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A Little Dickens on the Air by Chris McKerracher

A Christmas Carol – Keyano Theatre Company
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A hybrid of a regular play and “Radio Play for the Stage,” this fun to perform Christmas yarn concerns a cast of voice actors doing the Scrooge story in the 1940s who must carry on despite missing half of their cast, or lose their jobs. Lots of room for comedic, pre-planned ‘ad-libs’ to keep things rolling during narration.

Genre: Comedy / Christmas

Acts: Three

Running Time: 90 minutes

Characters: 3 male, 5 female, 1 male or female

  • Buddy Brown: voice actor, nice guy (doubles as Scrooge, Undertaker, and various other characters at director’s discretion)
  • Lance Boyle: voice actor, pompous jerk
  • Betty Carr: ditzy woman in love with Buddy (doubles as Mrs. Cratchit, Mrs. Dilber, and various other characters)
  • Clara Brown: Buddy’s sister (doubles as various characters, once she’s forced to perform)
  • Leslie Turner: Sound engineer, very matter of fact (male or female), unseen by the studio people in a separate booth (doubles as Fred and various other characters)
  • Deborah Taylor: thinks she’s Lance’s girlfriend
  • Mrs. Nettle: cranky station owner
  • Doris Knight: once a big star, feisty (doubles as Bob Cratchit, woman in shop, and various female characters)
  • Ronald Niven: talented drinker with a voice acting problem (doubles as Narrator, Marley, Gentleman, Old Joe, and various other characters). Though hammered, his performance diction must be as perfect as possible. Away from the mic, he should sound less British and more drunkish.

a radio station sound stage in 1940s New York

Set: The set consists of a fairly bare stage with three microphones lined up in front with a sound effects table on one side and the engineer room on the other, separated by a partial wall.

Production/development history: This play was produced by the Calmar Prairie Players at the Calmar Legion (2015), and the by the East of 60 Players in Devon (2017).

1940s New York accents, dress and hairstyles add to the fun of performing this wacky Christmas comedy. The script features fewer lines to memorize than most plays with lots of room for creative silliness. The set is a snap too, as it can range from plain linen-draped walls to an elaborately built studio look.

Royalties: contact Chris McKerracher / 780-985-2267

Playwright Bio: Chris McKerracher is an Alberta-based playwright with many productions to his credit beginning with “Calmar; Zero to 50 in 90 Minutes” which was staged to sell-out audiences in 2005. This play and the playwright were also featured in a segment on CBC News. Since then, Chris has written many other comedies and has acted and directed in most of them. He has written plays for Halloween, Valentines, Christmas and a four play quadrilogy featuring The Crimson Cap Ladies, patterned after the Red Hat Ladies who are dedicated theatre-goers. For more information on the playwright and his plays, please visit

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