One-acts

Our one-acts are typically fifteen to thirty minutes long. They may still have divisions, of a sort, but are not as long (or as subdivided) as our multi-acts.

An Exchange of Affections

37 minutes / 3 characters

Description
The seasick apostle meets a stranger from Paphos on the deck of a small ship taking him to Lycia.

Theme
How those within the Body of Christ care for each other; evangelism.

Characters
The apostle Paul
Diomedes, a merchant
Luke, the physician (small part)

Set
This play, more than possibly any other His Company script, will benefit from a complete set. It certainly can be produced with only two actors on a sparse stage, but will nonetheless be enhanced by a set denoting the deck of a small ship and, most especially, sound effects of waves, wind, and creaking timbers. Extras can also be employed as deck hands moving about lashing items down for the storm, hauling in the dinghy, etc.

Props
As many as the Director wishes, depending on the set.

Topics
Evangelism The Body of Christ The Church Support Encouragement Brothers Sisters Paphos Ship Seasickness Paul Luke Diomedes Merchant An Exchange of Affections

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Dave
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An Impossible Life

30 minutes / 2 characters and Narrator

Description
Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus—and what seems to many to be His impossible birth.

One person who has remained skeptical about the things of God is Naomi, who runs the house where the aged apostle John rents a room. The tiny island of Patmos—to which John has been exiled—is where they live, and the absentminded apostle and his feisty landlady mix it up on an almost daily basis.

One day, however, Naomi presents John with an opportunity to tell her the story about an impossible birth that happened so long ago in the town of Bethlehem—and the miraculous life that followed.

NOTE: This script, An Impossible Life, is the non-musical version of our Musical Resource, Glorious Impossible.

Theme
Christmas; the "impossible" life of Jesus Christ

Characters
The apostle John (very old)
Naomi, his middle-aged landlady
Narrator

Set
The set for this production can be as simple or elaborate as the director desires. For the inaugural production the set consisted of a small, crude table and stool, with various set pieces scattered about for flavor. Pictures are included in the script.

Props
There are only two required props: a wooden stylus (writing instrument) and a small, rolled parchment. Pictures are included in the script.

Wardrobe
Both John and Naomi live in a rough, rural area, and neither are wealthy. Their clothing would reflect this.

Topics
Christmas Musical Apostle John Island of Patmos Landlady Bethlehem Salvation Impossible Life Jesus Christ

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Dave
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Brothers

30 minutes / 4 characters

Description
Brothers gives a behind-the-scenes look at the New Testament book of Philemon—a brief letter from the imprisoned apostle Paul to his friend and brother in Christ, Philemon. Though not a character in the play, the apostle's presence is felt throughout.

The play takes place at the home of Philemon. He has just received the letter from Paul—and he is not a happy man. He not only is angry that his slave, Onesimus, had left, but that he had ended up in the company of Paul. His position is that his friend should have immediately sent back his "property."

Philemon begins an angry letter of reply back to Paul, but before the letter is finished, he comes to realize that

...this brave and deeply spiritual man is indeed a servant—not of man, but of Christ. Though he did steal from me, Onesimus has nothing to repay. For I have been repaid in full by the lessons he has taught me with his life of gentle humility.

Brothers is a moving statement about family life—the family of God in Christ. It also (as do most His Company scripts) suggests that behind the words of Scripture lay stories of individuals of deep emotion, strong feelings, and profound love.

Theme
The close relationship we have as members of the Body of Christ; our dependency on each other; family life.

Characters
Atticus, the scribe
Philemon
Apphia
Onesimus

Set
(from the script)
The setting is an opulently appointed inner courtyard of a wealthy family. The courtyard is surrounded by the lattice-windowed, inner walls of the house. A narrow walkway borders these walls, sheltered by a tiled roof all around. An open doorway leads from the courtyard to
the home's interior rooms.

The courtyard is mostly paved, but with areas set aside for bushes, trees, even a small flower garden. There is a fountain in the center. Near the fountain are one or two benches, large enough for two to sit together while being cooled by the bubbling water during the hotter parts of the day. Near one of the benches is a smaller, lower stool—or a small stone large enough for one person. Here and there—both in the courtyard and around its perimeter walkway—are water or wine amphorae (tall clay jugs) and wooden storage boxes, in which are kept cushions for the benches.

The setting is one of restrained wealth—comfort without ostentation.

Props
See the script for required props.

Topics
Brothers Apostle Paul Philemon Onesimus Slavery Letter Scroll Servants Brotherhood The Church Believers Body of Christ Family

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Dave
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Family

15 minutes / 3 characters

Description
Family is based on the first eighteen verses of the book of Ruth.

Theme
Family love; unselfish devotion to another.

Characters
Naomi, widowed wife of Elimelech; in her mid-60's. Naomi is a woman at once at peace with her station and harboring great bitterness in her heart because of the turn her life has taken. She is capable of perfect, compassionate love toward her daughters-in-law; she is equally capable of a disturbingly morose anger toward Jehovah.

Ruth, widowed wife of Mahlon, elder son of Naomi; in her 30's. Ruth is the quintessential embodiment of unselfish love. She never places her own needs above those of her companions. There is a staggering purity to the love she has for Naomi.

Orpah, widowed wife of Chilion, younger son of Naomi; in her 20's. Orpah, too, has a deep love for her mother-in-law, but it is a love tempered by the impetuousness of her youth. She was not married as long as Ruth or Naomi, and is therefore less attached to the past than she is to the possibilities of the future.

Production Notes
The scene is the outskirts of the land of Moab. The boundary for Moab is the Zered River; on the other side is the land of Judah. The three have been traveling together, but now, before the river is crossed, it is time for Ruth and Orpah to return to Moab and resume their lives. Naomi intends to cross the river alone, to return to her homeland, Judah, and the city of Bethlehem.

Set
The set for Family could be kept basic: several "rocks" for the women to rest upon. These could be set pieces constructed to look like real rocks or as simple as carpeted blocks to blend with the church platform.

Wardrobe
The three women are traveling through rugged, desert territory. They must have sandals on their feet and would be carrying two or three satchels with their provisions of bread, water, possibly some fruit. Naomi's first speech, after sitting down, would be a good opportunity for Orpah and Ruth to break out some of their provisions. All three should have walking sticks for the journey. Remember, even though Ruth and Orpah are presumably not going the distance with Naomi, they still have come a considerable distance and would have provisions.

Topics
Family Ruth Naomi Orpah Allegiance Devotion to Another Love Unselfish Boaz David

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Dave
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Grace

20 minutes / 2 characters

Description
Grace is the dramatic dialogue only from the musical, Crown Him with Glory.
In other words, a non-musical version of Crown Him with Glory.

Characters
The apostle Peter
His wife, Rachel

Topics
Grace Crown Him with Glory Apostle Peter Husband Wife Doubt Faith Crucifixion Resurrection Holy Spirit Jerusalem Disciples Easter

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Dave
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Is This the End?

Important Note: When our musical scripts were first written, the choral and accompaniment music for which they were written were current and available. But Christian music literature has a brief shelf life; it goes out of print quickly. (We do not compose music, but write dramatic scripts that work with existing published music literature.)
Rather than remove our scripts because the associated music literature may no longer be available, we have opted to give our users the opportunity to either locate the original music on their own, or substitute music of their own choosing.
Do not plan on using one of our musical scripts until you have made this decision.

The information below includes everything we know about the music literature originally used for this musical. Nothing is gained by writing us for more.

Musical: 35 minutes / 2 characters, with choir
One-act: 20 minutes / 2 characters
cover

Description
This script is offered in two versions: a musical with choir, and a non-musical one-act. Both scripts are available for download at the bottom of this page. Also available for download below is a PDF containing our cover artwork that you may use for programs or publicity.

The Time: Late Friday night, after the burial of Jesus
The Place: Garden of Gethsemane

The disciples (and brothers), James and John have sought refuge in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly after the burial of Christ. The two disciples find themselves in utter limbo: What now? With Jesus dead and buried, do they now just go back to their fishing nets? What did it all mean? What was it all for?

Theme
The cross was the gateway to a new life in Christ.

Music Information
The four choral songs used in this Good Friday musical are by Ruth Elaine Schram (http://choralmusic.com/). These songs are...

- Garden of Tears
- Eyes of Heaven
- Tapestry of Darkness
- It's All About the Cross

All are available, with downloadable demos, at http://choralmusic.com/. Some Trax are available, but we recommend simple, acoustic piano for this production.

We strongly recommend that you verify the availability of choral books, Trax, or studio orchestration before deciding to produce this musical.

Topics
James John Disciples Good Friday Easter Garden of Gethsemane Crucifixion The Cross Death Burial Uncertainty

Downloads
Dave
Musical PDF for Production
Non-musical PDF for Production
Scaleable art as PDF

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Restless Dawn

25 minutes / 2 characters

Description
In Genesis 22 God commands Abraham:

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

Now, if you were Abraham and had waited more than 100 years for your first son, would you roll over and go back to sleep after hearing that? Restless Dawn is based on the premise that even allowing for Abraham's profound faith in God's promise, this command would have been most disturbing.

Theme
Obedience; Faith; God's promises

Characters
Abraham
Sarah

Props
No props are necessary except the one article belonging to Isaac. However, props and set can be incorporated at the Director's discretion.

Wardrobe
Remember, Abraham is not Jewish; he is Chaldean. His apparel would not be the flowing loose robes commonly depicted, but a Babylonian style, with cleaner lines, and normally worn off one shoulder. He would not have a full, bushy beard, but one neatly trimmed, almost squared off, and probably without a mustache. He might even be wearing a hat, which would look very much a modern stocking cap.

Sarah, when she enters, has been sleeping, so would not be in normal day-wear. A simple shift, similar in design to Abraham's clothing (off one shoulder) would suffice. A thin shawl for her shoulders would be appropriate. Remember, though nomadic and living in tents, Abraham and Sarah are not poor. Their clothing should reflect their great wealth.

An excellent source for pictures of Chaldean costumes is National Geographic, December 1966 issue.

Topics
Restless Dawn Abraham Abram Sarah Sarai Isaac Ishmael Lot Sodom Destruction Belief Faith Obedience Sacrifice Moriah Sleep Dreams Visions

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Dave
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Sand Mountain

15 minutes / 2 characters

Description
Reinhart and Jane, friends since childhood, have both come to their 20th High School reunion. Jane is now a businesswoman who has recently lost her job. She asks her old friend Reinhart to meet with her, to help her through this rough period. Reinhart is sympathetic to her plight, but wisely points out the dearth of spiritual values in her life.

JANE: So now I'm making a stupid mistake.
REINHART (emphatically): Yes. Somewhere along the line you cut out of your life your one hope. The one constant you could always reach out to--and you've forgotten how to stretch out your hand. Have you been so long at the top of the corporate ladder? Is God just a calculator that you pull out of your briefcase whenever you need a fast answer? He's waiting for you to be a real person again; just reach out to Him.

The play ends with Reinhart (optionally) singing His Eye is On the Sparrow to
Jane.

Theme
Walking daily with God; when we've built a wall between us and God, and don't know what to do, just worship Him.

Characters
Reinhart
Jane (both in late 30's or early 40's)

Topics
Sand Mountain Jane Reinhart Platonic Friends Spiritually Dry Distant from God Wall Confession Lordship Class Reunion Bible Church Camp

Downloads
Dave
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Someone Stronger

30 minutes / 2 characters

Description
Anyone familiar with Reinhart from the His Company script, Sand Mountain, may be surprised by him here. In Sand Mountain the confident Reinhart has all the answers; in Someone Stronger Reinhart has fallen on hard times. His wife has left him and he has returned to his old hometown seeking familiar solace.

Edna Mae is the aging matriarch of the church in which Reinhart grew up. She has just buried her husband of 60-plus years. But instead of losing herself in grief, we find her sitting alone, communing with God in the fading light of the church sanctuary. This one so tuned to the heart of the Lord helps her friend Reinhart past his bitterness and anger, to reach out and take the hand of the God who loves him.

Someone Stronger is not a story of sorrow or grief, but of trust. It is a story about taking the strong hand of an attentive, loving Father when life gets hard. At the same time, Someone Stronger is a testament to the strength of two people bound together as one under God.

Theme
Trust; Dependancy on God

Characters
Reinhart
a man in his late-twenties or thirties, dressed casually. Reinhart was raised in the church, accepted Christ as his Savior at a young age. But as it is with many Christians, in his adult life he has taken a few wrong turns--some of which have taken him away from God.

Edna Mae
an elderly woman in her early- to mid-eighties, dressed as if she has just come from a funeral (not necessarily black, but at least Sunday-go-to-meeting). (See Reinhart's opening monologue in the script for a description.)

Set
While this play does not have multiple "scenes," per se, the dialogue is broken up into several segments that could, depending on the capabilities of the venue, be separated by various mechanical (i.e., lights, sound) means: It would work to have very little separation at all—little more than a pause in the conversation, or a piece of blocking business to move a character about for a few seconds. Or, to show passage of time, the stage could dim to black, with a moment of program music inserted.

Ideally, a combination of program music and set lighting would be used to suggest the passage of time. The setting is an older church sanctuary; if the play opens in the late afternoon, there would be still-bright colored light streaming through the church's stained glass windows, spilling across the old wooden pews. As the day, and conversation, wears on, the light would gradually fade and grow warmer. So the transitional spaces between the segments could be used to suggest the passage of time by bringing up some program music while the colored light (as if through stained glass windows)—as well as the light on the actors—dims to a lower level.

Props
No props are necessary for Reinhart, but Edna Mae would have a purse, and perhaps a walker or cane. Props may be added in at the director's discretion to round out the scene and work with
blocking.

Topics
Someone Stronger Edna Mae Reinhart Trust Loss Heavenly Father Marriage Dependancy on God Reaching Out Anger Distrust Divorce Strengh Farm The Depression 1930s Government World War Two FDR Roosevelt Dialogue Funeral Husbands Wife Wives Age Aging California Church Sanctuary Stained Glass Windows Reliance Relying on God Faith Strong Hand Strong Arm Alienation

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Dave
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Vacancy

45 minutes / 7 characters

Description
The script for this one-act play, Vacancy, begins with the dramatic portions of There's Room in My Heart (the musical from which it is drawn), but has been fleshed out to make it an even stronger statement for life in Christ. The play includes two mysterious "Visitors" and drama centered around the Bethlehem inkeeper and his family. The two "Visitors" (mysteriously dark, other-wordly types) take us back to the time of Jesus' birth to show us that those people, too, had daily pressures and self-centered priorities that prevented the Christ from entering their hearts. Christmas for them was also a time of crass commercialism.

Theme
Letting Jesus into your heart to replace the emptiness of this world.

Production Notes
This play lends itself perfectly to a strong Invitation by the Pastor at the end. The monologue at the end of the play sets up this opportunity.

Characters
Leader
The Visitors (2)
Simon, the Innkeeper
Joanna, his wife
Nathanael, their son
Eliezer, their neighbor

Set
This play is designed to have at least two separate areas of the stage: for the drama, and one or two isolated areas (such as organ chambers, baptistry, etc.) for the "Visitors." Lighting is important to this production. The drama needs to be lighted as you would any play and requires blackouts. The "Visitors" require dark, mysterious lighting and black backgrounds so that, ideally, they are simply bodiless faces looking out of darkness.

Topics
Vacancy There's Room in My Heart Bethlehem Christmas Roman Soldiers Belief Light Bread Wine Baby Christ Child Mary Joseph

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Dave
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Were You There?

35 minutes / 3 characters

Description
Were You There? blends extended, heart-wrenching monologues with dialogues between the elderly Barabbas and his adult nephew, and Ananias, his fellow Zealot from the time of Christ's crucifixion.

Central to this play is Barabbas who, though now a believer, begins the play bearing a heavy burden of guilt for the fact that—quite literally—Jesus died in his place. Like a soldier struggling to forget the horrors of war, Barabbas wants to forget the horror and guilt of that time long ago when he was released and the innocent Jesus died upon the cross made for him. But his nephew persists in nagging Barabbas about that time—and the part his uncle played in the dramatic, earth-changing events. At last Barabbas gives himself permission to remember what happened—and why—and how it changed his life forever.

Production Notes
There are three "situations" employed in this play: First is the natural dialogue between Barabbas and his nephew. It takes place in real time (today: thirty years after the crucifixion). Second are the audience-directed "asides" by Barabbas, in which he shares his contemporaneous thoughts. Third is the brief historical exchange between Barabbas and his compatriot, Ananias.

The challenge for the director (and actors) is that the actors move back and forth between these three situations quickly and seamlessly—at times, one line to the other actor, the next line as an introspective aside. The audience's suspension of disbelief can be aided by the clever use of stage lighting and even well-timed program music, but, as always, the key to it all working comes down to the believability of each actor's performance.

In this play, what the actors do when they are not the center of attention is critical. For example, there are some things that Barabbas says that his nephew should not "hear." Artful lighting can help, but often there is insufficient time to transition from one to the other, so the physical attitude of the detached actor is key—telegraphing to the audience that he is not privy to what the other character is saying. The director will need to pay special attention to blocking in this regard.

Characters
Barabbas, the zealot (in his fifties)
Nephew (in his twenties)
Ananias (in his twenties--from thirty years ago)

Set
No set or props are required, but can be employed at the director's discretion.

Topics
Barabbas Zealot Ananias Prison Crucifixion Release Jesus Died Believer Uncle Nephew Jerusalem Pilate Trial Praetorium Herod's Palace Pardon Crosses Golgotha Easter

Downloads
Dave
PDF for Production
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Who Do You Say That I Am?

30 minutes / 3 characters

Description
The Time: It is Passover week, late Thursday night, AD 30
The Place: The Garden of Gethsemane, outside the walls of Jerusalem.

The Garden is a place of tranquility, of shaded peace amidst the aroma of ancient olive trees. Here the olives are harvested and made into the oil used by everyone in the city. And into this peaceful setting have come a rabbi and his disciples.

Suddenly the Garden is filled with a mob, here to arrest the rabbi—Jesus of Nazareth. And just as suddenly, the mob has accomplished its mission, and has taken the rabbi back into the city of Jerusalem. His followers have scattered, and the garden is once again quiet, but unnaturally still.

There are those who have been privy to the events of this night—indeed, the events of the past week. But who is this one just arrested? Is he teacher, rabbi? Is he Master and Lord? Is he really God—or just a shrewd deceiver?

Who Do You Say That I Am? begins as the crowd has departed. The gardener and his acquaintances are left to discuss and argue over just who this Jesus of Nazareth really is.

Characters
Erastus, the Gardener
Erastus is in charge of the Garden of Gethsemane. He tends the shrubs and trees—mostly olive trees—and oversees the pressing of the olives into oil. Erastus has the appearance of a hermit who spends little time in or around civilized society. He is squat and generously rotund, with a smudged face and dirt under his fingernails. However, while his manners and tone are gruff, these character traits fail to hide a mind more quick and nimble than his appearance would suggest.

Shara, the Syrian Baker
This woman runs a small bakery just around the corner from where Jesus holds the Last Supper with His disciples. Shara is a simple (yet not unintelligent) woman who finds escape from an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage in her successful business. She lives peacefully with both the Jews and the Romans--not really understanding or caring deeply about either.

Hananiah, the Money-changer
This banker has overheard the teachings of Jesus for some time, as he has sat in the temple courtyard changing Roman coinage to Tyrian for worshippers. Beyond his professional situation, Hananiah is a steely-eyed, cold-blooded snob who thinks himself more intelligent, more wealthy, and more privileged than just about anyone he meets. Those beneath him, he ignores; those above him, he courts.

Topics
Who Do You Say That I Am? Garden of Gethsemane Jesus Arrest Betrayal Soldiers Sanhedrin Gardener Baker Money-changer Banker Confusion Death Crucifixion Easter Palm Sunday Good Friday Temple Jerusalem

Downloads
Dave
PDF for Production
Plain Text for Review
Package of Artwork for Promotion

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