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Drama for Learning English: A Production in Thailand,
at Surao Sansaeb School

The best way to learn English is to have fun, to play, by writing, producing and performing a stage or audio play.  At Surao Sansaeb School, Bangkok, Thailand, we produced a play called The Girl Who Missed Christmas.

To start with we were not at all sure that the children were up to it.

But they had such enthusiasm and perseverance that we were amazed and delighted by their progress; by their team-work and confidence.

Teacher, Miss Mimie Acuna, was very quick at picking up the art and craft of directing.  she was both loving and authoritative with the students.

Play and having fun is the best way of teaching languages.

The Script of The Girl Who Missed Christmas
directed by Miss Mimie Acuna
and dramatised by Mr Shaun MacLoughlin

CAST

Narrator
Natalie
Dad
Mum
Joe, Natalie's annoying little brother
Maramalade, the dog
Santa
Rudolph the Reindeer
Extras: Natalie's friends

SCENE 1 NATALIE'S BEDROOM

THE CURTAINS OPEN. THERE IS A BED ON THE STAGE

THE NARRATOR AND NATALIE ENTER
NARRATOR: One upon a time there was a little girl called Natalie. She was six. She lived in a house in a nice street.

(JOE WALKS ONTO THE STAGE. HE AND NATALIE PULL FACES AT EACH OTHER)

She had a little brother called Joe.

(MARMALADE THE DOG CRAWLS ONTO THE STAGE)

And a dog called Marmalade. And most of the time Natalie was happy.

(TWO FRIENDS OF NATALIE'S ENTER THE STAGE. THEY PLAY WITH NATALIE. THEN THEY PLAY WITH MARMALADE)

She played with her friends. She played with her dog.

(THE FRIENDS LEAVE WITH MARMALADE AND SHE PLAYS WITH JOE)

She even played with Joe, when he wasn't being annoying.

(JOE LEAVES. THE LIGHTS DIM AND NATALIE GETS INTO BED)

But there was one thing Natalie didn't like - Getting up.

(NATALIE IS FAST ASLEEP. THE LIGHTS COME UP AGAIN AND DAD ENTERS THE ROOM)

Every morning her Dad would come into the room and say:
DAD: Come on Natalie. It's time to get up.
NATALIE: Just one more minute.
DAD: Now, now! You'll be late for school.
NATALIE: Just one tiny minute, please.
DAD: (SHOUTS) Now Natalie.
NATALIE (MOANING) It's so warm in bed.
NARRATOR : And so it went on every morning.

(MUM AND MARMALADE ENTER)
MUM (SHOUTS) Get up Natalie!

MARMALADE BARKS

JOE ENTERS AND MAKES FACES AT HER
MUM: (SHOUTS AGAIN) I said Natalie, Get up!!!

MARMALADE BARKS EVEN LOUDER

NATALIE PULLS THE COVER OVER HER HEAD. EVERYBODY LEAVES HER EXCEPT DAD.
NARRATOR: Natalie just really, really hated getting up in the morning.
DAD: You know, Natalie, One day you are going to miss something really important, because you stay in bed too long.

DAD LEAVES TOO
NARRATOR: As it happened something very important was about to happen. The nights were getting longer.

SCATTER LEAVES ONTO THE STAGE

And the leaves were falling from the trees and soon Natalie was getting excited, because it was getting close to Christmas; and she had so many different things she had asked for.

NATALIE SITS UP, TAKES PAPER AND PENCIL AND WRITES.

She wanted a new game for her Nintendo and a doll who cried real tears and a new DVD and lots and lots and lots of things.

Of course she had to rehearse for the school play, except she nearly missed it because she was sleeping in.

SANTA APPEARS AT THE SIDE OF THE STAGE TALKING TO OTHER CHILDREN. BUT NATALIE STAYS IN BED

And she had to go and see Santa in the grotto, but she missed that as well, because she didn't want to get out of bed.

SANTA AND THE CHILDREN LEAVE. NATALIE REMAINS IN BED

MUM ENTERS
MUM: I just don't know what to do about all this sleeping.
NATALIE: If I want to stay in bed why shouldn't I?

MUM LEAVES
NARRATOR: Finally Christmas Eve arrived.

NATALIE JUMPS UP AND DANCES AROUND IN EXCITEMENT. NATALIE THEN GETS BACK INTO BED. SHE TOSSES AND TURNS IN BED.

She found it really hard to get to sleep. She wanted to stay awake and see if she could really see Santa. But in the end she she went to sleep and slept and slept and slept.

DAD CALLS
DAD: Natalie! Natalie!

(NATALIE PUTS THE CUSHION OVER HER EARS)
NARRATOR: Finally she decide she had been in bed so long that it was getting boring.

THE LIGHTS COME UP. NATALIE TAKES AWAY THE CUSHION AND SITS UP
NATALIE: Wow! It's Christmas! I'm so excited.

SHE LOOKS AT THE END OF THE BED.

Where's my stocking? Where has Santa left my toys?

SHE JUMPS OUT OF BED AND RUNS DOWNSTAIRS.
NARRATOR : This is the end of Scene 1. Please wait for Scene 2 and don't go away.

THE CURTAIN CLOSES
SCENE 2 DOWNSTAIRS. THE KITCHEN/DINING ROOM

THE CURTAIN OPENS

JOE IS PLAYING WITH HIS TOYS. MUM IS FOLDING AWAY SOME WRAPPING PAPER. DAD IS READING A BORING BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES. MARMALADE IS EATING SOMETHING.

NATALIE RUSHES IN OUT OF BREATH.
NARRATOR: Natalie was out of breath because she had never jumped out of bed before.
NATALIE: Mum, Dad, it's Christmas!

THEY IGNORE HER

(LOUDER) Mum, Dad, it's Christmas!

THEY ALL LOOK AT HER, EXCEPT FOR MARMALADE WHO GOES ON EATING.

THERE IS SILENCE.

(MORE QUIETLY) It is Christmas, isn't it?
DAD: You mean it was Christmas.
MUM: You slept right through.
NATALIE: But ... but ... but ...
DAD: I told you you'd miss something important one day.
JOE: It was really good. We had loads and loads of presents.
NATALIE: (WAILS) And I missed it.

(SHE CRIES AND CRIES AND CRIES)
DAD: Sorry. It also means you didn't get any presents from Santa. But don't worry there'll be another Christmas next year.
NATALIE: (WAILS) It's not fair.
DAD: I always told you you'd miss something really important, if you didn't get out of bed in time.
MUM: Now help me clear away all this wrapping paper.

(BUT NATALIE IGNORES THEM AND WALKS OUT OF THE ROOM)
NARRATOR: (TO THE AUDIENCE) Please wait, because something magical may happen

CLOSE CURTAINS
SCENE 3 THE PARK

OPEN CURTAINS

IF POSSIBLE HAVE A BACKDROP OF TREES AND A RISING SUN

NATALIE ENTERS, CRYING AND CRYING
NARRATOR: Natalie walked into the park, sobbing her eyes out.

SHE SITS ON A PARK BENCH AND CONTINUES TO CRY
NARRATOR: It was early in the morning and at that moment Santa was trudging his way across the sky in his sleigh on his way back to Lapland.

RUDOLPH THE REINDEER WITH ANTLERS AND SANTA ENTER LOOKING VERY, VERY TIRED.

They were very tired because they had been all around the world, delivering presents to all the children. But though he was tired Santa couldn't noticing Natalie, sitting on the park bench all by herself and crying.
SANTA: (STOPPING TRUDGING) Whoah there Rudolph! I wonder what's wrong with that little girl.
RUDOLPH: Maybe she didn't like her present.
NARRATOR: Rudolph was hungry and tired and wanted to get back to his grotto to get some food.
RUDOLPH: Kids today have no gratitude.
SANTA: We'd better see, what's the matter.

(HE MOVES ACROSS TO NATALIE AND SITS BESIDE HER)

What's the matter, little girl?

(BUT NATALIE JUST KEEPS CRYING AND CRYING)
NARRATOR: Her eyes were so full of water that she couldn't see anything.
RUDOLPH: Huh, she's probably upset because she only got one Nintendo, ten polly packets and a dozen Barbie dolls. Kids today. When I started this job they were happy with a small piece of wood and an orange. The stuff you have to carry nowadays. Its hardly surprising my back hurts.
SANTA: (TO NATALIE) Did you like your present?

NATALIE RUBS HER EYES. THEN GASPS.
NATALIE: Oh my gosh! Is it you?
SANTA: Ssshhh! You see I'm not really supposed to show myself to children.
RUDOLPH: (MOANING) We'll be in trouble for this. I told you we should have gone straight home.

NATALIE GIVES SANTA A HUG
NATALIE: You see, Santa, I slept right through Christmas..... and now I've missed it.
SANTA: Oh dear, oh dear. We've still got a few things left in the sack. So go back home and check the fireplace in your bedroom in a few minutes.
NATALIE: But .... But ....
SANTA: Just go.

NATALIE LEAVES
RUDOLPH: We're doing another delivery, are we? Because that's overtime, that what that is.... I'll need an extra carrot for that.
SANTA: (LEAVING) Oh c'mon you lazy animal.

HE IS FOLLOWED BY RUDOLPH
NARRATOR: (TO THE AUDIENCE) Please wait to find out what happens when Natalie returns home.

CURTAIN FALLS
SCENE 4. BACK AT HOME

THERE IS A PARTITION NOW BETWEEN NATALIE'S BEDROOM WITH HER BED ON ONE SIDE OF THE STAGE AND THE KITCHEN/DINING ROOM ON THE OTHER. THE CURTAIN IS DRAWN BACK TO REVEAL THE KITCHEN, BUT STILL HIDES THE BEDROOM.

JINGLE BELLS ARE PLAYING ON THE HIGH FI. EVERYONE IS WEARING HATS. MUM IS CARRYING A LARGE ROASTED TURKEY AND POTATOES TO THE TABLE. NATALIE ENTERS TO SEE ALL THIS.
DAD: We thought we'd restart Christmas. Just for you.

NATALIE JUMPS UP AND DOWN AND THEN RUNS INTO HER BEDROOM. THE BEDROOM CURTAIN IS DRAWN BACK

IN THE FIREPLACE, THERE IS A STOCKING BURSTING WITH PRESENTS. SHE STARTS TO UNWRAP THEM AND WE SEE THEM.
NARRATOR: There was a doll with real tears, a princess on a white pony, a game for her nintendo, and, finally, after she had opened all the other presents from Santa there was one special one from Dad - An Alarm Clock !

SHE TRIES IT OUT AND IT RINGS

So for the rest of the day, Natalie had the best Christmas ever.

SHE LEAVES THE BEDROOM CARRYING ALL HER PRESENTS. MEANWHILE THE TURKEY HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE KITCHEN

NARRATOR: (HE ASKS THE AUDIENCE) And do you know what?

(HE WAITS FOR AN ANSWER. THEN:) A couple of weeks later, it was the first day of the new term.

NATALIE ENTERS THE KITCHEN HAVING PUT ON HER SCHOOL UNIFORM VERY QUICKLY AND STARTS PREPARING BREAKFAST. MEANWHILE DAD, NOT SEEING HER, ENTERS THE BEDROOM
DAD: Wake up, Natalie. Time to go back to school.

(HE LOOKS AROUND)

(CALLING. WORRIED) Natalie!

HE LOOKS UNDER THE BLANKET - BUT NO NATALIE
NATALIE: (CALLS) Dad!

HE RUSHES TO THE KITCHEN, WHERE BREAKFAST IS PREPARED BY NATALIE.
NATALIE: Breakfast is ready. I"m never going to be late for anything again, Dad.

END OF PLAY. CURTAIN.

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