Frannie, a precocious young teenager, has settled down in her living room on Christmas Eve and is determined to stay up and ask Santa personally for the wild pony she’s wanted since she was a little girl. But as it turns out, Santa has a gift for her that is much more exciting than any pet horse: a trip around the world with him that night in his sleigh. Together, they visit living rooms all over the world and meet youth from Australia, Japan, India, Nigeria, Poland, Great Britain, Iceland, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
And stop by stop, Frannie learns Santa’s many different names, a number of traditional holiday greetings, the variety of holiday treats he enjoys, and the interesting cultural traditions that celebrate the Christmas holiday around the world. By the end of the night, Frannie is left so amazed that she seems to have forgotten about wanting a pony. Maybe.
A living room somewhere in the United States
Adjustable up to 24 players
Approximately 45 minutes without an intermission
Production Notes (included with the playscript)
Santa and Frannie Travel the World is an exceptionally easy script to adapt to any size cast. There are nine countries featured in nine different scenes—any of which could be eliminated if necessary. There can be any number of youth in those individual scenes, and they can be any combination of boys and girls. My version has one, two, or three youth from each of those countries greeting Santa—but you could have any combination that works for your particular group. You could even have kids doubling and tripling up roles. You could also have any number of sign holders—one for every sign even, if you find yourself with an extra-large group.
The stage is kept simple: a living room with a small evergreen tree, a cozy rug, and a small table. The tree needs to be easily maneuvered off and on stage. If you happen to have a stage with a curtain that can easily be drawn open and closed, you may want to pull it closed in between scenes or you can simply dim the lights on stage between scenes. This allows the new characters for each scene a few moments to position their props, change out a few things on stage, and settle on the rug to look like they’re asleep. The curtains open again or the lights go up, and voila! The audience sees a new living room in a new country waiting for Santa and Frannie to arrive. Consider making large stage props like the banana tree and palm tree out of cardboard or some other lightweight material.
There are a large number of small props that need to be collected, but they can all be found at home, a thrift store, or made out of very simple materials—cardboard, construction paper, clay, etc. If you have some extra time with your cast, they may have a lot of fun creating the various props for the performance.
Also be prepared to make a wide variety of treats—there’s a different one in every scene. All of them can be created with clay or construction paper, or you could ask an especially ambitious group of parents to actually bake them! In the script, you’ll notice that every plate of treats that enters stage is taken back off stage by Santa and Frannie when they leave. This insures that the little table on stage is always empty and ready for the next scene.
No one should have to buy a costume for this play. Everyone wears their pajamas with the exception of Santa Claus.
There are so many interesting holiday goodies mentioned in this play, that you could have an awful lot of fun in the kitchen with kids making the refreshments. Kid’s cookbooks that feature foods from around the world are widely available at your local library or bookstore. The holiday treats mentioned in the script are as follows: gingerbread men (United States), lamington cakes and lemonade (Australia), strawberry cake (Japan), coconut macaroon cookies (India), banana bread (Nigeria), pounchkies (Poland), mince pies (Great Britain), hot chocolate (Iceland), chicken soup (Puerto Rico), and sopapillas (Mexico).
There are many options as to how to handle the signs at the beginning of each scene. You could ask a shy kid, a fellow teacher or friend, or even a whole class of younger students to help with the signs. You, as the director, could also do it as well. They’re fairly necessary for this play, but an easy enough thing to incorporate.
Each playscript comes as a downloadable PDF document, and includes an extensive Production Notes section to help with all aspects of the production, as well as an invaluable Organizational Grid with each character’s costume suggestion and any props needed.
With purchase, you are granted the right to copy this script as needed for amateur performances for a period of one year from the date of purchase. More information on the Copyright page.