Thursday, 22 December 2016

Anita's secret or Christmas in the Steerage (6 and last)

Part 1     -     Part 2    -     Part 3     -     Part 4     -     Part 5




The stage should be set to represent the steerage of a large ocean-going vessel. A good elaborate set may be arranged with very little expense by following the diagram. The back drop should be of light blue with a few cumulus clouds in white. The water line should be about one-fourth from the bottom, and from this line downward the scene should be darker blue, with white waves.

The background may be made from canvas or paper, as desired. A good effect has been produced by covering frames with tissue paper of the desired shades, the clouds and the water lines being cut from white paper and pasted on.

A railing runs across rear of stage. This railing is made of wood, with a tennis net serving for the wiring. Round life-savers are cut from paper, painted and attached to the railing. The ventilator and hatchways may be made from brown bristol board.
A large Christmas tree, lighted and decorated, stands at rear L. This is concealed by curtains.
A square box or table stands at rear C. Several barrels and boxes are at left front, and a box is at right front. A large barrel stands at left of centre near the rear.


Woolen stocking and knitting needles for Meeny.
Potatoes, knife, bowl for Biddy Mary.
Jack-stones for Sergius.
Tambourine for Anita.
Nickel (coin) for Jack Frost.
Violin for Tomasso.
White, lace-edged table cloth for Sergius.
Large candle decorated with red ribbons for Paddy Mike.
Bright picture of Virgin and Child for Tomasso.
Two large red stockings for Meeny.
Extra stockings for Yakob, Hans and Mieze.
Wreath of holly for Neelda.
Small wooden shoes for Tomasso.
Tinsel star for Hulda.
Telescope for Jack Frost. Made from a pasteboard roll covered with black cloth
Toy air ship on a wire, to sail across stage at rear.
Pack of toys for Santa Claus.
Sleigh bells for Santa.
Chimes heard outside.


Santa Claus—High boots. Red or brown coat or mackinaw, trimmed with fur (or cotton, dotted to imitate ermine fur). Cap to match coat. String of bells around neck. Pack of toys. White hair, mustache and long, white beard. Rosy cheeks. Do not wear a false-face, as this often frightens little children and makes the character seem unreal. When there are little children in the cast, their belief in Santa Claus must not be disturbed and the adult portraying the character need not attend the general rehearsals. The high boots may be shaped from black oil-cloth and drawn on over black shoes. Use a pillow or two to give an ample girth.

Jolly Jack Frost (aged 8 or 9)—A jolly, little chubby-faced boy who can memorize and deliver a long part. White stockings and shoes. Canton flannel suit of white, trimmed with long points cut from cloth, to represent icicles. Long-pointed cap of white, coming down around back of head and forming a long-pointed collar in front. The top point should be wired into position. Face and hands are powdered very white. Put small dabs of mucilage on the costume and sprinkle here and there with diamond dust powder. Trim the costume with bits of cotton to represent snow.

Anita (aged 8 or 9)—Dark hair and complexion. Black slippers with red rosettes or bows on them. White stockings. Green skirt. Small dark red apron, edged with white, black and green. Black spencer waist laced in front showing the white underwaist. Puffed sleeves falling to elbows. Green and red bows on elbows. Red silk handkerchief laid loosely over the shoulders. Gold beads around neck. Large earrings may be attached with court plaster. The headdress is a white oblong cloth, about six inches wide and about eighteen inches long. This cloth is gayly decorated with bands of red, green and black ribbons and the part on the head is padded with a small square of pasteboard. Tambourine decorated with red, black and green ribbons. A yellow silk handkerchief may replace the Sicilian headdress above described.

Hulda (aged 10)—A blonde girl with hair in two long braids. Wooden shoes, white stockings. Several very full underskirts. Long skirt of dark blue, made very full around the bottom. This skirt is patched with squares of dark red and striped goods. Large blue gingham apron edged with stripes of dark red. White waist. Blue bodice of same material as skirt. Small white cap fitting close to head in back, but turned back in front with points over each ear. Face round and rosy. If the wooden shoes are not easily obtained, fair substitutes may be made by covering an old pair of shoes with cream coloured oil-cloth.

Sergius (aged 9)—Black oil-cloth leggings to knees. Dark trousers. Long Russian blouse of dark green coming nearly to knees and belted in at waist with black oil-cloth belt. Blouse edged with dark fur. Dark green cap trimmed with dark fur.

Meeny (aged 7)—Full white waist. Black bodice laced with red. Rather short red skirt, with black stripes sewed around bottom. White lace apron edged with red and black. White mob cap, puffed high in front. Red and black strings on cap which are tied under her chin. She carries a gray woolen sock, half finished, and knitting needles. Wooden shoes if possible.

Biddy Mary—Old shoes and ragged stockings. Old-fashioned dress, rather short, of plaid gingham. Worn gingham apron. Little square shawl of red and black checked goods, crossed on breast. Old-fashioned, little black bonnet tied under her chin. She carries a pan of potatoes and a knife. Her age is about 8.

Paddy Mike—Small boy of 7, dressed in a man's suit, cut down in a clumsy manner. Green vest.[Pg 89] Black swallow-tail coat. Little plug hat, made by covering a pasteboard form with black cloth. Shoes, old and worn, and many, many sizes too large for him.

Tomasso—Black slippers, white stockings. Red and yellow ribbons wound around legs. Black knee breeches and zouave jacket. Striped sport shirt. Red and yellow bows at knees and on shoulders. Red handkerchief knotted loosely at throat. Black felt hat, turned up side, gayly decorated with red and yellow ribbons. On his second entrance he carries a violin. A dark complexioned boy aged about 9.

The Dutch Twins (aged 4 or 5)—Hair in Buster Brown style. Very full blue trousers extending from under the arms to ankles. These are made of blue denim and patched with large vari-colored patches. Wooden shoes. Striped shirts. Dutch caps made of dark cloth, with a peak in front and a crown about six inches high. The twins should be dressed exactly alike and look as much alike as possible. Get chubby little fellows and thoroughly rehearse them in their part; in fact they must go over it so much that it must come as second nature to them on the night of the performance. Much of the humor in the play depends on the little Dutch twins. When they walk let them take long striding steps. Use frequent gestures, nods, etc., in their dialogue, but be sure and have every movement exactly the same at each rehearsal. These parts are not difficult if the little actors are well trained, and their success on the night of the performance will amply repay the trouble spent in their proper coaching.

Neelda—A little brunette girl, aged 4 or 5. Yellow sateen skirt and zouave jacket, trimmed with coarse black lace. Broad red sash tied on the side. White baby waist. Black lace mantilla over head, and hair dressed high with a high comb. Red rose over left ear.

Ah Goo—A chubby little Chinese boy of 5. White stockings, black slippers, white pajamas, slanting eyebrows, small round white cap and long pig-tail made of black yarn. Carries Chinese kite.

Yakob—Chubby boy of 6, dressed similar to twins, but in contrasting colors. Wears yarn stocking cap. Wooden shoes.
Hans—Tall, thin boy of 9. Dressed similar to the twins, but in brown. Tall black cap similar to those worn by the twins.
Mieze—Little girl of 3 or 4, dressed similar to Hulda, but in dark red and red and white checked gingham.
Sano San—Little Japanese girl in kimono and sash. Eyebrows slanting. Hair dressed high. Chrysanthemums over ears. Carries a paper parasol or fan.
The Christmas tree is for the whole school and is concealed during the first part of the play by curtains. If there is to be no tree, all reference to it may be omitted without injury to the continuity of the play.
Other songs may be substituted for the songs here given, but these have proved very successful in several performances of Anita's Secret.


  1. Children are so cute on pic.
    I had a another pic in My head..
    Thank you, Han. What s nice Christmas play..

    Mona Lisa

    1. Children are often portrayed like this at that time.

      I think it's so wonderful all these directions that could be helpful to stage a play with many kids and one Santa Clause. Because there is only one Santa Clause, everybody knows that.



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