Choices

A musical by Robin & Delwyn McKenzie

Summary

"Choices" tells the story of a group of early teens who are influenced by a few of their number to make some dumb decisions. One of them learns to stand up for what is right through the wise words of a friend's grandmother using 3 enacted biblical examples.
Note: This document contains only the first 2 scenes of the script. The full script (+ music) may be purchased by contacting the authors, whose email address is at the foot of this document. A royalty is required for performance.

Cast

Main characters: 4 M, 5 F; Biblical characters: 13-20 (M/F)
(Note: We did it with 30 kids and each of them had a part even if it was just one line.)

Theme

Peer pressure/standing up for what is right/no compromise (could also be used to precede an evangelistic message)

Scripture

Rom 12:2, Joshua 24:15, Deut 30:19

Script

Scene  1:  Above the cliff
[The stage is bare apart from a few rocks for sitting and playing on.]
Song: Choices
Angie: Back to school tomorrow.
Shakes: Last day of freedom for the downtrodden masses.
Wes:  So what are we going to do today?
Mandy:  We could hang out at the mall.
Smarts: Yet again?
Wes: How about shooting some hoops?
Kevin: Yeah, I’m for that. Who else is coming?
Mandy:  I’ve still got blisters from the last game.
Kevin: Jason?
Jason:  No, I’m taking it easy today.
Kevin: Smarts?
Smarts: Only if everyone’s playing. Two on two is too much like hard work.
Wes:  Okay, so let’s all play.
Mandy:  We’d rather go to the mall, wouldn’t we, Angie?
Angie: Definitely. Looks like it’s 1 on 1, guys.
Mandy:  But Zoe and Shakespeare will cheer you on from the sideline.
Zoe/Shakes: Yeah, right!
[general laughter]
Jason:  What say we go to the beach?
Mandy: Now there’s an idea.
Kevin: Yeah, let's hit some waves. You can borrow my board, Wes.
Wes: Okay, I guess I can shoot some buckets at lunch tomorrow.
Shakes: One last day of sunbathing before we’re confined to the cold half-light of the classroom dungeons.
Angie: I love lying in the sun. How about you, Zoe?
Zoe:  Sure, it’ll be fun.
Jason: You too, Smarts, you can bake that egghead of yours in the hot sand.
Kevin: Then you won't have any more half-baked ideas.
Smarts: [smiling] Watch it, you guys. I might cook up a plan for you while I'm there.
Zoe:  Which way are we going? Through the park or past the station?
Angie: The park is nicer.
Smarts: But further.
Mandy: There can’t be much in it. And we’d rather go through the park even if it was twice as far, hey Shakespeare?
Shakes: Verily, for the odor of diesel engines does not compare with the fragrance of the fair blossoms of summer.
Wes: Give it a break, Shakes.
Kevin: Girls! Let them take the long way round. We can spend an extra half hour at the beach without them.
Smarts: Twenty five minutes by my reckoning, plus or minus two minutes.
Jason: Hey, listen up, guys. If you want the quickest way, I know a shortcut. And if it’s scenery you like, my way beats the park, hands down.
Mandy:  So what are we waiting for? Lead on.
Zoe: Just a minute. Where is this shortcut? If it’s through the golf course, you know we’re meant to stay out of there.
Jason: It’s not through the golf course. It’s much closer than that.
Shakes: Where then? Tell us, o fearless leader.
Jason: Straight ahead.
Angie: Over the cliff?
Wes: Dude! That would certainly be quicker.
Smarts: I’d say it would be twelve minutes quicker than going past the station and thirty seven minutes quicker than through the park.
Zoe: Unless we fell.
Angie:  Exactly.
Shakes: In which case it would be, erm…
Smarts: Instantaneous.
Jason: Hey, I didn’t figure you guys for a bunch of chickens. Anyway, it’s not a cliff, it’s a … steep decline.
Smarts: That’s correct. It can’t be more than 79 degrees above the horizontal.
Zoe: Well, pardon me, but I didn’t bring my rappelling gear!
Mandy: Come on, Zoe, it can’t be that bad.
Shakes: I suppose you’ve actually been down there yourself, Jason?
Jason: Dozens of times. Me and my brother always go that way.
Kevin: Yeah, and I’ve been down and back a couple of times.
Mandy: Shakespeare, you’re not going to let the side down, are you? We can’t let Mr. Macho and his crew think we haven’t got what it takes.
Shakes: Not at all. I welcome the opportunity for adventure: Boldly going where no woman has gone before!
Wes: You think it’s okay, Smarts? Would you go down there?
Smarts:Well let’s take a look first, assess the parameters. [Looks down] Mmm.
Wes: Dude! That’s quite a drop.
Smarts: Technically no, but I get your point. Now if we move along a little [Smarts and Wes go to corner of stage], you see it’s not quite so steep. I reckon we could get down easy enough from here.
Jason: Exactly.  [goes to corner of stage] This is where I normally go down. Come on, guys,  it’s a piece of cake.
Wes: Okay. If Smarts thinks it’s do-able, I guess that’s good enough for me.
Zoe: Well it’s not good enough for me.  I think you need your head read! If you fell you’d break your neck.
Smarts: Not if you were three feet from the bottom at the time.
Angie: Yeah, but it's a long way down to reach three feet from the bottom.
Jason: You don't need to be so scared. It'll be easy. All you need to do is follow the leader and put your feet and hands where the one in front puts theirs.
Mandy:  Just like that song. How does it go? [begins singing]
Song: Follow the leader
Kevin: What kind of song is that?
Smarts: It's a style called bossanova.
Kevin: Bossanova?
Mandy: Yeah, bossanova. I like it.
Zoe: I do too. What I don't like is Jason bossin' us over the cliff.
Jason: I'm not bossing anyone. But if you want to get down there quickly and safely, just follow me. So what do you say, Angie?
Angie: Well... maybe.
Mandy: And if you're scared, don't look down.
Zoe: It's not a matter of being scared. It's a matter of common sense. Why put your life at risk when there's a perfectly sensible way of getting there unharmed?
Smarts: How do you know you wouldn't get knocked over by a car if you went past the station?
Mandy: Or mugged if you went through the park?
Zoe: In broad daylight?
Smarts: It's possible.
Zoe: All I'm saying is the risks are much higher if we go down there and frankly I don't think they're worth it.
Mandy: Well most of us think it's the best way to go. Even Angie thinks it'll probably be okay, hey, Angie?
Angie: Well... maybe. Yeah, probably. I'd say it'd be okay. Yeah, why not?
Jason: Hey, there's a brave lady. Come on, Zoe. You don't want to have to go the long way round all by yourself.
Zoe: No, I'd rather we all went the sensible way.
Mandy: And you're part of the group. And groups stick together.
Kevin: You can follow me or Jason. We'll make sure you don't fall.
Wes: If I can do it, you can do it.
Shakes:All for one and one for all!
Jason: What do you say?
Zoe: Okay. I'll come with you. But I still think I'm right and this is a dumb idea.
Shakes:Lead on, McDuff!
[Blackout as Jason leads the way off edge of stage]

Scene 2a: In Grandma's kitchen

[Angie and Zoe are seated at table. Grandma is going to and from shelves or counter, getting tea things]
Angie: At least it was only sprained.
Gran: And this was Kevin, you say?
Zoe: No, Grandma, it was Wesley. He was a bit hesitant about going down there in the first place.
Gran: So why did he go then?
Angie: I think he would have rather gone past the station, but he didn't want the other guys to think he was scared.
Zoe: He wasn't the only one scared.
Angie: No, I suppose I was too.
Zoe: I didn't mean just you. Probably we all were.
Gran: You probably all were.
Angie: Surely Jason and Kevin weren't. They'd been down there before.
Gran: That doesn't necessarily mean they weren't afraid. And they probably will be next time if they’re fool enough to try it again.
Zoe: I knew it was a dumb idea.  I don't know why I went along with it.
Angie: At least you let everyone know it was a dumb idea. I thought it was too, but I let them persuade me anyway.
Zoe: Why couldn't I convince them that it was too dangerous to try? What would you have said, Grandma, if you were in my place?
Gran: [sits and serves tea] I'm not sure I would have said anything different from what you said, dear. Sometimes people just won't listen to sense, especially when they're in a group. Probably none of you would have gone that way if you were alone. But no one wants to be the odd man out. Sometimes it only takes a suggestion to put pressure on everyone to follow suit.
Angie: Like follow the leader.
Zoe: Which is all well and good if the leader is going the right way.
Gran: But if he's going the wrong way -- well, who'd want to be a lemming?
Zoe: We really weren't much diffferent, were we, going over the cliff, like a bunch of lemmings?
Gran: It has happened before, you know. Remember the story of the twelve spies.
Angie: Twelve spies?
Gran: In the Bible. You know the story, don't you girls?
Zoe: Yes, but I'd like to hear your version.
Angie: Me too.
Gran: Well I'll tell you...
 

Scene 2b: Outside Canaan

Moses: Atten-tion! [ the 12 spring to attention for the role call. Each responds "Sir!" as his name is called.]  Shammua, Shaphat, Caleb, Igal, Joshua, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi, Geuel. You twelve have been chosen for an important reconaissance mission. Now listen up, cause I'm not going to repeat these instructions: Go northward through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls or are they unprotected? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Enter the land boldly and bring back samples of the crops you see. Any questions? Good. Dis-miss! [the 12 dismiss and march off through audience singing an army-style echoed refrain]
Shammua: We'll take Canaan there's no doubt.
Group:  We'll take Canaan there's no doubt.
Shammua:  First we gotta check it out.
Group: First we gotta check it out.
Shammua: We're the men to get it done.
Group: We're the men to get it done.
Shammua: Moses chose us everyone.
Group: Moses chose us everyone.
Palti: I'm tired of marching.
Igal: Me too.
Gaddiel: Then do something to take your mind off it.
Shaphat: We could play a game.
Ammiel: Like what?
Geuel: I spy with my little eye something beginning with... [intro to song: let us go right on in…]
Song: Let us go right on in
[after a quick circuit the spies return, Caleb and Joshua carrying a big bunch of grapes between them]
Caleb: We're back!
Joshua: Moses, Sir, take a look at these!
Moses: Welcome back! At ease, men. We're all itching to hear your report... Well, come on, tell all!
Song: Promised Land Blues
 

Scene 2c: In Grandma's kitchen

Gran:  So you see, because the ten spies suggested it might be difficult, the whole nation followed the leader in the wrong direction.
Zoe: But Grandma, that was totally different from our situation, maybe even the opposite. What I was trying to tell everyone was like that the cliff was too dangerous to go down, so I was more like the ten spies who warned everyone to stay out of Canaan because of the danger.
Angie: Yeah, it was only Caleb and Joshua who were brave enough to try anyway.
Zoe: So you could say the Israelites did listen to sense.
Gran: Well, I beg to differ on that score. I don't think they made the wise choice.
Zoe: Go on.
Gran: Tell me, dear, which of the spies got to Canaan in the end?
Zoe: Was it just Caleb and Joshua?
Gran: Yes. And what happened to the rest of them?
Angie: I think they all died in the desert, but I don't remember how.
Gran: Some died from overeating, some died of snake bites, some got swallowed alive when the earth opened up.
Angie: Yuck!
Gran: Now do you still think it was more dangerous to go straight into Canaan?
Angie: No way.
Gran: And that was the way Caleb and Joshua wanted to go, the safe way, the smart way. Kind of like you wanted to go round the long way to the beach. And most people wouldn't listen to sense. [gets up to get something] You see, the real question is which is the wise choice?
Zoe: I see. It was wiser for the Israelites to go like straight in rather than going through the desert.
Angie: Even if there were giants.
Gran: Exactly. Now tell me why that was the wise choice?
Zoe: Was it because that was what God wanted them to do?
Gran: [leans over table] That's right. Even more than that, it was what he had already told them to do. And you can't make a better choice than doing what God tells you to do.
Angie: I guess not.
[Grandma gestures: “More tea?”]
Zoe: Thanks, Grandma... We're gonna have to go. I've got stacks of homework. [gets up]
Angie: Me too. Thanks for the story. [gets up]
Zoe: Yeah, thanks Grandma.
Gran: Anytime. Now you'd better get along, but have another cookie for the road. [offers plate]

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Copyright Robin and Delwyn McKenzie, all rights reserved.
A royalty is required for performance. Details can be obtained, or a copy of the full script and music may be purchased, by contacting the authors at: accentmusicschool@gmail.com