by Fred Passmore
Synopsis: A fellow, asked to direct a church play, declines due to a lack of faith in his ability. Later, while napping, an angel visits him in a vision and takes him to the Cemetary of Buried Talents. There he is confronted not only with the reality of what he has done with the talents the Lord gave him, but the cost in human terms as well. Horrified at the prospect of being responsible for souls being lost, he repents and immediately begins to take an active role in the church. Running 8 to 10 minutes, this skit could be done as a major production with complete set creation and decoration, or minimalistic with a few set pieces. Ideal for October and Fall Festivals, this could be part of an overall program. Of couse, it could be done at any time of the year as well.
Note: a church has made a short film adapting this script, and watching it might give you some ideas, as well as something to show prospective performers. Go here to view it: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KY6P7WNX
Characters: Stanley Tallman, Pastor Hill and his wife, the Angel Messenger, and 6 or 7 extras in the role of the Lost Souls.
(Note: If preferred or neccessary, the part of Stan may be played by an actress and changed to a female name and character.)
Costumes: Stanley is dressed casually. Pastor Hill can wear a suit if preferred, and his wife, Sister Hill, is similarly dressed up. The Messenger Angel is in a white robe or outfit. The Lost Souls are dressed in tattered, dark rags and robes, and are all barefoot. They are chained together with a length of black plastic chain (found at any hardware or building supply store.)
Props: TV remote, telephone, shovel, the plastic chains. Cardboard or styrofoam tombstones, as many as desired.
Setting: On one side of the room is a couch and end table with lamp. A curtain or cloth should be strung up behind the couch covering the rest of the stage, to be drawn back when cued. Starting just behind the couch, and taking up the rest of the stage, is a cemetary set. Fake tombstones of all sizes, and dead tree limbs for trees, make up the set. Toward the center is a card-board or styrofoam facade of an above-ground crypt, with a door. A regular door entrance already in the room can be used, though. Make it as spooky and atmospheric as possible with subdued colored lighting. A fog machine would be very helpful in setting the mood.
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