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The Man Who Didn’t Need Christmas

A story about the inn keeper in Bethlehem who feels his life is fine but starts to learn maybe something is missing.

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The Man Who Didn’t Need ChristmasThe Man Who Didn’t Need Christmas – Script
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The Man Who Didn’t Need Christmas

A story about the innkeeper in Bethlehem who feels his life is fine but starts to learn maybe something is missing.

Author:    Delvyn Case


The innkeeper at Bethlehem was a good man, and very satisfied with his life. He didn’t think he was missing anything, but he had some to learn.

The Man Who Didn’t Need Christmas


A Christmas Play


Delvyn C. Case, Jr.

  The Man Who Didn’t Need Christmas
 Copyright 2000  
by  Delvyn C. Case Jr.
All Rights Reserved
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that THE MAN WHO DIDN’T NEED CHRISTMAS is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved.
    The amateur live stage performance rights to THE MAN WHO DIDN’T NEED CHRISTMAS are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made.      
    Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.
    Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.
    Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”
    Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. CHARACTERS

INNKEEPER, 30’s-50’s

PILGRIMS, 20’s-50’s

ROMAN SOLDIER, 20’s-40’s


JOSEPH, 20’s-30’s

MARY, 20’s-30’s

DAUGHTER #1, 12-16 years old

DAUGHTER #2, 12-16 years old

SHEPHERD #1, 20’s-40’s

SHEPHERD #2, 20’s-40’s

BALTHAZAR, 30’s-50’s

CASPER, 30’s-50’s

MEHCHIOR, 30’s-50’s

Days of Jesus’ birth



            Right of center stage is the Inn.  There is a front wall with a door and two windows.  Beneath the stage right window is a sign hanging “No Room”.  There is a bench stage left side of Inn.  

            Left of center is the Stable.  There are bales of hay and a manger.  There is a rough back wall and a simple roof.



Scene 1—The Inn
(As lights come up on the Inn, the INNKEEPER is standing in front of the Inn with a broom in his hand.  He is talking to the PILGRIMS.  The ROMAN SOLDIER is standing stage right watching and listening to the action)

I’m sorry.  We’re full.

(PILGRIMS looks at each with disappointment)

                                                INNKEEPER (cont’d)
I hope you’ll find suitable lodging.  (motioning stage right) Look in town.  There are other inns there.

(PILGRIMS talk amongst themselves.  The INNKEEPER sweeps the floor.  The ROMAN SOLDIER crosses to the PILGRIMS.  He points stage right.  The PILGRIMS slowly cross to stage right.  The ROMAN SOLDIER crosses to INNKEEPER)

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
You could’ve squeezed in a few more.

It wouldn’t have been safe.  Certainly not comfortable.

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
You’re a good man.  You know it’s against the law, too.  But Rome would overlook occupancy limits during this busy time.

(WIFE enters from stage right carrying a basket of fruit.  She passes PILGRIMS and nods to them.   The PILGRIMS exit stage right.  The WIFE crosses to the INNKEEPER)

                                             ROMAN SOLDIER (cont’d)
More pilgrims mean a bigger census. A bigger census means more taxes.  They all need a place to stay for one to two nights.  The registration lines are a mile long.  (nods to WIFE)  Shalom, madam.  

Shalom, officer.

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
I was talking with your husband about how he is sending away pilgrims who need accommodations.

(WIFE approaches the bench and puts the bowl on the bench.  She points toward the PILGRIMS)

The inn’s full.  We have a sign.  (points to stage right) Was that another group?  

They keep coming.  There’s always hope.

(WIFE smiles at INNKEEPER)

My husband wants his guests comfortable.  Rome know how much space he has.

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
Your husband’s an honest innkeeper and model citizen despite the circumstances.  Rome understands your feelings about the occupation.

No Jew would admit liking Rome. But I appreciate the order and security of our town under Roman rule.  Bethlehem’s never been safer…

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
…for making money.

(hands up in humbleness)
For all aspects of life.

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
A diplomat, too.  Rome won’t forget her friends.  


                                                ROMAN SOLDIER (cont’d)
I must be on my rounds.  Don’t send any more pilgrims away, if you can avoid it.  They couldn’t find a cleaner, well-maintained inn anywhere in Bethlehem.  You have a great spot here.  

Thank you.  

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER
Put them anywhere.  (nodding to WIFE) Good evening, madam.  

Shalom, officer.

                                                ROMAN SOLDIER

(ROMAN SOLDIER exits stage right)

Was the market busy this afternoon?

Packed with pilgrims.

They keep coming.  I’ll run at full capacity for months to come.  Maybe I can expand the inn!  (holds WIFE’S hands) Then I’ll be able to buy everything we’ve ever wanted.

You’ve always provided for our needs.

(WIFE picks up bowl.  INNKEEPER sweeps with broom)

I thought you’d be getting home sooner.

(INNKEEPER and WIFE sit on bench)

I would have but there was a big commotion at the Temple. I couldn’t get pass the crowd.  The priests were talking about a new prophet…

Priests!  They can always get a crowd if they talk about prophets and the future.  They can’t get anyone to the Temple if they preach about being good so you can please God.  That’s what counts!

One of the priest’s wife has given birth to…

That’s not unusual.

It does when the wife’s beyond the years of bearing children.

(shakes head) (bored)
So, what happened?

 She gave birth to a son.  They call him John.  The father’s a priest called Zecharias.  He had a vision in the Temple last fall.

A vision?  Why does it have to be supernatural?  The rabbis fill their pockets by scaring the people about…nonsense.  What’s here is all there is.  We don’t need prophets and visions.

(WIFE looks discouraged)

Then they talked about the pilgrims.  They said this vast movement of people is more than just about Rome.  The priests claimed the Scriptures have foretold that the Messiah is coming, and coming now.

They’re always saying that.  Nothing’s happened in hundreds of years, four hundred or so.  We’re an insignificant colony at the edge of the vast Roman empire.  Nothing’s going to happen to the Jewish people—no prophecies, no Messiah.  Rome’s the future for us.

We mean nothing to Rome.

(WIFE stands and crosses to entrance of Inn)

(shakes head)  
You and I have a thriving business at the edge of town where nobody bothers us.  We have a good relationship with the authorities.   (taps chest) We control our own destiny.

I don’t think so.

And the Roman soldier who is in charge of this district is our friend.

Wait and see.

(INNKEEPER looks confused.  WIFE exits into Inn.   JOSEPH and MARY enter from stage right.  JOSEPH carries two bags over shoulders.  MARY is at term.  She has hands under abdomen trying to hold it up.  She is weary.  They cross to Inn, look at the sign and each other, and stop)

Shalom, sir.

Shalom.  I’m sorry.  We’re full.  (points to sign) The sign.  That’s why it’s there.


The Man Who Didn’t Need Christmas

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