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26 CENTS




The Meaning of
Thanksgiving Day



THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY



Successful Rural Plays

A Strong List From Which to Select Your
Next Play

FARM FOLKS. A Rural Play in Four Acts, by ARTHUR
LEWIS TUBES. For five male and six female characters. Time
of playing, two hours and a half. One simple exterior, two
easy interior scenes. Costumes, modern. Flora Goodwin, a
farmer's daughter, is engaged to Philip Burleigh, a young New
Yorker. Philip's mother wants him to marry a society woman,
and by falseheods makes Flora believe Philip does not love her.
Dave Weston, who wants Flora himself, helps the deception by
intercepting a letter from Philip to Flora. She agrees to marry
Dave, but on the eve of their marriage Dave confesses, Philip
learns the truth, and he and Flora are reunited. It is a simple
plot, but full of speeches and situations that sway an audience
alternately to tears and to laughter.

HOME TIES. A Rural Play in Four Acts, by ARTHUR
LEWIS TUBES. Characters, four male, five female. Plays two
hours and a half. Scene, a simple interior same for all four
acts. Costumes, modern. One of the strongest plays Mr. Tubbs
has written. Martin Winn's wife left him when his daughter
Ruth was a baby. Harold Vincent, the nephew and adopted son
of the man who has wronged Martin, makes love to Ruth Winn.
She is also loved by Len Everett, a prosperous young farmer
When Martin discovers who Harold is, he orders him to leave
Ruth. Harold, who does not love sincerely, yields. Ruth dis-
covers she loves Len, but thinks she has lost him also. Then
he comes back, and Ruth finds her Happiness.

THE OLD NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME. A New

England Drama in Three Acts, by FRANK DUMONT. For seven
males and four females. Time, two hours and a half. Costumes,
modern. A play with a strong heart interest and pathos, yet rich
in humor. Easy to act and very effective. A rural drama of
the "Old Homstead" and "Way Down East" type. Two ex-
terior scenes, one interior, all easy to set. Full of strong sit-
uations and delightfully humorous passages. The kind of a play
Everybody understands and likes.

"E OLD DAIRY HOMESTEAD. A Rural Comedy
in Three Acts, by FRANK DUMONT. For five males and four
females. Time, two hours. Rural costumes. Scenes rural ex-
terior and interior. An adventurer obtains a large sum of money
from a farm house through the intimidation of the farmer's
niece, whose husband he claims to be. Her escapes from the
wiles of the villain and his female accomplice are both starting
and novel.

A WHITE MOUNTAIN BOY. A Strong Melodrama in
Five Acts, by CHARLES TOWNSEND. For seven males and four
females, and three supers. Time, two hours and twenty minutes.
One exterior, three interiors. Costumes easy. The hero, a
country lad, twice saves the life of a banker's daughter, which
results in their betrothal. A scoundrelly clerk has the banker
in his power, but the White Mountain boy finds a way to check-
mate his schemes, saves the banker, and wins the girl.

THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY

PHILADELPHIA



THE MEANING OF
THANKSGIVING DAY

A Seasonal Play



By
CAROLYN WELLS

Author of "Queen Christmas" "The
Sweet Girl Graduate, ' ' etc.




PHILADELPHIA

THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY
1922



COPYRIGHT
1922 BY
THE PENN
PUBLISHING
COMPANY




The Meaning of Thanksgiving Day

LOOS tZr 4 '** 3



PS



The Meaning of Thanksgiving Day



CAST OF CHARACTERS

CERES Goddess of Grain.

POMONA Goddess of Fruits.

PEACE An Attendant.

PLENTY An Attendant.

FATHER TIME.

MOTHER EARTH.

GRANDFATHER.

GRANDMOTHER.

FATHER.

MOTHER.

SON.

DAUGHTER.



1099674



COSTUMES

CERES, Goddess of Grain, wears costume of light
yellow and wheat ears and poppies in her hair. .She
presides over the sheaves.

POMONA, Goddess of Fruits, wears costume of deep
yellow and russet or red, with autumn leaves and
flowers. She presides over the harvest of vegetables
and fruits.

PEACE wears a costume of white, with classic
draperies.

PLENTY wears a costume of purple and gold.

FATHER TIME wears the usually pictured " Father
Time " costume.

MOTHER EARTH wears a costume of brown and
green, trimmed with leaves. She carries a garden
basket with small tools and little pots of slips or cut-
tings. A few flowers are stuck carelessly in her hair
or on her dress.

GRANDFATHER wears picturesque costume of
Colonial or Pilgrim Father type.

GRANDMOTHER wears picturesque costume of
Colonial or Pilgrim Mother type.

FATHER wears modern, attractive clothes.

MOTHER wears modern, attractive clothes.

SON wears up-to-date outing clothes.

DAUGHTER wears an attractive sport suit.



The Meaning of Thanksgiving
Day



SCENE. Harvest Hall. Decorated with Autumn
leaves, vines and evergreens, also late Autumn
flowers. On one side are picturesque heaps of all
sorts of Autumn fruits and vegetables, and on the
other side, sheaves of grain, corn, etc., attractively
arranged.
(CERES, POMONA, PEACE and PLENTY discovered on

stage.)

(The four sing. Air, "Battle Hymn of the Repub-
lic.")
The earth has rolled around again and harvest time

is here,
The glory of the seasons and the crown of all the

year ;

Let us voice our thanks and praises in a chorus of
good cheer,

For it is Thanksgiving Day.

For the early crops and later;
For the lesser fruits and greater,
All give thanks to our Creator,
For it is Thanksgiving Day.

We're thankful for the sunshine and we're thankful

for the rain,
That blessed our faithful labors and that ripened

fruit and grain;
And the harvest so abundant shows our work was

not in vain,

On this Thanksgiving Day.

(Chorus as above.)

5



6 THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

(Enter FATHER TIME. He bows to the GODDESSES
with great dignity.)

TIME.

Ceres ! Pomona ! Peace and Plenty, too.

Greetings and compliments I bring to you.

Fair goddesses of bounty, I declare,

Each year your harvest seems more rich and rare.

And I appreciate, with thanks sincere,

This splendid product of a bounteous year.

Pomona, Ceres, at your feet I lay

My tribute on this glad Thanksgiving Day.

(TiME lays a long green palm at the feet of each
goddess, then goes to the seat prepared for him on
a platform at the back center of stage. PEACE and
PLENTY take up the palms and put them in appro-
priate places.)

(Enter MOTHER EARTH. She is plump and smiling,
and carries a garden basket with small tools and
little pots of slips or cuttings. A few flowers are
stuck carelessly in her hair or dress, and her effect
is gay, busy and good-natured.)

EARTH.

Good-day, Pomona, good-day, Ceres, dear.
What noble showing of Thanksgiving cheer!

(Looks critically, and fingers the exhibit.)
Fine turnips and potatoes I'll allow!
And apples, right up to the mark, I vow !
These are some pumpkins ! And this wheat and

corn

I've never seen surpassed since I was bom!
Goddesses, dear, you've surely done me proud,
With joy I sing your praises, long and loud.
What say you, Father Time, don't you agree
A fairer, finer harvest scarce could be?

(MOTHER EARTH goes to her place, beside TIME, and
then all sing.)

CHORUS (air, "Seeing Nelly Home.")



THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY J

Now the Harvest moon is shining

In the blue of Heaven's dome.
And within this hall of peace and plenty
We have met for Harvest Home.

Here we sing our Harvest Home,
Our abundant Harvest Home;
And with songs of joy and glad Thanksgiving,
Celebrate our Harvest Home.

TIME.

We are at one, my children, one and all

Who are here gathered in this Harvest Hall.

Fair Ceres, with her grain in golden sheaves,

Pomona, with her store of fruits and leaves;

Dear Peace and Plenty, happy in thought

That Harvest time hath such abundance brought.

While Mother Earth is smiling in content;

And I, myself, enjoy the glad event.

And yet, this peace and plenty, all of it,

Is meant the human race to benefit.

Now here's a question that I'd like to ask;

As they, in this fair peace and plenty bask,

Do they appreciate what we bestow?

And are they grateful? This I'd like to know.

EARTH.

That's so, oh, Father Time, I've often thought
Some folks don't seem as grateful as they ought.
Do they show gratitude ? Not they, indeed !
They take all that we give, and pay no heed

TIME.

Now, Mother Earth, don't you be too severe
On our own children ! Maybe, if we'd hear
Their story

EARTH. That's the thing to do ! I say,
To-day they celebrate Thanksgiving Day
On earth. And I propose we try to find
Just what Thanksgiving means to mortal mind.

TIME.
How go about it ?



8 THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

PEACE. I'll suggest a way.

Let's bring some mortal up here, let him say
Just what he means by giving thanks.

EARTH. And then

By him can we judge all the mortal men?

TIME.

A man and woman both, we must invite.

PLENTY.

Nay, more than that. I think it would be right
To bring a family

EARTH. Yes, that's it ! You know

Thanksgiving Day's a family feast, and so,
Go, Peace and Plenty, quick, be on your way !
And bring a family here from earth.

PEACE. But stay,

What is a family?

TIME. Family ? Let me see ;
A father and a mother there must be

EARTH.

Grandfather and grandmother, too, I think.

TIME.

Yes, and a son and daughter. Quick as wink,
Fly, Peace and Plenty, and bring back with you,
A human family, typical and true.

(PEACE and PLENTY depart on their errand. The
four remaining sing. Air, "Highland Laddie.")

POMONA.
Oh, what do you think that a mortal family's like?

CERES.

Oh, what do you think that a mortal family's like?

EARTH.

They're not a bit like you, dears, they're made of
common clay.



THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY 9

TIME.

But it's aye in my heart that they love Thanksgiv-
ing Day !

POMONA.
Oh, what do you think that a human family '11 do ?

CERES.

Oh, what do you think that a human family '11 do ?

EARTH.

They'll do the queerest things, dear, the queerest
things they'll say.

TIME.

But it's aye in my heart that they'll love Thanks-
giving Day.

(Enter PEACE and PLENTY, bringing the HUMAN
FAMILY: GRANDFATHER and GRANDMOTHER; FA-
THER and MOTHER ; SON : athletic, up-to-date,
wholesome young inai,, DAUGHTER: efficient, sen-
sible and pretty. The best type of modern girl-
hood.)

( The old people have courtly, courteous manners.
The parents are well-bred and conventional. The
young people are frankly curious and enthusiastic.}

CERES and POMONA.

Welcome, oh, mortals, to our Harvest Home.

GRANDMOTHER (dropping old-fashioned curtsey).
Thank you ; we're very glad, indeed, to come.

GRANDFATHER.

My ! it's a treat to see such garden truck !

FATHER.

Yes; in your crops you surely had good luck!

SON (smiling, but superior}.
Not luck, Dad. It is scientific skill,



IO THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

TIME (kindly}.

It's hard work, laddie, that best fills the bill.
Now, mortals, by your leave, we brought you here
For your opinion of Thanksgiving cheer.
To put it plainly, will you tell us, please,
How you return your thanks for gifts like these ?

EARTH.

Or, to express it in another way,

How do you give thanks nn Thanksgiving Day?

MOTHER (of a housewifely tvpe, and smiling broadly*).
In my opinion, if you ask ai me,
When all these bounties of the earth I see,
I'd show appreciation, I confess,
By eating and enjoying ( IK:- m no less !
And every mother in this \vhole broad land,
My notion of the day will understand!

POMONA (heartily).

I understand! Naught ca^ more joy afford
Than to preside o "or a ! Irmksgiving board!

MOTHER and. POMONA (situ/ together; air, "Solomon
Levi").
A mother's soul is full oi joy, a mother's heart is

gay,
When the children al 1 come trooping home to spend

Thanksgiving- Day.
And the mother'.-, face is smiling bright, with honest

pride aglow,
When she views her tempting pantry shelves, with

goodies all a-ro\\ !
Big batches of dou^hmi'S and pumpkin pies she

makes ;
Nut cake and pound c<>ke and cookies, too, she

bakes ;
She roasts the ducks and turkeys and makes jellies,

jams and creams,
Her puddings are perfection and her Angel cakes

are dreams ;



THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY II

She makes such soups and sauces and such salad
and soufflee.

No wonder all the family comes to spend Thanks-
giving Day!

GRANDMOTHER.

All true, my daughter, but, remember, too,
Beside the family welcomed home by you,
A wider hospitality it shows
If you add friends and neighbors unto those;
Invite them all, aye, as the good Book states,
Welcome the stranger that's within thy gates.

EARTH.

Yes, Grandmother, you're right, and to my mind,
To share our blessings shows a spirit kind ;
True hospitality to all who come
Shows gratitude for gifts of Harvest Home.

GRANDMOTHER and EARTH (sing; air, " When the
Swallows Homeward Fly ").

In the days of long ago,
Sleigh-bells jingled o'er the snow;
Neighbors flocked from far and near,
Joining in our homely cheer.
Tables groaned 'neath savory load,
Blazing logs on hearthstones glowed,
Hospitality's glad sway
Ruled the old Thanksgiving Day.

FATHER.

Now, that's all very well. But, I declare
You women-folks don't seem to know or care
Where these things come from. "Let me tell you

now,

Unless somebody drives a busy plow,
Prepares the earth and plants the proper seeds,
And digs and rakes and hoes and pulls up weeds,
And cultivates the soil with judgment wise.
You won't have any pumpkins for your pies !



12 THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

And I should say the way for us to show

The gratitude that we most surely owe

To Nature and to Nature's God for these

Rich gifts, that both the eye and palate please,

Is to replant our garden every year,

And so bring forth anew the harvest cheer.

TIME.

That's right, sir. I agree. As all men know,
You cannot harvest what you do not sow.
And your appreciation is well shown
In each successive harvest you have grown.

SON.

And yet excuse me, Time, I'm young, you know,
But I am not content merely to grow
A crop or harvest for myself, nor heed
The greater question of the country's need.
And other countries, too. Sir, I maintain
We should conserve our foodstuffs and our grain,
A Food Administrator there should be
Marked by wise judgment and efficiency.
By business methods such as these, I'll say,
We'd show our gratitude in proper way.

CERES.

Young man, you're in the right, it seems to me ;
With all you've said I heartily agree.
I'd gladly see the fields of golden grain
Conserved with care for mankind's good and gain.

CERES and SON (sinq; air, "A Life on the Ocean
Wave"}.

See the golden wheatfields wave,

And the scarlet poppies blow ;
'Tis the sun and rain that gave

Such glory here below.
The cornfields green and fair,

The buckwheat and the rye,
Thrive in the shimmering air,

'Neath the blue midsummer sky.



THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY 13

See the grain fields wave and toss
, O'er the acres far and wide ;
A gold that knows no dross

Adorns the countryside.
Such bounty year by year,

Is given to the earth,
And Autumn's harvest here

But heralds Spring's rebirth.

GRANDFATHER.

Aye, aye, my children, 'tis a glorious sight,

The waving cornfields in the sunshine bright.

And I, who now am old and full of days,

Reverently offer up my thanks and praise

To the great Giver, to our God above,

Who well deserves our thanks and praise and love.

GRANDFATHER sings, with PEACE and PLENTY (air,
" America ").

Our fathers' God to thee,
All thanks and praises be

For Harvest cheer;
To thee our thanks we bring,
To thee our praises sing,
For thou art God and King
Of all the year.

GIRL (who has been quietly listening'}.
Now, if you please, I have a word to say.
You've missed the meaning of Thanksgiving Day!
For all the rich abundance of this store
You have expressed your pleasure o'er and o'er.
And, mother, you and grandmother make claim
Thanksgiving dinner is its end and aim !
Father, and brother, you more crops would raise.
Grandfather, your heart's full of prayer and praise.
And all these things are right, but I still say
You've missed the meaning of Thanksgiving Day!

TIME (amused).

Tell us, my child, what you have in your mind.



14 THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

EARTH (a little cynical).

Yes, tell us what new-fangled way you find
To celebrate this Festival of cheer.

CERES.

Yes, tell us ! I'd be very glad to hear.

POMONA.

A bright young thing like you will surely know
Some better way your gratitude to show.

GIRL.

Indeed I do ! And yet, what's in my head

In no way contradicts what has been said

By these, my elders. They're all right, you know.

But I a little further want to go.

And this is what I mean. You all agree

Thanksgiving Day a day of thanks should be.

ALL.

Thanksgiving Day a day of thanks should be.

GIRL.

That's logical enough. And yet I find
A further bit of logic in my mind.
Thanksgiving Day's a day of thanks, 'tis true ;
But is it not a day of giving, too ?
Thanks-giving Day ! When that phrase you have

heard,

A day of thanks uses but half the word.
Let's use the rest ! You see ? a day of giving !
Isn't that so ? As true as that you're living !
And while in gratitude you praise and pray,
fYour Thanks Day should be also Giving Day.
You see the point, you understand, I'm sure ;
Give of your bounty, give it to the poor.
Give food and clothing, give them coal and

wood,
Give them Oh, give them anything that's

good!



THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

Fill a big basket from your storeroom shelf

And carry it to somebody yourself !

Give jellies to the sick, flowers to the sad,

Give anything that will make some one glad ;

Give a cash present to a needy friend,

Don't be afraid that such things will offend,

For, if the spirit of the gift is right,

You'll find 'twill be accepted with delight.

Get busy at this giving, every one !

There's so much giving waiting to be done !

Let every one of us pick out some way

To put the " Giving " in Thanksgiving Day !

ALL (sing in chorus; air, "My Maryland").

We've found the meaning of the word,

Giving Day, Thanksgiving Day !
By gratitude our hearts are stirred,

Giving Day, Thanksgiving Day.
Let us do all that we can do,
To make some others grateful, too,
And may it be for me and you,

Giving Day, Thanksgiving Day.



Again into our lives has come

Giving Day, Thanksgiving Day.

Once more we sing our Harvest Home,
Giving Day, Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is our theme, you know,

And while our thanks to God we owe,

We owe our giving here below,

Giving Day, Thanksgiving Day.

(Attendants bring in baskets, and the characters on
the stage fill them from the stores of harvest.
While thus engaged, they sing; air, "Old Black
Joe.")

We all agree with what we've just now heard;
We have all learned the meaning of the word;



l6 THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING DAY

Thanksgiving Day means thanks to God above,
And giving cheer to those on earth \vho need oui

love.

Thanks-giving, Thanks-giving, make up Thanks-
giving Day ;

Give thanks to God and gifts to mortals, Thanks-
giving Day !



CURTAIN



Successful Plays for All Girls

In Selecting Your Next Play Do Not Overlook This List

YOUNG DOCTOR DEVINE. A Farce in Two Acts,
by MRS. E. J. H. GOODFELLOW. One of the most popular
plays for girls. For nine female characters. Time in
playing, thirty minutes. Scenery, ordinary interior. Mod
ern costumes. Girls in a boarding-school, learning that a
young doctor is coming to vaccinate all the pupils, eagerly con
suit each other as to the manner of fascinating the physician
When the doctor appears upon the scene the pupils discover that
the physician is a female practitioner.

SISTER MASONS. A Burlesque in One Act, by FRANK
DUMONT. For eleven females. Time, thirty minutes. Costumes^
fantastic gowns, or dominoes. Scene, interior. A grand expose
of Masonry. Some women profess to learn the secrets of a
Masonic lodge by hearing their husbands talk in their sleep,
and they institute a. similar organization.

A COMMANDING POSITION. A Farcical Enter
tainment, by AMELIA SAN FORD. For seven female char-
acters and ten or more other ladies and children. Time, one
hour. Costumes, modern. Scenes, easy interiors and one street
scene. Marian Young gets tired living with her aunt, Miss
Skinflint. She decides to "attain a commanding position,'
Marian tries hospital nursing, college settlement work and
school teaching, but decides to go back to housework.

HOW A WOMAN KEEPS A SECRET. A Comedy
in One Act, by FRANK DUMONT. For ten female characters
Time, half an hour. Scene, an easy interior. Costumes, modern
Mabel Sweetly has just become engaged to Harold, but it's "the
deepest kind of a secret." Before announcing it they must win
the approval of Harold's uncle, now in Europe, or lose a possible
ten thousand a year. At a tea Mabel meets her dearest friend
Maude sees Mabel has a secret, she coaxes and Mabel tells her
But Maude lets out the secret in a few minutes to another
friend and so the secret travels.

THE OXFORD AFFAIR. A Comedy in Three Acts,
by JOSEPHINE H. COBB and JENNIE E. PAINE. For eight female
characters. Plays one hour and three-quarters. Scenes, inter
iors at a seaside hotel. Costumes, modern. The action of the
play is located at a summer resort. Alice Graham, in order to
chaperon herself, peses as a widow, and Miss Oxford first claims
her as a sister-in-law, then denounces her. The onerous duties
of Miss Oxford, who attempts to serve as chaperon to Miss
Howe and Miss Ashton in the face of many obstacles, furnisb
an evening of rare enjoyment.

THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY

PHILADELPHIA



The Power of Expressio



01



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MAY 04 19!






DEC 1 1996

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Online LibraryCarolyn WellsThe meaning of Thanksgiving day, a seasonal play → online text (page 1 of 1)