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Easter Story. This play has a cast of around 30 but this can easily be reduced by doubling (as explained in cast list at the end of the play). The Easter Story relates to all the major events: Jesus' jubilant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus' fury in Temple, Judas' act of betrayal, The Last Supper, Arrest in Garden of Gethsemane, Caiaphas' 'verdict', Roman Trial with Pontius Pilate leading to Crucifixion, Tomb scene and Peter's summing up at the end. The play begins and ends on a jubilant note - starting with 'Give me Joy in my Heart' and ending with 'Lord of the Dance'.
Duration: Around 10 minutes reading time (this does not allow for changes of scene, music etc taking play to around 20 minutes)
Scene 1 Jerusalem
(Child 1 and 2, Woman 1 and 2, plus lame child stand in a line, waving palm leaves over their heads, and singing chorus to the hymn, whilst eagerly awaiting arrival of Jesus. Standing to one side of them are two stern-looking priests, scowling in disapproval)
Peter: (Addressing singers) Wow! What joyful music! Tell me. What are you celebrating?
Child 1: Haven't you heard?
Peter: Heard what?
Child 1: Of the coming of the Son of God?
Child 2: Of the King of the Jews?
(Enter priest 1 and 2)
Priest 1: Son of God, did you say?
Priest 2: King of the Jews, did you say?
Woman 1: Why, haven't you heard? It was prophesied He should enter Jerusalem, on a donkey. That's what we're all waiting for!
Woman 2: (Holding hand of lame child) I'm hoping he can heal my little lad - that he can perform a miracle. Just as he has done for so many others!
Woman 1: What a wonderful man! What power he has!
(Priest 1 and 2 take themselves to one side, to continue their conversation between just the two of them)
Priest 2: Who is this man who claims to be king and Son of God?
Priest 1: And those ‘magic powers' of his? I don't like the sound of them, one little bit!
Priest 2: What would our High Priest say? What would King Herod say?
Priest 1: Guilty on two counts, me thinks!
Priest 1: Blasphemy and treason!
Priest 2: Let's hang around and see this king for ourselves!
Child 1: Here he comes! Here he comes!
Woman 1: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Woman 2: Blessed is the great prophet from Nazareth!
(Enter Jesus. Walks along ‘crowd' of well-wishers, all waving palm leaves and singing. At the end of the ‘line', Jesus stands smiling, enjoying the singing)
Jesus: Thank you so much for this wonderful welcome to Jerusalem. I am looking forward to celebrating the Feast of the Passover - it is an honour to be here.
Woman 1: (Curtseying) Oh, the honour is all ours!
Woman 2: We have heard so much about you!
(Sound of shouting from off stage, representing market place)
Peter: (Cupping his hand to his ear) But what is all that noise in the distance? It sounds as if it is coming from the Temple.
(Enter Trader 1 and 2)
Trader 1: Good business today! Managed to sell all my oxen!
Trader 2: Not bad for me, either. I sold all my sheep too!
Jesus: Who are these people?
Child 1: Oh! That's my dad. Sounds like he's had a very successful day at the market!
Child 2: Sounds like my dad has, too. Don't they just love it when they make lots of money?
Jesus: (Aghast) What? In the house of God?
Woman 1: Why, yes. It's used as a market place, didn't you know?
Jesus: (Shouting and grabbing Trader 2) How dare you?
Trader 1: Hey! What's the big idea?
Trader 2: Get your hands off me!
Jesus: (Yelling hysterically) You rogues! You scoundrels! Have you no respect for that house of prayer? You have turned it into a den of thieves! You should be ashamed of yourselves!
(Whole crowd withdraws in shocked silence)
(Exit Jesus, holding his head)
Peter: Wow! Where did all the sunshine go? All that joy! Now this!
(Two priests walk over to where Peter is standing, by himself, looking aghast at what he has just witnessed)
Priest 1: Hero turned tyrant! That's what I would call it!
Priest 2: What a spectacle! Who does this Jesus think he is? (Adds sarcastically) Oh, I nearly forgot - King of the Jews!