Clara's Christmas Dreams


Act I

Scene i:  Dr. Drosselmeyer's study
Scene ii:  Silberhaus parlor
Scene iii:  Silberhaus drawing room
Scene iv:  Silberhaus drawing room


Act II

Scene i:  Clara's bedroom
Scene ii:  Clara's bedroom, the Mouse King
Scene iii:  Clara's bedroom
Scene iv:  Clara's bedroom, the Snow Queen


Act III

Scene i:  Clara's bedroom
Scene ii:  Clara's bedroom, the Sugar Plum Fairy
Scene iii:  Clara's bedroom, morning
Scene iv:  Dr. Drosselmeyer's study


Before the play begins, the audience may be invited to have a glass of hot mulled cider or wine, and to put ornaments on the Silberhaus' tree.

CHARACTERS
(in order of appearance)


Dr. Drosselmeyer.................................................elderly doctor, family friend
Mrs. Silberhaus.................................................. .Mother
Mr. Silberhaus..................................................... Father
Fritz..................................................................... son, age 6
Clara................................................................... daughter, age 12
Mr. Klein/Mouse King
Prince
Mrs. Norldand/Snow Queen
Mrs. Zucker/Sugar Plum Fairy
Ensemble: Guests, Mice, Snow Queen's companions, Gingerbread Men

Act II, Sc iv


(Clara awakens, the window blows open and the Snow Queen enters Clara's room.)


Snow Queen.

Clara, you look so sad...
Wrapped tight in your covers... ice cap on your head...
So whimsically clad!
Come,take these fine robes I offer instead...
Trimmed with Ermine... and Gold...
You will always be young... and never grow old.

Clara.

Never have I seen
A lady as lovely as you...or so bold.
Are you the Snow Queen...
The one of whom I have often been told?

Snow Queen.

Snowflakes come to my ball...
And whistling swans, snow wolves and much more.
I dance with them all...
While North lights flicker there like trim tapers on the wall.


(Dancers dressed as snowflakes, swans, and wolves enter and dance with the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen's Entourage as an Ensemble then sings the Snowbound Song.)


SNOWBOUND
Ensemble and the Snow Queen.


I LOVE TO WATCH THE SNOWFLAKES FALLING,
LOVE TO VIEW THEM SWIRLING ROUND,
I LOVE TO SEE THEM DRIFTING, SQUALLING
LOVE TO BE SNOWBOUND.

ETC.


(Reprise first verse, after which the Ensemble exits and the Snow Queen continues.)


Snow Queen.

My palace is built
Of Snow and of Ice...a frozen lake serves as my floor;
The North wind is my quilt
And an early hoar frost is my door.
Bejeweled by the stars,
My canopy's the firmament of deepest night...
That takes away the scars...
And constellations twinkle gently from that height.
My lands stretch to the sun,
And they grow broad as the horizons before they are done.
My horses are white
As the glistening snow... that shimmers and sparkles...
And blinds in the light.
My stables are filled with sleighs of wood and of metal...
That would dazzle your sight.
Joy and peace you will find, you'll have no more cares;
Come, live with me dear...
Come join me there, oh maiden so fair,
And banish all tears!

Prince.

Don't put on those clothes
Feverish damsel, exit not this room!
For the peace you suppose...
Is naught but the sleep of the tomb!

Clara.

Oh, Prince it can't be...
These are such lovely clothes... and magical too!
They ravish my sense,
And take away all the despair that I knew.
I want to go thence!

Prince.

Clara, the Snow Queen
Offers you those riches... and promises fine...
In a place that's serene.
Of ice crystals will she build you a shrine.
But it is forbidding of spring...
A time when fruit trees have gowns of sweet blossoms
And birds delightfully sing;
When each plant starts to push out young buds
And the new life they bring
Is worth toiling through storms and through floods.
Don't put on her garment...
So rich and so pale... for all of its promise
It must surely fail.
She offers you peace if you accept her fair raiment,
And her icicle palace...
But it's the peace of the dead that's repayment.

Clara.

Oh, what shall I do now?
The Snow Queen offers me riches so rare...
Which the Prince tells me is untrue...
If I accept her love, and her gifts, and go there.

Snow Queen.

What knows he of the good?
Of pain or strife? Or even Life?
He is a Prince made of just wood!

Clara.

You underestimate
My Prince... he has been a gallant ally
In deciding my fate.

Snow Queen.

I can spend no more time,
Dear child, for you to ponder... and give me reply!
To wait further's a crime!
To this modest abode, now say your goodbye!


(The Snow Queen seizes Clara's arm and leads her to the window.)


Clara.

Please! Let me go!
I am not ready yet to leave.... I have not said goodbye,
I don't want to follow.

Snow Queen.

We have talked quite enough!
Your presence I must have in my kingdom!
Don't my offer rebuff.

Prince.

Queen, please release your chill grip;
You must give Clara her choice and her freedom.
Otherwise, with poker tip,
Fiery hot from resting on these coals, I will strike your cold arm!


(The Prince takes a poker from the fireplace and confronts the Snow Queen, holding it in front of him. The Snow Queen speaks to Clara and then to the Prince.)


Snow Queen.

If that is your wish,
Then let it be done... all pledges revoked... my hold
I now relinquish.
But you, Sir, who are so meddling and bold...
Know I, too, can be churlish.


(The Snow Queen, blowing upon the end of the poker, causes sparks to fly back onto the Prince, then she leaves through the window. Clara extinguishes the sparks on the Prince and collapses in her bedclothes near the window.)

ETC.