Merry Gentlemen — a play inspired by “A Christmas Carol”

Merry Gentlemen — a play inspired by “A Christmas Carol”

by Sheila Rinear

Tired of the same old Christmas Carol? This may be exactly what you are looking for!

(Perfect for Professional, Community, College/University and High School production.)

Merry Gentlemen is a full-length play heavily inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  Ben Dickens lost his wife, Isabelle, in a car crash on Christmas Eve. That was seven years ago. Since then Ben has focused only on his job, forcing his teenage son, Tim, to fend for himself. Isabelle appears to both her husband and son urging them to reach out to each other and mend their relationship…and it needs to happen by this soon-to-arrive Christmas when her Spirit must depart from their sphere for eternity. In this full-length play, Ben and Tim Dickens’ paths mystically cross those of various characters who lead Ben and Tim out of their bleak, estranged lives and into the Spirit of Christmas…with many laughs along the way.



  • 2w, 2m, 2teen girls, 1teen boy, 1voice either m or w
  • ISABELLE: (f) Ben’s wife. She’s an upbeat, loving ghost and Tim’s mother who was killed 7 years ago in a car accident.
    BEN: (m) Tim’s father and Isabelle’s widower. Nerdy, brainy. Emerging from a long depression.
    TIM: (m) 16-year-old son of Ben and Isabelle. A good, bright kid. Physically challenged by a leg that’s undergone several surgeries.
    MS. MARLEY: (f) The dedicated Assistant Principal at Cratchit High School. A retired Marine.
    FRED: (m) Ben’s cousin through some connection. Kind-hearted manager of the local mall.
    FU-CHA: (f) a sassy, hardworking teen of color who is very responsible to her single mom and siblings.
    WIGS: (f) 16 years old. Tim’s best friend who’s been going through chemotherapy but maintains a positive energy as well as a wig collection.
    VOICE FROM ABOVE: can be live or recorded, male or female.
    YOUNG BEN: College-aged BEN, played by BEN
    YOUNG ISABELLE: College-aged ISABELLE, played by ISABELLE
    YOUNG FRED: College-aged FRED, played by FRED
  • Contemporary Costumes
  • Simple or elaborate contemporary settings (can be done with props)
  • About 2 hours
  • ORDER #3210


Merry Gentlemen: A new Christmas classic

by Jenni Morin, “Theatre for Change” Facebook Blog

“One of the most exciting experiences of attending a staged reading is imagining the full production as a director or designer would when they first read a script. It’s a rare opportunity to focus on words, characters and possibilities from inside the artistic process. Rinear’s play is familiar, yet still different, as it touches on tragedy and comedy through a cast of fresh characters. ‘Merry Gentlemen’ would be a welcome addition to the Christmas theatre canon.”

Merry Gentlemen

by Deborah Martin, My San Antonio

“Sheila Rinear’s “Merry Gentlemen” isn’t exactly an update on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” but DNA from the holiday classic is woven throughout… It’s ultimately a story about people doing what they can to help those around them, building to a plan in which Ben, who has taken a job as a mall Santa, decides to act like one and give the kids in the economically depressed neighborhood a good Christmas… It’s an entertaining addition to the holiday theater landscape.”


  • PERUSAL SCRIPT: The PDF of the first act of the script is available: MerryGentlemenPERUSAL
  • A great way to peruse most of Sheila Rinear’s plays published with LBT is to purchase the following PRINT BOOK: FIVE Plays by Sheila Rinear • Playwrights on the Page Series • Book 12 HERE for $13.95. The purchase of this book is for reading/library rights only, no performance rights are connected to the purchase of this book.


Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account), EMAIL us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Before we ship any rehearsal material we will need your performance dates, the name of your organization and the theatre where you will perform.

Email us prior to your order so we have the info to give you a complete quote. EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3210a : $25.00 (will be sent to you by email, from which you will be authorized to print copies for your production)

  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3210d : $95.00


  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3210e : $85.00

  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application
  • Performance License Application: fill in the filler form. No production rights can be granted until this application is filled out and sent to us.


  • PREMIERE: Overtime Theatre, San Antonio, Texas — 2017

  • READING: The Playhouse San Antonio — 2016



The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:
Merry Gentlemen

a play based on the classic Dickens Novella

Sheila Rinear

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play.

Merry Gentlemen” is presented through special arrangement with Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT,”

from the catalog of