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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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Free Skit: Where Is Hope?

Where is Hope?
by John Cosper

CHARACTERS
Ed- a guy paranoid about disease, terrorism, sharks, clones, etc.
Joe- A business man laid off at Christmas
Lisa- A hopelessly single young woman
Paige- A mother whose husband died September 11

(Ed enters in a hazmat suit.)

ED- Oh sure. Go ahead and laugh. Go ahead. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Because in the end, I’ll be alive and you’ll be… not alive. So there! Yeah, I hear the government tell me not to panic. Go about your business as usual. So people go back to work, back to the ball game. Back to the movies, never knowing when they’re going to turn a corner and run right into a… a… a giant… killer… clone… landshark… with anthrax! It could happen! I’ve seen the research on gene manipulation, and we all know it isn’t safe to open the mail any more. Just the other day–

(Joe enters.)

ED & JOE- I got a letter–

JOE- From my dear employer. The place I’ve worked for nearly fifteen years. That’s unheard of in most industries, and near impossible in telecom. But I’ve been there a long time, worked hard to get where I am. And I was proud of the work that I did. In an industry where customer service is usually farmed out, I built a top notch CS group rated number one in the country. The churn rate was one third the industry standard thanks to the hard working people I trained and managed. So naturally, when the boss called me in I was thinking Christmas bonus all the way. Then I opened the envelope.

(Lisa enters, holding her cell phone.)

JOE & LISA- And you know what it said?

LISA- “Lisa, Not sure how to say this so thought I’d write. I think we should see other people. Sorry. Merry Christmas. Ryan.” I was so stunned, I couldn’t even finish my dinner. There I sat, in Red Lobster, with my parents and grandparents, all there to meet the man of my dreams. And the scum bag breaks up with me. No– With my cell phone! He broke up with me in a text message. I should have known something was up–

(Paige enters.)

LISA & PAIGE- –when he didn’t call.

PAIGE- Jim was up and at work in his New York office before the sun shone on our little Seattle home, but it was tradition for him to call and wish the kids a good day before school when he was out of town. The kids were rather disappointed that morning not to hear from him, but it wasn’t the first time. I assured him he was probably caught in a meeting and couldn’t get away. I sent them out the door, poured my morning coffee, and settled in on the couch.

PAIGE & ED- I couldn’t believe what I saw.

ED- Now I not only have to worry about anthrax, sharks, and clones, but these terrorists have nuclear bombs? Who’s selling them the stuff? And if they’re crafty enough to build nukes, what’s to say they won’t do something even more drastic… like bringing back disco.

ED & JOE- Talk about a major shocker!

JOE- And with two weeks before Christmas. I and my entire department, 43 people, were out the door. Two weeks severance, no Christmas bonus. “We’re in a recession,” the lady from HR reminded me. I can’t blame her for what happened. Hers is an even more unpleasant job than customer care. But I wanted someone to hear my complaints. It’s not smart to get rid of such a valuable department. But more than that, it’s not right to fire people at Christmas. For the first time in my professional life–

JOE & LISA- I felt completely alone.

LISA- Truth be told, I expected that night to end with Ryan on one knee, asking me to be his bride. But once again, I would be spending Christmas alone, waking up with only my cats to say Merry Christmas to. Then once I had bathed and unwrapped a gift or two I bought for myself, I’d go to my parents house, and watch my married siblings’ eyes twinkle as their children played with the gifts Santa brought.

LISA & PAIGE- The children…

PAIGE- How was I supposed to tell the children? They would probably already know by the time I reached them. Tears burned my eyes as I drove to the school, the horrid image of the burning buildings where my husband… I couldn’t even complete the thought in my mind. He couldn’t be… I had to keep some semblance of hope. For the kids. For my husband. For my own sanity. But my faith was shattered that morning.

PAIGE & ED- What has happened to our world?

ED- It’s no longer a safe place for a guy to trot down to the 7-11 to buy his weekly comics and a Slurpee. If I so much as see someone with a tan, I hold my breath and make a beeline for the door.

ED & JOE- How can anyone expect me to go on with life as usual?

JOE- Santa’s entire budget was based on that annual Christmas bonus. Now that’s gone, and with only two weeks severance, I’ll be depending on unemployment by–

JOE & LISA- New Year’s Day.

LISA- I don’t even want to think about that holiday right now. Another New Year without a midnight kiss. Every year, I think this is surely going to be the last one I spend alone. But every year, it gets harder to believe that I’ll ever find that special someone.

LISA & PAIGE- I’m so afraid of being alone.

PAIGE- Of having to work all the time, and not being as involved in the lives of my children. And I don’t want to raise them without a father. But we can’t even put Jim to rest. His body has yet to be identified. And until it is, the insurance company won’t give us a dime.

ED- The doctor says my worry is causing ulcers. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about. But in this crazy world, how can I ever relax again?

JOE- No one hires new employees in December. But we’re now officially in a recession. How long will it be before I can find another job?

LISA- People tell me the more I worry about finding love, the less likely it is to come along. People should mind their own business. Or get me a mail order groom.

PAIGE- They say Christmas is a time of hope. But how can I pass hope on to my children when I don’t have any of my own?

ED- My only hope is that I don’t get any anthrax in my stocking.

JOE- I just hope I can find a way to give my kids a Christmas this year.

LISA- I have a really nice men’s watch and a Cleveland Browns sweater. Any takers? Anyone?

PAIGE- Gifts are not a problem. We’ve got a tree surrounded by presents this year. From family, friends, even total strangers. But my kids and I would trade them all just to have Jim back with us.

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Free Skit for Father’s Day

A little something I was inspired to write after going to church with my son this morning. Father’s Day has always seemed like more of a skit day than Mother’s Day, so here you go!

Just Like Dad
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Fathers and Sons

CHARACTERS
Dad
Sam
A stage hand

Dad and Sam enter.
DAD: I love Star Wars!
SAM: I love Star Wars!
DAD: Star Wars is awesome!
SAM: Star Wars is awesome!
DAD: Do you know which move I love best?
SAM: All of them!
DAD: You’re darn right all of them!
SAM: Star Wars is the best!
DAD: Star Wars is the best!
A stage hand walks on and hands Dad a bag with two cheeseburgers inside.
DAD: I love burgers!
SAM: I love burgers!
DAD: I love cheeseburgers.
SAM: Cheeeeeeeseburgers!
Dad hands Sam a cheeseburger.
DAD: Cheeseburgers are the best!
SAM: The best!
They both take a bite.
DAD: Pickles? I hate pickles!
SAM: Pickles, yuck!
They pull the pickles out of their sandwiches and throw them on the stage. They look at each other.
DAD/SAM: Don’t tell Mom!
The stage hand brings out two chairs, setting them one in front of the other but offset. The stage hand takes the burgers away. Dad and Sam mime getting into a car. Dad starts the car.
DAD: I love the radio.
SAM: I love to rock!
DAD: I love Guns N Roses.
SAM: I love this song!
DAD: (sings) Take me down to the Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
SAM: (sings) Oh won’t you please take me home!
Dad pretends to honk the horn.
DAD: (angry) Hey, watch where you’re going, jerk! You wanna get is all killed? Where did you learn to drive? What is wrong with you people? Can’t you read a stop sign? I hate people like you! I hate you all!
SAM: I hate you all! I hate you all!
Dad’s eyes widen. He realizes what he’s said.
SAM: You’re nothing but a bunch of jerks! And, and, and… booger heads!
DAD: No, they’re not.
SAM: They’re not booger heads?
DAD: I’m the booger head.
SAM: No you’re not. They’re the—
DAD: Sam, I’m sorry. That’s not how we should talk to others.
SAM: It’s not?
DAD: Jesus loves them.
SAM: Jesus loves them.
DAD: He loves everyone, even when they mess up.
SAM: He loves everyone. Even you, Dad.
DAD: Jesus loves you.
SAM: Jesus loves you.
DAD: Jesus loves everybody.
SAM: Jesus loves everybody.
DAD: We need to love them like Jesus.
SAM: Love them like Jesus!
Dad starts driving again.
SAM: Dad, Jesus loves Guns N Roses, right?
DAD: Yes, I’m sure he does.
SAM: Jesus loves everybody!
DAD: I love you, buddy.
SAM: I love you too!

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Free Skit – The Orthodontists

Back when I sold individual skits, this was easily one of the most popular and most requested skits in the catalog. Now its free. Enjoy!

The Orthodontists
By John Cosper

www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Church Leadership

CHARACTERS
Mandy, Candy, Sandy, and Randy- Followers of Jesus
Darla- An unbeliever

INTRO- Can you imagine what church would be like without any leadership?

(Mandy, Candy, Sandy, and Randy run on stage cheering.}

MANDY- All right, everybody, time to set the whole world on fire!

CANDY- Jesus is alive and the way to Heaven has been opened!

SANDY- Right now, he’s on his way to Heaven to prepare a new home for all who will believe in him!
RANDY- And it’s up to his followers to spread the good news so that everyone can come to know Jesus!

MANDY- And we’re just the people to do it, ‘cause we are… we are… Uh oh!

RANDY- Oh my gosh! We don’t have a name! What are we gonna do?

CANDY- Secret ballots!

(They pull out cards and pencils, write on the cards, and pass the cards to Mandy.}

MANDY- One vote for Jesus people, one vote for Christ-ee-anns…

SANDY- Christians!

MANDY- Sorry. One vote for orthodontists, and one vote for David Duchovny.

SANDY- Wait! I want to change my vote from Christians to orthodontists!

RANDY- Then that settles it! We’re orthodontists!

ALL- Yay!!!

CANDY- All right. Where are we gonna go first?
MANDY- Let’s go to the Coliseum!

SANDY- The Coliseum? No way. Let’s go to the Temple.

MANDY- Are you crazy? We’ll get lynched if we go to the Temple!

RANDY- I’ve got it. (pulls out a quarter} We’ll flip a coin.

CANDY- How come you’re flipping the coin?

RANDY- Because I’ve got one!

CANDY- You flipped it the last time!

RANDY- So?

CANDY- You can’t flip it every time!

SANDY- It’s not your turn either! It’s mine!

CANDY- Is not!

RANDY- All right! Secret ballots!

(They pull out cards and pencils, write on the cards, and pass the cards to Mandy.}

MANDY- One vote for Sandy, one vote for Randy, one vote for Candy, and one vote for Mandy.

SANDY- Mandy?

MANDY- Hey, maybe I wanna flip a coin, too!

(Darla enters from stage right and stands, looking off. The rest look at her.}

RANDY- Whoa! Check it out! It’s an unbelieving heathen!

CANDY- Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! What’ll we do?

(Sandy shoves Candy towards Candy.}

SANDY- You go talk to her!

CANDY- Me?

SANDY- Come on, get over there!

CANDY- I’m not going! I’m…I’m not prepared for this! Let Mandy do it!
MANDY- Me?

CANDY- You’re the one who counts all the votes!

MANDY- So? Randy met Jesus first! Let him do it!

RANDY- No I didn’t! Sandy knew him the longest!

SANDY- Yes, but you knew him best! You followed him everywhere! You heard all the speeches, not me!

RANDY- Yeah, well…well… “C” comes before “R” alphabetically, so Candy goes first!

CANDY- I am not!

MANDY- Come on! Just go!

(Mandy shoves Candy into Darla.}

CANDY- Excuse me, ma’am.

DARLA- That’s quite all right.

RANDY- Say something to her!

SANDY- Come on, Candy, tell her!

CANDY- What do I say?

MANDY- Oooh, you’re so incompetent!

CANDY- Then you do it!

(Candy grabs Mandy by the arm and swings her into Darla.}

MANDY- Sorry!

DARLA- It’s okay.

SANDY- Go on, Mandy!

DARLA- Is something the matter?

MANDY- Have you been washed in the blood of the lamb?

DARLA- I beg your pardon?

MANDY- I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant.

DARLA- Are you trying to tell me something?

MANDY- Uhhh, yeah. Uhhh…my friends and I wanted to tell you about…the Messiah!

DARLA- What’s a Messiah?

(Mandy runs back to the group.}

SANDY- What is your problem?

MANDY- She’s asking some really hard questions!

RANDY- Maybe you better talk to her.

SANDY- Why not you?

RANDY- Okay, we’ll both do it.

SANDY- Go ahead.

RANDY- After you.

SANDY- All right. We’ll go together. On the count of three. One…two…

(Darla walks away.}

CANDY- Late! There she goes!

RANDY- You let her get away!

SANDY- Well if you weren’t so ashamed of your faith!

RANDY- Me? What about you? If you’re so holy and knowledgeable, why didn’t you take charge and talk to her yourself?

SANDY- Duh, Randy, if Jesus had intended for some one to be “in charge”, he would have appointed some one.

RANDY- Yeah, you’re probably right.

CANDY- So, where to, guys?

MANDY- Let’s just pick a direction and go.

SANDY- Cool. Which one?

(They all look at each other. Randy pulls out a spinner from a board game and spins it. They all point in the direction the arrow points.}

ALL- That way!!!

(They exit in the direction of the arrow.}

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Updated Script – How to Sit in Church

A reader created his own adaptation of the film script I posted recently, “How to Sit in Church.” For those who want to do it on stage, here’s his alternative version!

How to Sit in Church
By John Cosper and Matthew Byerly
www.righteousinsanity.com

Characters:
Guy
Marsha
Coach Honeycutt
Football Player (Title Card Holder)
Old Man
Old Woman
College Girl
Parents of College Girl
Lonely Guy
Angry Guy

Set Needs:
Doorway
Pew or Bench (2)
Old-Fashioned Flip-style Chalkboard (with chalk and eraser)

Costuming:
COACH should be in uniform/track suit/jump suit. Wearing a whistle, towel hanging off his waist (both whistle and towel are used as props).
FOOTBALL PLAYER in full uniform and helmet.
All others costumed as appropriate for name/description of character. Modern dress, appropriate for church gathering.

Props:
Title Card Signs (lettered as noted in script)
football
swaddled baby doll

Set the stage with two benches center, one resting just behind the other. Just upstage of these, centered, is a doorway, symbolizing the door into the sanctuary. Space should be left off to one side for an area where the COACH can talk, and space should also be left behind the door, to provide an area for movement.

Sound Effect: Car pulling into a parking lot, with screeching tires. Doors open and shut, hastily.
Enter from offstage a married couple, Guy and Marsha, racing up to the doors of the church, as we hear Organ Music in the background.

MARSHA: Come on, Guy, we’re late! Hurry it up! This is so embarrassing, running behind like this…

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?

Sound Effect: Ominous tones (“dun-dun-dun”).
GUY and MARSHA stand frozen in their spots. A college fight song starts to play in the background, replacing the organ music. Coach enters from opposite side of stage, wheeling in chalkboard.

COACH: Finding a seat on Sunday morning can be more intimidating than solving the West Coast Offense. But it doesn’t have to be. Now I’m going to tell you something I’ve kept to myself for years. I’m Coach Honeycutt, long-time football coach, and, though I don’t often freely admit to the fact, a frequent Church attendee. Yes, yes, even the rough-and-tumble of the world need to seek respite and offer worship at a temple other than the one on the football field. Let me tell you, there was once a time where I was just as confused as anyone as to where I should plant myself during a service, seeing as I was more comfortable in the land of touchdowns than in touching heaven, and that caused a great deal of discomfort….worse than athlete’s foot, in fact. Over time, however, I learned to apply my coaching skills to figuring out how to properly handle these benches, with the least mental intimidation possible. And I’m here to help you learn the rules of the game.

FOOTBALL PLAYER runs across, carrying a sign reading “Coach Honeycutt’s Rules of the Game:
How to Sit in Church.” Stops Center stage, crosses himself holding the sign, and continues to run off to the other side of the stage.

COACH: Churches are like football teams. There are hundreds of different 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.

GUY and MARSHA unfreeze; they sit down in an empty pew. OLD LADY is sitting on the end of other pew. OLDER MAN enters, stands next to GUY and MARSHA.

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!

COACH takes over dialogue. As he is speaking, GUY and MARSHA stand up, move offstage. At the same time, OLD LADY exits through the doors.

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.

OLD LADY (V.O.): 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!
MARSHA (V.O.): But this seat’s not even in the sanctuary any more.

Sound Effect: toilet flushing; stall door opening.

OLD LADY (V.O.): I can hear it all over the intercom.

FOOTBALL PLAYER runs across, carrying a sign reading “Second Play – Flush Analysis.” Stops Center stage, crosses himself holding the sign, and continues to run off to the other side of the stage.
COACH draws 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.

GUY and MARSHA re-enter through Church door. OLD MAN and OLD WOMAN are in front pew, on opposite ends. COLLEGE GIRL and LONELY GUY are on second pew, more centered, obviously not leaving enough room in center or on ends for the couple to sit down. GUY and MARSHA walk up to 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.

COACH: (clears throat to call attention back to him) The Wishbone is also known as the field goal formation.

FOOTBALL PLAYER runs across downstage, carrying a football; suddenly cries out “HAIL MARY!,” and tosses the ball between the people sitting on the pews, who promptly jump up and lift their arms in the air signaling a good field goal. FOOTBALL PLAYER does a little dance, crosses himself, and continues to run off to the other side of the stage.

COACH: (casting a sideways glance, rolling his eyes at the action onstage) 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.

As COACH is speaking, GUY and MASHA find their way to the middle of the pew, as others in scene sit down slowly.

FOOTBALL PLAYER (V.O.): Omaha, Green 80, Green 80, Hut-Hut!

A football flies onstage and hits MARSHA in the face.

MARSHA: Oh, my nose!
OLD LADY: Funny….don’t you remember the same thing happening to Jan a while back?

FOOTBALL PLAYER runs across, carrying a sign reading “Options Open” Stops Center stage, crosses himself holding the sign, and continues to run off to the other side of the stage.
COACH makes another drawing on the 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.

COACH draws lines on the board to indicate patterns – lots of arrows, circles, etc., delivers dialogue as drawing

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 get a break on lunch when lonely guy asks their girl to go to the buffet.

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, LONELY GUY gives the crowd a thumbs up.

COACH: (blows whistle to call focus) ahem….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.”

In church setting, GUY and MARSHA sit, in front pew. 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, runs into the lobby, lifting his arms and the baby in the air. He goes to spike the baby like a football….

COACH: Stop!!!! (blows whistle)

COACH draws a stick figure 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. Again, sir, NEVER SPIKE THE BABY!

GUY tucks the baby in his arm and walks on offstage. COACH walks to front of pew as he speaks, takes a seat.

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. Sometime, when you’re up against it and the breaks are beating your seating options, tell yourself to go out there with all you’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. As for those who cause bench anxiety for others seeking space in the pew, remember 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 be a little more welcoming by accommodating others, and knowing where and how we pick out seats in church. I’m Coach Honeycutt—

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

COACH: — reminding you to, in dealing with others, ALWAYS PLAY FAIR, and never just throw in the towel!

COACH throws towel at ANGRY GUY’s face, gets up, runs out of church, as ANGRY GUY runs after him.

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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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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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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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Free Skit: Looking in the Wrong Place

Looking in the Wrong Place
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Easter

CHARACTERS
Ken- A 36 year old man-child
Joe- Ken’s dad

Joe is sitting in his favorite chair reading the newspaper. A Bible is on the floor nearby. Ken enters with an empty Easter basket.
KEN: Daaaaaaaad!
JOE: Yessssss?
KEN: I have a problem!
JOE: What is it, son?
KEN: There’s no Easter eggs!
JOE: What?
KEN: There’s no Easter eggs, Dad!
JOE: Of course there are Easter eggs. It’s Easter!
KEN: Well where are they?
JOE: I don’t know, Ken! You have to hunt for them!
KEN: I’ve been hunting, Dad! I’ve looked everywhere!
JOE: Obviously not, if you haven’t found any!
KEN: I’ve searched the basement, the laundry room, the dining room, the kitchen. I even searched in the coat closet. There are no Easter eggs!
JOE: Did you look in the backyard?
KEN: Why would I look in the backyard?
JOE: Because that’s where the bunny hides the eggs, son! He doesn’t hide them in the basement, the laundry room, the dining room, or the kitchen!
KEN: What about the coat closet?
JOE: They’re not in the coat closet, Ken! They’re in the yard! Take your basket, go outside, and you’ll find the eggs!
KEN: All right, all right, I’ll go outside already!
JOE: Good. Then after you do that, get a job.
KEN: What??
JOE: Son, you’re 36 years old. It’s time you get a job!
KEN: But Dad, I’ve been looking everywhere for a job! I can’t find one.
JOE: Where’ve you been looking?
KEN: Mad Magazine, Spider-Man comics, Field and Stream!
JOE: You’ll never find a job in Mad Magazine or Spider-Man comics!
KEN: What about Field and Stream?
JOE: You can’t find a job in Field and Stream! You find them in the newspapers!
KEN: But I don’t have a newspaper, Dad!
Joe hands Ken his newspaper.
JOE: Get a job, son.
KEN: Fine!
Ken starts to exit.
JOE: Happy Easter!
KEN: Yeah yeah!
Ken exits. Joe picks up the Bible and opens it.
JOE: “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen.” Hmm. (looks up at the audience) Where are you looking for Jesus?