A scribbling woman with much to say

An Excerpt From the Christmas Farce: A Nun's Tale


Setting: Room of a Convent
Number in Cast: 2 women 

Length: 10 minutes

Play Synopsis:
Christmas is fast approaching and Sister Bridget and Sister Mary Francis cannot agree on holiday decor. Will it be the flocked tree left by the hasty departure of Sister's Bridget's Aunt Maeve or will it be Sister Bridget's real tree with its "flood" of  garland? And can poor Mrs. Mabrey handle their demands?


Sister Mary Francis, a southern  woman, and Sister Bridget, an Irish woman with a strong Irish accent, enter from opposite sides of the stage. They meet in the middle, bow and greet one another with bare warmth.

They will be reading aloud letters they’re writing to one another, each becoming more agitated with each letter that passes between them.

Sister Mary Francis
Hello, Sister Bridget.

Sister Bridget
Hello, Sister Mary Francis.

They cross one another and each sits at a separate table.
Sister Mary Francis begins reading aloud.

Sister Mary Francis
My Dearest Sister Bridget:
      Mrs. Mabrey, the kindest of God’s creatures, has just informed me that you sent her into the attic with instructions to bring down the twelve foot flocked tree left you by your aunt after that… 

          (looks at the house)

...embarrassing incident at the community center. Is this true?

Sister Bridget
My Dearest Sister Mary Francis:
Consider yourself firmly planted upon our small community’s information highway. I have indeed instructed our able-bodied Mrs. Mabrey, to carry down the tree as well as the boxes of balls, lights, tinsel and tree topper – none of which, sadly, made it into me Aunt  Maeve’s car due to her hasty retreat…

          (looks up, frowns, and changes her mind)

…unexpected journey…

          (changes her mind again).

Me aunt has long been known for her…

          (looks up yet again)

…impulsive generosity.

Sister Mary Francis
Dear Sister Bridget:

 Impulsive generosity? Our convent rumor mill, which of course, I pay little heed to, suggests that your aunt’s… 

          (looks up as if searching for the right word)

…fleetness…was inspired by public intoxication and an effort to avoid law enforcement.

But this is neither here nor there as, if you recall, the decorating committee voted on the purchase of a real tree for this season’s year of our Lord. And, Mrs. Mabrey is far too busy baking gingerbread to be scurrying up and down the attic stairs without reason.

I have instructed her to return the flocked tree to the attic.

Sister Bridget
Dear Sister Mary Francis:
If you recall, the decoratin committee consists only of you and meself. It is hard to fathom the lack of holiday spirit in our cloistered world, but that’s a conundrum for another day.

If you refer to the minutes of our meeting, you’ll  see we voted against a real tree thanks to the generosity of me Aunt Maeve. And, I’m quite sure we decided upon snicker doodles.

You have read the minutes, haven’t you? Consider me feathers ruffled if you have not, especially after I went to the trouble of asking Mrs. Mabrey to forego The Late Show so that she might type the minutes and hand deliver them to you before the next morning’s  prayers.

And, since when do a wee bit of Irish Cream imply public drunkenness?

Sister Mary Francis

Sister Bridget:
Imagine my surprise when I found Mrs. Mabrey putting the last of your aunt’s blue balls upon that flocked tree. My final instructions to her prior to my retiring last night were quite clear: Bake another twelve dozen gingerbread men and do not bring that flocked tree from the attic again.

Of course I read the minutes. Did you not see my  revisions? Mrs. Mabrey was kind enough to wait while I made the necessary corrections. 

And for the record, never would I have voted for a flocked tree. We do not live in Vegas, Sister Bridget, where such razzle dazzle flies. A flocked tree is unseemly for women wedded to a vow of  poverty.

I might also add that your aunt’s tree is clearly home-flocked and poorly at that. Our halls are now decked with flocking.

          (picks a piece of flocking from her shoulder)

At my request, Mrs. Mabrey awoke at daybreak, dismantled your aunt’s tree and is now tramping through the woods behind the convent with a small ax. She’ll be returning with a real tree.

Irish Cream you say? I’m guessing it’s something a “wee” bit stronger that makes a woman….

          (looks at the house)

…shake the Christmas tree, exposing her Christmas…

          (looks at the house again)


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Copyright: Laurie Nienhaus, 2006 All Rights Reserved
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