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Saint Nicolas And Rudy

An enjoyable, happy, captivating, comic, Capsule (Space) of Christmas National Customs. Revealed in a personable, adventurous survey by Santa.

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Saint Nicolas And Rudy

An enjoyable, happy, captivating, comic, Capsule (Space) of Christmas National Customs. Revealed in a personable, adventurous survey by God’s favorite messengers; St. Nicolas and Rudy. It’s Fun! Merry! & Flex-cast-able!


Author:    Nick Conti

Synopsis:

All aboard with your flex casts! Join St. Nicolas & Rudy (his helper), on their Red (space) Capsule in their happy adventures and dangerous encounters. As they carry on a God-ordained survey of National Christmas Customs throughout the world. The sampling will ensure that people keep Christ in Christmas and not forget its true meaning. You’ll see greed, and be overjoyed at the generosity of others as they celebrate and share with us how they celebrate Christmas with their families in their homes & lands. If you didn’t come in with the true meaning of Christmas spirit you’re bound to go home with it!

Saint Nicolas And Rudy

St. Nicolas & Rudy 

BY

Nicholas Conti


 Copyright 2003

by Nicholas Conti

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that ST. & RUDY 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 ST. & RUDY 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.


          St. Nicolas & Rudy

Cast 

A FLEX Cast  plays all the rolls by quick changes of costume.  Warm climate: summer wear & strawhats etc., cool climates: Heavy winter clothing & hats/scarves etc. Overdress; along with wigs/beards. Dialects and personality of the peoples in a country can be enacted or done straight.  Can be inter-racial. The cast can be expanded into an all grade performance. [A separate cast for each country. Adults; or younger people playing adults (which is fun), can play multiple parts or individual roles for each country. (Can do multiple fathers/mothers, children with topical costume change), depending on your talent pool.  St. Nicolas & Rudy remain the same throughout for continuity.]         

St. Nicolas:     A jovial man, with an even disposition, Godly, benevolent.  Wears a long dark robe, a furry Russian hat, with a colorful sash, dark pants, black boots,  red cheeks, long white beard and hair. AGELESS. 

Rudy:  Pleasant but more businesslike than St. Nicolas, benevolent, religious, work-a-Holic. I see him bent from heavy lifting; can be jovial at times. AGELESS

 

 Italy—Dressed for warm clime! 

Giovanni:       Italian father of  Tonio & Maria and husband to Mamma. a gentle, religious man, good husband & father. Intelligent, hard working living in Sorrento. 30-50’S.

Mamma:        Tonio & Maria’s mother and Giovanni’s wife. Religious, loving mother.  30’S-50’S. 

Maria: Daughter of Giovanni and Mamma & sister to Tonio. Youngest, bright, pleasant, and religious. 7-12.

Tonio:  Oldest son, friendly, smart, religious and loving. 13-17.

 Sweden—Dressed for cold clime.

 Papa:  Friendly, good father to Olaf & Olga, husband to Mama.  Good spirited, religious, loving.  35-50’s.

Mama: Friendly, religious, Olaf & Olga’s mom, wife to Papa.  35-50’s

  

Olaf:    Oldest son, friendly, religious.  13-17.

 

Spain—Dressed for a warmer clime!

Don:     Father cynical, mistrusting paranoid, delusional, mercenary, selfish. Has a Don Quixote fixation. Father of Sancho, Pedro, & Carmen.  Husband to Dulcinea. Not religious. 35-50’s

Dulcinea:        Wife to Don; mother to Sancho, Pedro & Carmen …Exceptionally avaricious, selfish, attractive, gaudy makeup & jewelry, sexy, vane, conniving. Not  religious. 35-50’s.

Sancho:Oldest boy, cynical and mean at first but softens. Basically religious, 13-17.

Pedro:  The Youngest, all loving, unselfish, religious. 7-10.

Carmen:         Middle daughter, selfish, mean, then softens. Basically religious. 11-12.

   

England—Dressed for cold climate!

      

Grandpa:       To Harry, Harriet, & Halcyon…Husband to Agnes… Fine, good hearted, religious, excellent man. 50’s & up.     

Agnes: Grandma to the kids, wife to Grandpa, a fine, loving, nice lady,  religious.  50’s & up.

Harry: Oldest boy, good-natured, loving and religious. 13-17.

Harriet:          Middle child, happy, religious, loving. 10-12.

Halcyon:        Youngest, brightest, sassy, loving, religious & good-natured. 6-9.

France—Dressed for cold clime! 

Monique:        Mother [Maman] to Jacques & Catherine. Sweet, loving, single mom.  Poor, does everything she can for her kids including sewing which she does to pay the rent. Very religious. 35-50’s.

Jaques:Oldest smart, religious, good son and brother. Happy & good-

  natured. 13-17,

Catherine:      Younger sister, religious, happy, pleasant child. 7-12.   “St. Nicolas & Rudy”  BY  Nicholas Conti


          Time:   Almost—Christmas the present.


Scene:  The Capsule is down stage right. Flush to Mid-Stage left is Everyman’s Home for different countries with a single doorless entry for easy entrances & exits. Between the two is an easel [stand] with a large changeable sign and large lettering so the audience can clearly see the countries and underneath the Christmas greeting of that country—underneath that; Merry Christmas. The Christmas Greeting gets quickly changed  for each of the five countries. The actors make simple costume changes add a coat, jacket, vest, hat, scarf or over-dress; that gives an impression of that country—There are easy, quick changes, throughout.


At Rise:

The Capsule is discovered on stage, heralded by lighting effects, fog and travel sounds [ a mix of mechanical, wind & sleigh bells] And agitation provided by St. Nicolas & Rudy his helper  with hand grips inside to agitate it giving it an appearance of movement on its arrival in the country of choice.  Suddenly the lights come up and St. Nicolas & Rudy magically appear stepping out of The Capsule—Sign reads: EARTH…St. Nicolas talks about their special Mission.    Earth:  Scene ONE

St. Nicolas: Phew! [Dusts himself & woozy] that was a lightening  fast  flight through the heavens.  [Breathlessly] I still can’t catch my breath…Suddenly God comes up with this idea to take this Survey.  And Pow! Here we are sent to check out a bunch of Christmas customs just to make sure people haven’t lost sight of  the true meaning of Christmas. About His birth and his mother Mary, and  Joseph and all. Whew! [Does things to keep warm.] The earth sure hasn’t gotten any warmer this time-a-year Rudy!  I’d swear you landed in Alaska…Might surprise you…  Never did take kindly to the cold. You’re better at the cold than I am besides we’re both outa shape bein up there with The Almighty. A fella gets too soft you know.  I guess I really used to enjoy my work, because it’s just too sedentary up there. Even the reindeer have been complainin’ about there bein nothin’ to do and all.  They keep saying—boring! Just like kids do—I’m kinda glad he sent us down here to see how things really are; how they’re celebratin’ Christmas. You know sumpin’… I miss not goin’ round on Christmas Eve and leavin’ gifts for the people specially’ those without the means to buy much.     

Rudy: [Dusts himself off, squinting  from the journey.]  Yeah! you’re right, cold never bothered me much Father Nicolas. And ya know sumpin’ I’m glad He assigned us to this job but I’m like you, terribly outa shape.  Can’t  seem to catch my breath. [Facetiously, jokingly.] But outside of the hardship of the cold, lack-a-food and no warm house to stay in—We could really enjoy this Christmas Survey. This fella they got for the job now, he’s good, but too modern—wears an earring, listens to jingle bell rock: [briefly mimics him singing and with movement]  Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock!…But I guess He needed to modernize from that version of your old self—No offense intended, cause I liked the old ways best myself. So he was given the latest.  What with a rocket powered sleigh and them fiberglass reindeer for show and sportin’. It was the very best design Detroit could come up with.

St. Nicolas:  Runs pretty quiet I hear but not as quiet as our old mule and later the  reindeer. And as to all that negative stuff you’re spoutin’ Rudy you’re forgettin’ the Lord will be taking good care of us this trip. And I think you might better call me Nick, cause number one: you’re olderin’ me, and number two it just seems kinda strange a grown up man callin’ another grown man Father Nick all the time. Especially since I’m not your Father besides I always liked Nick, or St. Nick suits me fine.  And did ya ever know God not to provide for us; and make it possible for us to be giving away gifts aplenty—specially this time a year. At least we have The Capsule which will take us anywhere in no time at all and the Lord will provide; remember the Lord always provides!

Rudy: Well  Father…I mean er!  Nick, I have difficulty callin’ you that  since we changed our address and we’re now living in the Penthouse.  [Points up.]     

St. Nicolas: You know people down here are gonna get the wrong idea, thinkin’ since we passed on that we’re livin’a life of luxury.

Rudy: Guess you’re right…er… Nick. What’s our plan now that we’re here?

St. Nicolas: You heard Him. He wants us to get out there in The Capsule  as soon as possible so’s we can make any necessary suggestions as to   changes in the way    people celebrate Christmas and its customs.. 

Rudy:  Kinda thinkin we’re barkin’ up the wrong Christmas  tree.  How   ya gonna change customs after all these years? I mean that’s what   customs are; sumpin’s been around for years.  

St. Nicolas: God is God! He can do anything He needs to or wants to!

Rudy: Yeah Nick, but change customs?—-Gotta be real hard!  

St. Nicolas:  I think our approach should be one of boldness, but caution at the same time. Visit the countries, ask  questions about local customs then bring it up with the Lord, if need be.   If  He’s happy we’re happy and the people are happy too; we hope.

Rudy: Let’s give The Capsule a go! It got us to earth now let’s see if  it‘s gonna take us where we need to go.

St. Nicolas: You can’t be flip about questioning the almighty like that!  I mean the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away and if he chooses to, he  could also at the snap of one of his billions of fingers totally do away with  man’s customs of Christmas.     Rudy: Alright then so let’s give this another go.  Where shall we go first?

  Italy:  Scene TWO   

St. Nicolas:  How about Sorrento Italy. I love it there—It’s warmer than  here that’s for sure! Follow me Rudy and lets kick off this adventure!  [They go into The Capsule, labeled St. Nick & Rudy—Lights flash, fog,  sound effects, it agitates. Then they emerge.] Let’s see where we wound up?

 [As they step out; the sun shines brightly.  Sign reads: top, Italy—middle,  Buono Natale— and bottom, Merry Christmas.]

Family:  [In front of their house, S.L., see & hear the Capsule and greet  Nick & Rudy with  sounds of  laughter, singing and talking..]  Buona Natale! Buono Natale!

Nick and Rudy: [Getting into the spirit1] Buono Natale! Buono Natale!  Merry Christmas!

Giovanni: [The Father of the family speaks up.]  And just where did you come from? You  just fall out of the sky just like-a-that? Its Christmas eve and we were just on our way to the market and Bravissimo! You appear as if by magic and dressed like you stepped out of a play in this dark long robe from  another century!

Maria: It could be Santo Nicola, Papa he has the look—The white beardthe hair and he’s friendly and he has a helper with him dressed in bright  red with a sack on his back.

 

Mamma:  No mio caro Santo Nicola always has on a bright red suit  and is accompanied by tiny elves and reindeer.   

Tonio:  I think it’s him Mamma. I can tell.  Kids, can always tell!

Giovanni: All of a sudden! [Hand gesture.]  What makes you so smart?

Tonio:  Mamma mia!…He just all of a sudden appears in a big red Capsule.   And his helper has the sack over his shoulder—And I’ll bet he has gifts for  everyone in there besides!

Maria:  Do you have gifts for us in there Santo Nicola?    

Mamma:  Where are your manners?  Let the man go on his way!

St. Nicolas:  Children can always spot me. One time I dressed as a  chimney sweep and they still knew me.

Giovanni:  I suppose you expect me to believe that you’re him?

Rudy:  Nah! I can tell you from personal experience if you don’t believe

 in him he won’t be him….Does that make sense?     

Mamma:  It’s all in your belief [hand gestures.] Just like your faith,  it’s a feeling, a belief !

Giovanni:  And children have these feelings—naturally?   

St. Nicolas:  It’s a kind of sixth sense where they can feel it—Grown ups,

 at least some of  them, don’t have that magic.

Tonio:  Yes I feel it too sir and I just know it’s you, or you are him…

 Santo Nicola do you have gifts for us in there?  Not that—that’s all I want.

 I like just having you here—Si! Yes I do!  

St. Nicolas:  Let me ask you Tonio what you’ve done to deserve a gift?

Maria: Our parents always tell us nothing for nothing that we should  do good and be good to get rewards.

        

St. Nicolas:  Except you should be humble about it and not be going all

 over bragging about your charity!  But they’re right on track with that.  Now tell me! Because I’m strange to your customs how do you celebrate  here in Italy?      

Tonio:  [The oldest of the children.] Please Santo Nicola, er…St. Nicolas

 you  know  everything about how we celebrate—That’s your job my  father always said.       

Giovanni: You have such a big mouth for one so young but yes I have  said that—-Isn’t it true Santo Nicola?

St. Nicolas: Well yes I know a lot about customs but then sometimes  it’s hard to keep all the details right—Isn’t that right Rudy?

Rudy:  That’s a fact! My memory’s pretty good—It’s my job to keep  the gifts organized and even I forget things specially’as I get older. That’s  why they had to replace us when our time was up—with a more modern,  St. Nicolas or as you seem to know him down here Santa he even has his  own lap top to keep up with all the deliveries he has to make.

St. Nicolas: Can you tell us now what does Christmas mean to you?  And what do you do to prepare for it?

Giovanni:  We go to the church [gestures] on Christmas Eve—

 to the midnight mass.

Maria:  And it’s up to me to put up the Nativita or how you say it,  the Nativity, which is very, very old.

Mamma:  It was my grandparent’s and all hand carved.

Giovanni: Come si bello!  It’s beautiful! such patience her grandfather  showed in carving it.

Rudy:  Do you enjoy putting up a Christmas tree?

Giovanni:  Oh you bet! That’s my job after all it’s an old Roman custom

[aside] actually they say, a pagan ritual but don’t tell anybody!

Rudy:  Yes I know. And the great food;  tell me about the fantastic

 meals you have!  You Italians are known for your great feasts.

Mamma:  Si what a feast! We start with the antipasto then we have the

zuppa you know soup, with the little meatballs. Then there’s pasta,  sausage and meatballs and chicken cacciatore. Then the salad—then last  but not least is the desert.

Tonio:  And what deserts! [Kisses his hand at the thought of it.] Italian  cakes: Panetone, Pandoro, and Torrone…Uhm with nuts, honey and  plenty of sugar and demitasse to wash it down. We children have the soft  drinks.  I can’t wait!

Maria:  Neither can I …I love the Torrone especially.  And do you know  I have the most important job of all. I have to put the baby Jesus in His crib!

Giovanni:  Si! It’s an honor for the youngest child to do that. I was the

 youngest and for a long time, growing up, the honor fell to me.         

Tonio:  Me—I like Christmas Eve the best, because right before the  midnight mass we open up our gifts.  [Sings] la la la,la, la! [and dances

 all excited.]

Maria:  Then we have another chance to get gifts not like in America!   

Tonio: Gifts that satisfy our sweet tooth; candies and chocolate on the eve

 of the Epiphany and brought to us by a witch called the “Befana.” A  spoooooky lady that rides a broomstick.

Maria: One year he got coal because he was bad!

Tonio:  So did you.

Maria:  But Mamma said you put the coal there and she yelled at you—

 Don’t pretend you don’t remember!  See what kind of a brother I have

 Santo Nicola! [Laughs.] Ha,ha.ha—He’s a clown  but we love him and

 we have a lots of fun!  

Mamma: Before you know it; we are having such a good time right away  comes January sixth— the Epiphany—the end of our Christmas; the feast  of the Magi when the three King’s visit the infant Jesus. [Exuberantly!] Si!  We love all these celebrations! We enjoy God’s love! We salute Him and we have a good time while we’re at it!  [She grabs Giovanni’s arm and  they both do a quickie dance & sing a little tarantella to la, la!]        

St. Nicolas:  Well it seems as if you enjoy the holiday as good religious people should and  the festivities and food and all that goes with it.  So I’m  sure God is pleased with you. But now Rudy and I have more visits to make and must be on our way but before we go; reach into the bag and pick out  a gift! Tonio and Maria come on now I  know how kids are—I was  actually one once.

Tonio:  [Rushes the bag but then in the spirit of Christmas steps back and  lets the others go before him.] But Santo Nicola how do we know which  is ours to take?   

St. Nicolas:  It’s all ordained by a higher power you’ll see!

Maria: [Reaches in,] It’s an infant doll in babies clothes and it has my name on the tag…How did you know?. It’s so beautiful and here’s a  small crib. How nice now we can put the doll in the crib.

Tonio: [Reaches in ] Look a donkey; believe it or not I always wanted  a hand made donkey—my favorite. We can start a crib outside now just what I always wanted!      

Maria:  It even looks like you …It has your ears!…Ha,ha, ha.

 [She runs behind her Mamma for protection.]

  

All:  [Laugh, the jokes on Tonio.] A donkey! Ha. Ha, ha…

      

Giovanni:  [He reaches in] its Joseph…I knew it had to be Joseph! A hard  working father and carpenter just-a-like me…He can join the others in the    nativity scene…It’s up to you Mamma to bring out Mary.

Mamma:  Of course she’s last! It’s not easy giving birth to the future savior of the earth. [Reaches in and behold.]  How beautiful, a statue of  Mary, how beautiful. Thank you so much gratia! I’m so lucky! Santo Nicola.

All: Gratia! Thank you so much for the nice gifts. Buona Natale! Buona Natale!

 Rudy:  What a beautiful family and Merry Christmas! I love you all!

St. Nicolas:  And now things are so good here, no use to ask God anything. He’s got enough on his mind. You know He’s pleased…So we must be on our way and visit another country today. Goodbye everyone [They rush him and give him and Rudy a hug.  Both head to The Capsule, step in, it quakes, travel noises, lights flash, fog, and in a few beats step out into Sweden! ]  [Sign has to be set up quickly, it says Sweden, God Jul, and Merry Christmas.]  

Sweden:  Scene THREE   

St. Nicolas: [Steps out of the Capsule, shivering.] Brewhrrr! Rudy the sign clearly says Sweden! Here we go with the cold again. I thought you set The Capsule for Spain; some place a little warmer?

Rudy:  I thought I did Nick but I must have miscalculated with  The Capsule setting. And  here we are in Sweden—brewhrrr is right!  Sorry musta been my excitement..

St. Nicolas:  Well I like the way they celebrate here, very religious, with interesting customs so…I’ll just have to shiver my way through.

Olga & Olaf:  [They are just coming out of the house and immediately

 greet Santa & Rudy.]  Hello! Hello!

Olaf:  [If using one cast the Italian Family has quickly changed from their Italian outfits into bright Swedish sweaters/vests/colorful ski caps etc.] [Shouts to his mother & father in the house.] Look Mama and Papa! We have strangers amongst us perhaps they come from the Reindeer country  from Lapland. One is carrying a great big bag and is all dressed in Red and  is funny looking. The other looks like he could be Santa Clause or his  brother, ha ha ha.

Papa:  [Rushes out.]  What is all the racket. Well hello who have we here?  We left the gate open and look who flew in from the ice country!  Whom  do I have  the pleasure of meeting?         

St. Nicolas:  I’m Nicolas and this is my side kick and man Friday, Rudy and we’ve been given this job to do by God. He wanted us to go around  and do a Survey of how people celebrate Christmas in different countries  of the world and that’s it in a nut shell!

Papa:  No less than God Himself? And why should I believe you? How  do I know you’re not some thief?…Besides God knows everything;  so He should have no trouble what with Satellites and all to figure things  out for Himself.      [Lights flash suddenly and we hear the wind!]

God’s Voiceover:  Get with the program Papa!

Papa: [Shields his face from the effects.]  I’m …I’m sorry!…I didn’t know [looks up] God.  I beg your pardon Nicolas or is it Saint Nicolas?

St. Nicolas: Either is fine with me.

Rudy:  And to answer your doubts God likes first hand information, likes  to go right to the source, so to speak. All right then let’s get down to cases. So anything, any bit of Christmas custom you and your family care to share  with us we’ll share later with God. Get His opinion and other than that…

St. Nicolas:  We make a mental note about your customs accept them  wholeheartedly and go on our way, as simple as that. Unless there’s a

 problem an, un-Godliness.  

Mama:  [Joins them outside.] Well now—no one says anything? We  have guests and nobody tells me anything  did you at least offer them something to drink, a cookie or something…nothing?….

 [She is about to go in and do so and…]

St. Nicolas:  Please don’t bother but thanks. And if you don’t mind I’ll  call you Mama too…We’re here to talk about the wonderful customs you  have in Sweden for Christmas…And just want to hear from you on how   you celebrate.  

Papa:  Then first I shall wish you God Jul!  That’s how we say it and Iwant you to know we start very early.

 Mama:  And take our sweet time, you see we celebrate for almost   two months.

 Papa:  We begin with Advent and each Sunday before Christmas a candle  is lit on our Advent wreath made from a stick decorated with white lichen  and red berries.

Olga: And wow! I really enjoy St. Lucia’s Day on December 13th. When  I get to wear a  white robe and a wreath on my head with  7 candles. I feel just like a Queen!  

Olaf: This is the part I like best after she dresses up like that, she serves  the family St. Lucia buns called Lussaekatter and coffee; Al, right in our beds!  

Rudy:  I would like that custom too but I probably would stay in bed  all day then.

Papa: Don’t worry we wouldn’t let you we are too busy for that.   Too many chores!

Mama:  And oh!  Do we have a wonderful time when the young girls  portray Lucia.

Olaf:  And  the Terns, [boys] are the Starboys, another words  Jultomten’s helpers or can even be Ginger Cookie Characters. Ha! I’mglad I outgrew that stuff. I got tired of  being a Star all the time—No!  Now I like making things for Christmas…Olga and I make ornaments  out of straw it’s a great  tradition and we have loads of fun

Saint Nicolas And Rudy

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