(There are more science Christmas plays by
Vince LiCata here, here and here).

Generic Faculty Member
The Dean
The Chair
Cindy Lou Who
Darth Vader

– – –

Down in U-ville
Liked their research a lot…

FACULTY: (pipeting): I sure like research a lot.
I love running gels,
I get bored when I’m not.

NARRATOR: But the Pinch
Who lived just North of U-ville
Most certainly, did not.

FACULTY: Now, who wouldn’t love labwork?
I’m sure I don’t know.
They’d have to be a real jerk,
Or perhaps a bit slow.

He sings:

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome Research
Come this way

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome data
Every day

NARRATOR: The Pinch hated Research, the whole Academic season
Now please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could have been the investment firms
Or maybe the banks
Perhaps the subprime loan terms
That made fools of Goldman Sachs,
But whatever the reason, or perhaps due to them all,
The result was his budget was two sizes too small.

PINCH: They’ll all do their assays,

NARRATOR: he snarled with a sneer.

PINCH: And tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!

NARRATOR: Then he growled, with his Pinch fingers nervously drumming,

PINCH: I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming
For tomorrow I know all the U girls and boys
Will wake bright and early, and play with their toys.
In centrifuge rotors, all their samples they’ll spin
As they crack open cells, when their preps they begin.
And then all those Ya-Whos will sit down to a feast.

NARRATOR: Which is something the Pinch couldn’t stand in the least!
And then they’ll do something he liked least of them all,

PINCH: Every Who down in U-ville, the tall and the small
Will stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing
They’ll stand hand in hand, and they all will start singing!

NARRATOR: And the more the Pinch thought of the Who U-ville sing
The more Pinch thought:

PINCH: I must stop this whole thing!

FACULTY: (Shudders) Ooh, I felt a stiff breeze there, a nasty cold jab.
I hope this awful economy is just a brief fad,
and won’t effect my ability to work in the lab.

PINCH: All I need is a reindeer, to ride into town,
But up on this mountain, they’re hard to be found,
So the Dean and the Chair will well serve my needs
I’ll ride them to lab, to enact my foul deeds
For their budget is shrinking, so they’re sobbing and drinking,
now their yokes I’ll be linking, they’ll serve me without thinking.

Music plays (Adagio in G) as the Chair and the Dean enter, and the Pinch puts their yokes on, and he rides them around.

FACULTY: (Yawns) Well, I’m feeling a bit sleepy, but I don’t want to stop
I’ll just clear off a lab bench, and sleep right on top. (Goes to sleep)

PINCH: (arriving at the lab)
Fast asleep at the bench
My dear little mench
I’d love to be here when you wake
To see all that I’ll take.

Pinch starts to fill his bag with equipment from the lab.

NARRATOR: Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the lab he did go, and he took everything present
He took all the tubes, the pipettes, and the gels,
He cracked all the beakers, like little glass bells.


PINCH: I’ll cut all the tech staff, I’ll tell them to go,
And on every repair list, I’ll simply scrawl “No”

NARRATOR: And the Pinch grabbed all the overhead accounts and started to squeeze
When he heard a small sound, like a Swine Flu induced sneeze
He turned around fast, and saw a small Who
Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two.

CINDY LOU: Excuse me. What are you doing?

PINCH: Um, I’m just rearranging some accounts. It’s okay, please don’t cry.

CINDY LOU: But, but you’re taking all our Overhead Funds. Please tell me why.

PINCH: The budget is ailing, to…um…fix it… I’ll try.

CINDY LOU: (to audience):
To the campus police, I should report this guy
It’s clear from his face, that what he says is a lie.
(To Pinch) But tell me again
My green little friend
Why you’re crippling our spending
And these actions defending.

(Music: Darth Vader theme)

DARTH: (enters) I felt a disturbance in the force of cash inflow to the university.

PINCH: And who might you be?

DARTH: Who am I? Have you been living in a cave?

PINCH: Actually, yes, I live up the mountain in a –

DARTH: Silence! I am the Soon-to-be Former Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development…Darth Brooks.

CINDY LOU: Garth Brooks? Oh, I love your music!

DARTH: Darth, Darth Brooks, with a “D”, not Garth Brooks. I hate it when people do that. Although, I have been taking guitar lessons lately.

PINCH: (immediately kneels before Darth): My Master, I apologize for not recognizing you sooner…please forgive me, I live in a cave.

DARTH: Rise, my young apprentice.

CINDY LOU: Hey, how come we’re not rhyming anymore?

DARTH: Rhyming is prohibited by the dark side of the force.

PINCH: My Master, I have taken all discretionary cash from the faculty, I’ve eliminated numerous positions, I was just about to initiate furloughs when your lordship arrived.

DARTH: You have done well my green skinned friend.

PINCH: (showing him the bag of equipment he has taken)
And look at all the expendable supplies I’ve acquired, including items not purchasable on grant accounts, such as this printer cartridge (he takes out a printer cartridge).

DARTH: You are truly a friend of the empire. You remind me of myself when I first switched to the dark side. I’d like to sing you a little song the Emperor used to sing all the time. I never knew why, and now I do. (He takes out a guitar, and sings)

You’re a mean one, Mr. Pinch
You really are a heel
You’re as cuddly as a cactus
You’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Pinch
You’re a bad administrator with a greasy black heel.

You’re a monster, Mr. Pinch
Your heart’s an empty hole
Your office is a quagmire
You have garlic in your soul, Mr. Pinch
I wouldn’t touch you with a 39-ply latex glove!

You’re a rotter, Mr. Pinch
You have termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness,
Of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Pinch
Given the choice between the two of you, I’d take the seasick crocodile!

You’re a foul one, Mr. Pinch
You’re the king of budget cuts
You’re heart’s a dead tomato
And there’s mold all through your guts, Mr. Pinch
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote,
“Admin – Is – Traitor”

PINCH: (putting his hand on Darth’s shoulder) Darth, the Emperor knew this day would come. I am your father!

DARTH: Yes! Excellent! I see that my budget cuts will be in good hands when I leave this U-ville.

PINCH: What? You are leaving, my liege? But we’ve finally been reunited, just in time for the holidays.

DARTH: I must leave to pursue the rebel enemy at the South Florida University for Young Jedi Who Have Not Yet Converted to the Dark Side.

CINDY LOU: Florida in winter, how convenient for you.

DARTH: The dark side may be evil, but it’s not stupid.

CINDY LOU: Will you take our football coach with you?

DARTH: The force is weak with that one. You must keep him. Farewell, my father! (he exits).

PINCH: Farewell, my son! Now onward my reindeers
Let’s retreat and then watch these fools
Wake to their nightmares.

(They back up a bit to watch Cindy Lou and Faculty)

CINDY LOU: (to the still sleeping faculty member) Look, he’s still piled in a heap,
(poking him) Time to wake from your sleep.

FACULTY: (waking up) Oh what a great day!
Now I’m ready to play!
(looking around)
But where’s all our stuff?
This makes research quite tough!

CINDY LOU: It seems our budget’s been hacked,
And our lab’s been attacked.

FACULTY: Without our equipment, without our supplies
Any work we could do would be a surprise
So my question to you, Little Cindy Lou Who
Is What do we do? Oh, yes, what do we do?

CINDY LOU: Well we’ve still got lots to do
You could write that review
And I have that computation
That on my desk, has been waitin’.

FACULTY: Yes, it’s clear, we’ll make do
Till new money comes through.

They sing:
Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome Research
Come this way

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome data
Every day

PINCH: I don’t understand it, it doesn’t make sense
I stripped every item of worth from their bench
They work without beakers
They work without tubes
They make me and my son Darth
Look like ignorant rubes.

NARRATOR: So he puzzled and pondered
and he scratched his green head
he just sat there and wondered,
and then suddenly, he said:

PINCH: Maybe research is something that comes from the heart
Maybe science is something with which they can’t part
And it isn’t the money that makes them do work
It’s the love of their knowledge, oh gosh, I’m a jerk.

NARRATOR: So he rode back to lab, and he opened his bag
And each item returned, still marked with its university tag.

PINCH: I’ll help juggle some budgets, I’ll move things around
We’ll get through this crisis, this ship won’t go aground.

SANTA: (entering) Ho, ho, ho! Santa Delivery Service.

CINDY LOU: Can we help you?

SANTA: Yeah, I got a Stimulus Package here. Could you sign for it?

CINDY LOU and FACULTY: Hooray!! Just in time!

PINCH: Oh please, let me sign!

NARRATOR: And what happened then?
Well down in U-ville they say
That the Pinch’s budget management
Improved three fold on that day!
And the minute his budget didn’t feel quite so tight
He whizzed though the lab in the bright morning light
And he brought back the beakers, and he took back the pink slips,
And he…he himself, the Pinch, helped wash the used pipette tips.

All sing:

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome Research
Come this way

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome data
Every day

Welcome, Welcome
Fah who rah-moose
Welcome, Welcome
Dah who dah-moose
Good results are in our grasp
So long as we have tubes to clasp

Ooo, oo, oo, oo
oo, oo, oo, oo
oo, oo, oo, oo
oo, oo, oo, oo

Welcome Christmas
Fah who rah-moose
Dah who dah-moose
Welcome Christmas
While we stand
heart to heart
and hand in hand

Fah who for-aze
Dah who dor-aze
Welcome, welcome
Christmas Day!


– – –

(With thanks and apologies to Theodor Seuss Geisel)