Convinced that God doesn’t really care about the elderly, 84-year-old Beatrice has become the resident Scrooge of her nursing home. No matter what her roommate says, or what Bible stories the expectant nurse’s aide reads, Beatrice is adamant. “God doesn’t care about the elderly. His supposed only Son didn’t even live past 33 years, so how does He know what it’s like to be old!?” she declares. But during a church service she reluctantly attends, she falls asleep and dreams of bits and pieces of the Christmas story she is hearing, scenes of the nativity involving others at the retirement home, and even herself as the wife of the innkeeper. Beatrice eventually has a change of heart and attitude. She realizes that you are never too old for Christmas, never too old to allow Christ into your heart, and never too old to ask forgiveness for your sins. Performance time from 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon music selections.
Playwright Vicki Lake Talks About
NEVER TOO OLD FOR CHRISTMAS
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: My mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s for four years. After she broke her hip, we had to admit her to a nursing home. While I visited her every day, I studied personalities and enjoyed interacting with many of the residents. I could always spot those who had personal relationships with Jesus Christ. Also, because the church my husband pastored was across the street from a nursing home and our church members held a church service for the residents every Sunday, I would enjoy times of rolling the residents in their wheelchairs to the service.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY?
A: I enjoyed contrasting the personalities of Bessie and Beatrice. Scene Eight is probably one of my favorite scenes when Bessie and Bernard tell Beatrice that God does care for the elderly and read to her how Simeon and Anna were part of the Christmas story. Perhaps, the exchange between Bernard and Beatrice are my favorite lines.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM?
A: They are based on composites of people I met while visiting in nursing homes through the years. The mix-up of the eyeglasses in Scene Two is a true story, involving my mother-in-law.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to show how a person might struggle to “let go” and “let God” change him or her – regardless of age. Jesus makes the difference. I also wanted the audience to feel comfortable among the elderly in a nursing home situation. It can be very entertaining yet rewarding!
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
A: I am especially touched that Eldridge wanted to publish this play because the two people who played Beatrice and Bernard, Sharlene and Bill Mellencamp, died as a result of an automobile accident this past year.