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Drama, Skits, and Sketches 3For Youth Groups
ZondervanCopyright © 2001 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSCRIPTURE SKETCHES
Some students can tell Beelzebub from Barnabas. Others need help finding the New Testament. But the Bible is brought to life for all teens when they can act out scriptural episodes, stories, and passages. These scripts can be used as no-rehearsal reader's theater, memorized performances, or anything in between. (Other scripts that illustrate or portray particular Scriptures are indexed by Bible reference on page 7.)
RECIPE FOR A QUIET TIME 2 Timothy 2:15, mark 1:35, psalm 10:17
Absorbing God's word through osmosis by using the Bible as a pillow does not count as devotional time. Specific things need to happen. This sketch offers a quick recipe-courtesy of two girls deciding on breakfast and a pushy waiter-for spending time with God. The basics-a quiet and consistent place, consistent time, God's Word, prayer, and the desire to have a quiet time-are all covered along with the Bible references. This can be played as straight or as funny as you want it to be.
The sketch contains a few specific lines and Bible verses to be quoted. Luckily a cheat sheet is built in as a prop-the menu. You can find the script on page 16 and a reproducible menu on page 18. Add a few chairs and a table, and you're ready to go. Bon appétit! Gary Canfield
What was on Pontius Pilate's mind when the Pharisees asked him to have Jesus crucified? We may never know for certain, but the sketch on page 19 certainly gives one idea of what may have occupied his thoughts. He gives a speech, rules people, deals with a couple of annoying Pharisees, and faces a choice he'd rather pass on to, well, anyone he can. This sketch walks the audience through the events that lead up to Jesus' crucifixion from Pontius Pilate's self-absorbed perspective.
The sketch definitely takes a lot of rehearsal and preparation, and it's longer than most of the other sketches. It's set in a modern day office complete with desks, phones, computers, and a fax machine. This sketch works well near Easter, but you can use it any time to segue into the passion story and how personal perspectives can warp reality. Andrew Davey
IN THE DARK matthew 5:14-16
Being a light in the dark is supposed to come naturally to Christians. Unfortunately for one of the characters in the sketch (page 30), that's just not the case. As one character makes an obvious cry for help, the other character judges and rejoices that she's not in that place.
This sketch requires a dark space, two spotlights, and a flashlight for effect. It's a serious piece that can lead into Bible study, a youth service, or a discussion.
Why are some "lights" brighter than others?
How can you hide your light? How can you let it shine?
What does your brightness say about your relationship with Christ?
A DAY IN COURT
The ruling in this court is almost as ridiculous as the rulings on Ally McBeal! The crazy part is that it's right in line with the way God says we should treat sinners. Sins have consequences. However, once they're forgiven, they're forgotten. Now if we could only get that through our dim brains!
The sketch on page 32 uses a courtroom example of trying to keep someone out of church for past mistakes. Luckily, the judge knows the payment has already been made, and he rules for the defendant. Bryan Belknap
AS THE COOKIE CRUMBLES: THE SEAR CH FOR FIG-NIFICANCE
Sometimes the toughest lessons are taught in the weirdest ways. This sketch is not that deep, but the discussion that follows can be. We eavesdrop on Isaac and Newton, two Fig Newtons, discussing the struggle of comparing ourselves with others and feeling worthless. The dilemma on page 34 is not resolved, which makes it an ideal discussion starter.
The sketch requires some preplanning. Make cookie costumes from cardboard. Add soap-opera-type music to create the melodrama mood. This is not a serious sketch, but it should be polished to make its point. The two main characters have quite a few lines.
Incorporate a few of the following scriptures to direct thinking and discussion: Romans 8:17; Ephesians 1:5, 2:10; Colossians 2:10; 2 Timothy 1:7. Questions may include-
Where do we get our significance?
Who decides what's valuable?
How do you accept the way you were created?
What does God have to say about where we should get our worth?
WHO AM I?
I.D. please. For everything from registering for school to writing a check, you've got to have identification. That's a little tough when your name is John Doe, and no one can give you a clue about who you are, including your own father! Ultimately, the sketch on page 36 shows that the only true identity we can rely on is the one given by God alone.
Just as in real life, on the stage the people who surround John Doe can't help him. They offer lots of words, but only when John turns to God's Word does he discover who he is. The characters on stage remain frozen until it is their turn to talk. Blocking for this one is simple so spend some preparation time memorizing lines before rehearsal. Kevin Spurlock
THE BUILDING PER MIT genesis 5-9
Red tape is as old as, well, Noah. The sketch on page 39 gives your students a whimsical look at a man trying to obey the law and get a permit to build a boat. Sometimes obedience to God doesn't fit with policies already set in place. Douglas Twitchell
I'M ALMOST READY 1 Thessalonians 5:2
Some people just can't seem to get anywhere on time. If they're on time, you can bet something didn't get done! The sketch on page 42 shows us what it may be like when our time comes to go to heaven. It won't be quite what you expected, and you'll never be totally ready for it. As much as she wants to, Amy will never be totally prepared to leave.
Both characters wear everyday clothes. Amy is frantic and a bit scattered. First Thessalonians 5:2 says Christ will come like a thief in the night. We never know when it's going to happen. Just like Amy, we need to live so that we're ready to leave anytime! Bryan Belknap
COMMUNITY KITCHEN matthew 25:31-46
In the sketch on page 44, an interviewer talks to three kitchen volunteers and three food recipients. Each person has a story-some are touching, and others remind us how crooked people can be. Following one disappointing interview after another, the questioner finally talks with someone who truly understands what serving is all about. The mixed emotions and uncertainty about serving end when he realizes that whether someone takes advantage or not, whether someone has a bad attitude or not, Jesus would still take the time to meet these people's needs.
You can make this sketch as simple or as elaborate as you want. A pantomime of serving and eating can be just as effective as using props and costuming. Each character has a distinct personality, so remember this when you cast your actors. Reading one of the suggested Bible passages between the first and second parts adds depth to the presentation. This sketch provides an opportunity to talk about what your group believes about helping others and what they can do as a result.
You can also use this sketch to examine the servers' attitudes. Some serve out of the goodness of their hearts. Others serve for selfish reasons. Use this sketch to explore what's more important-the attitude or the action. Stephen C. Deutsch
PARABLE ON JUSTICE Luke 18:1-8
The sketch on page 48 serves up a silly spoof based on Luke 18:1-8. As a widow goes to a judge for help, the judge just wants her to go away. Undaunted, she returns over and over-not just to ask for his help but to present her request as a serenade. The judge finally gives in and helps her. Dewey Roth
DAVID AND JONATHAN 1 samuel 18-20
Not quite a chick flick, the sketch on page 49 tells the touching story of a friendship between two guys who face many obstacles and go against family and society just to be friends. In the end they're willing to die for their friendship. David and Jonathan have captivated audiences for years. Their story illustrates everything from loyalty to overcoming difficult odds.
First Samuel 18-20 and Proverbs 17:17 give insight into the Christian perspective of friendship.
Some of the props can be imagined if you'd like a simpler production. David E. Ruiz
The wonder years
Catch a rare moment with Jesus, not as miracle worker, Savior of the world, or remarkable teacher, but as a cousin to John. Being around family can be hard since they know you best. Imagine Jesus telling John that he's the Messiah while they're on a fishing trip. The sketch on page 56 offers striking familiarity between the two characters, which makes their friendship and blood relation seem genuine. It may or may not have happened this way, but it's a good guess! David Ruiz
TRUST psalm 33:22 and psalm 119:42
We all take a lot of things in life for granted-that the car will work, the radio will play music, and the library will have a book we like. We trust that these parts of life will always happen. But is that what trust is-knowing that something just is? The sketch on page 61 explores the real meaning of trust and raises questions about these things. The sketch reminds us that the only trust we need to have is in God, his Word, and his promises. Instead of getting caught up in the world, we need to look past these everyday things and realize that God is the only constant.
Your students learn this important lesson by listening to a quick conversation between three very different friends. They all have ideas about what they can count on. In the end two of them still aren't so sure about the whole God thing but the third has made up her mind!
Name some of the things you place your trust in. What do they say about you?
Is trust earned? How does God earn our trust?
What would you tell a person about the benefits in trusting our Lord?
When confidence in a person is broken, what steps must be taken to restore it?
NTTV PRESENTS: NEW TESTAMENT NEWS-GOOD NEWS, ALL THE TIME
If CNN had been around 2000 years ago, it might have looked something like this. See the crucifixion, death, and resurrection delivered through sound bites and short reports. The sketch on page 62 includes a full script for anchors, live reporting shots, and built-in spaces for your own original video commercials. This sketch gets everyone involved! You'll need 25 characters (many can play two parts-live and recorded). Set design, video, music, and more complete the presentation. Read through this longer and more complicated sketch and plan carefully for rehearsals and special effects coordination. The performance will amaze people as it all comes together, and they witness the reason for Christianity live through broadcast news! Sheri Gruden
RUNNING FROM GOD Jonah 1-4
Grab your fishing pole, we're gonna revisit Jonah. The sketch on page 69 takes you on a quick sail through Jonah 1-4. Ultimately, the lesson is the same: you can't run away from God. If he wants you, he will find you-even if it's at the bottom of the ocean.
A lighthearted trip through Jonah's experience running from God's command and call leads him right where he was supposed to go in the first place. Funny how it seems to work that way! This sketch takes place in several locations. If you're feeling ambitious, by all means rent a boat, catch a really big fish, and build a town. If not, well, small sets or make-believe will do. Danny Formhals
HELL'S BARBER SHOP
Even Satan sometimes needs a therapist, and in hell the therapist is the barber. This creative rendition on page 72 shows the end times from Satan's perspective. Following the final judgment no one even recognizes Satan as a celebrity inhabitant of hell. While the barber cuts his hair, Satan whines and relives some of Christ's most glorious moments as he tries to figure out what he could have done differently. His barber nods, half listens, and sends him on his unmerry little way.
This sketch requires a little planning and someone with memorizing skills. A few simple but necessary props turn your stage into a barbershop. Satan has quite a few long lines as he retells the life of Christ on earth. Be prepared to laugh as you present one hell of a sketch! Troy Price
BIBLE WALK THROUGH THE BEATITUDES matthew 5
A time machine takes you back to a small village in Israel where you eavesdrop and participate in some activities that reflect the truths of the beatitudes. The sketch on page 75, based on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, offers interactive, experiential learning to the extreme. It resembles walking through the Stations of the Cross, but live actors at each station help explain the lesson and offer an example or activity to accompany the beatitude.
Organization is the key for this sketch. Eight scenes take place in eight different locations. In some scenes a biblical character delivers a monologue. In some scenes activities such as hand washing, snacks, or a game demonstrate the point. Have at least one strong leader at each location. Recruit people to serve as guides to help the group along its path and to answer any questions about the beatitudes and what they just experienced. You can also use this sketch to let your students host the rest of the church or families as an outreach tool! Michael Murdock
If only these walls could talk! Well, in the Garden of Eden there were no walls but there were plenty of trees and bushes. In the tell-all exposé on page 77, a tree and bush break the code of silence. The audience hears the story of Genesis 1-3 via a little gossip as this tree and bush catch up on what's been going around the garden. National Enquirer has nothing on this exclusive conversation.
You can use these questions after the sketch to kick off a discussion.
Do we all have the qualities of Adam and Eve in us? Explain.
How does Genesis demonstrate God's dominance over his creation?
What can we do to prevent ourselves from falling to the temptations of our own particular fruit of the biblical tree?
Knowing that we all sin like the first people, how can that affect the way we speak to our God?
WALKING ON WATER matthew 14:22-36
Open mouth, insert foot. That could be Peter's mantra. Once again we see his mouth getting him into a tough place. But, in the sketch on page 79, that place is actually closer to Jesus. Matthew 14:22-36 tells a tale of high seas adventures and ghosts on water. At least that's what the disciples thought at the time. And then it happened-Peter was called out of the boat. Even though he stumbled and had to be rescued, he got out of the boat while the others were left sloshing and shaking!
This sketch has great possibilities for Bible study. After the sketch, ask each person to consider what role they would take if they'd been in that fishing boat. Would they recognize Jesus but observe from the boat, be scared, want to go to him, or mock the one walking on water? Use the following questions to get the discussion going.
What have you been asked to step out on faith for?
How do you react when people make fun of you or don't understand why you do things?
How can you learn to get out of the boat more?
Why do you think Peter ended up sinking?
What makes you sink when you started out strong in a decision?
John C. Madvig
LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO Zephaniah 3:17
People don't usually like the idea of being tied to something. In this case, Alma is tied to Jesus-even when she tries to push him away. This demonstration of unconditional love and forgiveness makes the sketch on page 81 a visual reminder of the forgiveness Jesus has for us, every time we sin.
This sketch focuses on blocking and visual images. The characters don't speak any words-they just mime to a Steve Camp song in the background. You'll need a few simple costumes and several signs made ahead of time. You can use Microsoft PowerPoint to project the verses or have someone read them. Use rehearsals to get timing down with the music for a flawless presentation. Larry Marshall
IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK
We interrupt these regularly scheduled introductions to bring you the latest breaking news. Just discovered-the lost tapes reporting Jesus' birth. The sketch on page 82 is the transcription of the original broadcast event just after Jesus was born. Use this sketch to capture sound bites of the blessed event from many different angels, I mean angles.
This sketch offers a framework for a Christmas program but not the entire program itself. Between interviews use singing, activities, recitations, or any other Christmas tradition your church has. The logistics can be complicated so be certain you prepare before the first rehearsal. Keep the technical directions in mind-they add to the overall news broadcast theme. This sketch sheds new light on an old, familiar story! Douglas Twitchell
Excerpted from Drama, Skits, and Sketches 3 Copyright © 2001 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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