The NUNSENSE Christmas Musical NUNCRACKERS is presented as the first TV special taped in the Cable Access Studio built by Reverend Mother in the convent basement. It stars the nuns you love, plus Father Virgil and four of Mount Saint Helen’s most talented students. Featuring all new songs, including “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us” and “It’s Better to Give than to Receive,” this show is filled with wacky NUNSENSE humor, some of your favorite carols, and a “Secret Santa” sequence featuring audience participation. Certain to tickle your funny bone and likely to tug at your heartstrings, NUNCRACKERS is the perfect way to make your holiday season merry and bright!

NUNCRACKERS is also available in a Large Cast Edition.

Music samples courtesy of DRG Records, Dan Goggin and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
For props and costumes for NUNCRACKERS, visit

Video Sampler of Nuncrackers


  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • Upcoming
  • The Nunsense Christmas Musical, NUNCRACKERS, takes place in real time in the basement of Mount Saint Helen’s Convent. It is the first TV Special being taped in the Cable Access TV Studio built by Reverend Mother with part of the prize money won earlier by Sister Mary Paul (aka Amnesia). A live camera with two television monitors is used to create an actual TV Studio feeling for the audience.
    The cast consists of Reverend Mother Regina, Sister Mary Hubert, Sister Robert Anne, Sister Mary Paul (Amnesia) and Father Virgil Manly Trott (Sister Leo’s brother). In addition there are two young boys and two young girls (Mount Saint Helen’s students).
    The show is the annual Christmas program put on at Mount Saint Helen’s. Opening with the rousing Christmas Time Is Nunsense Time, we are introduced to the cast and are given a brief update of what’s been happening in the past with everyone. We soon discover that we are to be treated to an original ballet based on the “Nutcracker” featuring Sister Mary Leo as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Unfortunately before Sister Leo makes her grand entrance she is hit in the shin by one of the children’s batons. What to do? The show will have to proceed without the ballet until Reverend Mother can figure out how to salvage it. Sr. Amnesia holds a “Secret Santa” drawing to fill the time while Sr. Leo is being taken care of. Amusing items are given to audience members whose seat numbers are drawn as everyone joins in singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The students present their version of I’m Santa’s Little Teapot, after which Sister Mary Annette makes a surprise appearance singing the Twelve Days Prior to Christmas.
    As if there isn’t already enough to deal with, word comes that the gifts under the convent Christmas tree have been stolen. Reverend Mother goes to investigate, leaving Father Virgil to entertain the audience with a touching ballad he wrote for his sister (Sister Mary Leo) called The Christmas Box. He then introduces Sister Amnesia who sings her latest country hit, Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House. Reverend Mother tells tales of her years in the circus remembering one winter storm when they were trapped in a hotel with Sophie Tucker. This is followed by Reverend Mother’s song An Old Time Carnival Christmas. Meanwhile, the cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, who was supposed to appear, doesn’t show up and so Father Virgil is forced to impersonate her demonstrating some Christmas cooking including instructions on making a fruitcake…the gift that lasts a lifetime. However, there seems to be an abundance of rum in the recipe leaving Father Virgil quite soused. Reverend Mother thinks she has a solution to the ballet problem (not realizing that Father Virgil has come upon the same solution) and the ballet goes forward. It is then we realize both Father Virgil and Reverend Mother appear as Sugar Plum Fairies and the first act ends with the “dueling” Sugar Plum Fairies in a hilarious ballet spoof.
    After visiting with the audience the cast takes their places as the “camera rolls” and Act Two begins with Three Hundred and Sixty-Four Days, a song about last minute shopping woes. This is followed by the “Living Nativity Scene” featuring the students and Sister Robert Anne singing a beautiful ballad, Jesus Was Born in Brooklyn as she recalls the time her father returned home on Christmas Eve. The popular carol, O Come All Ye Faithful is woven throughout the song. Behind the scenes the Sisters are trying to find out what happened to all the missing gifts. But on stage the program proceeds. Sister Mary Hubert and Reverend Mother sing a duet, In the Convent (It’s a Wonderful, Nun-derful Life). The Saint Andrews Sisters, of Hoboken present We Three Kings of Orient Are Us! This is followed by Mother Superior’s introduction of the “Catholic Home Shopping Service” in which she offers some very unusual items for Christmas. When Reverend Mother is summoned upstairs to talk to the police about the stolen presents, Sister Robert Anne sings her ‘big number’ All I Want for Christmas. There is a “sing-along” based on the titles of 25 popular Christmas carols that everyone knows. As the evening moves toward the finale we discover that the gifts in the convent weren’t stolen at all…Sister Mary Amnesia had given them to a poor family. Realizing how selfish they had been, Sister Hubert leads a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, gospel song entitled It’s Better to Give Than to Receive.
    The show includes some traditional carols in the overture and as underscoring, plus some Christmas Carol spoofs including Here We Come-a-Waffle-ing and The Holly and the Ivory.
    Of course, the show is filled with the traditional “Nunsense-sense of humor” and one-liners that have made the three previous NUNSENSE shows so popular.


    Book, Music and Lyrics by Dan Goggin

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

    Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • Combo Instrumentation

    1 Piano
    1 Keyboard Synthesizer (Lower keyboard – Bass, Upper keyboard – Color Registrations)
    1 Violin (one solo violin and optional auxiliary percussion: Bongo Drums & Tambourine ring)
    1 Percussion

    Bells, Crotales, Chimes, Xylophone, Grandfather Clock Chimes,
    Trap Drum Set –

    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Bongo Drums
    Tom Toms (mounted & floor)
    Cymbals (Splash, Crash, Ride & Hi-Hat)
    Sleigh Bells
    Sandpaper Blocks
    Tambourine Ring
    Cow Bell
    Wood Blocks
    Mark Tree
    Bell Tree
    Car Horn
    Slide Whistle

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2 Piano/Conductor Scores
    10 Libretto/Vocal Books

    For props and costumes for NUNCRACKERS, visit the Convent Store at


    Optional Additional Materials

    1 Digital Download of Rehearsal/Performance Piano Tracks and Vocal Coach Piano Tracks


  • Principals

    (5 female; 1 male)

    Sister Mary Regina — (Reverend Mother) ) is the Mother Superior of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. She tries to be strict and keep order, but things often get out of her control. She grew up in a circus family, and her “showbiz” background and sense of humor always shine through her attempt at creating a tough exterior.

    Sister Mary Hubert – is the Mistress of Novices. She is second in command to Mother Superior. She wanted to be a nun all her life and at times finds it difficult to deal with problems she firmly believes are created by Mother Superior’s ineptness. She is very practical. She and Mother Superior have a healthy and humorous rivalry.

    Sister Robert Anne — also voice of the puppet nun, Sister Mary Annette – is a
    streetwise nun from Brooklyn, New York. She is one tough cookie but has a heart and soul of gold. The students love her because she “speaks their language.” She feels she has real theatrical potential and is constantly frustrated by Reverend Mother’s refusal to let her “star” in the show

    Sister Mary Paul — (also known as Amnesia) was hit on the head with a crucifix and for a long period didn’t remember who she was. Now, everyone knows she is Sister Mary Paul, a country singer who jump-started her recording career as the first nun to appear at the Grand Ole Opry. Even though she has her memory back, she always seems to be a “little vacant” but innocently endearing.

    *Sister Mary Leo — (optional role), a novice in the first three shows, now has her black veil. She is very excited to be in the Christmas show because Reverend Mother has allowed her to dance in the Nutcracker Ballet. Sister Leo has dedicated her life to becoming the first famous nun ballerina.

    Father Virgil Manly Trott is Sister Mary Leo’s “real-life” brother. He is a Franciscan Father of Fort Wayne and grew up in the Mississippi Delta where he and his sister were part of the Trott Family Singers. He now has his own radio show, and the sisters invited him to participate in the Christmas program because they knew he could give them pointers on presenting a good show.


    Mount Saint Helen’s Students are cast with two boys and two girls ranging in age from approximately 8-14 depending on talent and ability to handle the material:


    *Sister Mary Leo appears only at the top of the show (and is usually portrayed by an assistant stage manager or other backstage crew person). We use a fake bio with a fake name in the program so the audience doesn’t catch on to the fact that Sister Leo, because of an unfortunate accident, won’t be able to appear in the body of the show.

    The original production had a cast of 9 performers.

  • NUNCRACKERS is the fourth show in Dan Goggin’s series of NUNSENSE musicals.

  • Act I

    1. Underscore: Forward – Band
    2. Fanfare – Band
    3. “Christmas Time Is Nunsense Time” – Reverend Mother, Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, Amnesia, Leo, & Father Virgil
    4. Nutcracker/Joy To The World (The Cat’s Away) – Band
    5. Secret Santa (We Wish You A Merry Christmas) – Band
    5a. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – Sister Amnesia
    5b. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – Sister Amnesia
    5c. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – Sister Amnesia
    6. “Santa’s Little Teapot” – Louise, Maria, John, & Billy
    7. “Twelve Days Prior To Christmas” – Sister Annette with backup duet (Sisters Hubert & Amnesia)
    8. “The Christmas Box” – Father Virgil
    8a. Playoff: The Christmas Box – Band
    9. “Santa Ain’t Comin’ To Our House” – Sister Amnesia with Backups (Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, & Father Virgil)
    10. “The Wassail Song (A Waffleing)” – Sister Amnesia, Louise, Maria, John, & Billy
    11. “A Carnival Christmas” – Reverend Mother
    12. “The Holly And The Ivy (Ivory)” – Sister Amnesia, Louise, Maria, John, & Billy
    13. Playon: Julia’s Theme (Christmas Time) – Band
    13a. Playoff: Julia’s Theme (Christmas Time) – Band
    14. The Nutcracker Ballet – Band

    Act II

    15. “Three Hundred Sixty-Four Days” – Reverend Mother, Sister Hubert, Robert Anne, & Amnesia
    15a. Playoff: Three Hundred Sixty-four Days – Band
    16. “Jesus Was Born In Brooklyn” – Sister Robert Anne with backups (Sister Hubert, Amnesia, Father Virgil, Louise, Maria, John, & Billy)
    16a. Playoff: Jesus Was Born In Brooklyn – Band
    17. “In the Convent” – Reverend Mother, Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, Amnesia, & Father Virgil
    17a. Playoff: In The Convent – Band
    18. “The Three Kings” – Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, & Amnesia
    19. “The First Noel (Leopards)” – Sister Amnesia, Louise, Maria, John, & Billy
    20. “All I Want For Christmas” – Sister Robert Anne
    20a. Playoff: All I Want For Christmas – Band
    21. “Christmas Sing-Along” – Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, Amnesia, Father Virgil, Louise, Maria, John, Billy, & Audience
    22. “Gloria” – Reverend Mother, Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, & Amnesia
    23. “A Brand New School” – Reverend Mother, Sisters Hubert, Robert Anne, Amnesia, & Father Virgil
    24. “It’s Better To Give” – Sister Hubert with backup (Reverend mother, Sisters Robert Anne, Amnesia, & Father Virgil)
    25. Reprise: “Christmas Time Is Nunsense Time” – Full Company
    26. Bows & Exit Music (A Carnival Christmas) – Band

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Hendersonville Performing Arts Company Hendersonville, TN 11/29/2019 12/15/2019
    Renton Civic Theater Renton, WA 12/06/2019 12/21/2019
    A Wilde Theatre Brighton, MI 12/06/2019 12/15/2019
    Hardin County Playhouse Elizabethtown, KY 12/06/2019 12/15/2019
    Penguin Productions Lake Mills, WI 12/06/2019 12/14/2019
    Uptown Players Dallas, TX 12/06/2019 12/15/2019
    Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre Baker City, OR 12/12/2019 12/22/2019
    Chambersburg Community Theatre Chambersburg, PA 12/13/2019 12/23/2019