The Christmas Truce
The Christmas Truce – Script
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The Christmas Truce

During World War I, at Christmas time in 1914, for a brief moment, the two sides laid down their arms and celebrated Christmas together.

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The Christmas Truce

During World War I, at Christmas time in 1914, for a brief moment, the two sides laid down their arms and celebrated Christmas together.

Author:    Delvyn Case


During World War I, at Christmas time in 1914, for a brief moment, the two sides laid down their arms and celebrated Christmas together. This is a simple play celebrating that event.

The Christmas Truce



A One-Act Play


Delvyn C. Case, Jr.

(This play may be produced without a performance royalty when at least 8 scripts are purchased.)

The Christmas Truce
Copyright ©2010 by Delvyn C. Case, Jr.
All Rights Reserved
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE 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 CHRISTMAS TRUCE 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, dates of production, your seating capacity and the admission fee.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.      
    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.

British Army Private, early 20’s

British Army Captain, late 30’s

British Soldiers  (6)

German Soldiers (7)


Christmas Eve, 1914


British and German trenches in France, World War I


Bare stage except for standing dead tree with several branches at center stage.   In the British trench (below stage right stairs) are rifles, canteens, wrapped Christmas presents with bows, a worn sign with “Merry Christmas” painted on it, and a Bible.  In the German trench (below stage left stairs) are rifles, canteens, small Christmas trees with stands, and candles, greens garland for tree, and worn sign with “You no fight, we no fight” painted on it, paint, and brush.  Binoculars for Private.  Memo on piece of paper and revolver for Captain.  Private, Captain, and British Soldiers wear British army uniforms (World War I), worn long coats, hats/helmets, gloves, and boots.  German Soldiers wear German army uniforms (World War I), worn long coats, hat/helmets, gloves, and boots.  Sandbags around the trenches.  


{As the lights come up, Private is lying on the stage right stairs looking at stage—no one’s land—with binoculars.  Another British Soldier with rifle is lying facing stage on stairs stage right of Private.  The other British Soldiers are sitting at ease below the stage right stairs in the stage right trench.  Rifles are standing up against the stage.  Canteens, wrapped Christmas gifts, and a Bible on the ground in the trench. There is a sign with “Merry Christmas” painted on it on the stage above the stage right trench {stage left of stairs}.  Two German Soldiers with rifles  are lying facing stage on the stage left stairs.  The other German Soldiers are sitting at ease below the stage left stairs in the stage left trench {stage right of stairs}.  Rifles are standing against the stage. Canteens, small Christmas trees with stands, candles, and sign with “You no fight, we no fight” {along with paint and brush} are on the ground}

{spot #1 on British Soldiers}

{spot #2 on German Soldiers}

{SFX of artillery shelling—loud}

{At sound of artillery shelling, other British Soldiers protect
heads with hands, and then grab rifles.  One British Soldier
lies along the other soldier and Private on the stairs.  The other
British Soldiers lean against the edge of the stage and look
cautiously onto stage.  At the sound of the artillery shelling, other
German Soldiers grab rifles.  These soldiers lean against the
edge of the stage and look cautiously onto stage}

{SFX of machine gun burst then rifle shots}

{All soldiers remain alert and attentive during machine gun bursts
and rifle shots}

{SFX of machine gun burst and then rifle shots with 2 second
interval between burst and shots.  Then machine gun burst and
rifle shot with 5 second interval between machine gun burst and
rifle shot.  Then rifle shot 5 seconds later}     

{Stage lights slowly down to dim}      

{The two British Soldiers on the stairs cross to trench
and rest rifles against stage and sit at ease.  The other British
Soldiers rest rifles against stage and sit in trench at ease.  The
other German Soldiers cross to trench, rest rifles against
stage, and sit in trench at ease,  Private remains on stage right
stairs looking through binoculars onto stage.  Captain enters
from stage right aisle and hurriedly crosses to stage right trench.  
As he approaches stage right trench, he crouches down not to get
hit by any rifle fire.  When he reaches Private, he lies on stage
left side of him looking onto stage}

Captain:  Anything, Private?

{Private looks at Captain}

Private:  Nothing, sir.

{Private resumes looking through binoculars}

Captain:  No machine gun bursts.  No rifle fire.  No artillery…{looking up and backing away in fear} or planes.  {harshly} The bloody Krauts…They’re up to something.  {looking around}  Eerie.  Real eerie.   When’d it stop?

{Private looks at Captain}  

Private:  Sunset.

Captain:  How…?

Private:  Everyone stopped shooting.  Not at once.  Gradual. One area of the trenches then another.  Our side then theirs.  Slowly…then still.  All quiet…since then.

Captain:  {shaking head} I’ve seen nothing like this in my career, even since I was transferred to the front.

Private:  How long, Captain?  Since you’ve arrived in France.     

{Private resumes looking through binoculars}

Captain:  Since September.  When the rains came, and came and came… ‘Til tonight.  {holding sides} It’s finally turned cold and the ground’s froze.  Now you can walk in the trenches without sinking into mud.  And the snow starting this afternoon…covering everything.  {looking and pointing to stage} Makes no man’s land… {slowly} {amazed} beautiful.

Private:  Should, sir.

Captain:  Why, soldier?

{Private looks at Captain}

Private:  It’s Christmas Eve.

{Captain turns around facing the audience}

Captain:  Almost forgot out here…{hand up} with the dead, the dying, and…{tapping chest} the rest of us, the ’bout to die.  

{Captain turns back looking at the stage}

Captain {cont’d}: {pointing ahead}  Any sharpshooters on the line?

{Private resumes looking through binoculars}

Private:  Not a one.

Captain:  {with a sigh}  Couldn’t miss ’em.  The Boche monsters are only a hundred yards away along this sector.  {spits in derision}  Swine!

{Captain turns toward audience and takes folded piece of paper from inside coat/shirt}

Captain {cont’d}:  {holding paper up} A communique from the British High Command.

{Private looks at Captain}

Private:  Christmas greetings?

{Captain smirks and opens piece of paper}

Captain:  {reading}  “To all units:  The enemy may be contemplating an attack during Christmas.  Special vigilance will be maintained during this period.”  {waving paper}  {with derision} What else would you expect from their kind?

Private:  {genuinely} Christmas changes everything…everyone, if you let it.

Captain:  {pointing with paper to stage}  Not them…{strongly} Never.  I lost one of my sergeants…my best sergeant this morning.  Got caught on a roll of barbed wire on patrol, ’bout dawn.  Every time he tried to pull away, he got more tangled.  The Jerries spotted him and started firing.  We couldn’t get to him.  He screamed, {with animation} {with arms up as surrender}  “Don’t shoot!  Don’t shoot.” {hands down} {with bitterness} How’d they know what he was saying?  They speak German.  {with animation} “I want to see my wife.  I want to see my kids… one more time.” {shakes head} But they peppered him with…{Captain is tearful and shakes head}.  {sadly} He was still tugging on the barbed wire when he took his last breath.  He was like… family to me.  We served together on a number of campaigns, over…five years.  {with great emotion}  Barbarians!  {with bitterness} All the stuff they write ’bout the Germans in the papers’s true.  {waving off} There’s no hope for them. {tapping Private’s arm with piece of paper} {resolutely} They gotta be destroyed, ’cause they want to destroy us!       

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The Christmas Truce

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