"Rascal Rite for Christmas seems to be the perfect play for a youth group; it has drama, comedy, life in every character, and it brings home a beautiful message to Christmas. This play is great for teaching others to take a stand on what is right, even if it means doing the hard thing and going against the grain; overall, a fun-filled and well-done play!” Austin P
ACT I: Scene 1
Setting: Outside, in the cold. Several boxes are stacked. Rola sits on a box, head down. Reese stands near Rola. Rascal is in a red hat, pacing.
ROLA: I can't believe old man Miller tossed us out.
RASCAL: Start believing. He's a dirty, no good, stinkin'—
RASCAL: Well, he is.
REESE: Ma wouldn't have you speakin' of our elders in such a blatant manner.
RASCAL: She ain't here to state her preferences, now is she? Mr. Miller is a rotten skunk who preys on innocent victims havin' the misfortune of not being able to pay rent. Lousy scum.
ROLA: Are we gonna die? Like Pa?
RASCAL: (lean toward her) You see me sick? You see me takin' this eviction lying down?
ROLA: No, but—
RASCAL: No buts. (turn away quickly/pace) I gotta think. That's what. Gotta figure out what we're gonna do. Just give me a minute.
ROLA: I'm cold. And hungry.
REESE: Guess you better get used to that.
ROLA: (shocked) How can I get used to eating nothing? I've been near-starved ever since Ma left.
REESE: We've been trying, Rola. Now hush. Let Rascal and me think.
ROLA: I can think too.
REESE: (pat her head as you move L) I know you can.
RASCAL: (to Reese) Who do we know who could help us out of this predicament?
REESE: No one. We don't have any relatives this side of the ocean.
ROLA: (stand) We could find Ma.
RASCAL: (forceful) No sirree, we won't go beggin' on her doorstep.
ROLA: I miss her.
Cold, penniless, and without a place to call home, Rascal Rite and her two sisters try to make it on their own. But times are hard in New York City, 1855. And because orphans are running wild on the streets, they're caught and transported to the mid-west, where farmers are in desperate need of workers. Soon, the Rite sisters are bound for Ohio. But when it comes to finding a real home, Rascal Rite proves to be like her name—a rascal! Can they find a place to call their own before Christmas? Or is it too late for Rascal Rite?
10 Cast Members
Approx. length: 1 1/4 hours
Rascal Rite feels the weight of the world as she and her sisters are kicked out of their tiny apartment, and left to fend for themselves on the streets of New York City. The year is 1855, and times are hard. Orphans run rampant on the streets, begging and stealing. Rascal decides to join them in the hope of providing food for her two sisters--Reese and Rola.
At the same time, Fredrick Collins, a Children's Aid Society advocate, helps gather up orphans and sends them to the mid-west, where farmers in Ohio are in desperate need of workers. His assistant, Eva Prescott, argues children need a happy home, not to be condemned to a life of labor, but Fredrick is certain the children will grow up better than they would on the streets of NYC.
As children are sent to the mid-west, word on the street travels fast--right to Rascal's ears. The three sisters have been invited to sleep in Lucy Lupine's shed for a few nights, and Rascal must find a way for her and hers sisters to escape NYC, before it's too late.
In Ohio, Clara Ivins, a farmer's wife, and Rebekah Delaney, an innkeeper, hear about the Orphan Train Children for the first time. Clara is eager to get a boy to work their farm. Rebekah ponders the idea of bringing a young lady into her home, but she doesn't like the way Clara wants a child as a mere worker. Don't children need something more to live and survive?
The Rite sisters, along with their newfound friends, are soon captured and placed on a train bound for Ohio. Miss Prescott tries to assure them good families await. But the youngsters can only imagine the worst. That they'll be turned into slaves--and separated for good.
The journey is long and trying, especially for Rascal, who remembers her promise to her pa to look after the other two. How can she do that if she's captured? If they're torn apart? There seems only one thing left to do. Run!
Will the Rite sisters ever find a real family?
Or love in time for Christmas?
Clean Plays with Heart!