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Free Script: The RI Curtain Speech

I had someone email me this week asking about this script, so I thought I would re-post it. This is the curtain speech we used for some time when Righteous Insanity had a touring group out on the road. Share and enjoy!

Righteous Insanity’s Curtain Speech

(Feel free to adapt and use this as it suits your needs.)

SPEAKER- Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is [insert name here], and on behalf of Righteous Insanity we’d like to welcome you to [insert church name here] and tonight’s production, [insert play name here]. Before we begin tonight’s performance, there are a few things we would like to go over.

(An actor walks out on stage.)

SPEAKER- First of all, there is no smoking in this auditorium. We ask this not only for the sake of our other guests, but for your own safety, as failure to comply with this stipulation may result in your being embarrassed by one of our actors who will respond thus.

(The actor starts choking, over-exaggerated, disgusting sounding choking, pointing to someone accusingly as if they are a smoker.)

ACTOR- Murderer!

(The actor flops over dead; then stands back up as the Speaker continues.)

SPEAKER- Secondly, we ask that there will be no flash photography, as this is not only disruptive to our guests, but it generally provokes another adverse reaction from our actors.

(The speaker flashes a flash cube at the Actor.)

ACTOR- AHHHHHHHH!!! I AM BLIND!!! BLIND!!! THE PHOTO RAYS ARE EATING MY EYES OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS!!! IT BURNS!!!

SPEAKER- Ugly, isn’t it? Of course if you think that’s bad, you should see what they do when cell phones and beepers go off, so I’d advise you to put those devices on silent mode as well. Furthermore, we ask that there be no food or drink brought into the auditorium. (The speaker tosses an apple at someone in the audience.) Again, ladies and gentlemen, this is for your safety.

(The Actor wrestles the apple away from the audience member.)

ACTOR- Gimme it!! Me so hungry!!

(The Actor starts eating the apple like a rodent, with more food dropping out of his/her mouth than staying in.)

SPEAKER- I might add that our actors are on a strict diet, and therefore we ask that you do not feed them. Do not attempt to pet the actors either, as they are prone to bite.

(The Actor pauses from his apple to bare his teeth.)

SPEAKER- We ask at this time that you take a moment to familiarize yourself with the emergency exits located in the building.

(The Actor turns into a steward/stewardess, doing the airline safety hand gesture routine as the Speaker continues on.)

SPEAKER- The exits are located [point out the exits]. We’d also ask that you make sure all safety belts are fastened. To fasten the belt, please insert the flat piece into the larger, and adjust the strap. If you need to get up for any reason, pull on the lever, and the strap will come lose. If this theater should become submerged in water, your seat cushion will act as a flotation device. And if the theater should become depressurized, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. To put on the mask, simply pull the hose to it’s full length to start the flow of oxygen, secure the mask around your face with the elastic, and breathe normally. Of course if you’re too scared to breathe normally, you can always scream like a little girl.

(The Actor screams like a little girl to demonstrate.)

SPEAKER- If you have small children, we’d ask that you secure your own mask first and let the little brats fend for themselves. Our performance today will last approximately an hour. If at the end of regulation the play should end in a tie, then we will go into sudden death overtime.

(Gunshot from the rear of the auditorium. The Actor grabs his/her chest, falls dead. Stage hands come out and drag the body off.)

SPEAKER- And now, ladies and gentlemen, Righteous Insanity proudly presents, [insert show name].

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Morbidman Returns June 15-16!

No, Morbidman is not coming back to Southern Indiana – yet. But the sequel to Morbidman Meets His Maker will be presented in McDonough, Georgia next month by those crazy kids who drove all the way up to see my production last month.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, please mark your calendar and head to Trinity Chapel South to support these kids as they raise money for their mission trip. It’s a fun treat for the whole family and anyone who loves a good spin on the super hero genre.

And you might just see some of my crew there as well.

Words can’t say how much I love, love, love the poster. Can’t wait to see what these kids do with Morbidman Returns!

The Morbidman plays are available exclusively from Righteous Insanity. Click here to learn more.

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What I Missed

Morbidman Meet His Maker is now 12 days It had been six years since I last directed a play. It had been even longer, about twelve years, since I produced something of my own, a Righteous Insanity script specifically for ministry and not a school theater production. I left my last directing gig because I had a 3 year old starting soccer. She and her brother were starting to get big enough to do their own thing, and I didn’t want to miss out because I was busy directing other kids.

I honestly didn’t miss¬†directing much.

I didn’t miss casting. It’s a real pain.

I didn’t miss scheduling rehearsals. That’s another whole type of pain.

I didn’t miss worrying about costumes or props.¬†Actually, I learned to delegate those duties before I left directing, and they were the first two things I delegated when I started rehearsals this time around. (Thanks, Shelby and Gia!)

Here’s what I did miss.

I missed the complete freedom that comes with directing your own material. I’m not going to pretend I’m the best director because I’m not. My skill is in my writing, and when I’m directing my own stuff, I can’t help tinkering. I gave my cast total freedom to play and tinker and improv as well, and collaboratively, the play became something far greater and funner than anything I would have done alone.

And that brings me to the thing I missed most: the community that only comes with producing a play. The cast we assembled was a series of happy accidents. They all came to play. They left egos at the door. They worked hard, and best of all, they really truly loved each other. Matter of fact the group text that began last fall is still going. They’re talking about doing the sequel. They’re also just talking about life because they miss one another.

That’s the best thing about doing drama as ministry. You, your cast, your crew, you become community. You become a family tighter than mere casual relationships who worship together. Some of my best friends, life long friends, started on a stage in one place or another. Much of this cast was made of people I worked with on stage, and now they’ve formed bonds of their own. There’s nothing like it, and for Christians, working together to do theater that can connect with people, that’s a very good thing.

If I never do another one, I’ll be happy. I couldn’t say that before because before, the last play I did was Annie. I hate Annie. But I am pretty darn sure this wasn’t the last, and it likely wasn’t the last with this crew.

Have a good summer, gang. We’ll put the band back together in the fall.

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Lots of “Morbid” Stuff

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted, and there’s a good reason. Morbidman Meets His Maker was on Sunday in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and I’m relieved to say it went very well. This was my first show in six years, and the cast was an eclectic mix from my past, including former Dramamaniacs (my first drama group at Northside Christian Church, 1993-1998), Christian Academy of Indiana (where I led after school drama from, 2007-2011), and even the New Albany High School Marching Band.

This was also my first return to ministry-oriented theater. In other words, it’s the first time in almost 12 years that I was directing my own Christian-themed play instead of destroying a prized part of the theater history.

I’ve always encouraged collaboration and improv when directing, and the cast made their own contributions to the play, many of which are now in the “official” script available for purchase right here. So when you purchase the Morbidman plays package, you’re getting the latest and greatest edition with all the funny bits that made the play even better.

What’s more, I created a new group on Facebook just for Morbidman enthusiasts, a place to share photos, stories, and ideas for producing the Morbidman series. Ours was just one of three productions (that I know of) taking place this spring, and it seems after 16 years, Morbidman and the gang are starting to develop a (forgive the use of the term, fundies) “cult” following! You can join Morbidman’s “Secret Lair” by clicking here.

I’m also planning to spend a lot more time on this blog and any place else I can contribute to helping Christian drama folks do what they do. We had a youth group drive up from Atlanta this weekend, a group about to perform Morbidman Returns, and seeing their enthusiasm has reawakened my own passion for drama ministry. I’ll be honest, after 23 years, it’s hard to keep that enthusiasm alive, especially when I have so many other irons in the fire. But this particular fire has been stoked, and I hope to once again be more proactive in helping people draw others to Jesus through drama.

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Miranda Village

Waterstep is an organization that uses patented technology to bring clean water to people in remote, third world locations and anywhere they find a need. I’ve been friends with the leaders at Waterstep going back to the days when they were a youth ministry called Mega Ministries. Over the years, they asked me to create a number of skits and other drama presentations, and a few years back, they asked me to create something very unique.

Waterstep wanted a training program, a simulation to give would-be ambassadors of clean water to practice going into a town, assessing the need for clean water resources, and laying the groundwork for providing such assistance. I created Miranda Village, an interactive, drama-based experience that gave mission workers the chance to practice their new skills and knowledge in a simulated village.

Miranda Village is a fun and engaging way to train your mission teams as well. Using the foundations laid out in the program I created for Waterstep, you can give students and adults the chance to practice the interactions they will experience on the mission field. Following the exercise, a debriefing will not only allow the mission workers to share their experience but get feedback from the actors that can help them when they reach the mission field.

Miranda Village is available from Amazon.com in paperback. You can also download it for free.

Click here to buy now on Amazon.

Click here to get the PDF for free.

 

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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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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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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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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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Here I Go Again

It’s been six years since I directed anything on stage. When I left Christian Academy of Indiana after five years, I knew I would have to return one day. It wasn’t because I missed it; I haven’t. I’ve enjoyed watching my kids grow up and do their things. It wasn’t because I still believe theater is my destiny. Not sure I ever believed that. No, I knew I had to come back because so help me, I could not go to the grave with Annie being the last play I ever directed.

So here I am. Six years later, as I start this new blog, I am directing one of my own, Morbidman Meets His Maker. I’ve never directed this play, but I’ve always wanted to. I’ve got a solid cast that’s been in rehearsals for two months now. We’re just waiting for the powers that be to tell us where and when the play will happen.

(The play is going to be a dinner theater fundraiser for my friends at Power Ministries. One night only, but we also plan to do the show for the good folks at Eastside Christian Church as a “thank you” for letting us use their space to rehearse.)

I am having fun with old friends and new. The cast includes three former Dramamaniacs, two of my students from Christian Academy, four former New Albany High School Marching Band members, and two (soon to be three) professional wrestlers.

There are people at all levels of experience in the group, but there are no egos or attitudes. Everyone’s getting along, and everyone is having a good time. I’ve always fostered an atmosphere of collaboration on plays as it is, and everyone has taken full advantage of the opportunity to pitch ideas, try new things, and be ridiculously silly.

I’m sure there will be more on the play here as it comes along. For now, just wanted to say hello, tell you what’s going on, and officially begin a new Righteous Insanity blog.

So help me… here I go again.