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Full- Length Play, Comedy

7M, 4W (Expandable)


Humorist Jean Shepherd's memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself at Higbee's Department Store. The consistent response: "You'll shoot your eye out!" All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family's temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys' experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie's father winning a lamp shaped like a woman's leg in a net stocking; Ralphie's fantasy scenarios and more. A Christmas Story is destined to become a theatrical holiday perennial.


By Philip Grecian. Based on the motion picture A Christmas Story, © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean ShepherdLeigh Brown and Bob Clark; and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.


The Family

Ralphie: (stage age 9-10 ) A bright, winsome, mischievous 5th grade boy... Not a smart-aleck or overly precocious, Ralphie's imagination drives several scenes. The actor playing this role carries several songs; he must be an excellent singer (high belt, unchanged voice) and confident stage presence.


The Old Man: (stage age 30's to 40’s) Gruff and grumbling on the exterior, Ralphie's Dad has a good heart. He doesn't overtly show it, but he 100% loves his family. A blue- collar guy, he usually expects the worst out of most situations; but is transformed into a true "song and dance" man in his moments of fantasy. The actor playing this character must be a strong singer and mover who isn't afraid to go "over the top" for comedic purposes.

Mother: (stage age: 30's to 40’s ) She is the secret engine that runs the family, keeping the household together with a smile--despite bickering children, limited funds, an x- rated lamp in the living room window, a cranky furnace and a crankier husband. Vibrant, warm, affable--but not a pushover--she is always busy, especially anytime she is in the kitchen, and even more so at Christmastime! The actor who plays this role must be very comfortable with children.

Randy: (stage age 7-8 ) Ralphie's younger brother, he is cute, lovable and a bit whiny. The actor playing this role must be a confident singer, a fluent reader and have strong stage presence and a sense of humor.

Featured Adults

Jean Shepherd/Narrator: (stage age: timeless) Jean Shepherd is the author of the books that the story is based on, as well as the actual narrator voice we hear in the 1983 movie. On stage, he is a warm, charismatic and engaging storyteller; omniscient but not overpowering. A goodnatured curmudgeon with a deadpan sense of humor, "Jean" focuses the action, keeps the story moving and holds the audiences' attention with his presence and spark. Throughout the show, the actor playing this role acts as a narrator, interacts with the actor playing Ralphie, and appears in scenes as different minor characters. This actor must be very comfortable with audiences, and must be able to "read the crowd" and tell the story at the same time. Note: This actor sings one line at the end of the show, and does not dance.

Miss Shields: (stage age 30's to 50s ) Ralphie's 5th grade teacher, a seemingly stereotypical 1940s educator--prim and proper, stern when necessary-- though warm and even humorous when the situation merits it. In Ralphie's fantasy, she transforms into a dynamic, brassy, show-stopping lounge singer and tap dancer! The person playing this role must be an excellent belter, an experienced tap dancer and an actor who can handle comedy AND children!

: (stage age: 30's to 60’s ) The Santa Claus at Higbee's Department Store is ill- tempered, slightly inebriated and very unhappy with his job-- nothing like the "Jolly Old St. Nick” one would dream of meeting! He gets rid of each kid as fast as he can and judges them on their way down. The actor playing this role must be a strong comedic actor and singer, and must be comfortable with children. He may be part of the adult male ensemble.

Featured Kids

Flick: (stage age 9-10) One of Ralphie’s classmates and best buddies; Flick is the guinea pig in the flagpole licking experiment. Sings some solos, so should be a confident singer and comedic actor. *Unchanged voice.

Schwartz: (stage age 9-10) One of Ralphie’s classmates and best buddies; Schwartz becomes the scapegoat when Ralphie utters an unmentionable word. Sings some solos, so should be a confident singer. *Unchanged voice.

Scut Farkus: (stage age 12-13) A textbook example of a schoolyard bully, Scut is loud, obnoxious and intimidating. This truant is a year or two older than Ralphie and his friends, and wears a perpetual scowl under his coonskin cap. He always appears at the most inopportune time to harass his victims. *Prefer unchanged voice.

Grover Dill: (stage age 9-10) Grover is Farkus's toady, and is always at his side. Younger and smaller than Farkus, Grover delights in being tethered to his "hero". His rapid-fire belly laughs, always heard with Farkus's threats, make them the scourge of the neighborhood. *Unchanged voice.

Esther Jane, Mary Beth, Nancy: (stage age 9-10) Classmates.

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