"Redemption In The Wings" Story
by Fred Passmore
This page presents the story of "Redemption in the Wings" script in a short descriptive form, so that you can decide if you want to do it without reading the entire script, and all the scene descriptions and narration. If you like this digest, then you can go to the script and read it in complete form. Approximate time of the play is 75 minutes.
In its script form, this is a Christmas play with no lines to memorize! One that all ages can be a part of: children, teens, adults and even seniors. You'll have an easier time recruiting cast members when they hear there are no lines to learn. All of the narration, music and sound effects come on a CD, ready to play!
NOTE: If you have not done "The Christmas Family" yet. I would suggest doing it first. It also is narrated, but it is only 40 minutes long. It would be good to do that one first, then move up to this longer 75-minute play next time. It's up to you, of course: but that's my thinking on it. If you HAVE done "The Christmas Family" already, then this new one is the one to do this year.
Story synopsis: Christmas is nearing, and the play being rehearsed for the guests of a homeless shelter is looming as a disaster. Plaguing the director are problems she feels ill equipped to handle: the demanding actress playing Mary is a Hollywood diva sentenced to community service; the actor playing Gabriel is nowhere to be found; and an old man at the shelter who wants to play a part harbors a secret and painful connection to the director's past. Add to this stolen decorations and the lack of funds for the Christmas dinner, and our struggling director feels it will take a miracle to make it all happen. Little does she know that the mysterious visitor standing in the wings may bring just that. During the course of the script, there are four sequences where they present the Biblical Christmas story scenes to their guests. This is a play-within-a-play. The play, when done along with the CD, is close to 75 minutes long.
The Director is: Charlotte
Vickers, approximate age: in the 30's to 40's age range.
Can be played by someone younger if need be, according to your
cast. Charlotte plays the part of Mary in their Christmas
The Diva is: Brianna McIntyre, a hollywood actress, in the mid 20's age range. Can be played by younger actress if needed.
The Diva's Bodyguard is: Lenny and is a young man in his mid 20's.
The Angel is: called Nate and in his mid-20's or 30's. He also plays the part of the angel in their Christmas play sequences. .
The Handyman is: Owen is played to be in his 60's or older, according to your available cast. Owen then plays the part of Joseph in their Christmas Play sequences.
Derelict Is: Old Johnny (Jonathan Ayers) in the mid-60 age range. Johnny plays the part of Simeon in their Christmas play.
The Shy Girl is: Sophie Conners, 6 to 8 year-old range, according to your available cast.
The Shy Girl's father is: Franklin Conners in his 30's
Seamstress: adult female, perhaps in 30's or 40's. Preferably though, this part should be a older senior. She can play the part of the elderly Anna in the Christmas play sequence, if you wish.
Cook is: a female, not age specific but adult preferred.
The Fast Decoration Team: 8 young people or teens, equally balanced between male and female..
Newspaper reporter: non-age or gender specific.
Extras: There can be as many extras of various ages as you wish, populating the stage as helpers that are putting things up in place during the scenes of preparation, doing various things that indicate the busy-ness of the place. They can also double as Biblical sequence extras by donning robes.
OPTIONAL: Someone can play the Lord in the final scene if desired, but it is written in such as way that if you prefer, it can be done so that although the characters see Him, we do not. I would recommend you have an actor portray Him, however, as it is much more powerful.
The story in short:
The play opens with what appears to be a typical manger scene Nativity play, and shepherds approaching. A scratchy record is playing the narration, but it gets stuck and repeats. This messes up the scene and the shepherds fall over over each other and the manger. The actress playing Mary turns out to be a diva, and walks angrily off the stage. It is a joke on the audience, leading them to think a bad mistake had been made, when they were only seeing a rehearsal in the past that went bad. The actual play begins as the narrator tells everything that is happening and what is being said, as it happens. We are seeing behind the scenes of the play that is being done.
The narrator's name is Nate, and he has been sent to help during the holidays at the Refuge In The Rock shelter, where the homeless and displaced can come for help. The staff there is attempting to put on a Christmas Play for the guests, but all seems to be going wrong. The shelter's Activities Director, Charlotte Vickers, is at the end of her rope as she tries to bring the cast and crew together to perform the play that evening. Nate offers his help, and she gladly accepts.
We meet the kindly handyman at the shelter, Owen, who informs the director that the tree and decorations for the stage are missing, possibly stolen. Just then we meet the girl who was the "diva" in the doomed rehearsal, Brianna McIntyre, as she complains about the lack of a private dressing room. She is an actress who is serving out a sentence of community service there and resents being there. Her bodyguard is always with her. Her callousness is shown as she rebuffs a small girl's request for an autograph. The little girl, Sophie, has emotional problems stemming from homelessness and the refusal is hard on her feelings. Charlotte, in righteous anger, removes the diva from the play, banishing her to help in the kitchen, and takes the part of Mary herself out of necessity.
The problem of the missing tree is solved as Owen the handyman has recruited a bunch of kids or teens from the guests and they bring in another tree and decorate it in double-quick time in a humorous fashion. The next problem, a missing actor who was to play the angel in the play, is solved when Nate is recruited at the last second.
The next scene is the first act of the play they are presenting for the guests, and we see them act out the story of Mary receiving the news from Gabriel about her becoming the mother of the Son of God.
Back behind the scenes again, Charlotte comforts the shelter's cook who is complaining about the lack of work that the diva is doing in the kitchen. We meet a poor man, called Old Johnny, staying at the shelter as she reassures him about his ability to portray a part in the play later. As they talk, he shows her a picture of his estranged daughter, whom he last saw as a child. With shock she recognizes herself in the photo; the old man is her father who left when she was only 6. She does not reveal her identity to him, as she has resented his absence all those years, and is too upset to speak further. The next act in their nativity play begins.
In this scene, the angel appears to the shepherds in the field and tell them of the birth of the long-awaited Messiah.
When that is over, we see behind the scenes again as Charlotte is encouraged by Owen and Nathan to attempt reconciliation with her father, which she rejects. In fact, she is going to tell him his help is not needed in the play. The little girl Sophie comes back onstage, and taking Charlotte's suggestion to pray for the actress at face value, begins to pray right then for the diva to be saved. Her prayer, heard in song on the soundtrack, is one of praise, and the cast and crew are drawn into worshiping the Lord also. The diva's bodyguard, Lenny, hears the prayer and is moved, asking to be saved, which he is, in a moving scene.
The next scene of the Nativity play is presented, as the shepherds arrive at the manger and worship the baby as Lord.
Behind the scenes again, we see Owen bring in Old Johnny for Charlotte to inform about his removal from the play. Before she can tell him, he asks her to deliver a letter he has written to his daughter. He reads it to her, not knowing she is the one it is written to. In it, he tells how he was saved recently, but now he is dying as a result of years of hard living. He wants to have his daughter's forgiveness, and hopes she will come visit him at the shelter. Broken up inside by the letter, Charlotte takes it and promises that his daughter will get it. She is softening toward him now, and thinking about things differently. The next act in their Christmas play begins.
In this scene, Old Johnny plays the part of Simeon, as Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the temple to be consecrated to the Lord. Simeon and Anna see the baby and prophesy over him. The narration ends the scene and their play with an invitation to salvation, as the cast gathers onstage to close it out.
After the play is over, Charlotte takes Old Johnny by the hand and tells his story to the crowd, then surprises him and everyone else by revealing that she is his daughter. In an emotional scene, they are reconciled and reunited.
After witnessing all this, the diva, Brianna, comes forward to publicly apologize for her attitude, and to say she prayed the sinner's prayer during the play. She offers a large donation to help the shelter provide the food needed for the Christmas dinner. Little Sophie comes up and they embrace as she also apologizes to her, and thanks her for her prayers. The evening's drama, behind the scenes and in front, is over.
In the epilog, we see Nate come onstage, narrating that it is several days later. He brings Old Johnny with him, and they observe as Charlotte prays and thanks the Lord for all his blessings, and the miracles. She thanks Him for letting her get to know her real father before he died. As she leaves, unable to see either of them, Nate reveals to Old Johnny that he not only played an angel in the play, but he really is one, sent to help and bless. Johnny realises that he is dead. The angel tells Johnny that his last task is to show him to the gates of Heaven, which he does, where he sees all his family members who are already there come to greet him. Then the Lord himself comes out and welcomes him home with open arms.
Lastly, Owen comes onstage, and the angel, unseen, joins him as the handyman does a happy jig. As the angel is leaving, Owen lets him know he can see him, and thanks him for the help. The angel, amazed, laughs at the surprise and wraps up the play with the final narration. THE END
Of course, there is much more happening during the play, but this is the condensed outline. Read the script by clicking here! If you are concerned about having a smaller church and not being able to pull it off, don't worry. I helped a small church do it last year, and they handled it wonderfully, despite a small stage area and limited cast. It can, however, be done up to a bigger degree on a larger stage and with more people involved, so whether you attend a large church or a small one, this play could be done with wonderful results. I personally feel that this is my best work ever. Here are just a few of the testimonials that I have received from some that have done this play...
Our little church very successfully performed "Redemption In The Wings" thanks to your help and God's. It took just about every regular church member but our cast was perfect, just as if you had written the play specifically for us. It became a play within a play within a play as even our cast members were ministered to and affected by the powerful message of forgiveness and redemption. The tears and the laughter were real that night.
We rented an old movie theater that had been converted into a drama theater; it couldn't have looked more like a homeless shelter even if we tried. We used the theater's sound system and stage lighting and we pulled back the curtains to reveal the wings. The place was packed and those who came expecting the same old Mary-Joseph-shepherds-nativity story were both surprised and in awe.
People are still talking about the play. In fact, they want us to perform again so that it can be recorded for the shut-ins of our church and our community. There were also many wonderful comments about the professionally done sound recording on the CD we got from you.
Thanks so much for all you put into your work. Thanks also for the extra advice and being willing to help. God bless you and your work.
Overcomers World Church
We, at New Life Baptist Tabernacle, have been using your Christmas play materials since 2005 and have greatly enjoyed each production, with each year overwhelmingly topping the previous year's production. This past December we presented Redemption in the Wings; and it was a huge success. Our audience swelled with applause and many were touched at a deep level, emotionally and most importantly, spititually.
One lady, who attended the largest church in town, came as a guest in support of one of our cast members and said she was impressed with the production, adding, "I definitely was not expecting a play like that...." (I deduced her to imply that our church is small and in a rural area, and therefore is not expected to produce such an amazing, impacting event.) I was SO proud to have been able to have a part in presenting such an outstanding, nativity production that would lift high the name of Jesus and Glorify God in our community.
Our costumes were awesome! Our set rocked! Our cast pulled off their portrayal of their characters precisely, perfectly and powerfully! It was INCREDIBLE!!! One of my favorite memories of that night was when Charlotte revealed to Nate that she was Old Johnny's daughter, I heard several deep gasps of shock from some in the audience. They were on the edge of their seats! In addition, during the part at the end when Charlotte reveals her identity to her father and to the entire cast and audience, our audience erupted in applause- long before being "cued" by the soundtrack. The bottom line is that the people were moved deeply; lots of tears and sniffles-each revealing an emotional tenderness, vulnerability and acceptance to the message we wanted to get across.
Finally, praise the Lord- we know of at least four people who gave their hearts to Christ that night. I am confident more were awakened to their spiritual need and each were given the gospel literature and information about our ministry and our desire to help them. Everyone in attendance was incredibly blessed by what they experienced; it was an unforgettable night!
My thanks to you for creating such outstanding material; and how easy you have made it for a church of any size to pull off a professional, entertaining, and uplifting and meaningful production.
My only question to you is this: How soon can you get cracking on next years' play script? I've already been asked by some: What could we possibly do next year to top our last play? (I will leave the answer to that question in your capable hands, Fred.)
A grateful admirer of your work and ministry,
"Redemption in the Wings" this year on Sunday, December
18th for our church Christmas program and it was awesome!! The
whole audience was in tears as was almost everyone in the cast.
It was amazing. We have performed several of these scripts over
the years including, "Holiday Helpline", "Seasons
Beatings" and "The Christmas Family". These have
always been a hit, but the most wonderful part is that there is
no line memorization. We got a late start this year and practiced
and prepared for this play ONLY 7 days in advance. It went off
without a hitch and it's over an hour long!!!! That's a miracle
in itself. The audience hung on every word and said that the time
flew by. We are already planning on doing "Assignment:
Comfort and Joy" next year. These plays have the entire
Christmas message from beginning to end and include the plan of
salvation. It's all you could ever want in a play!!
-Cedar Grove, TN
The House of Prayer in Winona did your play, "Redemption In The Wings" on 12-20-2009.
We had a full house and they loved it... we did your play the "The Christmas Family" last year, also to a full house...and I am looking forward to seeing if you have a new play for 2010! God Bless!
Okay, if you liked the story breakdown, and were encouraged by the testimonials of those that have done it, read the complete script here! You will find all the production details, and a link to order the narrated soundtrack, on that page.
Click here to listen to an 18 minute Windows Media preview of the entire soundtrack CD, with clips from various scenes!
This script is copyright 2009 Fred Passmore and Sheep Laughs Records.
Publications is a division of Sheep Laughs Records.
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