells ever come back.
BECKY: What about this angel?
ANGEL: I’ve always been clumsy, but Joseph said it doesn’t matter to God how we look on the outside. What matters is the way we are on the inside.
LORI: How did Joseph and Mary find you?
ANGEL: Actually, I found them. They picked me up when I fell and skinned my knees.
BECKY: How did you do that?
ANGEL: I told you I was clumsy. I’ve always dreamed of being one of the angels that appeared to the shepherds in the fields. But if I flew, I’d probably land on one of their staffs or one of their sheep.
LORI: Everybody sit down while we’re waiting for Mary and the children to wake up.
(They all sit down and gradually everyone falls asleep.)
CHOIR: Away in a Manger.
(While the choir is singing, other shepherds, the lamb, and Clancey gather around the manger. The shepherd in cutoffs, the clumsy angel and the wise man all sit up and rub their eyes. Joseph stands by the manger.
SHEPHERD: I must be dreaming. Are you other shepherds real?
ANGEL: Tripping over his feet. I’m for real. I think I hear singing. Do you hear what I hear?
CHOIR: Do You Hear What I Hear?
(As they sing, other angels appear.
ANGEL: You angels look so beautiful. Could I borrow one of your robes to cover my
knees? I skinned them when I fell.
ANGEL: (Handing him a robe.) Try this one.
ANGEL: (Puts it on, but it only reaches his knees.
ANGEL: God only looks at your heart, not y our knees.
BECKY: I hope so.
LORI: Now it’s the wise man’s turn.
JOSEPH: Why does he have that bag over his head?
BECKY: He doesn’t think he’s very rich or smart so he wants to hide his head.
CHOIR: Fall Softly Snow
(As the choir sings, three wise men come on stage, dressed in rich robes and wearing jeweled crowns.
WISE MAN: Come join us you other wise men. But first let us give you a better crown.
(They take the paper bag off the wise man’s head and put a crown on it.)
WISE MAN: Now your head looks like your heart.
(They go to the manger and place their crowns in front of it.
BECKY: I think it’s time for Mary to wake up. (She shakes Mary). Mary, Mary, wake up!
MARY: (Yawning and stretching) I did have a nice nap. Oh, Joseph, there you are. Did you get the truck fixed?
JOSEPH: It will be ready tomorrow morning, Mary.
MARY: What are all these people and animals doing around the manger? And where is the baby?
JOSEPH: Don’t panic, Mary. The baby is right there in the manger.
MARY: Who are all of these people?
JOSEPH: Maybe we picked up more hitchhikers than we thought.
MARY: Something strange is going on here, Joseph.
BECKY: I could tell you about it, but you wouldn’t believe me.
CHOIR: Mary Had A Baby
(While the choir is singing, Mary and Joseph put on robes like Mary and Joseph at the manger scene. Mary holds baby Jesus in her arms.
EVERYONE SINGS: Away in a Manger.