Short Dramas and Plays
If Today's the Day
by Adele O'Reilly
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Scene: A coffee shop. Two college girls are sitting at a table, studying.
Denise: (showing piece of paper on table to Jill) Like this?
Jill: Yes, thatís it. You got it.
Denise: Finally! (looks at watch) Weíve only been at this problem for 2 hours.
Jill: Organic chemistry takes time to understand.
Denise: And a good tutor. I couldnít have made it through this class without your help. I swear Dr. Gates has it in for me.
Jill: Why do you say that?
Denise: Because heís always calling on me---especially when he knows I donít know the answer.
Jill: The nerve.
Denise: Well, thanks to you he can call on me tomorrow---Iím ready.
Jill: Youíre welcome.
Denise: Do you want another latte? My treat.
Jill: No, oneís my limit.
Denise: Are you going to the football game?
Jill: No, I have to study for the MCATís.
Denise: Well, I wouldnít worry if I were you. Youíll pass with flying colors. Heck, youíll probably have the medical schools fighting over you.
Jill: I donít know about that.
Denise: You are the smartest person I know. And you work the hardest. I mean, while I hung out with Becky and the gang last summer, where were you? South America, helping poor people. Youíre like a saint or something.
Jill: Oh, stop it. I am not.
Denise: Yeah, you are. You probably have the gold pass to get into heaven.
Jill: Oh, no, not me. (pause) Besides, I donít think there is a heaven.
Denise: You donít?
Jill: No, I donít. Do you?
Denise: Well, yeah I guess I do.
Jill: Then you believe thereís a hell, too?
Denise: I think so.
Jill: You think so?
Denise: Well, yeah, I mean, if there is heaven, then thereís hell, too.
Jill: So who goes to hell?
Denise: Well, good people go to heaven. Bad people go to hell.
Jill: Oh, ok, so Hitler? Osama Bin Laden?
Denise: Hell, of course. And you can send Dr Gates there, too.
Jill: (shaking her head) Now youíre just joking around.
Denise: Iím sorry. He can go to heaven.
Jill: You see--thatís where this argument goes all the time. People making jokes about what happens when you die.
Denise: I believe in heaven. Thatís where I picture my grandma.
Jill: What do you have to do to get into heaven?
Denise: Like I said, be good. Donít kill anyone. That kind of thing. I think God wants us to be in heaven with Him. Why else would he make heaven? Wouldnít be any fun if no one got in.
Jill: So, how good do you have to be to get into heaven?
Denise: What do you mean?
Jill: There has to be a line drawn to say who gets in and who stays outÖ who goes to hell, if you really believe that.
Denise: I donít know.
Jill: How many good things do we have to do to balance out the bad things. ĎCause if weíre being honest here, everyone screws up at one time or another. How many screw ups are you allowed?
Denise: I donít know. Twenty? Why donít you ask your roommate, Carol? Doesnít she belong to some Christian group on campus?
Jill: I donít want to ask her. Sheíll just talk about her faith. Itís all she talks about.
Denise: Nothing wrong with faith.
Jill: But how can she believe in a loving God that sends people to Hell because, why? They didnít go to church every Sunday?
Denise: I donít think it works like that.
Jill: So how does it work? (pauses, shaking her head) You know, one of the doctorís I worked with in Brazil last summer was amazing. He worked for 20 hours a day, in the worst conditions, helping get medical care to the poorest of the poor. You would not believe the wretched conditions some people live in down there. Heís a good guy. Does he get into heaven?
Denise: I would think so.
Jill: What about the guy who murders three people, and has one of those jailhouse conversions. Does he get in?
Denise: I guess so. If heís really sorry.
Jill: What if one of the people he murdered was your sister?
Denise: Oh, no way then.
Jill: What about my mom? The night before her surgery, she told me she didnít think she would go to heaven if she died. I told her of course she would.
Denise: Whatís wrong with that?
Jill: Because I lied to make her feel better. Donít you see? I know I will pass the MCATís. I know I will get into medical school. These are things I know. But heavenÖno one can say with absolute certainty that theyíre going to heaven.
Denise: I guess thatís why they call it faith.
Jill: Let me put it this way. If todayís the day, the day you die , can you tell me beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would go to heaven?
Denise: (pauses-really thinking about it) I donít know. Do you?
Jill: No, I donít. I really donít. (lights out-end)
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Good one!! Really leaves a person thinking where he/she will go after death. It would have been more effective if you could explain how a person can really get to heaven.
True! Gets you thinking. In this world we have to tell peole the good news, the gold pass to get to heaven. It's just one decision but it could change thier lives
Really makes the reader think. A non-believer hearing this would identify strongly with it, "I'm a good person, I'll go to heaven," I have heard them say that so often. But a Christian hearing this would be screaming, "You can be sure, there is a way - His name is Jesus!" All the best with your writing.
I like the POVs you chose for this script. So many would've put the "evangelist Christian" with the seeking one. But in setting it up the way you did, it really leaves the reader thinking about what he or she would say in this situation. If I were sitting in the audience watching this performed, I'm guessing that a good majority of the people sitting near me could identify with one of these two characters. The hanging ending is extremely effective as well. Love it!