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The Truth About Aslan

Okay, fellow believers, a brief trigger warning. If you don’t know what sarcasm is, or if you are one of those no-fun types who doesn’t like sarcasm, click the back button on your browser now.

Those of you who get sarcasm will enjoy this. Just so we’re clear, I’m a huge fan of C.S. Lewis, though I prefer Mere Christianity and Screwtape to Narnia. This is a political ad parody. It’s all in fun, and not intended to be a statement about Aslan or the God he represents.

Share and enjoy.

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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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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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Stand Up Guys

I went through my film archives and decided to revive six shorts from back in the day, starting with this one. It’s a send up of churches that have traded good gospel teaching for entertainment, and pastors who can quote The Three Stooges more than the Gospel.

Share and enjoy.

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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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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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Summer Bible Studies, Ready to Rock

Over the last 15 years I produced a number of short films under the Righteous Insanity label. A few years ago I compiled a number of those shorts into Bible study programs. From space aliens to CSI to a zombie puppet, I’ve got some rather unique resources for your summer Bible study needs.

We’ll start with the kids. I wrote BSI: Bible Scene Investigations as a weekend retreat program, a 3-part interactive Bible study where kids get to become crime scene investigators within three different Bible studies. I’ve since expanded BSI to include six lessons. Each lesson has a video and instructions for setting up a “crime scene” the kids can investigate, helping them to go deeper with the six different Bible stories.

Righteous Insanity has several signature video/Bible study series for young adults, be they late teens or early 20s. For starters, we have Fluffy, a cute and fuzzy alien from outer space who will eat your face off and pick its teeth with your toes. Fluffy appeared in 3 short films that, believe it or not, have a message about the dangers of sin. These films are a little longer than the shorts in the Videvo series, but for a crowd that’s into cult movies, it would make a fun late night lock-in treat.

We also have Clive the Zombie, a zombie puppet who inspired a series of short films. Clive and Fluffy have both been favorites of horror fans at film festivals around the Midwest. And just like Fluffy, each Clive movie has a Biblical tie-in.

Next, we come to Desperately Seeking. Based on a series of shorts originally created for our former sister site getyoked.net, Desperately Seeking is a series aimed at encouraging teens, college students, and singles to embrace their single life and devote themselves more fully to Christ.

Finally, we have something just for the guys. The Scotty Love Show is a series written for guys. Each Bible study begins with a comedy short in which Scotty Love tries to share some “Biblical” wisdom and fails miserably. The accompanying Bible study takes men into the Bible and guides them to find some real wisdom on their own while building relationships that will further their faith.

All five of these Bible studies (and a few more) are available to download for free, so if you’re looking for something new and different this summer, you have nothing to lose checking them out. Give them a look, and please email me to let me know what you think!

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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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Two Short Films for Easter

I always share these two at Easter time. Sharing now so you can pass them on or use them next weekend.

First is a Good Friday short that highlights an oft forgotten story detail from the Gospels, a little something called “Deleted Scenes from the Bible.”

And second is one of my kids’ favorite shorts, “I Don’t Wanna Dye!”

Happy Easter, everyone.

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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.}