Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stage 6: In which Christian and Faithful encounter Vanity Fair and Faithful gets whacked

I allowed Matt the intern to talk me into taking the Sunday School lesson last week and this was my revenge. Our church has been reading Pilgrim's Progress this summer and each week one of the families takes ten or fifteen minutes to present the week's reading as a skit or game show or something. I've been mostly avoiding the class but Matt said he was desperate.

My family wasn't exactly thrilled. I started work on a script Friday and told them what their roles were and started a big fight, hurt feelings and tears aplenty. I wrote the recalcitrant children out and gave the starring roles to Matt and our other intern Jarrod. I put in jokes. The kids read it Saturday afternoon and started offering suggestions and finally asked to be in the skit. We had a great time pulling it together and presenting it and it was very well received. Here it is:


Vendor 1Corre
Vendor 2Alicia
Vendor 3Rob
Jury ForemanCorre
Juror 2Hannah
Juror 3Emma
News anchorCorre
News reporterEmma
Blogger 1Emma
Blogger 2Corre
Sports announcerCorre
BattersEmma, Hannah
AngelsCorre, Emma, Hannah

Christian and Faithful stand in one place till the end.

Props: Microphone (working), tea cart, baseball bats

The skit opens with a request for volunteers to play the starring roles. We force Matt and Jarrod to volunteer. This is the first joke.

Narrator: Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our show. Tonight’s play is entitled “Stage 6” and follows Christian’s adventures through the perils of this world. Our story opens on the edge of a wilderness with Christian and Faithful enjoying some much needed rest.

Christian: (wiping brow) Whew!

Faithful: (nods vigorously) You said it man!

Christian: (pointing off stage) Hey! Look who’s coming!

Faithful: It’s Evangelist!

Evangelist: (coming up, waving) Hi!

Christian: I am so glad to see you! We’ve had such a hard time!

Faithful: Yeah! How have you been?

Evangelist: Well I’m glad to see both of you too. I’m delighted you’ve found each other and come so far together. I’m afraid you have got a hard road ahead. One of you is going to die in this chapter!

(Christian and Faithful look at each other surprised.)

Evangelist: I’m really sorry boys but which ever of you dies will have it easy. It’s the other one I’m concerned about. There’s a city over (pointing) there you’ve got to go through. There’s no way round it so through it you must go. Best get cracking. (shoos them off).

Christian: Won’t you come and help us?

Faithful: Yeah!

Evangelist: I wish I could but I can’t. (raises hand in blessing) Blessings on you!

Narrator: So our two travelers reach the great city Vanity and discover all that it has to offer.

Christian: (looking around) What is this place?

Narrator: Vanity

Faithful: Why is it called that?

Narrator: Wait and see.

Faithful: Oh, okay.

Narrator: They were remarkably patient, given the circumstances. They now enter the heart of the city and find a thriving marketplace with vendors accosting them on every side.

Christian: (looking around) What is this place?

Narrator: Vanity Fair.

Faithful: Does that mean there are rides?

Narrator: Yes.

Vendor 1: (flourishing imaginary currency, addressing congregation) Get yer money right here! Everybody loves it—made fresh this morning! (Addressing Christian) You sir! How about some nice currency? We also have the best gold, jewels and real estate. What’s your pleasure? How about some nice mutual funds?

Christian: Are you selling money?

Vendor 1: Yes sir! Wealth for the asking—it’s all here!

Christian: Well then, what do you sell it for? I mean, what do people give you in exchange for it?

Vendor 1: Why, your soul son, the same as always (sweeping gesture, departs)

(Christian and Faithful hide eyes and turn their backs)

Vendor 2: Hey boys! How about some fun? We’ve got lust that’ll make you crazy! We’ve got scintillation, titillation, agitation, no ramification delectation! We’ve got delights from every continent in every color, size, shape and gender. What’s your pleasure?

(Christian and Faithful shudder, hide their eyes and turn their backs)

Vendor 3: Yo yo yo! What up? Get yo self on over here and save the (gesture grandly) world!

Christian: What?

Vendor 3: That’s right! Get some political power and save the planet from deprivation, stagnation, depression, deforestation and war.

Faithful: What?

Vendor 3: That’s right! And we can do it all with other people’s money!

(Christian and Faithful shudder, hide their eyes and turn away)

Narrator: At this point, Christian and Faithful are interrupted by the police.

Policeman: Now now now, what’s all this?

Christian: I beg your pardon officer?

Policeman: I said: “Now now now, what’s all this?” Now, what’s all this?

Faithful: What’s all what?

Vendor 2: This man here disrespected my goods! He spoke ill of worldly pleasure!

Vendor 3: And mine too! He insulted my intelligence!

Policeman: Come along with me you two (collars C & F, flings them in jail.)

(Christian and Faithful recover somewhat and stand looking out from behind bars, which they hold)

Narrator: Christian and Faithful have fallen foul of the city authorities. They are hauled before a judge.

Judge: You stand accused of a grave offence: disrespecting the spirit of the age. How do you plead?

Christian: The spirit of what?

Judge: The age, the land, the marketplace. How do you plead?

Christian: Uh, do you mean the spirit of materialism, lust, lewdness, lawlessness and every wicked thing? The one animating the vendors in your market?

Judge: Yes, that one, Beelzebub (places hand over heart, looks up devoutly) How do you plead?

Christian: That’s the bad spirit and I’m obliged to disrespect him.

Faithful: Me too.

Judge: Aghhhh! (tears at hair) What does the jury say? Mr. Foreman?

Jury Foreman: Your honor, my name is Mr. Blindman and I see perfectly clearly that they have gone wrong! (turning to Juror 2) Mr. No-good, what do you say?
Juror 2: They’re bad.
Foreman: Mr. Malice, what do you say?
Juror 3: They’re hateful.
Foreman: Mr. Love-lust?
Juror 2: They’re repressed.
Foreman: Mr. Live-loose?
Juror 3: They’re judgmental.
Foreman: Mr. High-mind?
Juror 2: They’re philistines!
Foreman: Mr. Liar?
Juror 3: They don’t tell the truth!
Foreman: Mr. Cruelty?
Juror 2: Hanging’s too good for them.
Foreman: Your honor, we find the defendants guilty!

Judge: Thank you Mr. Foreman. Defendants at the bar, this court finds you guilty of treason and being a pain in the hinder parts. I sentence you to death. Take them away! (points)

(Christain and Faithful hang their heads dejectedly)

Narrator: Things look bad for our heroes. Is this the end? Was Evangelist right that one of them will die? The townspeople seem to want both of them to die. Stay tuned!

(Music: 1. Another One Bites the Dust intro.)

News anchor: (into microphone) We interrupt this broadcast to bring you breaking news. Judge Mental just passed sentence of death on the notorious thought criminals Christian and Faithful. We go now to our man on the scene, Vain Gossip. Vain, are you there? (hands microphone to reporter)

Reporter: (into microphone): This is Vain Gossip on location in Vanity County Jail. With me are the newly convicted and condemned felons, Christian and Faithful. Mr. Christian, are you sorry you said all those nasty things about our city? (shoves microphone in C’s face)

Christian: What?

Reporter: (into microphone) Mr. Faithful, wouldn’t it have been better to go along to get along? (shoves microphone in F’s face)

Faithful: What? No!

Reporter: (into microphone) There you have it Dan, not only are these men bad, they are also stupid. Back to you. (hands microphone back to anchor).

News anchor: (into microphone) More after these messages. (place microphone in holder on podium)

Narrator: The media were against them. Both the left wing and right wing bloggers hated them. Rupert Muddauber of Weasel News:

Blogger 2: These people would undermine the fabric of our great city. Of course they must be killed.

Narrator: Turgid B. Esser of the Daily Splotch:

Blogger 1: They are like so totally, ugghhh! And inarticulate too!

Narrator: And so the fateful day arrived. Faithful was lead onto a scaffold in the middle of Vanity Stadium.

(Faithful holds his hands behind his back as if they’re bound)
(Narrator leads Faithful downstage a few steps)

Christian: (signing to get Narrator’s attention) Uhhh, excuse me?

Narrator: Christian had been condemned with Faithful but the plot requires him to be around later so we leave him in jail.

Christian: (nodding) Oh.

Narrator: Thousands and thousands of spectators pack the stadium. They yell and wave flags and banners and giant novelty middle fingers. Schools let out early to watch. The networks all carried it live.

(Music: 3: Another One Bites the Dust)

Sports Announcer: (at podium, into microphone) Good evening ladies and gentlemen! It’s a wonderful night for an execution. Now we see the condemned led to the scaffold. There’s the blindfold, the victim refuses. And they’re off! The whip team opens with the traditional thirtynine lashes.

(Faithful flinches)

Sports Announcer: Here comes the bat team.

(Batters approach menacingly.)

Sports Announcer: And they let fly!

(Batters hit Faithful hard!)
(Faithful groans)
(Batters retire)

Sports Announcer: Oh! Oh! Whistle on the play! Number 19 gets a red card for using a knife prematurely.

Narrator: Then they stoned him, poked with swords and, finally, they burned him at the stake.

(Faithful opens his eyes wide, says “Ah!” and drops his head down dead)

Narrator: And then, angels came and raised him up and took him aboard a chariot!

(Angels help Faithful onto tea cart.)

Narrator: The angels carried him off through the clouds!

(Music: 5. Chariots of Fire (angels))
(Angels push Faithful and tea cart down isle)
(Faithful raises eyes and hands to heaven, full of joy)

Narrator: Meanwhile, back in jail, Christian tries to get somone’s attention.

Christian: (raises hand apologetically) Uhh, excuse me?

Narrator: Not finding anyone, he decides he might as well escape.

Christian: (Shrugs, walks off set.)

Narrator: The end.

(Music: 7. Chariots of Fire, end)
(Cast lines up facing congregation, bows together)

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