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Title: Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act
Author: McFadden, Elizabeth Apthorp
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Why The Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act:
by Elizabeth Apthorp McFadden:

Adapted from the story of the same name:
by Raymond McDonald Alden

Samuel French: Publisher
25 West Forty-fifth Street: New York

Samuel French, Ltd.



This play is fully protected by copyright.

Permission to act, read publicly or make any use of it must be obtained
of Samuel French, 25 West 45th Street, New York. It may be presented by
amateurs upon payment of the following royalties:

1. This play may be presented by amateurs upon payment of a royalty of
Five Dollars for each performance, payable to Samuel French, at 25 West
45th Street, New York, or at 811 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, Calif.,
one week before the date when the play is given.

2. Professional rates quoted on application.

3. Whenever this play is to be produced the following note must appear
on all programs, printing and advertising for the play:

This play is a dramatization of the story by Raymond MacDonald Alden
entitled "WHY THE CHIMES RANG," published by The Bobbs-Merrill Company.

This version of Raymond MacDonald Alden's story is published with
permission of the Bobbs-Merrill Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, the
publishers of Professor Alden's story and the holders of the copyright.


The copying, either of separate parts or the whole of this work by any
process whatsoever, is forbidden by law and subject to the penalties
prescribed by Section 28 of the Copyright Law, in force July 1, 1909.


This little play is prentice work done in Professor George P. Baker's
class, English 47 at Radcliffe College in the fall of 1908. Several
years later it was staged by Professor Baker in the "47 Workshop," his
laboratory for trying out plays written in the Harvard and Radcliffe
courses in dramatic technique.

I am glad to acknowledge here my indebtedness to the "Shop" and its
workers for this chance of seeing the play in action. Of the various
advantages which a "Workshop" performance secures to the author none is
more helpful than the mass of written criticism handed in by the
audience, and representing some two or three hundred frank and widely
varying views of the work in question. I am especially grateful for this
constructive criticism, much of which has been of real service in the
subsequent rewriting of the piece.

"Why the Chimes Rang" was again tried out the next year in seven
performances by the "Workshop" company in various Boston settlements.
Other groups of amateurs have given it in Arlington, Massachusetts, Los
Angeles, California and in Honolulu. These performances have proved that
while its setting may seem to call for the equipment of a theatre, the
play can be acceptably given in any hall or Sunday school room.

Suggestions for the simplest possible staging have been added to the
present publication in an appendix which contains data on the scenery,
music, lighting, costumes and properties for the piece.




HOLGER......................._A peasant boy_
STEEN........................_His younger brother_
BERTEL......................._Their uncle_
LORDS, LADIES, _etc._--

TIME:--_Dusk of a day of long ago_.

       *       *       *       *       *

SCENE:--_The interior of a wood-chopper's hut on the edge of a forest_.

Why the Chimes Rang.

The scene is laid in a peasant's hut on the edge of a forest near a
cathedral town. It is a dark low-raftered room lit only by the glowing
wood fire in the great fireplace in the wall to the right, and by a
faint moonlight that steals in through the little window high in the
left wall. This window commands a view of the cathedral and of the road
leading down into the town. The only entrance into the hut is the front
door near the window.

The furnishings are few: two substantial stools, one near the window,
the other before the fire, logs piled up near the hearth, and on the
chimney shelf above a few dishes, three little bowls, three spoons and a
great iron porridge pot. A wooden peg to the right of the chimney holds
Steen's cap and cape, one to the left an old shawl. Near the door
Holger's cap and cape hang from a third peg.

Despite its poverty the room is full of beautiful coloring as it lies
half hidden in deep shadow save where the light of the fire falls on the
brown of the wood and the warmer shades of the children's garments,
illuminates their faces and gleams on their bright hair.

When the curtain is raised Steen is sitting disconsolately on the stool
near the fire. He is a handsome sturdy little lad of nine or ten,
dressed in rough but warm garments of a dark red. Holger a slender boy
some four years older, bends over Steen patting him comfortingly on the

There is petulance and revolt in the expression of the younger boy but
Holger's face is full of a blended character and spirituality that makes
him beautiful. He is clad like his brother in comfortable but worn
jerkin and hose of a dark leaf green. His manner to the little boy is
full of affection, though occasionally he is superior after the manner
of big brothers. Throughout the play, two moods alternate in Holger, a
certain grave, half-mystical dreaminess and bubbling through it, the
high spirits of his natural boyish self.

HOLGER. Take heart, Steen, perhaps we can go next year.

STEEN. Next year! Next year I'll be so old I won't want to go.

HOLGER. Oh, quite old folks go to the Christmas service. Come, let's watch
the people going down to town.


HOLGER. The road'll be full, grand folk! (_He crosses to the window_)
Come watch, Steen.


HOLGER. (_Looking out_) Why the road's all empty again!

STEEN. (_In a wailing tone_) Everybody's gone!

HOLGER. (_Trying to be brave_) They're lighting the cathedral!

STEEN. I don't care!

HOLGER. Oh, Steen, come see,--like the stars coming out!

STEEN. I won't see! Mother said way last summer that we could go to-night,
and now--(_His voice breaks in a sob_)

HOLGER. She meant it! She didn't know that the grandmother would be ill,
and she and father'ud have to go to _her_. Be fair, Steen!

STEEN. They might let us go alone. "Too little!" Bah!

HOLGER. (_In a low almost frightened tone_) Steen, come here!

    (_The tone, rather than the words, take_ STEEN _quickly to_ HOLGER'S

STEEN. What?

HOLGER. (_Pointing out the window_) Look, by the dead pine yonder,
an old woman facing us, kneeling in the snow, see? praying!

STEEN. (_In an awed tone_) She's looking at us!

HOLGER. She's raising her hand to us!

STEEN. She's beckoning!

HOLGER. No, she's making the Sign of the Cross.

    (_Both boys drop their heads devoutly._)

STEEN. Who is she, Holger?

HOLGER. I don't know.

STEEN. (_Drawing back from the window and crossing the room to the
fire_) Oh, Holger, I'm afraid!

HOLGER. No, no! Look, she has turned away,--she's deeper in the
shadow,--why, she's gone! (_Following_ STEEN _with all his bright
courage bubbling high again, and speaks in a bantering tone_) Just some
old granny going down to town, and thou afraid!

STEEN. (_Recovering also_) And _thou_ afraid!

HOLGER. I was not!

STEEN. (_Derisively_) Oh-h-h-h!

HOLGER. Well, I was just a little bit afraid--lest she might frighten
thee. (_Steps are heard outside the house. Both boys start and look
frightened again_) Hush,--steps--coming here!

STEEN. (_Backing from the door_) The old woman!

HOLGER. (_Crosses the room, looks cautiously out of the window, then
cries joyously_) No,--Uncle Bertel!

BERTEL. (_Off stage_) Hullo, there,--open, Holger!

    (STEEN _and_ HOLGER _make a dash for the door, fling it open and_
    BERTEL _enters. He is a jolly robust peasant uncle of early middle
    life, clad in rough gray jerkin and hose, with a dark gray cloak
    wrapped about him. He so radiates cheer that the room seems warmer
    for his presence in it. Nothing to be afraid of about him, the
    children adore him._)

STEEN. (_Clinging to him, happily_) Oh, Uncle, Uncle, Uncle Bertel!

HOLGER. (_Seizing_ BERTEL _on his other side_) Uncle Bertel,

BERTEL. (_Tousling their hair and shaking himself loose in pretended
dismay_) Help, help!--Robbers!--I'm beset!--Gently, youngsters!--(_He
goes over to the fire and stands warming himself_) Brrrrr! It's cold in
the forest to-night!--Well, (_He faces them genially_) why am I
come?--Tell me that!

STEEN. (_Exultantly_) To take us to the Christmas Service?

HOLGER. Uncle! How didst thou know we were not going?

BERTEL. I met a fox--who said--

HOLGER. Oh-h!--Thou hast seen mother and father!

BERTEL. (_Draws the stool nearer the fire and sits, the children
promptly drop on the floor beside him_) By our Lady, yes!--and walking
so fast they had only time to throw me a word from the sides of their
mouths. "Go up," cried Mother,--"I wist my boys are deep in tears!"--and
I, not wishing to see you drown in so much water--

HOLGER. (_Patting his arm_) Dear Uncle Bertel!

STEEN. (_Rising on his knees_) Come, let's go quick!

BERTEL. Patience, patience, young colt, plenty of time, mother said
something else.

STEEN. What?

BERTEL. (_His eye on the shelf above the fire_) That I should find some
warm porridge for my pains.

HOLGER. (_Springing to his feet_) Why, of course, there _is_
porridge! (_He goes to the shelf_) Nice and warm it is! All ready
for supper. (_He hands the first bowl to_ BERTEL, STEEN _capers
nimbly across the intervening space and seats himself on the side of the
hearth, facing_ BERTEL, _his back to the audience_)

STEEN. Supper! How could we forget supper?--Give me a _big_ bowlful,

HOLGER. (_Handing_ STEEN _his porridge_) There isn't a _big_
bowlful here.

STEEN. (_Taking the bowl and hugging it_) Nice kind good supper, umh!
(_Begins to eat eagerly_)

HOLGER. (_Suddenly looking toward the door_) Listen!

BERTEL. To what?

HOLGER. (_Awed, hesitant_) Someone--sobbing--at the door! (_He goes
to it, the others watching him startled, he opens the door, finds nothing,
closes it and comes back_) Nothing there!

BERTEL. The wind!--Thy old tricks, Holger,--always dreaming some strange

HOLGER. (_Recalled by_ BERTEL'S _words to something else_) Didst
thou pass an old woman on the road--near here?

BERTEL. Not a soul nearer than the town gate. (HOLGER _stands thinking,
absorbed_) Come, boy, eat,--_eat_! See how Steen eats!

HOLGER. (_Breaks through his abstraction and reverts to his bright
self_) Oh, Uncle Bertel,--I'm too glad to eat!

BERTEL. (_More seriously_) Thou art right, lad,--fasting were better
than feasting this day in Tralsund!--they say,--do you know what they
say in the town?


BERTEL. They say--that to-night in the great church--when the offerings
are laid upon the altar for the Christ child,--_something will happen_!

    (STEEN _has finished his porridge, puts the bowl on the shelf near
    him, seizes his cloak and cap from the peg near the hearth and
    stands eager to be gone._)


BERTEL. Who can say? All day the folk have been pouring into the town as
never before. The market place is crowded, every inn is full. No church
but the cathedral could hold such a multitude. Never have I seen such
excitement, such fervor!

HOLGER. There will be many gifts!

BERTEL. --the rich are bringing their treasure, gold and jewels, king's
ransoms, aye and the King comes. (BERTEL _finishes his porridge and
hands the bowl to_ STEEN)

HOLGER. The King?

BERTEL. The King Himself!

STEEN. Oh, and shall we see Him, Uncle, and the fine gifts and

BERTEL. Why not?--Even the poorest may go up and give--what hast thou to

STEEN. (_Abashed_) I?--Nothing! (_Puts his porridge bowl and_
BERTEL'S _on the shelf then goes restlessly to the door_)

HOLGER. (_Breaking in with eagerness_) Oh, I have, see, Uncle?
(_Feels in his pocket and brings out two pennies_) See!--Last week
I was gathering sticks in the forest and a fine gentleman rode past and
asked the way of me. I showed him the path and he gave me these!
(_Holds up the pennies_)

BERTEL. (_Rising and going to_ HOLGER _who is in the middle of the
room_) Faith, real money in the family. (_Stoops and looks at the
pennies as though they were a rare sight_)

STEEN. Oh, I thought we were going to buy cakes with those, Holger.

HOLGER. But it's better to give it to the Christ Child. You see He is a
little child, smaller than even you,--and I think He would like a little
gift,--a little bright gift that would buy cakes for Him. (HOLGER _goes
toward the window and stands looking dreamily out at the lights of the

BERTEL. Aye, to-night we must think of Him,--there in His Holy Church.

HOLGER. It _is_ a holy place, the church!--I feel it every time I
go,--it's like God's forest,--the pillars like old oaks and the great
windows all colors like sunsets through the trees.

BERTEL. _'Tis_ like the forest.

HOLGER. And when the organ plays that's like a storm gathering in the

BERTEL. A storm?--Aye!--"The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in
the storm and the clouds are the dust of His feet!"--Why should He not
do a wonder as of old? Perhaps the great miracle will come again!

HOLGER. Oh, which, Uncle?--There are so many in the Bible!

STEEN. Yes, which?--Would there be a whale now to swallow a priest?

BERTEL. Thou goosey! This was no Bible miracle,--it happened there,
_there_, where we see the lights,--hundreds of years ago. (BERTEL
_has followed_ HOLGER _to the window and_ STEEN _joins them.
As he speaks_ BERTEL _slips his arms affectionately round both
children and the three stand looking out. At this moment something stirs
in the dim shadows that shroud the corner up above the fire-place.
Suddenly out of the dark the_ OLD WOMAN _emerges. A tall figure,
if she were not so bent, wrapped in a black cloak. There is nothing
grotesque or sinister in her appearance, she might have stood for a
statue of old age, impressive in its pathos. As she sits on the stool
near the fire she throws back the cloak disclosing the plain straight
dress of gray beneath. The light of the fire reveals her crouched,
swaying back and forth praying silently, her face still shaded by the
heavy hood of her cloak. The others gazing intently out at the church
do not see her._ BERTEL _continues speaking_) Surely thou hast
heard of the Miracle of the Chimes?

HOLGER. I've heard folks speak of it,--but I never knew just what

STEEN. Oh, tell us, Uncle Bertel.

BERTEL. Aye, listen then!--You see the great tower there?--(_Both
children nod emphatically_) It goes so high into the clouds that no one
can see it's top!--No one even knows how high it is for the men who
built it have been dead for hundreds of years.

STEEN. But what has that to do with the chimes?

HOLGER. Hush, Steen, let uncle speak!

BERTEL. The chimes are up at the top of the tower--and they are holy
bells,--miraculous bells, placed there by sainted hands,--and when they
rang 'twas said that angels' voices echoed through them.

STEEN. Why doesn't someone ring them _now_?

BERTEL. Ah, that is not so easy!--They are said to ring on Christmas Eve
when the gifts are laid on the altar for the Christ-child,--but not
every offering will ring them, it must be a perfect gift. And for all
these years not one thing has been laid upon the altar good enough to
make the chimes ring out.

HOLGER. Oh, that's what the priest was talking about to mother, then. He
said it mustn't be just a fine gift for show but something full of love
for the Christ-child.

STEEN. Oh, I want to hear them!

BERTEL. _We shall!_--The very air is full of holy mystery! The Spirit
of Christ will be there in the church to-night! (_To_ HOLGER) Thy cap,

    (HOLGER _stands wrapt in thought gazing out at the cathedral._)

STEEN. (_Taking the cap and cloak from the peg near the door and
bringing them down and piling them into_ HOLGER'S _arms_) Here
they are, old dreamer!--(_He turns back up toward the door in such a
way that he does not see the silent figure in the corner_) _And

    (BERTEL _too turns toward his left hand and does not see the

HOLGER. (_In a tone of bright happiness, roused from his dreaming_) I'm
coming!--Nothing can happen to stop us now, can it? (_As he says this he
wheels to his right in a way that brings the chimney corner in his line
of vision. He starts, bends forward staring as the others open the door,
then he speaks in a tone that is little more than a gasp_) _Steen!_

    (_The others stop and stare at him, then in the direction of his

STEEN. Oh!--The Old Woman!

BERTEL. (_Looking to_ STEEN) When did she come in?

STEEN. I didn't see her!

    (HOLGER _crosses timidly towards her. As he approaches the_ OLD
    WOMAN _turns her eyes on him and holds out her hands in pitiful

HOLGER. What dost thou want, dame?

OLD WOMAN. (_In a voice that is harsh and broken_) Refuge--from the
storm of the world!

HOLGER. Surely thou shalt rest here.

OLD WOMAN. (_Half rises stiffly as_ HOLGER _draws nearer_) Oh,
son, I am so weary and so heavy laden. (_She sways and_ HOLGER
_runs forward, catching her in his arms and supporting her on the stool.
The others stand watching. She sits huddled forward in a position that
suggests collapse_)

HOLGER. She's faint! (_He touches her hands_) She's so cold! Quick,
Steen, build up the fire! (STEEN _goes to the fire and puts on another
log, the flames blase up_. HOLGER _busies himself chafing the woman's
hands and covering her with the old cloak that has dropped back from her
shoulders_) She must have lost her way in the forest.

BERTEL. (_Stands watching the woman rather suspiciously, now comes to_
HOLGER _taps him on the arm and draws him a little apart, speaking in an
undertone_) We have scant time to lose with that old beggar.

HOLGER. What'll I do with her?

BERTEL. Leave her and come on.

STEEN. And _come_--before it is to-morrow! (_He is back by the door, his
hand on the latch_)

HOLGER. (_Turns and looks at the old woman and then back to_ BERTEL) Oh,
I--ought we to go and leave her?

STEEN. Not go?

BERTEL. Go, of course we'll go, she'll warm herself and march along.

HOLGER. But she is ill. (_Turns to_ STEEN _with new decision in his
manner_) Thou shalt go with Uncle but I--must stay with her.

BERTEL. Nonsense, Holger!

HOLGER. No, it isn't!--If we should all go now, the fire would go out
and the light,--and she would wake up in the cold darkness and not know
where to turn for help.

BERTEL. Na, by Saint Christopher!--Miss a miracle to keep company with
a beggar!--Who held her hand before thou camest along? Send her packing
and make haste, Holger.

STEEN. Oh, do, Holger!

HOLGER. If there were some place near that we could take her.

BERTEL. There isn't a place on the road,--they've all gone to town long
ago. Bid her fare there also!

HOLGER. (_Looks at the_ OLD WOMAN, _then at_ BERTEL, _then back to the_
OLD WOMAN, _then he shakes his head_) Mother wouldn't treat her
so,--she'd be good to her.

BERTEL. Think of what you'll miss! (_An expression of anguish passes
over_ HOLGER'S _face, but he shakes his head and turns toward the old
woman_) Well, this is idle talk, thou and I will go, Steen.

STEEN. Oh, come,--let's go!

BERTEL. (_To_ STEEN, _but for_ HOLGER'S _benefit_) Thou
and I will see the King, perchance--The Christ! Thou art stubborn, Holger,
I who am older tell thee what to do! (HOLGER _shakes his head again_)
Come, Steen! (_He opens the door and goes out_)

STEEN. (_Following him_) Good-bye, Holger.

HOLGER. Good-bye! (STEEN _goes out and shuts the door. There is a
moment's pause while_ HOLGER _stands staring at the closed door, then he
suddenly runs toward it_) Oh, wait, wait for me, Uncle, I will go! (_He
opens the door, starts to go through it, then stops, turns and looks at
the Woman, is drawn slowly backward by his gaze and comes in closing the
door_) No!

WOMAN. (_Moaning_) The path--is so--steep!

HOLGER. (_Goes to her and bends over her_) Didst thou speak, dame?
(_The_ WOMAN _does not answer_) Thou art like Grandmother, and
I know what Mother would do for _her_! (_Feeling her hands_)
Art warmer, dame?--still cold!--The covers aren't very thick. (_He looks
about the bare room, sees the old shawl hanging from the peg near the fire,
takes it down and spreads it over the woman_) Thou must get warm!
(_Goes to the fire and builds it higher_)

WOMAN. (_Still wandering in her mind_) Berries,--yes, find berries.

HOLGER. Oh, thou art hungry! (_He turns to the shelf, takes his own
untasted bowl of porridge, brings it to her_) Dame, here is food!

WOMAN. (_Rousing_) Food, give it to me, child, I am dying for food!

    (HOLGER _gives her the porridge and sits down on the floor beside

HOLGER. (_Watching her as she devours the porridge_) _Ah, poor
soul!_--Why, thou wert starving!--Na, just see!--Mother says that's what
makes my little brother so round and rosy, because he eats so much
porridge,--you like it, don't you?

WOMAN. It is life itself! (_Her voice has grown young and strong. Sinks
back again as she has eaten it all_) Bless thee, Child!

    (HOLGER _sets the empty dish aside on the hearth and turns to feel
    her hands._)

HOLGER. Oh, thou art warm!

WOMAN. Aye, warm! (_In a voice increasingly rich and sweet. At this
moment there comes the distant sound of organ music._ HOLGER
_straightens suddenly in a listening attitude_) Listen,--is that music?

HOLGER. From the Cathedral!--Aye, it must be,--last summer we could hear
it plain, and now with so many thousands there! (_Leaves the woman and
stands in the center of the room listening attentively_) It's
beginning!--(_Pause_) Everyone is there!

WOMAN. Why are they there.

HOLGER. It's the great service! (_He goes toward the window and stands
looking out. He talks on half to her, half to himself_) All the world is
there, the village folk, and strangers from afar, great court folk,
too,--aye, and the King,--our King! And He will give a gift,--a King's
gift! (_She rises erectly and follows him across the room. There is the
strength and poise of youth in her walk. The heavy black hood has fallen
back revealing a head covering of white linen that suggests a sister of
Charity and gives her face a look of austerity and sweetness. She is
strong, maternal, beautiful. Intuitively,_ HOLGER, _in his
disappointment begins to lean upon her sympathy. The music grows a
little louder and floats into the room_) Look, dame, you can even see
the windows gleam! It is so near! It's all beginning and--I--am not
there! (_A sob creeps into his voice_)


HOLGER. Aye, dame? (_He turns and comes toward her, she seats herself on
the stool near the window, reaches out a hand and draws him down beside

WOMAN. Thou, too, wouldst go? (HOLGER, _too moved by her sympathy to
speak, nods silently and puts up a hand to hide the trembling of his
lips. She slips her hand to his shoulder_) Another time thou'll go!

HOLGER. (_Fighting back his tears_) It'll never be the same again!
To-night the Christ comes. Bertel said--"The Christ!"

WOMAN. Nay, son, pray to the Christ-child, pray that He does not pass
thee by! (_She sits facing the back wall of the hut._ HOLGER _kneels
before her, and drops his head in her lap. She lays her hand gently upon
his hair and makes the sign of the cross above him_)

    (_As they have been talking together, the fire on the hearth has
    burned itself out and the shadows in the room have crept forward and
    closed around them till only a faint outline of_ HOLGER _and the_
    WOMAN _can be distinguished in the glimmer of moonlight shining
    through the window nearby. There is a long pause broken only by the
    boy's sobbing which gradually sinks to silence. As he prays, a faint
    light begins to grow behind him. The smoke-grimed back wall of the
    hut has vanished and in its place appears a vision of the cathedral
    chancel.--One by one objects emerge from the darkness. The light
    touches the golden altar, the gleaming appointments upon it, the
    jewel-like tones of the stained glass window above, and the rich
    carpet under foot; it shows the marble arches at the sides and
    shines softly on the robe of the kneeling_ PRIEST. _As the dim
    vision grows to clearness, so the music comes nearer and swells
    forth softly into the Christmas processional. Unconscious of it all_
    HOLGER _looks up at the_ WOMAN, _his face swept with despair_.)

HOLGER. Oh, it's no use! I'd rather be all blind and never see than miss
the vision that the Christ will send!

WOMAN. (_Gazing at the vision_) Look, look what comes!

HOLGER. (_Staring at the woman's face illuminated by the light from the
chancel_) Dame! (_He turns to see where the light comes from and the
vision meets his eye_) Oh-h-h-h! (_He crouches back at the_ WOMAN'S
_feet, held spell-bound by the sight. As the music changes the_ PRIEST
_rises slowly to his feet, faces the congregation and makes a gesture of
approach. The voices of the choir join the music, and from the left side
of the chancel, people begin to enter carrying their gifts_)

    (_An imperious looking man, richly dressed in black and gold comes
    first, bearing a heavy box. He approaches the altar, kneels and puts
    the chest in the_ PRIEST'S _hands, and, that the full value of his
    gift may be publicly recognised, he throws back the lid, heaping up
    the gold coin with which the box is filled. The_ PRIEST _turns, goes
    up the steps to the altar and raises the chest as high as its weight
    will permit. The man still kneeling awaits the chimes with superb
    selfconfidence. The bells do not ring. Slowly the_ PRIEST _lowers
    the gold to the altar, turns, raises his hand in blessing and
    dismissal. The rich man rises, looking bewildered at his failure,
    crosses to the right and stands near the altar as the pageant moves

    (_The_ PRIEST _turns to the next comer_, A COURTIER _brave in green
    and gold, who enters with an air of great elegance, bearing daintily
    a gilded jewel casket. He kneels, lays it in the_ PRIEST'S _hands.
    The latter turns to go but the_ COURTIER _detains him a second,
    raises the lid of the box and holds up string after string of rich
    gems. The_ PRIEST _carries the jewels to the altar and offers them.
    The bells do not ring. The_ PRIEST _dismisses the_ COURTIER, _and
    the young man rises, turns back with assumed lightness of manner and
    stands at the left of the chancel, watching with great interest._)

    (_A beautiful_ WOMAN _clad in flame colored velvet sweeps proudly up
    to the steps of the altar, kneels, takes from her neck a long strand
    of pearls and offers it to the_ PRIEST. _The_ PRIEST _receives the
    necklace, ascends to the altar and offers the jewels. The woman
    smiling listens tensely for the chimes. They do not ring. The smile
    fades as the_ PRIEST _turns and blesses her. She rises trying to
    hide her chagrin in a look of great hauteur, crosses to the right
    and stands near the man in black and gold with whom she exchanges
    disdainful smiles over the next arrival._)

    (_An old white haired man clad in a scholar's robes totters on,
    bearing with difficulty a large vellum bound book. The_ PRIEST
    _takes a step forward to relieve the Old Man of his burden, and as
    he goes up the altar steps the Sage sinks exhausted to his knees,
    listening with straining senses for the bells.--They do not ring.
    The_ PRIEST _blesses the old man and helps him to rise. He turns
    back and stands near the_ COURTIER _at the left._)

    (_A lovely young girl enters, dressed in pale green satin, her arms
    filled with a sheaf of white lilies. The very way she carries them
    and bends her head to catch their fragrance shows that to her they
    are the most beautiful things in the world. Kneeling she gives them
    into the hands of the_ PRIEST, _and as he offers them, she listens
    with childish confidence for the ringing of the bells.--Still there
    is no sound save the organ music and the singing of the choir,
    subdued almost to a breath as the gifts are offered. Abashed as the_
    PRIEST _blesses and dismisses her, the young girl steps back and
    stands near the old Sage._)

    (_There is a stir in the chancel, even the_ PRIEST _turning to
    watch. The_ KING _enters. He is a man of forty with tall
    distinguished figure and a proud face. His purple robes, richly
    jeweled, trail far behind him and on his head he wears his crown.
    Everyone leans forward watching with the greatest tension. The_
    KING, _exalted with his mood of selfsacrifice kneels, removes his
    crown and lays it in the hands of the_ PRIEST. HOLGER _crouching in
    the shadow quivers with anticipation. Again the pantomime of hope
    and failure. The_ PRIEST _turns back to the_ KING _and raises his
    arm in the customary gesture. The_ KING _starts to rise then
    suddenly as though overcome at this spiritual defeat sinks again to
    his knees before the altar and buries his face in his hands,
    praying. The_ PRIEST _stands with arms crossed upon his breast,
    regarding him sorrowfully._)

HOLGER. (_Overwhelmed with disappointment, softly to the woman_) Perhaps
there are no chimes, perhaps the Christ hears us not!

WOMAN. Have faith,--have faith in God.

HOLGER. I would that I could give my pennies to the Child.

    (_The_ KING _rises from his prayer and goes sadly to the right,
    standing near the lady in red._)

WOMAN. (_In a low ringing voice that thrills like the call of a
trumpet_) Go up, my son,--fear not--The Christ-Child waits for all!

    (HOLGER _breathless with the adventure rises and goes timidly
    forward out of the gloom of the hut into the splendor of the
    chancel, looking very small and poorly dressed beside all the great
    ones. He holds out his pennies to the_ PRIEST _who bends and takes
    them with a tender little smile, and_ HOLGER, _crossing himself, too
    abashed to stand and wait, shrinks back into the darkness and the
    sheltering arms of the Woman._)

    (_The_ PRIEST _goes up the steps of the altar and holds the pennies
    high above his head in consecrating gesture, and as he does so, the
    organ music breaks off with an amazed suddenness for from above
    there comes the far triumphant ringing of the chimes, mingled with
    ethereal voices singing The Alleluia._)

    (_A wave of awe sweeps over everyone in the chancel and as the_
    PRIEST _wheels and gestures them to their knees, they prostrate
    themselves quickly._ HOLGER, _too, kneels awe-struck but the woman
    rises to her full height and stands watching. From this time on, she
    withdraws gradually into the deeper shadows of the hut and is seen
    no more._)

    (_As they all kneel the Angel enters from the right, ascends the
    steps of the altar and stands beside the huddled figure of the_
    PRIEST. _As she stands there, a single pencil of light shines down
    upon her from above, a ray of light so brilliant that everything
    around seems dull in comparision, and while she gives her message,
    the light above grows till it floods her hair and garments with a
    miraculous radiance. The_ ANGEL _smiles at_ HOLGER _and chants in a
    lovely voice._)

ANGEL. Verily, verily, I say unto you, it is not gold nor silver nor
rich pearls but love and selfsacrifice that please the Lord. The
Christ-Child was hungered and you gave him meat,--a stranger and you
took Him in.

HOLGER. (_In an awed tone_) But I--I have not seen the Christ-Child.

ANGEL. Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these His
Brethern, you have done it unto Him! (_The_ ANGEL _stands with one hand
uplifted, as the music rises in a great crescendo of triumph_. HOLGER,
_quite overcome, drops his face in his hands and as the climax of the
singing is reached, the whole tableau is held for a moment, then blotted
out in darkness_.)

    (_There is a pause, then the light on the hearth flares up revealing
    the boy alone, still on his knees, looking up bewildered at the back
    wall of the hut, where the vision had been. Swiftly he rises to his
    feet and turns to face the Woman._)

HOLGER. Dame,--dame!--The Chimes,--the star--did you see? (_She is gone,
he stares about him looking for her_) Gone! Gone! (_The music still
rings softly_) But the Chimes! (_He turns, runs to the window, and
flings open the casement. A soft light, half moonlight, half something
more luminous pours in upon him. He speaks in a tone of infinite
happiness, looking upward_) The stars!--God's Chimes!



[Illustration: Sketch of hut scene for "Why the Chimes Rang," before the
backing of the gauze drop is raised. (Everything back of the fireplace
on the left, and the window on the right, is painted on the gauze,
including the stool and the supporting pillar.)]

[Illustration: Sketch of chancel scene for "Why the Chimes Rang," after
the backing of the gauze drop is raised. (For simplified setting made of
screens, see diagram on page 34 of appendix.)]

The accompanying scenery plates are not intended to be followed in all
their elaborate detail but merely to give an idea of the effect to be
worked toward in planning the scenery.


The following suggestions for a simplified staging of "Why The Chimes
Rang" are offered, not to college dramatic societies or other expert
amateurs but to the many young people in the secondary schools, Sunday
schools and country districts, who would enjoy staging short plays if it
could be done without elaborate scenery or lighting equipment and
without previous experience in stage management.

Simplicity aided by imagination goes far upon the stage, and it should
always be remembered that the real aim is the creation of a given
emotion in the minds of the audience rather than the creation of a given
thing upon the stage. If a circle of gilt paper on the head of a fine
looking lad can create a vivid impression of kingly dignity, all the
crown jewels of Europe cannot better the paper for stage purposes.

In producing a play, it should first be carefully read to see what main
impression is to be conveyed, and what chief elements are to be
emphasized to make up this impression. The details can then be worked
out in harmony with the more important factors.

In "Why The Chimes Rang," religious exaltation is the mood to be
created, and the divine beauty of charity is the main theme.

Three sharply contrasted effects are called for: the wood-chopper's hut,
dark and humble; and, set against this, the earthly splendor of the
cathedral chancel, which in its turn is dimmed by the miraculous
presence of the angel.

It is expected that this play will be adapted, by those giving it, to
the form and degree of ritual desired. Censers and candles may be used
or not, altar appointments and priestly vestments may be chosen to suit
the taste of those concerned. Indeed, in all respects, a play must be
suited to the conditions under which it is presented and the audience
before whom it is given; and while the text may not be altered or added
to, lines may be omitted if desired.

The information here given has been gathered from frequent working over
of the material but at best it can only help in a general way. Any one
producing a play must work out his own problems in detail. One of the
things that makes the staging of plays such fascinating work is the
exercise it affords the imagination in overcoming obstacles.


[Illustration: Diagram showing the arrangement of screens for simplified
staging of "Why the Chimes Rang."]


For the sake of facing the most difficult form of the problem of amateur
staging, let us suppose that this play is to be given in a parlor or
hall, without platform, without proscenium arch or curtains, with the
walls, floor and ceiling of such material and finish that no nails may
be driven into them, and that the depth of the stage is only nine feet.
It looks hopeless but it can be done.

Under such conditions the only possible form of scenery is the screen.
If the "scenery-man" is a bit of a carpenter, he can build the screens
himself, making them as strong and as light as possible, with four
leaves a few inches shorter than the height of the room in which they
are to be used, and proportionately wide.--The framework should be
braced by cross pieces in the middle of each leaf, and should have stout
leather handles nailed to them for convenience in lifting the screen.
The right side should be covered with canvas such as is used for
scenery, and the screens can then be easily repainted or recovered for
later plays.

If it is not possible to have the screens made to order, ordinary
Japanese screens may be borrowed or rented, and made to serve as front
curtain, and framework for scenery.

Those indicated in the plan as A A and B B serve as the front curtains,
the center sections (marked B B) being drawn aside by persons stationed
behind them to show the interior of the hut when the play begins. The
four screens marked C D and E E form the walls of the hut. In using
screens it will be necessary to do without the window and the actual
door unless the person in charge of the scenery is clever enough to
paint in a window on one panel of the screen and make a door in another.
If not, turn the end panel of the screen marked C to run at right angles
with the other part, giving the impression of a passage with an imagined
door at the unseen end, and wherever in the business of the parts, the
children are said to look out of the window, let them instead look down
this passage, as though they were looking through the open doorway.

On the right side of the room in the screen marked D, a fire-place may
be constructed by cutting away a portion of the screen to suggest the
line of the fire-place, putting back of this opening a box painted black
inside to represent the blackened chimney, and finishing with a rough
mantel stained brown to match the wall tint. Of course if the screens
are borrowed the fire-place will have to be dispensed with.

At the moment when the vision of the cathedral is to appear, the screens
marked E E are parted and folded back disclosing the chancel. Perhaps
some church nearby has stored in its basement an old stained glass
window, which may be borrowed and used as background for the church
scene. Such a window was used in a performance of "Much Ado About
Nothing" given some years ago at one of the Eastern colleges. It was
dimly lit from behind by electric globes and proved very successful in
creating a churchly atmosphere. If this can not be done, cover two of
the tallest possible screens with any rich sombre colored drapery and
stand them against the back wall. In the Los Angeles production, the
chancel was represented by a curtain of black velvet, flanked by two
silver pillars, between them the altar. Black makes an exceedingly rich
and effective foil for bright colored costumes. Whatever is used for
backing in the chancel can be masked if unsatisfactory by Christmas
greens, which should be arranged in long vertical lines that carry the
eye up as high as possible and give a sense of dignity, or in the Gothic
curves suggestive of church architecture.

Against this background, and in the center of the space, place the
altar. This can be made of a packing box painted gold or covered with
suitable hangings. In one performance of this play a sectional bookcase
which stood in the room was hung with purple cheese cloth and served as
an altar. Should the stage space be deep enough broad steps before the
shrine will give an added height to the priest and the angel.

If it is possible to have real scenery the most illusive method of
revealing and hiding the chancel is to have the back of the hut painted
on a gauze drop, which is backed by a black curtain. At the cue for
showing the chancel the lights in front of the gauze go out leaving the
stage dark, then the black opaque curtain is rolled up or drawn aside
and as the light is slowly turned on the chancel, the vision begins to
take form through the gauze, the latter becoming invisible and
transparent when there is no light in front of it. The gauze prevents
Holger from actually placing the pennies in the priest's hand but if the
two approach the gauze as though it were not there, and stretch out
their hands so that they seem to touch, the priest being provided with
additional pennies which he holds up at the altar, no one in the
audience would guess that the coins had not been given him by the child.

Very few halls ostensibly built to house amateur play-giving are
adequate for the purpose.--Often the stage is merely a shallow platform
without curtains to separate the actors from the audience, and the
ceiling and walls surrounding the stage are so finished that the
necessary screws for hanging curtains, may not be driven into them. The
amateur manager reaches the depths of despair when he finds that even
the floor of the shallow platform offered him, is of polished hardwood
and may not be marred by the screws of stage braces.

Amateurs who have any voice in the preparation of the stage being built
for them, should urge the following specifications:

1. The ceiling of the stage to be at least twice as high as the
proscenium arch.

2. The depth of the stage to be at least fifteen feet, deeper if the
size of the place permits.

3. The flooring, walls and ceiling of the stage to be of soft wood, into
which nails and screws may be driven; or if the main construction is of
brick, concrete or metal, some inner wooden scaffolding or other
overhead rigging capable of supporting scenery should be provided.

4. There should be some space on both sides of the stage for keeping
scenery and properties to be used later in the play, and as a waiting
place for actors temporarily off the stage. The platform forming the
stage proper should be continued over these wings so that actors leaving
the scene may walk off on a level and not seem to plunge cellarward in
making their exits.


The important thing to be remembered about the lighting is the crescendo
of light which occurs as the play runs its course. First the dim little
hut so lit by the firelight, that the expressions on the faces of the
actors can just be seen without straining the eyes of the audience. Then
the rich but subdued lighting of the chancel and finally the brilliant
radiance shining on the angel.

Experiments with electricity should not be attempted by persons who do
not understand its use, but if there is a competent electrician in the
group putting on the play, use electric lighting by all means. No other
form of light is so easily controlled or begins to give such effects for
stage purposes.

The problems of theater lighting differ with each set of conditions and
the best results can only be obtained by actual experiment with the
means at hand. Do not feel that because you are an amateur, working with
limited equipment, real beauty is beyond you. I have seen a stage
picture approaching a Rembrandt in its charm of coloring and skilful use
of shadows, created on a tiny stage with few appliances by an amateur
who understood his lights.

If electricity is to be had, use three or four incandescent globes for
the fire on the hearth, arranging logs of wood around them to simulate a
fire. Additional lights as needed can be placed at the side off stage,
or in the footlights; or better, if the stage has a real proscenium
these supplementary lights can be put in a "trough" that protects and
intensifies them and hung overhead in the center against the back of the
proscenium arch.

As all these lights are to give a firelight effect, the incandescent
globes should be dipped in a rich amber shade of coloring medium which
may be bought at any electrical supply house for sixty cents per half
pint. If gas or oil is used a firelight effect can be obtained by
slipping amber gelatine screens in front of the lamps. These "gelatines"
are about two feet square and cost only ten cents apiece.

If the fire-place cannot be made, then a charcoal brazier will serve as
an excuse for light and give a sense of warmth to the scene. The brazier
can easily be made by any tinsmith from a piece of sheet iron supported
on three legs, and there is an illustration of it in the right hand
corner of the accompanying scenery plate.--An electric torch or even an
ordinary lantern can be slipped inside the little stove to give out a
faint glow. A piece of one of the amber screens put over the torch or
lantern will warm the light and the brazier can be placed anywhere in
the hut.

The chancel may be lighted by a number of incandescent bulbs hidden at
the sides of the scene, with the light so shielded that it shines on the
altar and not into the hut. An especially effective place to put a
strong light is inside the box representing the altar, with a hole cut
in the top of the box so that the light shines up, giving a central
radiance to the appointments of the altar and throwing into prominence
the face and costume of each person who approaches it. If any of this
light seems glaring it can be softened and diffused by masking it with
amber or straw colored cheesecloth.

Some form of search light is practically a necessity for producing the
heavenly radiance that shines upon the angel. If procurable, a "baby
spot light" is the best appliance, but lacking this, an automobile lamp
and its battery can be used.

It is important that all light in the hut should go out when the vision
of the chancel appears so that the hut becomes merely an inner
proscenium or dark frame around the rich picture of the altar. This of
course does not mean that the lantern in the brazier need be
extinguished as the light given by that is negligible.

After the angel ceases speaking the tableau of the altar scene should be
held as the music grows louder and louder through the final crescendo;
then, when the final note has been sung, blot out the stage by
extinguishing all lights. Give a moment of darkness during which the
back wall of the hut is replaced, and the old woman slips out of the
nearest opening in the scenery. Then turn on the front lights which
illuminated the hut during the first part of the play.


The three pieces of music required for this play are as follows:

"The Sleep of the Child Jesus" part song for mixed voices by F.A.

Eightfold Alleluia composed for "Why the Chimes rang" by Percy Lee

These two pieces come published together in a special edition for use
with this play by The Boston Music Company. Price 15 cents per copy,

The bell movement (in five flats) (Postlude) by J. Guy Ropartz.
Published by The Boston Music Company. Price 30 cents per copy,

For all the music, address The Boston Music Company, 116 Boylston
Street, Boston, Mass.

The pieces by Ropartz and Gevaert were chosen for the Workshop
production by Dr. A.T. Davison, organist at Appleton Chapel, Harvard
University, and are admirably fitted to the play. Mr. Atherton's
Alleluia is also just what is needed, both in length and in the
triumphant crescendo which carries the piece fittingly and dramatically
to its close. It would be difficult to replace this finale except by
other music written for the purpose.

The music is perhaps the most important single element in the play. In
the original version the scene in the chancel was carried by dialogue
but production showed the mistake. From the time that the music begins,
it, with the pantomimic action of the actors is all sufficient to
interpret the mood and meaning of the scene.

A small parlor organ is practically a necessity and can probably be
procured for the cost of the cartage.

A choir of men's and women's voices is best for the singing but a good
quartette will serve.

For the bells, the long tubular chimes which are suspended by one end
and struck with a wooden hammer are the most satisfactory. If they seem
too metallic, try covering the head of the hammer with folds of chamois
skin. If such a set of chimes is not to be had a substitute can be found
in the phonograph, for which there are a number of chimes records.--The
tune played on the phonograph must not be a modern one; Luther's Hymn
"Great God, what do I see and hear?" (A Columbia record) is the best.
The tune can be disguised by lifting the needle occasionally and setting
it down gently on another part of the record. As far as I know, no
phonograph record presents chimes pure and simple. It should be
remembered however that the phonograph record lacks the vitality of tone
and the note of jubilant triumph which a good musician can bring from
the bells themselves.

With the exception of the crescendo at the end of the Alleluia, the
music is kept soft and dreamy throughout. It is a temptation to try to
achieve this effect by placing singers and organ back, off stage, so
that the sound may come from a distance but it has been found that the
whole performance gains immeasurably if the organist is in front where
he can watch every movement of the actors and interpret them in his

The music begins on Holger's speech: "Oh thou art warm" and continues in
one form or another throughout the play.--The organist commences in the
middle of the Ropartz "Sortie," at the top of page 6 and continues this
until the back of the hut is withdrawn when he drifts into the
accompaniment of the Gevaert song, and plays it through once without the
voices. As Holger cries "Dame!"--and sinks back against the woman's
knee, this verse should end, and the voices of the choir take up the
song with the organ.

From this point on every movement in the chancel is paced to the rhythm
of the music. It has been found that a verse of the Gevaert song is just
long enough to fit the following action.

A person in the procession enters the chancel, walks to the center
before the altar, kneels and presents his gift to the priest. The priest
accepts the gift, turns, goes up the steps to the altar, and raises the
offering high above his head holding it there a moment waiting for the
chimes to ring, then brings his arms down, lays the gift on the altar,
turns back to the kneeling figure, and raises his hand in blessing. The
person then rises, and steps back to his appointed place to the left or
right of the altar, coming to a standstill just as the music ends. As
the next verse begins, the next person enters the chancel. The movements
should be made with deliberation and dignity and so thoroughly rehearsed
that keeping time to the music becomes instinctive, that the actor's
mind may be on the expressing of the emotions of assurances that his
gift will ring the chimes, and later disappointment that the chimes do
not ring.

When it comes Holger's turn to offer the pennies, the music begins again
as with the others and accompanies the action through to the moment when
the priest holds the pennies high above his head,--here the organ and
singing break off abruptly, the chimes ring out and keep pealing for a
moment, without other music.

On the first note of the chimes the priest wheels swiftly and with a
commanding gesture signals the people grouped about the altar to their
knees. He kneels also. The organ begins again, softly playing the final
Alleluia. The angel enters from the right side, stands on the step of
the altar, the central figure,--all about still kneeling awestruck. As
the music continues the angel half sings, half chants the speeches, and
underneath her voice, which should be as lovely as possible, come in the
voices of the other singers very softly at first, like an echo from
afar. As the angel's voice stops, those of the other singers grow into
the great triumphant crescendo of the finale. Do not be afraid of
holding this tableau while the music finishes.--Indeed none of the
chancel scene should be hurried. Take it with great deliberation and
give whatever element is holding the scene at the moment, (whether the
action or the music) plenty of time to make its effect. The Alleluia is
played through twice, once softly during the angel's singing the second
time in the triumphant climax. As this second singing ends, the lights
on the chancel are blotted out, the back wall of the hut is replaced,
the old woman disappears, the lights in the hut go up again revealing
Holger standing spellbound staring at the wall where the vision had
been. As he turns to speak to the woman and during his final speeches,
the organ plays softly as though from a great distance and the chimes
ring again but not so loudly as before. This music continues till the
front screens are brought together and the play is over.






The costumes of this play are mediaeval, picturesque and easily
constructed.--The accompanying plates will give the best idea of their
general appearance. The amounts of goods required for each are noted

First of all, in planning the costuming for a play a definite color
scheme should be decided on with due regard for the scenery against
which the colors are to stand out and for the lights which will greatly
affect all values. Here is an opportunity for delightful study and the
exercise of the highest artistic ability. Skilful lighting and a well
chosen background will make cheesecloth as effective as cloth of gold.
Taste and careful experimentation not money secure the best results.

Family ragbags will often yield excellent material for theatrical
costumes, and of much better quality than would be bought new for the
purpose. But if the stuff is to be purchased, two materials will be
found especially suitable and inexpensive. For the peasants' costumes
canton flannel is recommended as it has body and comes in beautiful dark
reds, browns and other shades which light up well. For the dresses of
the richer group in the chancel, sateen is best. It, too, comes in
lovely colors and has a very rich glossy finish, though to give variety
an occasional piece of cheap velvet or upholstery brocade is very
effective. For trimming these richer garments, bits of fur or
passementerie can be used, or the material may be stencilled or even
painted freehand. Large gold beads sewed on in a simple design gives the
appearance of rich embroidery, as do also flowers cut out of chintz and
carefully pasted on.

All of the men's jerkins or tunics are made on the simple lines of a
man's shirt, opened a little at the neck and belted in at the waist.

The most inexpensive tights for amateurs are well-fitting cotton
underwear, dyed the desired color. The children and Bertel can wear
their own plain soft low-heeled slippers. The rich folk in the chancel
wear their own slippers and draw on over them, socks dyed to match the
tights; these socks if rolled down at the top make a very passable
substitute for the Romeo shoe of the period desired.

The following notes refer to the costumes of "Why the Chimes Rang" as
shown in the plates, the numbers corresponding to those given the
figures therein. The estimates of the amount of goods required are all
calculated on the basis of yard wide goods for an adult of average size,
except in the case of the two children, the costume of the older being
planned for a fourteen year old boy that of the younger for a child of

1. The old Woman: underrobe, cut in straight simple lines, gracefully
belted, 5-1/2 yards, cloak and hood, 6 yards. If this cloak is black or
nearly so it will help to conceal her entrance and exit, as black
against black is practically invisible on the stage.

2. Bertel: jerkin, gaiters and cap (all of same material), 3 yards;
shirt, (under jerkin) 2-1/2 yards; cloak, 2-1/2 yards. If preferred
Bertel's jerkin can be made with sleeves of the same goods instead of
the white shirt showing as in the picture.

3. Holger: jerkin and cap, 1-1/2 yards; cape, 2 yards.

4. Steen: jerkin and cap, 1-1/2 yards; cape, 2 yards.

It may be easier to lengthen the skirts of the boys' jerkins almost to
the knee and let them wear regular stockings and bloomers instead of
tights. If long sleeves are preferred for them, a pair of stockings cut
off at the ankle are easily attached at the arm hole and make very good

5. The Angel: outer robe, 7 yards; under robe, 5 yards.

This costume is best made of creamy cheesecloth over an under robe of
the same, as cheesecloth is faintly luminous in an intense light. It
should be long enough to lie on the floor two or three inches all round
as a trailing effect is desirable.

6. Rich Woman: dress, 6 yards.

Her head dress is easily made of stiff white paper rolled up in
cornucopia shape and sewed securely, over this a long white veil or
scarf is draped.

7. The Rich Man: tunic, 2 yards; shirt, 2-1/2 yards; or 1-1/2 yards if
the sleeves and neckpiece can be sewed right into the tunic, doing away
with the under garment. If the costumes are to have repeated wear, it
will be better to have the shirts made separate and of a washable
material, they can then be cleansed more frequently than will be
necessary for the tunics. The Rich Man's chain can be made of the heavy
brass chain that comes for draping back curtains.

8. The Priest: under robe, 4-1/2 yards; outer robe 6-1/2 yards. This
costume will of course be greatly modified by the custom of the church
of which he is supposed to be a representative.

9. The King: tunic, 2 yards; shirt, 2-1/2 yards; robe of office, 4-1/2
yards. The King's tunic in general cut is exactly like that of the other
two courtiers (nos. 7 and 12) but handsomer in material and trimming.
The robe is just a straight piece that hangs from the shoulder and
trails on the ground.

10. Sage: robe, 6 yards.

11. Young Girl: dress, 6 yards.

12. Courtier: tunic, 2 yards; shirt, 2-1/2 yards.


The following list gives the properties needed in the play.--

In the hut:

1. A porridge pot.

2. Three small bowls.

3. Three spoons. If pewter spoons are not to be had, wooden spoons can
be bought cheaply.

4. Porridge. Custard or Spanish cream looks like porridge and is more
easily eaten on the stage, but hot cream of wheat is also palatable if
sweetened and the steam from it will lend a touch of realism to the
scene.--It will save time to have it put in the three small bowls before
the rise of the curtain, and the bowls can be covered with three little
plates to keep the steam in till the food is wanted.

5. Two roughly made but substantial stools, one near the window, the
other before the fire. Stools are better than chairs with backs because
they do not obstruct the view of the audience during the chancel scene.

6. Three large nails or wooden pegs in the walls strong enough to hold
things, one on each side of the fire-place and one near the door. These
would be impracticable with scenery made of screens as any weight on the
screen would pull it over. A solid wooden chest, as a carpenter's tool
chest, could be substituted to hold the children's wraps and the extra
shawl for the old woman. The chest could be placed against the screen on
the left or right as convenient.

7. Steen's cap and cape.

8. Holger's cap and cape.

9. The extra shawl Holger puts around the old woman.

10. Two bright pennies for Holger's gift.

11. Logs of firewood on the hearth. Not needed of course if the brazier
is used instead of the fireplace.

In the chancel:

12. An altar cloth. This is properly a piece of fine linen edged with
deep real lace. It should not be so wide as to cover the top of the
altar, lest it obscure the light shining up through the hole. It should
hang down in front of the altar and at the sides about eighteen inches.
A very handsome looking lace altar cloth can be cut from white paper.

13. Candle-sticks.

14. Candles.

15. Two censers: Very passable censers can be made by swinging brass
cups on the brass chains that come for looping back curtains.

16. Incense.

17. Charcoal to burn the incense. (This comes in the box with the

18. Matches to light the incense.

19. The chimes (or the phonograph and record.)

20. The organ.

Gifts to be put on the altar.

21. A chest full of gold coins for the rich man. (This chest should be
about six by twelve inches, made of some polished wood. If difficult to
find, substitute a money-bag of stout canvas for it.)

22. Gold coin for the rich man. These coins may be made of cardboard
with gold paper pasted over them.

23. A gilded jewel box for the courtier (this can be made from a
cardboard box covered with gold paper.)

24. Jewels to fill the gilded box. The smaller things that come for
Christmas tree decorations make very acceptable stage jewels.

25. A great book bound in vellum for the sage to give. A heavy book can
be covered with wrapping paper the color of vellum.

26. A pearl necklace.

27. A great sheaf of fresh lilies. These can be made at home of tissue
paper or very beautiful ones can be bought from the Dennison
Manufacturing Company.

28. A golden crown. Made of cardboard coated with gold paper and set
with Christmas tree jewels. A more substantial crown can be made of thin
sheet brass with all the edges turned like a hem, and trimmed with the
inexpensive jewels which come for brass work.


Farce-comedy. 3 acts. By Sophie Kerr & Anna Steese Richardson. 7 males,
6 females. Interior. Modern costumes.

Herbert Kalness, the leading character, is a selfmade man. His success
and his belief in himself have unwittingly turned him into a domestic
autocrat. Moreover he prides himself on being a plain man and imagines
that he lives plainly, though his devoted and charming wife has
modernized and decorated their home quite successfully. The day arrives
when the daughter of the house becomes engaged, and at a dinner to
celebrate the event, Herbert, who has been upset and worried all day
about business, has a great big tantrum which even his wife can't
excuse. So, the next day, when he proposes to bring his best customer
and wife home to dinner--assuring them that he is a plain man--his wife
turns the house plain to the nth degree and serves them a plain dinner
in the plainest of ways. In a final riotous scene Herbert realizes that
he is not so plain, and that his life will be happier if he is more of a
father and less of a tyrant.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Dorothy Bennett & Irving White. 7 males, 6 females.
Interior. Modern costumes.

A comedy hit on Broadway. The four Masters children, ranging in age from
14 to 19, are enjoying their usual summer sojourn at Provincetown.
Without much enthusiasm they are looking forward to the imminent
marriage of their mother to the professor who has summered next door.
Then word comes that their mother, who is just completing the last two
weeks of her contract as dress designer in a Hollywood motion picture
studio, has invited their own father to visit them and make arrangements
for a divorce. They haven't seen him for twelve years and they are
determined he shan't treat them like children. James Masters, the
father, comes. Although he has a sense of humor and would sincerely like
to make friends with his children, he antagonizes them at once. For a
week the father struggles against the professor and his influence. After
the various problems have been more or less solved the children suddenly
decide that they prefer their own father as a member of the family and
set to work in a businesslike way to help him win their mother back.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


L.M. Montgomery's most popular novel, dramatized into a tender and
amusing play in 3 acts by Alice Chadwicke. 4 males, 10 females, 1
interior set. Modern costumes.

Mark Twain, the celebrated humorist, was so taken with the quaint charm
of L.M. Montgomery's tremendously popular novel that upon reading it for
the first time he said: "In 'Anne of Green Gables' you will find the
dearest and most moving and delightful girl since the immortal Alice."
[Anne is played by a girl in her middle teens.] And for years this
fascinating book has headed the list of best sellers. It has been made
twice as a movie, once a silent picture and only recently as a talkie,
but it has remained for the distinguished dramatist, Alice Chadwicke, to
make the first and only dramatization of this magically beautiful story.
Green Gables is the home of lovable Matthew Cuthbert and his stern
sister, Marilla Cuthbert. Nobody suspects that beneath her hard exterior
there lurks a soft and tender heart. When Matthew, after a great deal of
reflection, finally decides to adopt an orphan boy to help with his farm
work, Marilla grudgingly consents. Through a rattlebrained friend of
theirs, one Nancy Spencer, they agree to take a boy from the Hopeton
Orphanage. Marilla makes ready to receive the boy and Matthew drives to
the station to get him. Fancy his consternation when he finds little
Anne Shirley waiting for him! There has been a mistake and Anne has been
sent to Green Gables in lieu of a boy whom the Cuthberts plan to adopt.
From the instant Anne and Matthew meet a strong attachment grows up
between the little orphan and the man who has been starving for
affection without realizing it. Anne, with her vivid imagination, her
charitable viewpoint, her refreshing simplicity, touches the old
bachelor's heart. But not so with Marilla. She determines to send Anne
back to the orphanage the following day. But she reckons without Anne
who is so enchanted by everything at Green Gables and who cries and begs
and pleads so hard to remain that even Marilla finally gives in and
consents. Anne is the sort of part that every young girl will adore
playing, and the other parts offer splendid opportunities to the various
members of the cast. The play breathes of youth, is thoroughly modern in
spirit, very simple to prepare and present and Miss Chadwicke has
written into it such an abundance of warmth, wit, and motion that it
becomes an endless delight.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Aurania Rouverol. 7 males, 8 females, 1 set (patio).
Modern costumes.

Produced originally at the Ambassador Theatre in New York. George and
Terry are the son and daughter of Professor and Mrs. McIntyre who
struggle valiantly to lead their children through the difficult phases
of adolescence, so familiar to us all. Terry is shown outgrowing the
tomboy stage, and unable to play with the boys on an equal status. She
finds herself thrown back on her feminine resources; and how she tries
out her "resources," makes this play an illuminating study of feminine
psychology. George McIntyre, the boy adolescent, goes through the
customary symptoms of his age--begging his parents for a car--and
falling victim of the wiles of Prudence, a successful "vamp" in the
neighborhood. At a party George is sent out for some more ice cream. In
his rush to get back for his dance with Prudence, he passes a traffic
light, and is pursued home by an officer, subsequently is hauled off to
jail, loses Prudence, but discovers a new blue-eyed blonde in the

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Farce-comedy. 3 acts. By Frederick Jackson. 7 males, 3 females. 2
interiors. Modern costumes.

Produced originally by John Golden at the Court Theatre, New York, with
Walter Connolly in the leading role. Here is the story of the Bishop, an
elderly and saintly dignitary, who stops by accident with his charming
and quaint sister at a roadside inn just after there has been a hold-up
and robbery. The Bishop has always had a secret love for detective
stories and here is a chance to apply some of his choicest solutions.
His sister, thrilled with the excitement of it all, eagerly joins in.
The Bishop, now playing policeman, gobbles up clews and discovers the
stolen jewels. Deftly removing them from a mug on the wall he leaves in
their stead, one of his calling cards, and proceeds to his home to await
developments. The developments arrive in the form of three ruffians, the
masked hero in evening clothes, and the attractive heroine who had
engineered the robbery. From now on it is a game of outguessing, turning
tables, turning out lights, knife-brandishing, and gun-play, until the
Bishop finally emerges triumphant to bestow his blessing on the young
hero and charming heroine.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Ireland Wood. 3 males, 7 females. Interior. Modern

First produced at the Aldwych Theatre in London. The Deveral household
consists of old Mrs. Deveral, her middle-aged children--Agnes who is
efficient, Emily who is muddle-headed, and Henry who is fussy--and Judy
Deveral, her granddaughter. Rodney Walter, Henry's agent, is making love
to Judy, and she prefers him to the young and unsophisticated Bobbie
Forrester, who also loves her. It is Judy's eighteenth birthday, and her
relations feel that it is time to tell her about Aunt Catherine, the
black sheep of the family, who is supposed to have run off with another
woman's husband. It is the day of the village bazaar, and amid a lot of
hustle and bustle Catherine enters--the prodigal daughter most
inopportunely returned! As the day progresses Old Mrs. Deveral becomes
fractious, the Fête entertainment falls through and Judy decides to run
away with the unpleasant Rodney. Things are going from bad to worse when
Catherine steps in. She pacifies her mother, gives a talk on her
experiences to the Village audience, and convinces Judy that Bobbie is
nicer than Rodney. We hear, incidentally, that she never actually eloped
with her Philip after all.

(Royalty, $15.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Frederick Jackson. 4 males, 7 females. Interior.
Modern costumes.

Anita and Diana, who have been reared to regard gambling as something of
a major vice, decide to gamble on the stock market regardless, and with
beginner's luck they win four hundred thousand dollars. In order to keep
Morgan, an anti-gambling addict and Anita's fiancé, from discovering the
situation they tell him that the money was left Anita by an Uncle
William who died in the west. The little lies grow beyond the control of
the two girls in an amusing series of climaxes. Most amusing and
concerned is Grandma, who has to be convinced that she had a son
William. Morgan finally sees a flaw and hires a cowboy and an Indian
squaw--actors--to come and blackmail Anita for half the money. They are
to represent William's partner and wife. Anita realizes what Morgan has
done, so she scares the two with threats and they leave. She then tells
Morgan that she gave them the money, but he can't find them. Finally the
situation is cleared, and Anita is conceded to be very clever indeed.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Philip Barry. Adapted from an original play by
Eleanor Golden and Eloise Barrangon. 6 males, 7 females. 2 interiors.
Modern costumes.

This gay, light, frothy comedy was first produced by Jed Harris at the
Empire Theatre in New York where it found a ready audience. The story
concerns a number of New England college girls in general and one,
Alexandra--called Alex--Benson in particular, who finds it very
difficult to attract young men of any description; primarily because she
feels that she looks very much like a horse with a fly up its nose,
which as a matter of fact, she doesn't at all. Alex sets her heart on
Sam Thatcher, a Yale man who has turned against college and
regimentation to set off for Russia with a free-thinking, free-living,
rebellious companion oddly called "The Lippincott," who knows everything
about women except how to get along without them. When Alex can't seem
to get very far with the courtship by herself, her girl friends decide
to take the matter into their own hands to secure Sam for the sad and
bewildered Alex. They conspire to make Sam jealous as well as interested
in things other than communism, Russia, and candid cameras, and to raise
Alex to the rank of belle of the ball. Sam, a sad funny figure the world
over, finally capitulates under the ministrations of the many females,
and he and Alex elope to the great delight of Alex's gang.

"_Spring Dance_ is a bright and amusing comedy, splendidly adapted, in
cast, subject matter, and its collegiate background to students of high
school and college."--American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

"I recommend _Spring Dance_ to any theatre that is still selling
entertainment."--H. Miles Heberer, Director, The Manhattan Theatre,
Kansas State College.

"Its youthful spirit and gay wit made it more than just good
entertainment. Other Little Theatres will doubtless find, as we did,
that the casting will give them a chance to capitalize on the natural
popularity of young and enthusiastic actors."--Gordon Giffen, Director,
Little Theatre of Duluth.

_Spring Dance_, when offered by colleges, high schools, or Little
Theatres, draws extremely enthusiastic audiences.

(Royalty, $35.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Theodore Packard. 4 males, 3 females. Interior.
Modern costumes.

First done at Yale and several summer theatres, _Crab Apple_ is a light
and amusing play of contemporary American life enlivened with
up-to-the-minute allusions. "She's got a good mind," is said of one
character, "she's read 'Anthony Adverse.'" The play gives a brief
glimpse of everyday life in the Hunter family, with Mr. Hunter grown
crotchety and weary with business cares, making life miserable instead
of pleasant for the family he has toiled for. His wife meekly accepts
his grumblings and his tyranny. His children frequently threaten
rebellion, but their feelings smolder until the situation is brought
into sharp focus by the arrival of son Jim from college with a bride.
This overt act of Jim's gives courage to his brother George to bring
home a radio, banned as a nuisance by the head of the family, and to
sister Amy to blossom out in a low-backed evening gown and plan to step
out dancing. Mr. Hunter is only brought to reason by a conspiracy which
makes him believe he is seriously ill. The family coddles him into a
change of heart, and then finds it impossible to believe that their jest
has become earnest and that their father's health is really in danger.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Comedy. 3 acts. By Sidney Howard. 5 males, 4 females. Interior. Modern

Produced by Gilbert Miller in New York and elsewhere, this is one of the
outstanding successes of the theater season of 1932-33. The comedy has
to do with a family of New Englanders who have, years before, given
refuge to a great artist. The play opens some years after Bean's death,
with an excited world in pursuit of his work and any details they can
gather as to his life and character. Dr. Haggett and his family, who
have some of Bean's canvases, suddenly realize their value, and become
hard, selfish, and ill-tempered. It is, however, Abby, the family
servant, who ultimately holds them all in her power: she has one of his
greatest paintings, which she cannot be persuaded into selling or giving
away; it turns out that she is the only one who really understood and
appreciated the artist--besides, she had been married to him! An ideal
play for colleges and Little Theaters.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Chinese play. 4 acts. By S.I. Hsiung. 5 males, 5 females (extras).
Conventional Chinese scene for all sets. Chinese costumes.

This Chinese play by S.I. Hsiung, was produced successfully in New York,
and in London, where it was performed more than 500 times. It is in
every respect an authentic play written and performed in the Chinese
manner with the delightful and charming conventions of that ancient
institution. This beautiful romantic drama of love, fidelity, treachery
and poetry is a decidedly colorful fantasy that appeals to all classes
of theater goers. It tells, in varied scenes, of the devotion of a wife
for her adventurous husband, of his prowess as a warrior and his
ultimate return. (Not available for amateur production at present, but
if interested in producing let us know and we shall notify you
immediately it is released for your locality.)

Price, 75 cents.


Farcical comedy. 3 acts. By Brandon Thomas. 7 males, 5 females.
Interior, exterior. Modern costumes.

The first act introduces us to Jack Chesney's rooms in college. He is
violently in love with Kitty Verdun. A chum of his, Charles Wykeham, is
in the same quandary, loving Miss Spettigue. The young men at once lay
their plans and ask the objects of their affections to join them at
their rooms for luncheon--in order to meet Donna Lucia D'Alvadorez,
Charley's aunt, who is expected to arrive from Brazil. Miss Spettigue
and Miss Verdun accept the invitation, but the millionaire Donna from
the antipodes sends a telegram saying that she will have to defer her
visit for a few days. The problem is solved at once by forcing another
undergraduate of the name of Lord Fancourt Babberley into a black satin
skirt, a lace fichu, a pair of mitts, an old-fashioned cap and wig. As
Charley's Aunt, then, this old frump is introduced to the sweethearts,
to Jack Chesney's father, and to Stephen Spettigue. Unexpectedly the
real aunt turns up, but she assumes the name of Mrs. Smith or Smythe. To
attain his object,--viz., the rich widow's hand--the solicitor invites
everybody to dinner. She gets his consent to the marriage of his ward to
young Chesney, and eventually everybody but the avaricious solicitor is
rendered overwhelmingly happy.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Drama. 3 acts. By Elizabeth McFadden. 7 males, 5 females. Interior.
Costumes, 1910.

An outstanding success on Broadway. Its theme is the battle for power
that goes on in an old New York family and culminates on the verge of
murder. "This one deserves especial thanks and hearty praises. It
returns us to expertness and fascination and fine mood in the theater."
Gilbert Gabriel, in _New York American_. "At last a play has come to
town that can be heartily recommended. Sturdy theater, compelling. Once
you are within the radius of _Double Door_ you will remain transfixed
until you know what's behind it." Bernard Sobel, _Daily Mirror_.
"_Double Door_ is a thriller of a new kind, beautifully written,
superbly played, clean as a whistle, and arousing in its spectators a
tenseness of interest I have rarely seen equaled in a playhouse."
E. Jordan, _America_. Leading part acted by Mary Morris in America and
by Sybil Thorndike in London. A play that will challenge the best acting
talent of Little Theatres and colleges.

(Royalty, $25.00.) Price, 75 cents.


Play. 3 acts. By John Van Druten. 5 males, 8 females. 2 interiors.
Modern costumes.

Produced with preeminent success in London and New York. Mr. Van
Druten's new play deals with the women of one family, women so unlike
that they set one another off startlingly. There is the tart, querulous
old Mrs. Venables, and there are her three daughters--Nellie who is
married and whose life has slipped away from her in the provinces; Liz
who is divorced and whose life has been brilliant and unconventional on
the Continent; and Evie who is a widow and whose life has been spent
being happy through others--her husband, her children, her friends.
Evie's young daughter Alex is the fifth woman in the family, and the
drama of _The Distaff Side_ centers chiefly in her and her two suitors
who represent such different things. But if the plot belongs to Alex,
the honors of the play go to her mother--for seldom has a modern
playwright drawn so warm and womanly and endearing a character as Evie.
The family life of these people is extraordinarily human, but it is Evie
that it revolves around, Evie who lights it up.

(Royalty, $35.00.) Price, 75 cents.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act" ***

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