By Warren Grieve
This Series of Honesty Plays was designed for puppet use but can be adapted for use as straight drama. Each of these plays are part of the whole and can be performed over a number of weeks or throughout one session.. some are just short and humorous, others more serious in their approach.
Note: If they are used as puppet plays you will find they will only take 30-45 mins to rehearse if the scripts have been given to the kids beforehand to take home and read through. There are parts suitable for ages 5-12 and older.
(All characters on stage)
King: I choose Esther to be my queen. Proclaim a royal holiday. Come with me...
(Esther and King leave.)
Haman: So you're her father.
Mordecai: I'm so proud of her. Sorry, I must leave as the King has asked me to take up a new job for him. Great meeting you.
(M leaves stage)
Haman: You won't be proud for long... the upstart, who does he think he is.. I must think of a way to get rid of him or the king will no longer favour me... Yessss.... That's it! (Exits)
(A 'Little Later' sign -Fairly small)
King Haman: You may speak.
Haman: Oh great one.. do you know there are people in this land who do not follow our laws properly. They are not like the others. We should have them killed.
King: They must be evil. We will do so. Issue the order.
(Exit. A number of puppets come on stage, weeping, "what will we do etc" and then move to side. Esther and Mordecai enter.)
Esther: The only way for our people to live is for me to see the King. Why does he think Jews are bad?
Mordecai: There are instructions that if any Jew goes into the King's presence they will be killed. But if you remain silent you and your family will perish. Maybe God has placed you in this position.
Esther: Get others together and pray for me.
(Both exit. 'Little Later' sign. King is on-stage.)
King: You are welcome. What is it Queen Esther?
Esther: Dear King, I have prepared a banquet for you and Haman. Can we dine together?
King: So be it.
(Puppet waiters on... with food etc. they eat..... Yummm yummm etc.)
King: What is your request?
Esther: If it pleases the King I would like him to come to another special banquet tomorrow.
King: Well, the way to my heart is through my stomach.... Tomorrow then.
(Both exit. 'Little Later' sign. King is on-stage. King lies down. Snores. Wakes Up.)
King: I can't sleep. I've tried sheep, furbies, camels ... nothing works. What book can I read..... Bring me the chronicles.
(Puppet comes on stage with massive book)
Servant: Here you are, o great enlightened one, the history of the kingdom.
King: Oh dear... Oh dear... hmmm... interesting. I read here about Mordecai how he saved me from being killed, but I think that we did not reward him.
King: Who is in the court?
Haman: I am, sire.
King: What do you think we should do for a person that the King wants to honour?
Haman: (aside) The King wants to praise me! What a day. I will get rid of my enemy Haman on the gallows I built and get my reward! (to King) Put on him the robe of honour and parade him through the streets.
King: Do so.. call Mordecai and honour him
(Haman exits.. grumbling, Esther enters with servants carrying food)
King: (eating noises at first) What great grub, queeno. Now, what is your special request.
Esther: If I have pleased you then save my people. We are to be sold and killed all because of one man!
King: Who is he?
King: What.... I see now he was just trying to trick me.....Then.... Hang him on the gallows I see out of the window.
(Characters freeze. Chant over 'Small lies grow to big lies and eventually something dies!!!!!')
(On the left hand side of the stage are some sheep. Boy: enters on stage.)
Boy: How I wish I could be doing something else. The same thing day after day. Stupid sheep. What's the use of being a shepherd. Supposed to look after sheep and nothing ever happens! I should... hmmmmmmm
Runs across stage down and up to other side, yelling as he goes. Up pop the shepherds.
Boy: The wolf.... The wolf is attacking the sheep
Shepherd 1: We must save them. How big is he?
Boy: This high, this high (He jumps up and down). Shining wicked teeth and he's carrying mint sauce.
Shepherd 2: It's worse than we thought... quick.
(They all run to the other side. Look around)
Shepherd 3: Where is it?
Boy: It must have gone. That wicked wolf must have seen us coming.
Shepherd 2: Well, keep a close eye out. Yell again if you see it.
Shepherd 3: Good job, Son
(Shepherds move off to other side of stage)
Boy: Well, that was fun. They really fell for that one. I'll try again.
(Runs across stage.)
Boy: The Wolf, the wolf. He's big and hairy and he's carrying hot curry spices. He'll rip the sheep to pieces.
Shepherd 2: Quick we must hurry.
Shepherd 1: I hope we are in time. Strange it should happen twice in the same day.
(They get to the other side of the stage)
Shepherd 3: Thank goodness the sheep are all right. They don't seem to be afraid. It's almost as if.....
Shepherd 1: They certainly don't seem worried.
Boy: Probably the wolf took off when he heard you brave shepherds were coming.
Shepherd 3: Back to fence mending boys
Shepherd 2: What do you reckon... what I'm thinking lads is...
Shepherd 3: Yes, he's trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
Shepherd 1: That lad. Giving us the run around. He certainly had us hoofing it over there.
(Scene swaps to boy)
Boy: So much fun in one day. I think I'll have them on again.
(Wolf enters. Encourage audience participation of the wolf'.)
Boy: What wolf, I don't see one... can't trick me.
(He sees the wolf. Is terrified)
Boy: It really is... the... the... wolf... what shall I..... need help.
(Runs across stage)
Boy: The wolf, he's really here. He's going to attack the sheep.
Shepherd 1: I suppose he's carrying the tender cut labels...
Shepherd 2: ...or he's got the instant sauce packet, water, microwave jug and microwave, huh!
Boy: No... he really is real.. I saw him.. big... horrible.
Shepherd 3: We've got fences to mend
(All characters freeze)
(Backstage effects from voices... like a shark attack)
Voices: do...do...doo.do...dooo....do...dooo do tell it straight
(Girl on stage.)
Girl: It's nearly a goal... she moves left moves right... she's going for the big shot...
(Races around madly! Knocks vase/plate to floor, it breaks! Parent comes on.)
Father: How did that get broken. What were you doing?
Girl: I was just watching T.V. The wind blew through the window and it fell on the floor.
Father: Are you sure?
Father: Well, let's pick it up.
(They exit. Mother comes on stage, followed by father.)
Father: I'm sure she's not telling the truth.
Mother: It's been happening a lot lately.
Father: It makes it hard to trust her.
('Next Day' sign. Girl enters.)
Girl: I don't know how it happened. Mum... are you there?
Mother: Hi Sarah. Have a good day at school.
Girl: Not really. I had to see the principal today. Marta stole some chips from Jane's lunch and put them in my desk.
Mother: I wondered what you were going to say. I've just got off the phone from talking to Mrs Jamieson. She has a very different story. Says that lately she's caught you out in a number of lies and that this is one of your worst. And you know, we really are feeling let down here
Girl: But it's not true. Marta is the one who is lying. Not me... I don't....I'm not....
Mother: What about the vase yesterday?
Girl: I didn't....
(Pauses and stops)
Girl: Well, that was a lie... but this isn't.
Mother: You've made it so hard for us to know the truth... when can we believe you?> I'd like you to go to your room for a bit.. do your homework, and when Dad gets home we'll both want to talk to you.
Girl: It's so messed up. Why doesn't anyone believe me?
First N: We're here to tell of a rule so true.
Second N: A rule specifically designed for you.
Third N: A rule that keeps you tough and strong.
First N: And helps things go right instead of wrong.
Third N: So when you're thinking it's just a little lie,
Second N: Remember, God's rule.... And don't try.
(Read a verse on the subject of honesty)
(Different characters with different colours, or placards with different colours or hair/hats of the different colours)
Character 1: Red is the colour of tomatos, sunsets, cricket balls, embarrassment. Like, when you know you've made a mistake.
Character 2: Yellow.... Bananas, custard, sun, the feeling of not being well.
Character 3: Green.... Beans and spinach.
(All characters go 'blerch')
Character 3: Green is grass, trees, the colour that makes you think of peace...
Character 4: Black... the cat, night, black eyes, shining shoes, crows, coal, black panther, oil .....the colour that reminds me of sin.
Character 5: White... a sheet,
All: (shout) 'It passed the Nappisan test' (or some sort of bleach well-known)
Character 5: Snow, lines on the road, paper, fridge, coconut, rice, wedding dress, icing.. white is the colour of the lie you tell when you think it's not really a lie.
(Verse from bible. I will wash...etc)
Mary: Have you heard about Damian? Apparently he got hauled into the boss's office yesterday. He's been in there again. Down the road, and I'll tell you why..
Mary: Because he said he had finished the contract, and I reckon he hadn't, because that's why he cancelled the meeting where he was going to present the report.
Marion: I wondered about that. He's been under a lot of stress about it all too. Have you noticed he has been tired and not himself lately.
Jack: He left to go home early on a number of days. Throwing the sickly excuse I'd say.. shows he wasn't coping with it all. I offered to help one day, but he just said he had other things on his mind. Last time I'll offer to help him.
Marion: Shush here he comes
Damian: Hi all. Little goss meeting, huh? (joking)
Jack: Just, ahhh.....
Marion: Talking about what the social club should be doing for the next event.
Damian: Uh huh. Looking forward to the BBQ. I'm out for five to pick up the final prints from the printers. See you.
Mary: That was a close one. Here's the boss.
Boss: I'd like to have a quick chat to you all.
Marion: Told you... it'll all come out now.
Boss: Just had a talk with Damian. He's got the meeting with the clients back on schedule after the goof up at the printers. The negatives got lost in their system and couldn't get done on time. Didn't have time to update you lot yesterday, sorry about that. Hope you'll be OK first thing tomorrow again.
All: Yes, should be fine, etc.
Boss: Oh, and one other thing. Damian said it was Ok for you guys to know. His father had a stroke the other day, which is why he's had to take off the last few days. I thought you should know so you can help support him. I called him in yesterday and told him to take the rest of the day off, especially as the presentation timing was changed.
Marion: We wondered what was wrong. Thought it was something personal like that.
Jack: What's the story?
Boss: Looks like his Dad will be OK. It was a bit touch and go. Amazing that Damian has been able to keep on top of things around here at the same time.
Mary: He's great at what he does.
Jack: We all want to help.
Boss: Sure. Well (looks at watch) I've got a 9:30 appointment on the way.
Marion: We sure got it wrong.
Jack: They really should keep us better informed.
Mary: Yeah... how are we to know about these things. We never get told what's going on. Do you know last week.....
(They all exit)
(Kia Kaha is a Maori phrase meaning standing tall and strong, like a tree)
(Trees on stage... backdrop of forest? Four characters enter. Bird sounds.)
Character 1: What a great day for a hike. The sun...('shine, shine' voice over) the birds ('tweet, tweet'), the trees ('grow, grow')
Character 2 :The smell of the country ('moo, moo').
Character 3: Watch out for...
Character 1: Oh thanks (sarcastic)... look what I've stepped in. (Stops, and looks up) Wow...Still... just look at these trees.
Character 4: Massive, ginormous, leviathan, monster, immense, bulky, colossal, mammoth, giant.....
(Spins around and around and falls to the ground as he says it all)
Character 2: All right, Brains... we get the picture.
Character 1: Did you guys know that these trees remind me of us.
Character 3: How's that?
Character 1: Well... we all stick together for each other, (all puppets zoom together) we all are proud of the fact we are Christians (we love Jesus signs), we all want God to help us stand tall and straight... like these trees (They all stand up tall)
Character 2: Kia Kaha.
Character 3: What do you mean?
Character 2: Means stand tall and strong. Like us. We need to keep our roots in God... be strong for God, be strong for good and not give in to those things God would not want us to do.
All: Right on... good one... let's be strong.
(They exit singing 'Our God is so big so strong and so mighty' 4 is still looking at a tree. Hugs it.)
Character 4: Tough, courageous, resilient, bold, audacious, daring, adventurous, intrepid... God, you know all the rest of the words... I ask for your Spirit to make me strong for you. Strong to say yes, strong to say no, strong to be honest. Let's see now... sturdy, tough, daring, gallant, brawny, burly...
© Warren Grieve
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org