I thought it would be good to share some resources that I have developed for Worship. The following is a drama that I wrote as an introduction to a sermon on Gossip using Ephesians 5:25-32
AUTHOR: Rev. Jay Slocum
GENRE: Comedy/ light drama
TIME: 4 minutes
CAST BREAKDOWN: 3FM, 2M
THEME: Gossip, Resolving Conflict
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Matthew 18:15-17 Ephesians 5:25-32
CHURCH YEAR SEASON: Any
SUGGESTED USE: Designed to set up a sermon on gossip, conflict, or the use of the tongue.
SYNOPSIS: Two women share gossip over lunch, only to find minutes into the conversation that the very subject of their gossip is walking toward them. Their rumors end up spoiling lunch for everyone. The scene freezes and the next scene opens with two men who meet at the Water Cooler to share information that ends with a third party being saved from the poisonous consequences of gossip.
CHARACTERS: Scene One Laurie: A hopeless gossip.
Jen: of similar age- needs to be physically fit.
Melissa: young and dressed professionally.
Scene Two Ed: A hopeless gossip.
Jen: This time Jen refuses to collude with others and confronts Ed.
Rich: Needs to be a fairly young salesman who dresses very professionally (shirt and tie).
PROPS: Scene one: a table, 2 chairs, table cloth, and menus; Scene Two: a water cooler, small office copier, or just a table with papers on it.
COSTUMES: Everyone should dress professionally. The drama takes place on lunch break and at the office.
SOUND: five wireless microphones
LIGHTING: General stage
SETTING: A restaurant and an office common area like a mail room, break room, etc.
DIRECTOR'S TIP: Scene One- Laurie feeds off gossip and has a very hard time with her tongue. She should be someone who is not quite pushy, but who can be very forceful due to her love of “News.” Jen, of course is the conflicted one. She does not love to gossip, it’s just that she struggles sometimes with stopping it when it comes her way. Jen should be fairly generous and forgiving in her nature (a cup is half full person) and not comfortable with the gossip that she is engaged in. Melissa is sensitive and in a very real sense, the victum. She should be able to pull off being someone who might be envied because of her physical appearance, and able to communicate hurt to the audience. This drama will work best if Laurie is able to be become pushier and more eager in her gossip as the drama unfolds. Jen should become more and more conflicted and nervous as it unfolds. And, Melissa should be able to “drive home” the hurt she feels when she finally realizes that she is being talked about. Scene Two- As Jen returns to the office, she is faced with
Scene One: “Table Talk”
Laurie: Hey Jen, sorry I am so late. Did you order already?
Jen: Laurie! Hey! Yah, cheeseburger platter and a diet coke, as usual.
Laurie: Oh, I hate how thin you are Jen. You can eat anything and get away with it.
Jen: Fast metabolism I guess.
Laurie: Speaking of thin, did you see what Melissa was wearing yesterday?
Jen: Melissa Shook?
Laurie: Yah! I mean, who shows up at a Saturday play date with their two year old wearing three inch pumps… and that skirt…
Jen: Come on, Melissa’s nice. Anyway, you know how it is. She’s lonely. You know, I heard she really wants to get re-married.
Laurie: Well, who does she think she’s gonna meet at the park at noon? The way she was dressed, you would think that she was taking her son to happy hour at The Bluffton Ale House (a well known local drinking establishment). Jen: (Feeling a bit uneasy and wanting to redirect the conversation) Do you know what you are going to order?
Laurie: Yah, Cheeseburger platter and a diet coke, as usual. (Laurie spots Melissa seated across the room at a table. This should be an “imagined table.”)
Laurie: Oh my Gosh, Jen look! It’s Melissa. No, don’t look, she might notice us. Jen, she’s (leaning forward in a whispering voice) with an older man. Wow, Melissa must really want to get re-married, this guy is like old enough to be my dad. Oh, this is too good.
Jen: Laurie, I don’t think we should…
Laurie: (Very excited but trying to look like she hasn’t seen anything). Act totally natural, she’s coming this way.
(Melissa enters and begins to pass, not seeing Laurie and Jen) Laurie: Melissa! Hey, it’s so great to see you. Oh, I just love your shoes! Can you join us for lunch?
Melissa: Thanks, but I am actually just leaving. I’ve got to get back to work before my boss kills me.
Jen: (trying to save Melissa,Jen’s responds in a hopeful voice) Having lunch with a friend?
Melissa: Sort of, yah.
Laurie: Really (showing great interest). Is it a guy?
Melissa: Well, sort of.
Jen: That’s great Melissa…we don’t want to make you late...
Laurie: Come on, Jen, not so soon. Is he cute?
Melissa: Not exactly…. I mean…
Jen: It’s none of our business! Have a great day Melissa!
Melissa: Actually, I was just meeting my father-in-law for lunch.
Laurie: (looking perplexed). Wait, I heard (correcting herself) thought that you were divorced.
Melissa: (Looking a bit wounded) No. David died of throat cancer. It all just happened so… Arthur, David’s dad, he flies in every year for our anniversary. I kinda feel like I am getting a part of David when… And ever since David’s mom passed away it really helps Arthur…(She tries to hold back tears). Hey, it was nice to see you, but I really got to run… See you at play group next week? (She leaves quickly.)
Laurie: Sure, we’ll see you at play group (in a deflated tone).
Jen: Yah (mumbling) I uhm, see you at play group. (Putting down her menu)Look Laurie, I am not really hungry. I think I will just go back to the office.
Laurie: I guess I am not really hungry either. (The two get up and exits stage)
Scene Two: “The Water Cooler”
(Ed walks up to the water cooler or copy machine, etc. at work. Jen follows him in.)
Ed: Good morning Jen.
Jen: Ed, (Extending her hand to shake) how are sales this week? Sorry I missed the sales meeting. My twelve year old had an orthodontist appointment. Your team still number one in sales?
Ed: Not this week. (Sounding annoyed)
Jen: I am Sorry, Ed I guess I kinda just expected that you would be number one again. You and your guys work so hard. You really put in the hours Ed.
Ed: Well, I don’t have to worry about family like you do Jen.
Jen: No I guess not. Well, have a good one. (Tom begins to walk away).
Ed: Sure… (Ed catches him with his hand) Hey Jen. You know that new guy, Rich?
Jen: Yah, Rich McCloud. Isn’t he on your sales team?
Ed: Exactly. Yes, he is. And, do you want to know why we aren’t number one this week.
Jen: Actually, I am not sure I do... (cutting him off)
Ed: Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because of that car.
Jen: Huh? Look Ed, I have no idea what you are talking about, but I think you need to talk to Rich. He’s a good guy. Our boys play soccer together.
Ed: Well, maybe you ought to take a minute next time your at a game to look at this guys car. Not that it’s ever my business what kind a car a guy chooses to drive. In fact, I didn’t even notice his car until this week. Have you seen it.
Jen: I thought he drove a…. (cutting him off).
Ed: Yah, a rusted out 90’ Accord with a bad muffler and a roof rack on top.
(This is a description of the pastor’s car. It is a heap. If there is someone on staff, youth minister, etc. that you can use, describe their car.) Jen: No. Look, if you have a problem with Tom, why don’t you go to him and talk to him. In fact, our kids have a game tonight. I’ll be sure to tell him you think his car is hurting sales.
Ed: Tom, I thought we were friends.
Jen: We are Ed.
Ed: Well then, why do you want to go and say something to Rich. Everybody knows that a slaesman’s image is as important as his product. What do you think costumers must think with him driving that old beater around. It’s bad business.
Jen: I will tell him you said that Ed. And, you know, I will tell him because I am your friend. Look, Ed, if you talk behind Rich’s back to me then I am gonna feel weird around him. Just be honest and tell him what you think…
Ed: (Having a minor blow up) You know what, I will. I’ll tell him exactly what I think of that buggy he’s driving and the impact it’s having on our sales team.
(Rich approaches the water cooler with an empty glass.)
Jen: Rich. Boy am I glad you’re here. (Confiding in Rich) Hey, Ed has something that he needs to talk to you about. (Ed is behind Rich passing his pointer finger over his neck to indicate NO!) (Tom Exits).
Rich: (Turning to Ed, who goes from making the no signals to smoothing out his hair). What can I help you with Ed?
Ed: Buddy! Well, it’s really nothing, but, uh, well, I was just, well, wondering if maybe you were struggling with, well, finaces and stuff (he pulls out a wad of bills).
Ed: I don’t know how to say it… I mean its just that I am wondering if maybe the company, or maybe some of the guys could help you with car payments or something. I don’t know. Maybe chip in and help you lease a nice four door. Those new Chryslers are supposed to be real impressive. A new car could really help your sales.
Rich: My sales? Lease a car? Chip in to… Oh, the Honda. (Rich begins to laugh). You mean that old beater that I’ve been driving.
Ed: (looking relieved) Well, yeah. How do you get costumers to even get in that car.
Rich: Oh, Ed that’s too funny.
Ed: (Now annoyed) What? What?
Rich: Ed, it’s not my car. I borrowed it from my pastor while the transmission in the suburban gets fixed.
Ed: Oh, well that solves it.
Rich: Yah, well thanks for your concern.
Ed: No problem.
Rich: All right. Well, see you at next weeks sales meeting.
Feel free to use this drama for your own service, just be sure to reference me as the author.