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Free Skit – Kill the Spider, Harry

This is a fairly recent skit, but it might be one of my favorite titles ever. Coming up with titles is my biggest weakness as a script writer, but this one? Yeah, it just feels right.

Kill the Spider, Harry
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

Theme: Relying on Jesus (Matthew 7:7-12)

CHARACTERS
Harry and Allison – A married couple

This skit is dedicated to everyone who has ever had a problem they refused to give up to God. God is always there, and he always answers. He’s just waiting for our prayer.

Harry walks across the stage carrying a newspaper. He stops, looks down, and screams.

HARRY: Allison! Get in here!

Allison runs on.

ALLISON: What’s wrong, Harry?

HARRY: For goodness sake, look!

Allison looks down.

ALLISON: It’s a spider.

HARRY: I know it’s a spider! What’s it doing here? What terrible, horrible thing did I do that would cause a spider to enter my house?

ALLISON: Harry, it’s a spider. No big deal.

HARRY: You’re right. It’s just a spider. These things happen, and when they do, we face them head on.

ALLISON: Yes we do.

HARRY: So how do we get rid of it?

ALLISON: Well, you are holding a newspaper.

HARRY: Yeah?

ALLISON: Use the newspaper.

HARRY: What?

ALLISON: The newspaper in your hand. Use it.

HARRY: You mean… if I read it to him, he will…

ALLISON: No you don’t read it to him. You kill it!

HARRY: Kill it?

ALLISON: Roll up the newspaper and BAM! Kill it!

HARRY: No.

ALLISON: No??

HARRY: Why do I need to use the newspaper?

ALLISON: Why wouldn’t you read the newspaper?

HARRY: Because. I’m a man. And a real man doesn’t need help to solve his problems.

ALLISON: A real man would realize he could do some real damage to a spider with a newspaper!

HARRY: Why do you keep on insisting I use the newspaper?

ALLISON: Why do you keep refusing?

HARRY: I’m not a weak man. I don’t need a newspaper to fight my battles for me.

ALLISON: You sure about that Harry? We’ve been fighting over this stupid spider a good minute or so, and the spider’s still there!

HARRY: I don’t need a newspaper to face my problems!

ALLISON: Then kill the spider!

HARRY: I will!

ALLISON: Harry!

HARRY: Stop pushing me!

ALLISON: Kill the spider, Harry!

HARRY: I can’t!

Allison yanks the newspaper from his hand, gets on her knees, and smashes the spider. She stands up and hands him the newspaper. He holds it in two fingers, like holding a soiled tissue.

ALLISON: You can do it, Harry. You just need to use the newspaper.

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Free Skit – An Annoying Little Sin

Years ago I submitted this to a sketch writing contest. One judge loved it, gave it a nearly perfect score. Another judge hated it. Put it down by saying, “This isn’t a sketch! It’s a skit.”

Yeah, I didn’t know there was a difference either.

Regardless of his generous praise, this is probably the most popular SKIT I ever wrote. There are a few different versions available to watch on Youtube. And this spring, it’s twenty years old. Where does the time go?

An Annoying Little Sin
by John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Sin, Temptation, Deliverance

CHARACTERS
Guy delivering monologue (can be a female)
Jesus

(The Guy walks on stage. There is a table with a book labeled “SIN” on the table.)

GUY- Have you ever had an annoying little sin that just wouldn’t go away? You know, that little piece of temptation you never could seem to let go of? Nothing big or terrible like murder. Just one small guilty obsession you never could seem to shake. It’s kind of like smoking: it’s bad for you, you know it’s bad for you, yet every time you say you’re going to quit, you’re drawn back to it like maggots on a deer carcass…or something like that. (Picks up book.) It’s kind of like having a big book that you use to whack yourself in the head. (He hits himself in the head.) Ow! Then you do it again, (hit) and again, (hit) and again, (hit) and again! (hit- he staggers backwards, disoriented) Man, that hurts! Then when you think you’ve been hit one too many times, you (hit) do it again! (hit) And again, (hit) and again, (hit) and (hit) again! Owww! That hurts so bad! But no matter how much it hurts, you do it (hit) again. You start to get depressed and feel like a pathetic loser because you can’t stop yourself. That’s when you call on Jesus!

(Jesus runs on stage and stands beside the Guy.)

GUY- And soon as you can say his name, bam! He’s there right beside you. So you fall on your knees, (he bows down) and you say, “Jesus, I’m a screw up. I’ve got this little sin that’s driving me crazy and I can’t take it anymore. Will you please forgive me?”
JESUS- Of course I will! Go and sin no more!
GUY- (jumping around, shouting and dancing) Yes! Yes, yes, yes! I’ve been for-giv-en! Yeeesss!! And you feel better than you’ve ever felt before. It’s like you’re Superman and your feet don’t even touch the ground! You are saved! You are forgiven! You are…

(He sees the book and freezes.)

GUY- Tempted! Oh, boy, are you tempted. It isn’t too long before the excitement wears off, (he picks the book up) and there you are, face to face with the same old sin. (He slowly brings the book closer to him.) That same little sin that you just wanna try just one more time. (He holds the book away from him.) No!!! You can’t do it again! Jesus said go and sin no more! You can’t do it! Christians aren’t supposed to sin. Christians don’t sin! (hit) Aaah!! I did it again!

(He drops the book and bows in front of Jesus.)

GUY- I didn’t want to do it! It was an accident! A fluke! A moment of weakness! It’ll never happen again, I promise! Please forgive me?
JESUS- (smiles) Okay.
GUY- (jumps to his feet) And you’re back on your feet, never to mess up again! So you screwed up once. Who cares? It’s not like you’re gonna rush right out and do it again!

(The Guy laughs, looks at the book, grabs it quickly and hits himself again.)

GUY- Aww, man! I did it again! (to Jesus) Look, I know this seems pretty bad, but I really want to be good, so will you please forgive me, just one more time?
JESUS- Yes.
GUY- All right! I’ve got one more chance! This time, no mistakes! I’m gonna have will power! I’m gonna be strong! (looks at the book) Oh, gee. (looks away) Gotta be strong. Gotta be strong. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even think about that itty bitty little sin calling to you. The jolly…candy-like sin.

(His fingers “walk” across the table until they touch the book. He glances at it out of the corner of his eye.)

GUY- (points off) Hey, look, there goes Billy Graham!

(Jesus looks. The Guy begins hitting himself repeatedly with the book. Jesus sees him and walks behind him and looks over his shoulder. The Guy freezes.)

GUY- Oh, nelly! Now, you’re in big trouble. You’ve given your heart to God. You’ve committed yourself to a life without sin. And what do you get? You’re no better off than you were before. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to get rid of that annoying little sin. That’s when you notice something about that sin. You looks at that little sin, then you look at Jesus. You hold that little sin up next to Jesus, (he holds the book out beside Jesus) and you realize Jesus is a lot bigger than your little sin. (feel Jesus’ muscle) And a whole lot tougher than that puny little sin. Then you realize you don’t have to get rid of that sin by yourself. Jesus can do it for you. After all, he gave up his life to pay for your sins. So when you give him your life, he wants all of it, (hands the book to Jesus) including that annoying little sin. And once you hand it over to Jesus…

(Jesus rips the book and tosses it.)

GUY- It’s gone forever!

(The Guy hugs Jesus, and they exit.)

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Creative Solutions for Drama Without Microphones

Two practical solutions to not having enough wireless microphones to do drama:

1. Pick scripts with smaller casts.

2. Train your actors in vocal projection.

Three creative solutions:

1. Shoot it on video. This not only eliminates the need for mics, it eliminates the problem of line memorization and people calling in sick on Sunday morning.

2. Stage your dramas in the middle of the audience (in the round) instead of way down front. Bring the actors closer to the audience any way you can.

3. Perform the drama in the style of a Japanese monster movie. Have actors off stage read the dialogue into microphones, and have the actors on stage mouth along – poorly. It doesn’t work for every script, but it’ll work for more than you might think. It’ll make those poorly written comedy scenes twice as funny as they actually are, too.

If all else fails, there’s always mime. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!

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Free Script: How to Sit in Church

This script was originally conceived as a short film. The film stalled in post-production a long while back, but I thought I would release the script here for those who can use it. Feel free to film your own version or adapt it for the stage.

Just a reminder that little things matter. You don’t know who’s coming to your church for the first time, or what kind of day they’re having, or how your actions may affect them. We can all make church a little more welcoming by accommodating others with where and how we pick out seats in church.

How to Sit in Church

By John Cosper

www.righteousinsanity.com

A married couple, Guy and Marsha, get out of their car and race up to the doors of the church.

MARSHA: Come on, we’re late.

Interior church. They walk in the back doors, and stop, a look of fear in their eyes.

MARSHA: Honey, where are we supposed to sit?
GUY: I don’t know. Why does this have to be so hard?

Fancy wipe transition to a classroom. Coach stands by a chalk board.

COACH: Finding a seat on Sunday morning can be more intimidating than solving the West Coast Offense. But it doesn’t have to be. Hi, I’m Coach Honeycutt, long time football coach and Christian. And I’m here to help you learn the rules of the game:

TITLES:
Coach Honeycutt’s Rules of the Game:
How to Sit in Church.

COACH: Churches are like football teams. There are hundreds of churches, but every one of them runs one of a few formations when it comes to seating patterns. If you want to get a good seat in church, all you have to do is figure out what formation the church runs.

Coach has drawn a set of pews on the board.

COACH: One of the most common seating patterns is the I Formation. This is the kind of seating arrangement you’ll find in older, more traditional churches. With the I Formation, people sit in the same seat every week.

Coach marks X’s on the board.

COACH: Some sit on the ends. Some in the middle. Some in the front, and some in the back. And woe be unto you if you sit in someone else’s seat.

Cut to sanctuary. Guy and Marsha are sitting in an empty pew in an empty room. An older man stands next to them.

OLDER MAN: I’m sorry, but this is my seat.
GUY: But there are dozens of empty seats in here!
OLDER MAN: So find one and get out of MY seat!

Cut back to Coach.

COACH: The I Formation can be intimidating, but once you learn the patterns, you’ll not only avoid taking someone else’s seat, you’ll establish your own. Choose carefully, because you’ll likely be sitting in that seat a long time.

Cut to an old lady sitting in a pew seat in close up

OLD LADY: No, I will not sit in another seat. This was my momma’s seat, and it was my grandma’s before her. I don’t care what you say, I’m not moving!
VOICE OFF CAMERA: But this seat’s not even in the sanctuary any more.

There’s a sound of a toilet flushing. Sound effect of a stall door opening. A young woman walks past. Sound effect of running water.

OLD LADY: I can hear it all over the intercom.

Cut to Coach. He has drawn a set of pews where the end seats are filled with X’s and the middle of the pews is empty.

COACH: Another common strategy found in older churches is the Wishbone formation. In the Wishbone, people take the aisle seats here, and here, leaving the middle wide open. If you have a tendency to run late, this can be a tricky formation to deal with. And if you show up with a large family, you better hope to find a friendly face on the end.

Cut to the church. Guy and Marsha walk up to a grumpy old man on the end of the aisle.

GUY: Excuse me, sir, can we—

The old man growls like a dog. Guy and Marsha back away.

Cut back to Coach.

COACH: The Wishbone is also known as the field goal formation.

Cut to wide shot of a pew. There’s a person on either end. A football flies between them over the pew. They stand up and lift their arms in the air signaling a good field goal.

COACH: Or, the spread offense. (pronounce as in taking offense) Heh heh, sorry, I mean the spread offense. (said like the football term) The best way to beat the spread is to arrive early – and sit in the middle.

Cut to church. Marsha and Guy sit in the middle of a pew. A football hits Marsha in the face.

MARSHA: Oh, my nose!

Cut to Coach with another drawing on the board. There are a few X’s spread across a pew.

COACH: If you want something simple and easy, look for a church that runs the Option formation. The Option is much easier for the new attendee to navigate. Here’s how it works.

He draws lines on the board to indicate patterns – lots of arrows, circles, etc.

COACH: The guests enter the back room, walk down to the pew. The people sitting in the pew go in motion. Young couple slides down, causing the lonely guy mid pew to slide over, where he meets nice young college grad girl sitting with her folks. The result of the play, the new folks get a seat, and mom and dad here get a break on lunch when lonely guy asks their girl to go to the buffet.

Cut to church. In speeded up motion, we see Guy and Marsha walk down the aisle. The people seated jump up, shuffle seats, and end up bunched in the middle, with the college girl sitting beside or on the lonely guy’s lap. Once everyone’s seated, zoom fast on lonely guy, who gives the camera a thumbs up.

Cut back to Coach.

COACH: Some churches run a variation on the option package designed for families with small children. In this pattern, the back pews of the church are bypassed by the majority of attendees, leaving them open for people with young children or crying babies who are prone to disruptions or may need a quick trip to the potty. This pattern is known as backfield in motion.

Cut to the church. Guy and Marsha sit. A man sits on the other side of Guy. Marsha holds a baby. The baby cries. The man on the end hops out as if blocking for Guy. Guy races around the pew. Marsha hands off the baby. Guy runs out the door.

Guy runs into the lobby, lifting his arms and the baby in the air. He goes to spike the baby like a football.

COACH: Stop!!!!

Cut to Coach at the board. He has a stick figure drawn on the board holding a baby stick figure in the air. He draws a circle around the drawing and a line through it.

COACH: Remember, never spike the baby.

Cut back to Guy in the lobby. He tucks the baby in his arm and walks on.

Cut to Coach sitting in a church pew.

COACH: So there you have it. Every church has a different way of doing things, but the better you learn to identify the seating strategy in your own church, the less intimidating Sunday morning will be. I’m Coach Honeycutt—

ANGRY GUY: Hey! Get outta my pew, ya jerk!!

Coach looks off camera at the Angry Guy and then runs away.

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Morbidman is coming to Jeffersonville!

On Sunday April 23, Power Ministries presents a night of super heroes and villains in the hilarious play, Morbidman Meets His Maker, at Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Terminus City is ground zero in a never-ending conflict between good and evil as Morbidman, Everyman, and the Master of the Obvious do battle with his arch-enemy, Dr. Insidious. But the battle takes a strange turn when Everyman flies through a wall and discovers an audience watching their every move.

At first, the heroes think nothing of the spectators and use the secret “portal” into another world to try and gain the advantage on their foes, but soon, other characters discover the theater full of people, and new questions arise. “Are we really fictional characters? If so, who created us? And why?”

Morbidman Meets His Maker is written and directed by John Cosper of Righteous Insanity and presented by Power Ministries. Admission is free, and a love offering will be taken to support the work of Power Ministries. For more information, please visit the Morbidman event page on Facebook.

Power Ministries is a non-profit ministry based in New Albany, Indiana that has been serving people with disabilities for more than thirty years through their “Handi-Camp” programs and other special events. For more infomation on Power Ministries, please visit www.powerministries.org

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Free Skit – No Body

Lent starts Wednesday. Easter is coming. Here’s one of my favorite skits for Resurrection Sunday!

No Body
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Easter

CHARACTERS
Hazel, Chuck, and Larry- Church drama folks

Hazel and Chuck set a “slab” on stage. Chuck puts the burial clothes on the slab as Larry enters. Chuck stands upstage of the other two, watching their dialogue with increased stress and confusion as it escalates.

LARRY: Okay, Hazel, we’re almost ready to do the resurrection sketch. The pastor asked me to make sure everything’s ready inside Jesus’s tomb. How we lookin’?
HAZEL: We’re just about ready, Larry. Lighting is set.
LARRY: Good.
HAZEL: The stone slab is finally painted and ready.
LARRY: Good, good.
HAZEL: Burial cloths in place. We’re good to go.
LARRY: No we’re not. We’re missing something important here.
HAZEL: What are we missing?
LARRY: There’s no body.
HAZEL: What?
LARRY: There’s no body here!
HAZEL: No, but there will be in a few minutes.
LARRY: There will?
HAZEL: Mary Magdalene and the other women, Peter and John…
LARRY: That’s it?
HAZEL: That’s everybody.
LARRY: Aren’t you missing somebody?
HAZEL: Which somebody?
LARRY: Which somebody do you think??
HAZEL: I can’t think of anybody.
LARRY: (points to the slab) Hazel, there’s no body here!
HAZEL: I know there’s no body there!
LARRY: Then get the body!
HAZEL: We don’t have any body!
LARRY: We need some body!
HAZEL: There’s no body!
LARRY: What do you mean there’s no body?
HAZEL: Because nobody was there when everybody came to the tomb.
LARRY: You mean when everybody came looking for somebody, there was nobody?
HAZEL: Yes! When everybody came looking for somebody they didn’t find anybody because no body was there!
LARRY: So there’s no body in the tomb.
HAZEL: Because somebody let him out.
CHUCK: I thought somebody was in the tomb.
LARRY: Did anybody see him?
HAZEL: Yes they did.
CHUCK: Who’s anybody?
LARRY: What happened when they saw him?
HAZEL: They told everybody.
CHUCK: I thought everybody knew already!
LARRY: They told everybody?
HAZEL: Everybody and anybody!
Chuck throws his arms up in anguish.
CHUCK: I’m so confused!

Chuck runs off stage. The silliness stops for a few lines to drive the message home.

LARRY: But there was someone in the tomb. Right?
HAZEL: Jesus was in the tomb. He died on the cross on Good Friday to take the punishment for our sins. He was buried and sealed in a tomb that same day. Then on Sunday, he rose from the grave. Because Jesus lives, we can have forgiveness for our sins and eternal life.
LARRY: Who can have eternal life?
HAZEL: Anybody!
LARRY: Oh no, let’s not start that again!

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Three Reasons Your Church Drama Group Needs to Do Improv

3. Improv developed acting muscles. Improv, like real life, is spontaneous. Rather than being tethered to a script (which often leads to wooden line delivery), actors are free to act and react to one another. It’s a great way to tap into playing emotions and getting the shy folks to come out of their shell. Warning: once they’re out, they rarely (if ever) go back.

2. Save the performance, save the world! Okay, maybe you won’t save the world, but if one of your actors drops or forgets a line, improv is usually your only hope. I once found myself on stage in a skit where the key character went completely blank. The entire skit turned on her dialogue, and she froze. Thankfully, the group rallied around her, filled in the gaps, and we all got out alive. When you’re used to filling in the gaps and telling a story without a script, you’re not intimidated by the line drops that happen on stage. Your actors will have the confidence to cover one another, fill in the blanks, and finish the story. And the best part is, no one will ever know the difference.

1. Trust. Actors who improv together and do it well learn to trust one another. Just as the group I worked relied on one another to get out of a disaster, your actors will have the trust to get through the scene together, no matter how bad it gets.

But here’s the best part: that trust doesn’t end when you get off stage. Actors who trust on stage become trusting off stage. People open up to one another. They share their lives. They share their faith. They become community, and they can strengthen one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

When you consider that benefit, why wouldn’t you do improv with your drama team?

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Free Skit: The Pearl

The Pearl
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com 

THEME: Heaven

CHARACTERS
Ted – A speaker in church
Phil – A guy with too much money
Mildred – Phil’s daughter

Ted enters. He holds up a small plastic pearl.

TED: The kingdom of Heaven is like a pearl of priceless value. When a man saw it for sale, he ran, and sold everything he had. He took every dime he had saved and all he earned from selling his many—

Phil runs on stage.

PHIL: Excuse me, fella? Sorry to interrupt you. Is that the pearl of priceless value?

TED: Well, I was just telling the people that—

PHIL: How much you want for it?

TED: What?

PHIL: I know it’s priceless, but you have to want something for it, right?

TED: Sir, I don’t think you understand—

PHIL: Son, I don’t think you understand. I’ve been looking my whole life for this pearl! I have to have it!

TED: But really, sir, this pearl is—

PHIL: A million dollars!

TED: What?

PHIL: A million not enough? Okay, five million!

TED: Five million dollars? For this?

PHIL: Playing hardball, huh? Okay, fine. Fifty million!

TED: Fifty million dollars??

PHIL: I have to have the pearl!

TED: Sir, please, if you’ll let me finish what I was saying…

PHIL: You know what? Here. I’m giving you my checkbook. There’s 1.2 billion dollars in my savings. It’s all yours. Do you understand? Every dime I have is yours!

TED: That’s insane!

PHIL: Still not enough for you? Okay! Here’s the deed to my house. It’s the big one in the back of Millionaire Estates.

TED: You’re giving me a million dollar home?

PHIL: It’s actually 9.2 million, but who’s counting at this point?

TED: Sir, that’s very generous, but I—

PHIL: Here’s the key to my car! And my other car! And the other. That’s a Ferrari, a Rolls Royce, and a Datsun 280Z.

TED: A Datsun?

PHIL: It’s sentimental, but if giving up that Z car will get me that pearl—

TED: I don’t want your Z car!

PHIL: You want the jet? Of course! Take the jet! And the yacht! And my daughter Mildred!

TED: Your daughter too???

PHIL: Look, I’ll level with you. She has a badly deviated septum, and she snores like a freight train, but she’s a scratch golfer, and man, can she bowl!

TED: Sir, I don’t want any of these things!

PHIL: Then what do you want? I’ve given you everything but the shirt off my back!

TED: Oh no!

PHIL: Oh yes! Here! Take my shirt! My keys! The checkbook! Mildred! It’s all yours! Now please, give me the pearl!

TED: Okay, okay! Here!

Phil and Ted exchange all of Phil’s stuff for the pearl.

PHIL: At last, it’s mine! All mine!

Phil runs off stage. Ted goes on, still puzzled.

TED: So as I was saying, the kingdom of Heaven is like… that pearl. When a man saw the pearl, he sold everything he had. Just so he could have it.

Mildred enters.

TED: You must be Mildred.

MILDRED: Yep.

TED: Wanna go bowling?

MILDRED: Sure, okay.

They exit.

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It Can Always Be Worse!

I have a cast that’s been in rehearsals almost 3 months. We think we know where we will be performing, but as yet, we do not know where. It’s frustrating. But I keep reminding myself, it could be worse.

No one has broken an arm tripping over a microphone cord on stage.

No one has lost skin off their face because a well-meaning stage mom used rubber cement instead of spirit gum to attach jewels to her face.

No one has had to run through vomit on stage – repeatedly – in their bare feet.

No one has spoken the name of a certain cursed “Scottish play,” causing a stage door to mysteriously be locked and causing an actress to miss her cue.

There’s no self-absorbed worship leader keeping us off the stage, preventing us from doing a mic check because he’s tuning his guitar (and clearly doesn’t want us on his stage anyway).

And no one has racked up a giant phone bill by using the rehearsal space’s telephone to call the WWF Hotline.

It could alway be worse, and sometimes in the past… it definitely was!

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Scotty Love Does Not Know Women

Scotty Love doesn’t know much of anything. He doesn’t know his Bible. He doesn’t know his spouse. He’s clueless about everything… except how to make a web series.

Yet in spite of his failings, Scotty Love can help you lead me into a deeper faith. The Scotty Love series was created to challenge men to become better husbands, fathers, and believers. Each lesson in the Scotty Love series begins with an episode of Scotty’s advice show. It continues with a Bible reading and discussion questions. It’s a fun and light-hearted way to get men into small groups where they can start sharpening one another’s faith.

Scotty Love’s Bible Study for Guys is free to download and free to use. Click here to watch more and get the series for yourself.