The Santaland Diaries


Writers: Joe Mantello David Sedaris


Show Information

Based On Book By
Based on the Play/Book/Film
The Santaland Diaries
Number of Acts
First Produced
Contemporary, Simple/No Set, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
1990s, macy's, santaland, new york city
Cast Size
Ideal for
All-Male Cast, Community Theatre, Mature Audiences, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult characters


When a down-on-his luck wannabe actor arrives in New York City at the end of the year, the only employment he can find is at Macy’s department store -- working in Santaland for the holiday season, as a reluctant, but relentlessly cheerful, elf. Newly christened “Crumpet”, our clever anti-hero shares his observations of the mayhem in front of and behind the scenes during one chaotic December, from aggressive parents and drunken Santas, to flirtatious actors, poor hygiene, and the racially charged hazards of being a “Pointer Elf.” Will Crumpet find a moment of pure Christmas spirit? Will he end up in Santa’s cottage with Snowball the elf? Will he escape with his life on Christmas Eve before being torn apart by enraged customers? Based on his beloved humorous and autobiographical essays, David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, is a wry and witty look at the combination of retail hell and theatrical spectacle that is the holiday season, a sharp, narrowly observed dark comedy. The perfect Christmas treat for grownups, this one-man show has been an annual tradition at theaters across the United States for the past twenty years.

Lead Characters

The Santaland Diaries guide sections