O THOU JOYFUL DAY is a short play dramatizing the origins of the song “O Thou Joyful Day”. The island of Sicily, 320 A.D. A bearded traveler, dressed as an ordinary monk or pilgrim, enters a small village and listens to two gossipy clothsellers discuss a local man, Antonio, who has become so poor he is about to sell his three daughters into slavery to pay his taxes. “If only Bishop Nicholas of Myra would hear of this,” says one of the clothsellers. “He would find a way to help this man.” The traveler goes to Antonio’s house, where the tax collector and slave buyer are ready to sign the contract for the first daughter. The traveler persuades them to wait one more day; that night he returns to the house and, with no one watching, throws a bag of gold down the chimney. Next morning, Antonio finds the gold and pays off the tax collector part of what he owes. That night the traveler returns, puts another bag of gold into the chimney and saves the second daughter. The third night, the third daughter catches the traveler preparing to toss in a third bag of gold; the family awakes and the traveler is revealed as Bishop Nicholas, who tours the country giving his family’s wealth to the needy. Before he leaves town, Nicholas cautions Antonio and his daughters to tell no one of his generosity; however, he has been overheard by one of the gossipy clothsellers who immediately begins repeating the tale of Nicholas the gift-giver. Playscript contains full set, stage, costume directions along with useful staging tips.