Tag Archive for 'drama'

Lent 4 April 3, 2011

This was one of our periodic “Come with Joy” Sundays, in which the children are with the rest of the congregation for the entire service and we incorporate elements like the following drama into the worship.  This is a dramatization of the story of the healing of the man born blind in John 9:1-41.


 The Narrator takes her place on a chair before the Altar, her market basket (concealing the script) on her lap. She is clad in a shawl that covers her hair.

Narrator  Well, I’m here to tell you! I don’t know what to think. I’m still trying to sort it out. What I do know is that, for myself, well . . . I’ll never be the same again. You see, I was there in the marketplace, just minding my own business. And there was this man – I’d heard of him – the one called Jesus, who’s been causing all this talk and commotion around. He’d he was standing in front of the blind man who always sits there begging. His disciples were with him, and they’d asked him, “Teacher, is this man blind because he sinned himself or is he blind because his parents sinned?” Well, a crowd was gathering. We all wanted to know what this famous Teacher would answer. Who’s to blame for all that’s wrong in the world? It’s an important question.

Gong is struck and tableau players take their places: Blind Man seated on the floor, his eyes shut; Jesus in white robe standing next to him; Crowd on either side, peering curiously at the two of them.

Jesus I tell you, neither this man nor his parents sinned. You are all quite blind yourselves — always trying to blame someone or something for what’s wrong in life. But there’s another way. This man was born blind so that God’s mighty works might be revealed in him. You and I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Narrator  (while Jesus pantomimes action she describes) After Jesus said this, he did something amazing. He spat on the ground and made mud with his saliva and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes.

Jesus Go, wash in the pool called Sent Forth!

Gong is struck and tableau players return to their seats.

Narrator  Well, I tell you I didn’t know what to think. I mean, spitting: we all know saliva is unclean. But here Jesus was using it to make healing mud for the man’s eyes. And using the dust of the earth to do so: well, it made me think of the Lord God creating Humankind from the dust of the earth. And it wasn’t just me. Everyone was quite awestruck. But while they were still talking and wondering about it all, the blind man returned from washing and now he could see.

Blind Man stands in center, his eyes wide open and his arms stretched up to heaven. As singing begins, he returns to his seat.

 Verse One of “Amazing Grace”

Narrator  Well, as you can imagine this wasn’t the end of things. Oh, no! It was more like the beginning. There was a grand commotion, I’m here to tell you.

Gong is struck and tableau players take their places: Blind Man standing, his eyes wide open; Crowd around him, gesticulating with excitement and disagreement.

Narrator There were some who were saying this wasn’t the man who had been blind, just someone who looked like him. After all, who ever heard of a blind person being healed – especially the way Jesus had done. But the man himself kept saying, “I am the man. The one called Jesus healed my sight. He made mud, put it on my eyes, I went and washed in the pool called Sent Forth, and suddenly I received my sight.”

 Verse Two of “Amazing Grace”

 As singing begins, tableau players return to their seats.

Gong is struck and Blind Man and Pharisees take their places: Blind Man standing as before; Pharisees pointing accusingly at him.

Narrator  So they did what they always do in these situations. They called in the experts, the holy authorities: the Pharisees. And the man explained all over again what Jesus had done with the mud and how he’d been healed. But the Pharisees scowled and shook their heads. “This is impossible,” they decreed. “This man Jesus could not have healed you because he is a sinner himself. He does not observe the Sabbath. A sinner could not have performed such signs.” They confronted the man with this: “So what do you have to say about this Jesus now?” But the man responded, “He is a prophet.”

Narrator  Well, that about did it! The Pharisees flew into a rage. They called the man’s parents, but the parents were frightened and wouldn’t take sides. All they’d say is that the man was their son and, yes, he had been born blind. Yet the man who’d been healed was insistent: Jesus had healed him and now he could see. So the Pharisees began attacking the man himself, saying that he must be a sinner too. And it all ended with the Pharisees driving the man out of town.

Pharisees pantomime driving the Blind Man out of town.

Gong is struck and all return to their seats.

Narrator Well, that was enough for me. I headed for home, like everyone else. You don’t want to be around when those religious people get riled up like that. You could be the next one they attack when they’re in that self-righteous mood of theirs. But as I was nearing home, there on the road ahead of me was the man who’d been healed. Jesus had found him and was speaking to him.

Gong is struck and the Blind Man and Jesus take their places.

Jesus Do you believe in the Son of Man?

Blind Man And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.

Jesus You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.

Blind Man Lord, I believe.

 Verse Three of “Amazing Grace”

 Blind Man returns to his seat. Narrator exits. Jesus remains, standing in the center.

Jesus I came into the world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind. (He too retires as the singing begins.)

 Verses Four and Five of “Amazing Grace”

 At conclusion of the verses, the cast stands and acknowledges applause.

Dramatic Response to the Gospel October 24, 2010

Breaking Through: A Dramatic Response

to the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

The following drama, written by Pat Karpen of Holy Cross, was presented in lieu of a sermon. It was followed by congregational discussion. 


Cummings – an older angel                            Marge Burke

Esmeralda – a younger angel                         Pat Karpen

Sarah – a young woman of about 17              Sonia Sculer

Colin – a young man of about 17                    Ben Harrington

The two guardian angels are poised on step ladders at either side of the stage area. We see Esmeralda (E) desperately trying to scratch her shoulder blades.

Cummings (C):  What’s the matter, Esmeralda?

E:  These wings trying to come out. The itching is making me crazy. It’s like cutting teeth.

C:  Patience, Esmeralda. Soon the itching will abate and you’ll have your first set of beautiful angel wings – a full-fledged guardian angel, ready for action.

E:  Thank God.

C:  Exactly, Esmeralda. Exactly.

E:  Sorry.

C:  We want you to go on a visit. 

E:  Me? My first guardian angel visit! God thinks I’m ready?!

C:  Yes. Now listen carefully. The young woman you’ve been assigned to needs some help. She can’t hear you because of all the noise in her life. That’s the biggest problem we have in being guar-dian angels. People these days are so full of themselves and their problems they never stop to listen to God. You’re not getting through. Take a look.

Sarah (S) is screaming into her cell phone. 

S:  Mother, be quiet and just listen. (Pause.) No, I will not come home. (Pause.) Will you just shut up and listen! I hate math! I hate school! I don’t care if I fail! I’m not interested and I don’t need it! (Pause.) Shut up!! I don’t need it in my life. I don’t want it in my life. I will not go to summer school! I will not have a tutor! It’s stupid! It’s boring! It sucks . . . good-bye! She disconnects and immediately redials.

Colin, it’s Sarah. You still wanna hook up? Meet me at the field.

E:  Oh, crap — oops, sorry! Cummings, I’m on it. I’ll do you proud.

As E twirls to earth, S and Colin move more center. E “freezes” Colin and speaks to S.

E:  Hey.

S:  Who are you?

E:  Your guardian angel. 

S:  Yeah, right. You don’t look like an angel.

E:  Yeah, well. Maybe I wasn’t always an angel. The transition takes a while. I’m workin’ on it. (She scratches her itchy feather patches.)

S:  So, angel…what do you want? I’m busy.

E:  Takes a big breath. I want to save you from the clutter of ego, self loathing, fear and a graceless existence. I want to lead you to the embrace of mercy and wisdom. Oh, man! That sounded like a heaping load of . . .

From on high.

C:  ESMERALDA!!!!!!!

E:  Sorry. Sorry. Here’s what I mean. I don’t think your problem is math or mother. I think your problem is you.

S:  How did you know about math? Who are you? Really?

E:  Leap of faith time, Sarah. I really am your guardian angel. I’ve been trying to get through to you. A lot of us have been ,but you just couldn’t hear because of all the clutter. So we decided maybe a visit was in order. So . . . It’s over, Sarah. You can’t con me. You can’t con any of us. Level with me. Level with yourself.

S:  Oh, give me a break. Pause. E does not speak. Just looks at her. What? Pause. What!?  Pause. What?!  What do you want? Did my freaking mother hire you are something?! Pause as E just looks at her.  What!? What do you want me to say? That you’re freaking right! That I’m freaking terrified! Do you think I like being stupid! There she said it. Do you think I don’t know that I’m stupid! Pause as she softens just a tad. Do you know what it’s like to sit in that classroom and watch everyone except me get it. Even the really dumb freaking ones. Do you know what it’s like to start out by thinking that you’re normal. That you’ll open the book just like everyone else. That your pencil will fly across the pages as you come up with the answers. That the teacher will smile at you and your work. That she’ll have quiet talks with you about your talent and your future. That you’ll know the answers. That you won’t have to hide. Disappear. Talk trash. Start fights. Act bored. Act up just to hide the freaking fact that you’re useless. Stupid . . . just stupid.  Nothing. A  . . . nothing. Do you know what it’s like to go from hope to knowing that you don’t stand a freaking chance. There. Is that what you wanted to hear? Feel good, angel?

E:  Pause. I don’t like to see people in pain. No. But . . . if the pain comes not from cruelty but from looking at things that are hard to look at . . . things that have to change before we can move on . . . then maybe some temporary pain now . . . to stop what will end up being a huge and permanent pain  . . . might be worth it.

S:  What?

E:  If you keep changing who you are; if you harden your heart if it was meant to be gentle; if you make yourself brittle if you were meant to be soft; if you fill yourself with anger and let it grow and consume you; surely you will lose yourself. Do your best. Your talents will emerge. Don’t measure yourself against others. Don’t masquerade out of fear. Forgive yourself your failures and shortcomings – after all, God forgives you. Present your true spirit, regardless of how fragile and vulnerable it might be to the world.  Love yourself and others because of the eternal love given to you.

S:  Are you serious?

E:  Damn if I’m not.  C starts to scream at her from above but stays himself.

S:  You really are. Pause. How about if I promise to really think about it? How about if I promise to listen more for your voice? I mean it. I’ll . . . I’ll just try.

E:  I’ll take that. She freezes Sarah and goes to Colin and unfreezes him. She is a bit angry with Colin.

E:  Hey you.

Colin:  Yeah. Who are you?

E:  Her best friend. Listen to me. Were you gonna hit on her because you wanted to, because you thought you could, or because you thought you should? Do you fell good knowing that you’re taking advantage of a fragile spirit? Does it make you feel like a man, like a tough guy to work a con like that?

Colin:  What are you talking about? We’ve been friends forever. We tell each other everything. I wouldn’t do that to her. I wouldn’t do that to anyone. Who are you anyway? Who do you think you are accusing me of all that trash?

E:  Pause. She starts to babble a bit. Oh, sorry, sorry. I got carried away. I’m kinda new at this. Actually this if my first visit. I wasn’t even supposed to make contact with you. I just got carried away.

Cummings, who has been watching from above as E digs herself a hole, speaks to her gently with a smile.

Cummings:  Ask him about the books, Esmeralda.

E:  What are those books you have?

Colin:  Oh. Some used math books I found in a store. I’ve been trying to think of ways to help Sarah.  She’s not stupid, you know. She’s just beaten herself up so badly she kinda doesn’t know which way is up.  What did you mean when you said this was your first visit? 

E:  Nothing. Nothing. I’m uh . . . from the South. You really are a good person, you know.

Colin:  Nothing special. I just . . . you know . . . I want to help.

E:  Yeah, I know. Be prepared for itchy shoulders.

Colin:  What?

E:  Nothing. Nothing. Listen. Really nice meeting you. Take care. Keep on the path. She freezes Colin and twirls back to Cummings.

E:  Hey, Cummings.

Cummings:  Hello Esmeralda. What did you learn? How did you do? 

E:  I learned that there’s only so much we guardian angels can do. They’re responsible for so much themselves, human beings. It’s scary. All we can do is point and suggest and . . . I guess . . . pray. I did feel a shifting in Sarah, Cummings. I really did.

C:  You have a good voice, Esmeralda. By the way, how’s the itching?

E:  OMG!! Sorry, sorry. The itching has stopped! It’s gone.

C:  Yes, Esmeralda. You’ve got a fine set of baby wings. You did a good job down there. Thank you.  God is pleased.


Photo Album for October 24 Drama


Fr. John McCausland leads congregational discussion of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector and the dramatic response to it written by parishioner Pat Karpen. In the parable (Luke 18:9-14), Jesus shows how we are often so full of ourselves and so intent on holding ourselves up in comparison to other people that we make no space to listen to our conscience, where God can get through to us.


Sarah (Sonia Schuler), feeling defeated by her math class and fighting with her mother about it, turns to her boyfriend Colin (Ben Harrington) for what could be the wrong kind of comfort.


Sarah’s guardian angel Esmeralda (Pat Karpen, right) rushes down from heaven to prick Sarah’s conscience. This is Esmeralda’s first assignment as an angel, and her supervising angel Cummings (Marge Burke on ladder in rear) occasionally has to interrupt with promptings.


Sarah’s boyfriend Colin (Ben Harrington), encouraged by Esmeralda, brings Sarah the right kind of help, in the form of some math books, bringing the story to a happy end.


Ben and Sonia lead prayers of Confession and Intercession composed for the occasion:

First Reader: O Lord, you know the thoughts of our hearts. Nothing is hidden from you. You know that each of us is both a Pharisee and a tax collector. We confess to you the sins of pride and self-protectiveness that close us from your love and cause us to look down on other people.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

Second Reader: Lord, we know that you come to us when we are honest with ourselves and reach out to you for guidance and help. We ask you now to forgive us our sins and lead us into the ways of truth and light which you show us in your Son Jesus Christ.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

First Reader: Lord, in our arrogance we turn away from the needs of others: the poor, the sick, those who are bullied or shunned; the lost, the lonely, the unattractive and unpopular. We pray for them now, asking that you open our hearts to them, for we too in our deepest souls know what it is to be as they are.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”

Second Reader: Lord, we thank you for the blessings of this life, especially those things we take for granted. Help us to share our blessings with those less fortunate.

Silence is observed, after which the Community sings “O Lord, hear my prayer.”