I wrote this 20 minute play for my youth group to perform at Christmas last year. I think it turned out pretty good! I ended up playing Nick myself. Let me know what you think.
NO ROOM AT THE INN by Brad Williamson
Nick – The Innkeeper Sam – Stable Attendant (valet)
Sarah – Innkeeper’s wife Madge – Maid
Buddy – Bell Boy Flo – Maid
NICK: Alright! Everyone line up for inspection!
All line up. Sam, Madge, Flo, Buddy, then Sarah.
NICK: Sam, straighten out that jacket! You are the most important team member here at The Chez Bethlehem! You are the first face the customer sees when they pull up to the door. You greet them with a smile, then politely pull their horse around to the stable.
SAM: (Straitening jacket) Yes, sir! Sorry, sir! But what if…
NICK: Well? Come on spit it out! We don’t have time for nervous questions!
SAM: What if they have a donkey instead of a horse?
NICK: Sam, this is the Chez Bethlem! Not the Motel V-I!
SARAH: How cute! You’ve been practicing your numerals so you can impress the Roman customers!
NICK: Sarah, I don’t want to hear that kind of insubordination from my staff!
SARAH: I’m not your staff, Nick. I’m your wife.
NICK: I don’t appreciate your sarcasm.
SARAH: Well, I don’t appreciate your snoring.
SARAH: Sorry. You were saying about the donkeys…
NICK: Right, back to Sam’s question. Sam, we cater to some of the best clientele that greater Jerusalem has to offer. They will likely not be on donkeys. We may even see a few camels! If you do happen to get a donkey, just put it in the back end of the stable.
SAM: Of course, sir. Whatever you say.
NICK: Now, head off to your post. The guests will start showing up any minute.
SAM: Yes, sir.
NICK: Madge, Flo, you can expect a crowded house tonight. The reservation book is completely full because of this census. That means extra soaps, extra shampoos, and an extra big mess tomorrow.
MADGE: Oh you can count us, sir.
FLO: That’s right, we won’t let you down.
MADGE: We’ll keep this place spic and span.
FLO: Cleaner than the Motel V-I.
MADGE: Cleaner than a mop factory.
FLO: Cleaner than the Jewish temple!
MADGE: Cleaner than Herod’s palace!
FLO: Cleaner than…
NICK: Enough! I get it!
MADGE: I win! (Sticks tongue out at Flo)
SARAH: I’m still confused. How clean will it be?
FLO: (quickly) Cleaner than Ceasar’s bathroom. (Sticks tongue out at Madge)
NICK: And finally, we come to you Buddy.
BUDDY: Oh boy! I’m ready!
NICK: You need to be standing by to help with the luggage.
BUDDY: You got it! Say the word and I’ll come running!
NICK: Any bags at all. All night long.
BUDDY: Sure! I’m ready for anything! Suitcases, sleeping bags, pillows, anything!
SARAH: I can’t tell if he’s excited or not.
Offstage a bell dings.
NICK: Our first customer! I’ll take care of this personally! Come on, Buddy.
Nick and Buddy exit.
MADGE: (Mimicking Nick) “That means extra soaps, extra shampoos, and an extra big mess tomorrow!”
FLO: Oh you do that so well, Madge!
MADGE: (Mimicking Nick) “I’ll take care of this personally!”
Flo realizes that Sarah is watching them.
MADGE: Oh, sorry Sarah.
SARAH: Why are you sorry? I have to live with him. (Mimicking Nick) “And I want extra potatoes, extra lamb, and an extra glass of water with dinner!”
FLO: All this census means to me is extra work!
MADGE: And extra complaining!
FLO: You said it, Madge. It’s like we’re here just to give the guests someone to yell at.
MADGE: If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people that complain. Always going on about how upset they are that their sheets are crooked, or there’s no more orange juice, or that we have a bad attitude.
FLO: Who needs ‘em!
MADGE: You said it!
FLO: And then they need maid service at all hours of the night!
MADGE: You remember that time you took all the “Maid Service Requested” door hangers and hid them?
FLO: Haha. Oh sure! That was after the night I found the green sludge running down the walls.
MADGE: Ugh! Don’t remind me! What was that anyway?
FLO: I don’t know and I don’t wanna know!
BUDDY: Hey guys! Nick needs you to go clean up room 104. Someone brought a sheep into their room so they could make a wool blanket.
MADGE: That figures.
FLO: Let’s go. Duty calls.
Madge and Flo exit.
BUDDY: Man! They get all the fun jobs!
SAM: Buddy! There you are! I need your help.
BUDDY: Want me to help move some horses to the stable?
SAM: Not quite.
BUDDY: Is it a camel? You want me to help with a camel!?
SAM: No, you were closer with the horse…
BUDDY: Well, what is it? What do you need me to do?
SAM: A horse made a mess in front of the door. Grab your shovel.
BUDDY: Aw man!
Sam and Buddy exit. Nick enters.
NICK: Sarah!! Sarah!!
SARAH: What’s all the yelling about? We’re trying to run a respectable inn here!
NICK: I’m full!
SARAH: Full? I haven’t even made dinner yet.
NICK: The inn. It’s totally full! No more rooms! Completely booked up!
SARAH: So, are any rooms empty?
NICK: Nope nope nope! They just kept coming and coming and now…
NICK: Totally full!!!
SARAH: That really filled up quick.
NICK: You have to love a mandatory census!
SARAH: At first it seemed like a bad idea, but now it makes… census!
SAM: Excuse me, sir. But there’s another young couple here. And they’re on a donkey.
NICK: I’ll take care of this. We don’t have any more room for this donkey couple.
SAM: It looked like they were lucky to have the donkey. The young lady was pregnant.
SARAH: Really? That can’t be fun to travel that way.
SAM: Not at all. A she looked really pregnant.
SARAH: How pregnant is really pregnant?
SAM: Like she’s eaten too many fig pies.
SARAH: You mean he’s about to go toss a woman out into the street who could give birth at any minute?
SAM: Well, I’m not sure where he’s gonna toss em, Miss.
SARAH: NICK! GET IN HERE!
NICK: What!? Aren’t you the one that told me to keep my voice down a minute ago?
SARAH: Yes. Now I’m the one telling you to give that young couple a place to sleep.
NICK: Sarah, I can’t do that.
SARAH: You haven’t already sent them away have you?
NICK: Not yet. They’ve been giving me a sob story about how every hotel in town is full.
SARAH: Well, then why don’t you find them a place to sleep?
NICK: Because our hotel is full!
SARAH: We can’t just send them out into the cold. She could be a mother at any minute.
NICK: And just where do you suggest we put them? There’s nowhere in town for that donkey couple to sleep!
SARAH: Well, right now they have a better chance of having a bed to sleep in tonight than you do!
SAM: Excuse me sir, there’s a bit more room in the back end of the stable. That’s where I was gonna put their donkey anyway.
SARAH: That’s not the best, but it’s gonna have to do.
NICK: Fine, I’ll go tell them they can sleep in the stable. What’s the going rate for one night in a stable?
SARAH: Oh no you don’t. You’re not going to charge them one coin…
NICK: But, Sarah!
SARAH: In fact, I’ll take care of them myself.
Sam makes several nervous glances and awkward smiles at Nick for a few moments, not knowing what to say. Finally…
BUDDY: The mess is all cleaned up!
SAM: Thanks, Buddy.
BUDDY: Did you see that pregnant lady checking in? She’s HUGE!
NICK: (Grumpy) Yes. We saw her.
SARAH: Okay, they’re all ready. Sam, will you show them to the stable please.
SAM: Yes, ma’am.
NICK: So, you’re just going to let them stay in the stable? For free.
SARAH: It’s only right, Nick. They’re such a sweet couple. Mary and… Joseph I think he said. Down here from Nazareth.
BUDDY: Wow! Nazareth? I’ve always wanted to go there!
NICK: You’ve always wanted to go anywhere!
BUDDY: Gosh. I’d like to go there too!
SARAH: Well, if you ever go, just don’t travel while you’re pregnant.
NICK: She’s not actually going to have the baby tonight is she?
SARAH: I’m sure you don’t have anything to worry about, Nick. She’s probably a few days from going into labor.
Sam enters quickly.
SAM: That lady just went into labor!!
SARAH: Of course, I could be off by a day or two.
NICK: Well, come on. You stay here and keep an eye on the front desk, Buddy.
BUDDY: Really! You mean it!? You can count on me, sir!
NICK: Wait, maybe I should do it myself…
SARAH: He’ll be fine. Come on!
Nick, Sarah and Sam exit.
BUDDY: Welcome to the Chez Bethlehem! No…Welcome to the Chez Bethlehem. That’s not it… Welcome to the Chez Bethlehem! Grr… Welcome to the…
Madge and Flo enter, talking.
FLO: …So I said to him, “I’m the maid, not your mother!”
MADGE: You didn’t!
FLO: I really did. And for the rest of his stay, all of his dirty clothes stayed in his suitcase!
MADGE: Well, I don’t blame you one bit!
FLO: Hey, Buddy. Where’s the boss?
BUDDY: I’m the boss! Nick left me in charge while he went to deal with something.
MADGE: No, really. Where is he?
BUDDY: Seriously! He’s out in the stable. There’s a lady out there having a baby!
MADGE: Having a baby do what?
BUDDY: No, she’s really giving birth to a baby!
FLO: Wow! Sarah’s out there too?
FLO: Do you realize what this means?
FLO: Break time!
MADGE: You said it, sister!
Madge and Flo sit down. Flo shuts her eyes.
BUDDY: Come on guys! You can’t be resting, how would this look if Nick came in right now?
FLO: I couldn’t tell you. My eyes are closed.
BUDDY: Aww. Come on.
MADGE: Tell you what, Buddy. I’ll go sit over by the window and keep my eye out for him.
BUDDY: Aw, man. Okay.
Madge moves to the window.
MADGE: Well, would you look at that! Flo, Buddy, come see this!
FLO: Ugh! All the way over there?
MADGE: Just come here!
Flo and Buddy go to the window.
BUDDY: Wow! That’s the brightest star I’ve ever seen!
MADGE: Isn’t it?
FLO: It looks like it’s almost right above us!
MADGE: More like it’s above the stable.
FLO: Wow! A star that bright and beautiful… makes it really hard to sleep. I’m going back to my chair.
Flo sits down again.
MADGE: I don’t know. There’s something about it. It’s almost like it’s pointing to something.
BUDDY: Like it’s pointing people toward my hotel!
Nick, Sarah and Sam enter.
NICK: Whose hotel, Buddy?
Flo jumps up at the sound of Nick’s voice.
FLO: Yep. That chair will work just fine if we have to put it into one of the rooms. Just testing it out for you, sir.
NICK: Mm hmm. And what are you two staring at out the window?
FLO: It’s obviously not to see if you were coming from the stable.
BUDDY: Come see this amazing star!
Nick, Sarah and Sam go to the window.
SAM: Wow! That’s beautiful! And right over the stable!
NICK: Like it’s pointing people toward my hotel.
SARAH: I think it’s celebrating the birth of the new baby.
MADGE: Oh there really was a baby? What was it? A boy or a girl?
SARAH: It was a boy. They named him Jesus.
MADGE: Awww. How sweet!
SAM: He really is! I helped them set up a manger to use for a crib and she let me hold him as I put him in it.
Nick points out the window.
NICK: What is that bright light?
SARAH: We’ve already established that it’s a star, Nick. (Pointing around the room) And that’s a chair, and a window, and…
NICK: Not that bright light. Over there, toward the fields.
SARAH: Oh. That is different… A really big candle?
BUDDY: Do you hear singing?
SAM: I do!
MADGE: I do too!
FLO: It’s probably that guy in 103. We could hear him singing while we were cleaning up the sheep wool.
SARAH: No, this is a whole choir of voices.
NICK: And it’s coming from out there by that light.
SAM: Is there a choir rehearsing out in the field?
MADGE: Maybe the sheep are singing!
SARAH: No, this sounds more like Latin than Mutton.
FLO: Well, what are they singing?
MADGE: It sounds like “Gloria”.
MADGE: Well, more like “Gloooooooooooooooooooooria”
FLO: So, Gloria.
MADGE: Yep, “Gloria in excelsis Deo”
SAM: What does that mean?
BUDDY: “Glory to God on high.”
All look at Buddy astonished.
BUDDY: What!? So, I know a little Latin.
MADGE: Why would sheep be singing glory to God?
NICK: It’s not the sheep! But it is something… Or it was anyway. It’s stopped now.
All but Sam walk away from the window.
BUDDY: It sounded like a choir of angels!
NICK: Don’t be ridiculous, Buddy. That’s one thing it definitely was not!
SARAH: Could it have been the shepherds?
NICK: I don’t think even a hundred of them could have sung that loud. Or that well.
SAM: Maybe we could ask them.
SARAH: What do you mean?
SAM: The shepherds. There’s a bunch of them coming this way from the fields.
FLO: If I saw a strange light and heard voices singing over my head, I’d run away too.
SAM: They don’t seem to be panicked. In fact they look like they’re headed for the inn.
BUDDY: Maybe they want a room?
SAM: No, they’re going… to the stable!
SARAH: The stable?
SAM: Yep. They’re all going into the stable.
NICK: Oh no! We’re not going to have more people sleeping in our stable. A couple with a new baby is one thing. But no shepherds! Come with me, Sam.
SAM: Yes, sir.
NICK: You stay here and keep an eye on the front desk, Sarah.
BUDDY: (Sad) Awwww.
Nick and Sam exit.
SARAH: I wish we had a present we could bring to the baby.
MADGE: How about the bell from the front desk? Kids love bells!
SARAH: We’ll probably be needing that in the future.
MADGE: Oh right.
BUDDY: Well, I don’t have anything I could give him, but I’ve been working on a new drum solo. Shall I play for him?
All look doubtfully at Buddy.
FLO: You know what everyone loves? A clean baby! How about a nice collection of soaps and shampoos from the Chez Bethlehem?
SARAH: You might be on to something, Flo.
MADGE: It’s not a very exciting gift.
FLO: He was born in a stable! It’s probably the most valuable gift he’ll get all night!
SAM: Camels are coming!!
SAM: We just saw them coming up the street. They’re headed for the hotel!
SAM: They looked like kings! 3 of ‘em!
SAM: Nick wants to go kick some of the guests out to make room for them!
SARAH: Oh no he’s not!
BUDDY: So why were all the shepherds in the stable?
MAGDE: Were they running away from the singing sheep?
FLO: Madge, don’t be ridiculous!
SAM: No, in fact, they said they were here because angels told them that the new baby is going to save the world!
FLO: A baby is going to save the world?
SAM: That’s what they said.
FLO: So tell me more about this singing sheep idea…
BUDDY: Did Nick kick them out of the stable?
NICK: No he did not! He, er I seem to be having trouble kicking anyone out tonight!
SAM: They said they were just there to see the baby, then they would go.
BUDDY: Are there really three camels out there?
NICK: Not just three camels, three kings!
FLO: And you didn’t throw anyone out?
NICK: No. They’re just here to see the baby!
MADGE: More people to see the baby? How did they find out?
FLO: Don’t say singing camels…
NICK: They said they followed the star from the east.
BUDDY: Wow! Three kings coming to see a baby! I wonder if King Herod will be coming too?
NICK: I think he will be! The three kings have already been to see King Herod. They were told to report back when they found the baby, so he could come see the child too.
SARAH: We should have built a bigger stable!
SAM: Should I go move some of the animals to make more room?
SARAH: That’s a good idea, Sam. Go ahead.
FLO: All these people came hundreds of miles just to see a little baby.
NICK: What is it?
MADGE: Can we go see the baby?
NICK: Oh, very well.
MADGE: Great! Are you coming, Flo?
FLO: Go back to work, or go see the famous baby? Tough call. Yep, I’m coming!
Madge and Flo exit.
BUDDY: Don’t worry, sir. I’ll stay by your side and help you out all night long.
NICK: Go ahead, Buddy.
Buddy runs out.
NICK: Three kings at my hotel, and they all go straight to the stable!
SARAH: Now, you didn’t have space for them to have a room anyway.
NICK: But I could have charged them anything, Sarah! I saw their camels. They have gold, frankincense, myrrh, all kids of valuables!
SARAH: Correction. They HAD gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
NICK: What do you mean?
SARAH: They gave it all to Mary and Joseph as gifts for the baby.
NICK: All of it!?
SARAH: (chuckles) And we wanted to give the baby shampoo!
NICK: All that wealth for a baby?
SARAH: Look at everything that’s happened tonight. The baby, the star, the shepherds and the angels, the kings. This is not an ordinary baby.
NICK: No, there is something special happening here.
SARAH: I talked with the kings. They said that this baby Jesus is the savior of the world.
NICK: Save the world from what?
SARAH: From sin, Nick. God has sent him to save us from our sins.
NICK: How can a baby do all that?
SARAH: He won’t be a baby forever.
NICK: No, I guess he won’t
SARAH: We don’t need to worry about what gift to get for Jesus. Jesus IS the gift!
BUDDY: Uhm, sir.
NICK: What is it, Buddy?
BUDDY: One of the kings fell asleep. I didn’t know if you wanted to charge him for the night.
Nick looks to Sarah and thinks for a moment.
NICK: No, it’s alright, Buddy. They’ve had a long journey.
NICK: Yeah. I’ll go see to them myself.
BUDDY: Was that really Nick?
SARAH: Sure was.
BUDDY: He seemed… different.
SARAH: It’s a special night. I think you’ll find that a lot of things are going to be different from now on.
BUDDY: Well, yeah! This hotel is going to be famous!
SARAH: What do you mean?
BUDDY: Three kings tonight, then they’re gonna tell King Herod about the baby tomorrow.
SARAH: Well, that is different, but not quite what I meant.
BUDDY: I even heard someone call the baby the “King of Kings.”
SARAH: I heard that too.
BUDDY: We can put up a sign. “Kings sleep here.”
SARAH: But do we hang it in the hotel or the stable?
BUDDY: This’ll be the hotel where kings stay!
Sam enters quickly.
SAM: The kings have to leave!
Nick, Madge and Flo enter.
SARAH: What do you mean they have to leave?
NICK: The king that fell asleep. He had a dream.
BUDDY: A dream about what?
FLO: King Herod doesn’t want to come see the baby.
MADGE: He wants to kill the baby!
FLO: He wants the other kings to tell him where to find the child.
MADGE: Then he’s going to have his soldiers come kill him!
FLO: He was warned in the dream NOT to go back to King Herod.
MADGE: They’re going home by a different route!
SARAH: That’s terrible! Why would he do that?
NICK: He’s afraid of Jesus.
BUDDY: Afraid of a baby? Even I’m not afraid of a baby!
NICK: Afraid of losing his power to this King of Kings.
SAM: Someone was even saying he may just kill all of the babies to make sure he gets Jesus.
NICK: We have to help them!
All look at Nick, astonished.
SARAH: I told you, Buddy. Things are different.
BUDDY: I’ll say!
NICK: Come on! Buddy, you go find out where Mary and Joseph are going to flee to.
BUDDY: No problem!
NICK: Sarah, you go collect some blankets and clothing.
SARAH: On it.
NICK: Sam, you go make sure the camels and the donkey are ready to go.
SAM: Yes, sir.
NICK: As far as anyone knows, we just had a regular night at the hotel. Got it?
FLO: Yes, sir. Just a nice quiet night making beds.
MADGE: And cleaning up wool!
NICK: Good, we need to make sure no one knows where Mary and Joseph are going.
BUDDY: I know where Mary and Joseph are going!
NICK: Great, where are they headed?
FLO: Egypt? Why would they want to go there?
BUDDY: They were told to in a dream.
MADGE: Everybody is having the most exciting dreams tonight!
NICK: If King Herod ever finds them, it’ll be more like a nightmare.
BUDDY: Do you really think that the baby is going to be a king?
NICK: I don’t know, but I do know that there’s something special about him.
FLO: If he is, he’s not going to be like any king we’ve seen before.
MADGE: I know what you mean. He’s not even a day old and already he’s inspired royalty to ignore a king’s order, shepherds to leave their flock, and the boss to give them a free place to stay!
FLO: Well, if he can do that, he must be some sort of miracle worker!
FLO: Sorry, sir.
BUDDY: Doing miracles would be really neat!
MADGE: Like what if he could walk on water!
BUDDY: That would be amazing!
NICK: It will be amazing if we can get them safely on their way. What is taking Sarah and Sam so long to get them ready to go?
Sarah and Sam enter.
SARAH: They’re ready to go.
SAM: The animals are all fed and watered, sir.
NICK: That’s great. This night has turned out a lot different than it started.
MADGE: For a lot of people!
SARAH: Tell me about it. Nick, you started out stubbornly sticking to the rules, making sure everything was exactly by the book, then Jesus comes and suddenly you’re showing love and compassion to everyone that comes near.
NICK: Well, I just realized that some things are more important than the rules.
FLO: Does that mean we don’t have to clean any more rooms tonight?
NICK: No it doesn’t.
MADGE: Can we at least go see Mary and Joseph off?
SAM: Yeah, can we?
SARAH: That is a good idea.
NICK: Yes, of course. We need to make sure they get out safely. Buddy, are you coming or do you want to stay here and watch the counter?
BUDDY: You mean it? I get to run the hotel again?
All exit except Nick and Buddy.
NICK: Sure, Buddy. We’ll just be a few minutes while we sneak the savior of the world out of town. You’d probably be bored.
BUDDY: Yeah… I get to run the Chez Bethlehem and all they get to do is… sneak through the city… with the amazing baby… WAIT FOR ME!!!!
Feel free to use any of my scripts. But please give me credit for writing them if you’re printing a program.