ACTORS: Just one. He/she can think about speaking in british accent.
PROPS: A small soft chair for the actor to sit on and read from. A microphone, cordless might be good. A note book for the actor to write down most of their lines and read from. A good song on a CD to play temporarily and a way to play it (I used TobyMac’s “No Ordinary Love” which worked perfectly). A pair of sun glasses. A fitting costume for the character (I used a red bath robe and wig from the camp prop room for my british character)
SET UP: Put chair at center stage facing audience with plenty of room behind it. Place sun glasses beside chair or somewhere in reach. Prepare music to play at right time.
START: Play some kind of classical introductory music like Rondeau from Masterpiece Theatre (if desired. I didn’t do it but wished I had later)
(actor sits down in chair with his note book and gets comfortable. Opening line should be memorized if possible)
“Good evening and welcome once again to (make up a name like _______ Theatre). I am your host (make up name, I called myself Jack/John Gilbertson). In the past we have had the privilege of reading many great classics... such as The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice, and Battlefield Earth. However, this time we’re going to try something a little different. The book I’m going to read tonight is one that I have never read before. I don’t know what it’s about or who wrote it, and the book has no title. *actor turns notebook to audience to reveal the cover which says “No Title” in big letters* See? No title. Why, you may ask, am I doing something so outrageous? Well... because yesterday I lost a bet (or some other reason). I MEAN!! Because I thought it would be rather exciting for us to read a new book together. Let us begin.
(1) *open book to page one* “Ah it is a poem. How lovely. *read* ‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe, All mimsy were the borogoves and the mome raths outgrabe. ‘Beware the jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite! The claws that catch! Beware the jubjub bird and shun the frumious bandersnatch.’ *actor pretends to understand/like it*
(2) *turn page* “Hmmm, that’s odd. This page isn’t the same as the last one. *looks back at previous page, looks at current page back and forth faster and faster* Well there must be some explanation. Let’s find out. *reads* Once upon a time there was a beaver. It was the most magnificent beaver anyone had ever seen. Every day he would chew down hundreds of redwood oak trees in the forest and place them in a nice big pile. He was going to build the biggest beaver dam that his little friends had ever seen! Then one day... oh dear... oh my... he lived happily ever after! (mostly original story)
(3) *turn page* “Oh good! We’re back to the poem.” *read* He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought, So rested he by the tumtum tree And stood awhile in though. And as in uffish though he stood The jabberwock with eyes of flame Came whiffling through the tulgey wood And burbled as it came!”
(4) *turn page* “A different story? Not again! *sigh* (actor tell funny jokes. I told my favorite one about the old man on the moped who outraced a fast car when his suspenders accidentally got hooked on the sideview mirror)
(5) *turn page* “Alright! Good! *read* One, two! One, two! And through and through, The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with his head He went galumphing back. ‘And hast thou slain the jabberwock? Come to my arms my beamish boy! O frabjuous day! Callooh! Callay!’ He chortled in his joy.”
(6) *turn page* “That’s odd. There’s a button on this page. But I don’t think I push it. I have a bad feeling. (actor ponders decision out loud until audience cheers for him/her to push button) “Fine, I’ll push it! I’m sure something hilarious will happen like I’ll get hit in the face with a pie, or a million ping-pong balls will fall on me! *sigh* Okay, here we go. One... two... three! *push “button” on page* *someone plays selected music* *actor puts on sun glasses and lip syncs to song for a short time, completely out of character*
(7) *song is stopped* *actor removes sun glasses and acts confused and irritated* “What? What just happen to me?! What is the deal with this infernal book?! *turn page and read faster* Dear Diary, I saw Jim at school today. He is the most handsome boy I have ever met but I’m too afraid to talk to him. How can I ever tell him how I feel? *turn page* (actor talks about something in nature like awkward turtles) *turn page* (actor reads a definition for a word(s).) *turn page* How are you gentlemen? All your base are belong to us! You have no chance to survive, make your time! *turn page* (read song lyrics, like a clean rap song)
(8) “Ahhhh! This is preposterous!!! *flips through the pages of the note book and shouts “No!” to every page until last page* *read final page wearily* ‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe... All mimsy were the borogoves... and the mome... raths... outgrabe. *closes note book and faints, falling backwards in chair (or something like it that is safe for the actor)* *actor gets up, bows, and gives closing message*
CLOSING MESSAGE: There’s actually a point to this skit if you can believe it. The book I read was supposed to be an example of an inconsistent life. The title of the book I read is like our lives when people first meet us and don't know much about us. The first page of the book is like when people discover that we are Christians and then pay close attention to see how we’ll act. Maybe we’ll act like followers of Christ when we’re around Christian friends, but act differently around others because of fear or peer pressure. If we aren’t careful to be consistent with our lives and be different from the world, then nonbelievers may become offended at what they see and choose not to accept Christ. Whether we know it or not, people are watching us and may base what they think about many believers just from our lives. We must do our best to act like Christ as all times so people will know we belong to Him and desire to know Him. There will be times when we’ll sin and act in ways we shouldn’t, but God can forgive us and help us live the way we should. (talk about Bible verses like John 13:34-35 and John 15:19)