HELI, THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM

A Christmas Play

 

(Based from the original short story by Harrison Woodard)

Adaptation by Rosario E. Dunning with permission from author

 

Read the original story.

 

SCENE 1

 

(A rumbling sound is heard and then we hear (not see) God speaking…as the lights grow brighter. The Angel Gabriel walks on stage…)

GOD: Gabriel, I have to use something really important to announce the coming of my son.

GABRIEL: (Looking towards the light.) Of course you do my Lord, after all He will be King. HUMMMM! Everything you do is big. Let’s see…. In the beginning when you created the heavens and the earth you said, let there be light….

GOD: (Interrupting Gabriel.) In the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, let these lights serve as guides. (Sounding a bit bored.) This is when I made the sun the moon and the stars. (Pause.) That’s it! I will use a star to announce the coming of my SON!

GABRIEL: Those beautiful and precious diamonds in the sky, why didn’t I think of it?

GOD: You would have if I hadn’t interrupted. Gabriel, send a memo! I am requesting a mandatory meeting of all the stars. I want them to appear before me. I will select one for this very important mission.

GABRIEL: (Jumping with excitement.) Oh! I think you should choose Polaris or maybe Vega. No, No, Sirius! Do you know that he can be seen all over the great galaxy?

GOD: This star has to be special. I will know when I see it. Go now and get that memo out.

GABRIEL: Yes, Sir! (As he marches off stage singing “This Little Light Of Mine”.)

 

SCENE 2

 

(In come all the stars, hovering around waiting for God to appear. They are signing in to show God what they can do.)

ALL: (Chanting.) I hope I get it, I really hope I get it, choose me. (Over and over.)

(Tariq one of the largest stars, walks boastful and over confident he looks over at Amanda and mockingly asks her.)

TARIQ: And what are you? A Bic lighter? (Laughing at his own joke.) Surely you aren’t thinking that God would pick you? He wants to announce the coming of a King, not request another song at a concert. (Again, laughing at his own joke.)

(Vega another great star, very conceited, always walking around looking at her self in the mirror.)

VEGA: (Looking at Amanda.) What could you possibly have to offer God? Look at me I am so radiant. I shine so many colors, almost like an Opal. (Looking at herself in the mirror.) Girl, you just better get out of my light. I mean business.

(Amanda, a small and not so bright light. Shy and timid.)

AMANDA: I am here because God has sent for all the stars. Remember the memo? (She pulls out a piece of paper.) We are to do his will, regardless, of what you or I think.

(Tariq and Vega snub Amanda and turn around.)

 

SCENE 3

 

GABRIEL: (With clipboard in hand.) Stars, lets gather around. The Father will be with us any minute. Has everyone signed in?

ALL: Yes, we have (Chanting.) I hope I get it. I really hope I get it.

(All the stars gather together, with Vega, Tariq, Polaris, and Sirius all in front, while Amanda goes to the back of the crowd.)

(Polaris the North Star really big, walking around with a map in hand.)

POLARIS: I really think God should choose me. I am the star that already leads in the right direction.

TARIQ: Oh can it, Polaris.

VEGA: Talk to the mirror, Polaris. I am the one that should be chosen.

(Sirius is a very sarcastic star, he knows that his light is really bright, he likes to pick on people.)

SIRIUS: (Looking bored.) So original, did you think of that all by yourself?

GABRIEL: (Scolding, pointing his finger at them.) You will all behave like adult stars! The Master will do the choosing.

 

SCENE 4

 

(The lights begin to get brighter again as God speaks.)

GOD: That is correct Gabriel, I will make the selection.

(All stars bow and worship God.) (A worship song, lively is sung here.)

GOD: I have gathered all of you here today, for one purpose. I am sending my Son into the world. I will select one of you. The greatest among you will proclaim his birth to the world.

(Plenty of excitement in the throne room, all stars wondering what it would be like to have such an honor.)

(Astra a very intelligent star – walking around with a book.)

ASTRA: The star chosen will go down in history forever. (With a dazed look.) Their name remembered always. What an honor!!

VEGA: Everyone already knows me…but yes, this would be sweet!

SIRIUS: (Bored.) Oh joy, tutti frutti!!

GABRIEL: Counselor, are you ready to begin?

GOD: Let us begin. Whom shall go before me, first?

GABRIEL: My Lord, Tariq. Tariq please proceed.

(Tariq walks to the center, very confident and boastful.)

TARIQ: Lord, top of the day to you. (Does a little dance, 5 counts of 8 choose lively music.) Let me just say Lord, that I give light and heat to 15 planets and 27 moons. I am one of the largest stars in the galaxy. If you choose me, you will be extremely proud. My bright light will illuminate the sky when announcing your Son’s birth. Look no further! (He bows.) Superstar! (Lifts hands in air.)

GOD: Very impressive, very impressive indeed. Next!!

(Tariq moves back looking confused.)

SIRIUS: (Opening his hands.) What happened?

 

SCENE 5

 

GABRIEL: Polaris, please step forward.

POLARIS: (Stretching out his map.) As you see my Lord, I am the where to man. Humans know me as the North Star. I am very popular, if I do say so myself. I have guided many a sailor to their destination and have been a constant light to all travelers. Who would be better prepared to perform such a task as marking the path of the birth of the Savior?

GOD: Well done, Polaris.

POLARIS: Thank you Father! (Turns and struts his stuff back to the circle.)

SIRIUS: (Yawning.) Is the infomercial over yet?

GABRIEL: Vega. (Vega not hearing, looking at herself in the mirror.) Vega! You are up.

VEGA: Oh! Pardon me! I had to get one last glimpse at myself to make sure I was all shined up just for you, my Lord. (Curtsying and smiling.) Lord, who better to announce the coming of the King, than a gem like me. Look at all the colors I can radiate. I will be like a neon sign, exclusively for your Son. I am the best for the best.

GOD: Next!!! Lets move this on!

VEGA: (Bursting into tears.) You won’t regret it if you pick me! (Looking at herself cry in the mirror.)

SIRIUS: Total drama, I’m next!

GABRIEL: (Looking at his clipboard.) Yes you are.

SIRIUS: Lord, begging your pardon, lets cut to the chase. I know that the odds are in my favor. I am one of the brightest stars in the sky. That is, next to the sun and the moon. My light is seen all over the great galaxy. I can’t think of anyone better to serve such a grand purpose. You can count on me. I will announce His coming all over the galaxy and then some.

GOD: Good job. (Sounding frustrated.) Sirius, please go back to the circle. Gabriel, proceed.

SIRIUS: (Bow on one knee with elbow at side.) Aced it! Yeah!

GABRIEL: Astra, it is your turn.

ASTRA: Lord, just knowing that I would be going down in history for the rest of the days, is honor enough. Consider me, I am a very astute star and I would organize a stage of events to brighten the sky for the coming of the King. Maybe I could organize some clusters to float around me…

GOD: Enough! Get back in line. I have heard enough! I will make my decision and let you know tomorrow.

GABRIEL: Uh hum! Excuse me my Lord.

GOD: No, I will see you all tomorrow. You are excused.

GABRIEL: (Whispering.) I was just going to say we were almost finished.

(The light dims again and the stars begin to walk away.)

ALL: (Chanting.) I hope I get it, I really hope I get it.

TARIQ: You see what happens when you’re too pushy. (Looking at Vega.)

VEGA: Oh. (Frustrated) I wasn’t pushy, just confident. He’ll choose me.

SIRIUS: (Half covering his mouth.) Hardly.

GABRIEL: Ummm, Thank you for coming and we will see you all here tomorrow, same time, same place, same heavenly channel. (As he walks of the stage.)

 

SCENE 6

 

(Amanda is still on stage on her knees. Talking to herself.)

AMANDA: Oh well, it is the Lord’s will. Image how beautiful the star will be that shines for the King. (Sings “Silent Night” in Spanish.)

Noche de paz, noche de amor, todos duermen alredor. Bajo los astros que esparzan su luz, biene anuciando al niño Jesus. Brilla la estrella de paz. Brilla la estrella de paz.

Oh night of peace, oh night of love, everyone slumbers all around. Under the rays that shine from his light. Announcing the coming of baby Jesus. Shines the star of light. Shines the star of light.

(The light goes on while Amanda is singing God is listening. Amanda finishes the song.)

AMANDA: I better get back to work. (She stands up and walks off stage.)

GOD: GABRIEL!!!!!

GABRIEL: (Runs in.) Yes, my Lord?

GOD: Who is the star that has just walked off?

GABRIEL: What star?

GOD: The small one.

GABRIEL: Oh, you must be asking about the star with almost no light. Her name is Amanda, she did not get a chance to approach you. I believe you said you had had enough. She does not have much to offer Lord. Oh well, see you tomorrow. (Gabriel walks off, and slowly the light of God dims.)

(No one on stage.)

GOD: I wonder about that?

 

SCENE 7

 

(The next day, all the stars are gathering around and await Gods announcement.)

GABRIEL: Oh, dear me the anticipation is going to give me an ulcer. I hope the Lord chooses someone today all this is just too much for an angel to take in.

(Gabriel again is making all the necessary arrangements. Polaris, Vega, Tariq, Sirius and Astra walk in together and gather in a circle discussing yesterday’s turn of events.)

ALL: (Chanting) I hope I get it, I really hope I get it.

(In comes Amanda.)

VEGA: I can’t believe God just cut us off.

POLARIS: If you hadn’t been so rude. Looking in your mirror every 5 seconds didn’t help. You probably got him upset.

VEGA: Well, I…. (Spotting Amanda.) Girl are you back, He didn’t even want to talk to you yesterday. If I were you I would go back to that cloud that hides you.

(Amanda just stares.)

ASTRA: Oh, leave her alone.

TARIQ: Yeah! She has absolutely no chance whatsoever. Let her stay. This way, there are more people to congratulate me when I am chosen.

(The lights grow bright, All the stars line up and bow and worship God.) (Sing another worship song less lively.)

GOD: Good day, everyone.

GABRIEL: My Lord, have you rested?

GOD: Yes, Gabriel thank you for asking. Stars, I apologize for my abruptness. Now, Gabriel, was there anyone else that I did not speak to.

GABRIEL: (Tapping his head as if thinking.) Ummm! I don’t recall. No I guess not.

ASTRA: My Lord, in all fairness, there is someone else. (Looking at Amanda.)

GOD: And who is that Astra?

AMANDA: Oh! It’s just me Lord, Amanda. (Humbly stepping forward and bowing.)

GOD: What say you, Amanda?

AMANDA: No planets or moons revolve around me and I guide no sailors home. My much larger and brighter brothers and sisters hide my light. But I joyfully do your will to the best of my ability. I am what you say I am. I will be what you say I will be. (Raising her head and returning to the back of the room.)

 

SCENE 8

 

(The room gets really quiet for a few seconds, everyone looks as if they are thinking and making a decision. After a long pause, Astra steps forward.)

ASTRA: Lord, I am not worthy. I cannot be the light that proclaims your Sons birth. Please select another. (Looking rather ashamed she leaves the room.)

(The other stars begin to look at each other and bow their heads and begin to walk out.)

ALL: I didn’t get it, I really didn’t get it. I don’t deserve it.

POLARIS, SIRIUS, and TARIQ: (Speak at the same time.) I too. (They look at each other.)

TARIQ: My Lord we are not worthy for such a great task. Beg your pardon but we too must leave. (They all leave the stage.)

GABRIEL: (Looking around the room.) What’s happening! Well Vega, it looks like you are the only one left.

VEGA: (Begins to cry.) Oh Lord, I want to believe I am worthy. Really I do, but deep down inside I cannot look at myself in the mirror and say I am. Please forgive me but …. (Sobbing loudly she runs off, leaving her mirror behind.)

GABRIEL: Well this is just great! Now what are we going to do? Who are we going to chose now?

GOD: Gabriel, aren’t you forgetting someone?

GABRIEL: (Looking around.) Ummm, I don’t think so. The only person left is Ama… (He smiles and looks towards her.)

AMANDA: (Shock stricken on her face as Gabriel approaches her and steers her to the middle of the room.) Lord!! I don’t understand. Why did they all leave?

GOD: Amanda, they all came forward to announce their own power and ability.

GABRIEL: How boastful and full of pride were they…

GOD: You were the only one that proclaimed faith in my ability. You were the only one that knew that my ability could make even the dullest and smallest star the most radiant of them all. You truly are the greatest star.

AMANDA: Thank you, Lord.

GABRIEL: Star light, Star bright, the first star I see tonight…

GOD: Gabriel.

GABRIEL: Sorry, I was getting caught in the moment.

GOD: Amanda, from now on you will be called Heli. You will proclaim my glory in the night sky for all to see.

AMANDA: I will do everything you say, My Lord.

(The primary stars come out and sing “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”) (Then they all walk out. Gabriel stays behind.)

GABRIEL: Heli took her place in the night sky above Bethlehem. For many months, she was the brightest and most beautiful star the world had ever seen. When her mission was complete, God gave her a very special place of honor in the night sky. On a clear night you can still see her. She is not the biggest or the brightest, but she is still there, faithfully obeying God. She is truly the greatest star.

(The whole casts on stage and sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.)

 

The End

 

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