This is an excerpt from a play included in my book, Bold Girls Speak designed for a small group ideal for an Easter performance. Available in the Christians for Biblical Equality catalog and from Amazon. May you find it a blessing and inspiration.
The Maids Who Questioned
Stage: Stone wall on left and right. Gate in the wall at stage right. Stage left a tree. In the middle a fire pit. A bench against the wall stage left. Backdrop has a painting of a large two-story stone palace with functioning door in the middle. Windows are cut out and covered with a translucent fabric screen. Lamps behind so they can be later lit and shadows formed behind.
Abby: Serious girl, believes in Jesus
Liz: Fun-loving, skeptical about Jesus
Aaron: Doesn’t believe in Jesus. Aaron and Liz like each other.
Joe: Believes in Jesus. Interested in Abby
Simon: Knowledgeable, undecided
3-5 Important looking priests
Soldier 1, Soldier 2, Soldier 3, Soldier 4
More non-speaking soldiers and priests as available
Peter: Mature man, moody, deeply disturbed
Jesus: (Non-speaking part)
Abby, Liz, Aaron, Joe, and Simon are doing work in the courtyard. Liz is sweeping, Joe walks on stage carrying a basket of charcoal and then starts to prepare the fire, the other three are doing some kind of household or garden tasks.
Abby: “This Jesus of Nazareth, do you think he is the promised Messiah, the son of David?”
Liz: (Jabbing her broom into the ground) “No way, he is a rabble rouser, he preaches insurrection! Master Caiaphas says that if Jesus is allowed to continue teaching in the temple, a riot will start. Then the Roman soldiers will move in and there will be plenty of trouble.”
Aaron: “You bet, you should have been there the other day in the temple. He just kicked over the tables of the merchants who were selling doves for the sacrifices. Tempers were rising and angry words echoed throughout the temple walls. Feathers and coins flew everywhere. Who does he think he is to disturb the peace in this way?”
Simon: (leaning against the old olive tree) “Annas and Caiaphas looked plenty hot under their itchy beards on that day. Our masters are the chief priests of the Sanhedrin and are responsible to maintain order in the temple. Now, with crowds of the country people coming into Jerusalem for Passover, they have to be sure there is no trouble. Those hicks from Galilee, they are so easily swayed.”
Joe: (setting down a basket of charcoal) “Jesus is not a violent man at all. I saw him entering Jerusalem on the Sabbath past, riding a donkey. The crowds were cheering him with songs, ‘Hosanna in the highest…Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ They were waving palms and laying their coats on his path. He was the most gentle man you could imagine, but his eyes were so sad.”
Sudden crackling sound like branches breaking. The actors all look up. Leaves and twigs fall on the stage to appear like they are falling from the tree. Chicken sounds. A stuffed chicken falls on the ground in front of them and is pulled off the stage by a string. Aaron takes a few steps towards the chicken to appear to try to catch it.
Liz: (to Aaron) “That old rooster again, didn’t you get him for the Passover dinner? I thought the cook wanted a good fat chicken for the stew.”
Aaron: “That bird is even tougher than you! You would have to stand by the fire a week to cook him tender in the pot.”
Liz: “Well then, I hope he keeps waking you up nights with his crowing outside your loft. He seems to be attracted to guys who talk too much!”
Abby: “There will be a lot of guests in the house for Passover. We are going to need every bird and lamb in the yard to feed all the men that have come through the gate this afternoon. Many of them are the chief priests and scribes that I recognize from my many errands to the temple area. They really seem to be preoccupied, not in the mood for any celebration.”
Simon: “It’s that Jesus fellow. I spied Pontius Pilate approaching the palace this morning with a group of Roman soldiers. You can be sure that when the governor comes to Jerusalem something is going on. There are rumors of a trial.”
Abby: “What can they try him for? Jesus has healed people that are lame and driven away evil spirits. Everyone is talking about how he raised Lazarus from the grave. He teaches forgiveness and love. I would like to learn more about him.”
Aaron: “Don’t forget, he heals on the Sabbath! That is clearly breaking the law. What
will he try to do next? It has been one absurd thing after the other!”
Insistent knocking at the gate interrupts the argument. All the servants stand straight and pick up their items to leave. Abby smoothes her clothes and moves to stage right toward the gate.
Aaron: (To Liz as he moves to stage left) “Now Liz, be sure to keep that courtyard swept up so these high and might visitors don’t step in it and get their sandals soiled.”