As children sing joyful Christmas carols, three storytellers begin to tell the tale of an old man named Scrooge….
The play opens on Christmas Eve, 1843. Ebenezer Scrooge is working at his money lending business with his clerk, Bob Cratchit.
Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, stops by to invite Scrooge to join him for Christmas dinner, but Scrooge rejects the offer without a second thought. Two solicitors stop by to ask that Scrooge consider donating to the poor, but Scrooge angrily declines and sends the men out.
Mr. Cratchit asks Scrooge for his wages and reminds him that Mr. Marley, Scrooge’s old partner, gave Mr. Cratchit Christmas Day off just before he died on a Christmas Eve seven years ago.
Scrooge returns home where he encounters his housekeeper, Mrs. Dilber. As she leaves, Scrooge barks that he expects her at work on Christmas morning. Now alone in his bedroom, Scrooge hears strange stirrings. From the darkness, the ghost of Mr. Marley suddenly appears.
Mr. Marley warns Scrooge that he was condemned to live as a ghost because of his greed. Marley tells Scrooge that three spirits will visit him that evening. This, Marley explains, will be Scrooge’s last chance to avoid Marley’s fate.
As the hour strikes one, the Ghost of Christmas Past appears in Scrooge’s bedroom. She and Scrooge travel to the Christmases of Scrooge’s youth. First, they see a memory of Fan, Scrooge’s older sister, who tells young Scrooge to come home for Christmas. We learn that Fan grew up to have a son, Scrooge’s nephew Fred, and that Fan died long ago.
Next, the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge a memory of Scrooge and Marley as young men apprenticing for Mr. Fezziwig. Mr. Fezziwig is hosting a joyful Christmas Eve party for all his workers. Belle, Scrooge’s sweetheart, joins in the merriment and Scrooge proposes to her.
Before the Ghost of Christmas Past departs, she shows Scrooge yet another Christmastime: a sad event where Belle leaves Scrooge, returning his engagement ring. Belle tells Scrooge that he has changed and has become obsessed with money. Scrooge does not go after her.
Scrooge watches the scene in agony, begging the Ghost of Christmas Past to return him home.
As the hour strikes two, the Ghost of Christmas Present appears. She is a jovial spirit who uses a special elixir to bring good tidings to all. She and Scrooge travel to present-day Christmases around London. First, they see the Cratchit family’s Christmas. Their house is small but filled with children: Belinda, Peter, Martha and Tiny Tim.
Tiny Tim is very ill and uses crutches, but he still rejoices in the blessings he has and tries to spread Christmas cheer. Scrooge asks the spirit whether Tiny Tim will live, and the Ghost of Christmas Present says no.
Next, Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present travel to the Christmas Party of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. Fred’s party is full of games and laughter. There, Fred tell his friends that he will never give up on his uncle because he knows that his mother, Fan, truly loved Scrooge.
As the hour strikes three, the Ghost of Christmas Future appears, and the two travel to a Christmas yet to come. They find that Scrooge has died alone in his home and that people are pleased to be rid of their cantankerous neighbor and to make a profit by selling his belongings.
They also see that Tiny Tim has died and that the Cratchit family is in mourning. Scrooge is overcome with emotion and vows to prevent this grim future from coming true by reforming his ways.
Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning a changed man. He accepts Fred’s invitation to Christmas dinner, gives Bob Cratchit a raise and pledges to help Cratchit find the best care for Tiny Tim. He even invites everyone to a Christmas luncheon at his home.
As the show ends, we learn that Scrooge kept his promises. Tiny Tim lived, and Scrooge became a second father to him. Scrooge became a good man and a good friend. Most importantly, he continued to bring Christmas cheer to all!