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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: On the Telephone (11/18/10)

TITLE: On the Phone Again
By Tim Pickl
11/20/10


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Characters:
ROB – Pastor, Dad and concerned husband
MELISSA – Rob’s extremely busy wife
ELIZABETH – Rob & Melissa’s 7-year-old daughter

Summary:
A typical Saturday morning at Rob and Melissa’s house; but something is terribly wrong.

(Melissa is wiping off a wooden table, center stage. Her head is cocked to one side, and has a phone pressed between her ear and her shoulder. Elizabeth is sitting at one end of the table, swinging her legs back and forth, intently writing something on a piece of paper.)


MELISSA
(Laughs out loud) Ha! You can say that again.

ELIZABETH
Mommy?

MELISSA
Change? (laughs again) Nah…they’ll never change. They won’t listen to me! Those people runnin’ the music have no idea what they are doin’. They are a bunch of—

ELIZABETH
Mommy?!?

MELISSA
(drops the rag on the table, then covers the phone with one hand) Elizabeth, can you just hush just for a minute? I’m tryin’ to talk. (then on the telephone again) What was I sayin’? (pauses) Oh yes, the music department at church…they are clueless.

ELIZABETH
Fine. I will just get it wrong, then.

(Rob enters the stage; Melissa continues gossiping on the phone in the background.)

ROB
Hey pumpkin, what’re you gonna get wrong?

ELIZABETH
I don’t know how to do this music history stuff. I tried to ask Mommy, but she’s—

RON
On the phone again. I see that.

MELISSA
Hey Michele—hold on just a minute. It’s gettin’ way too loud in here and I can’t hear. (she walks off stage, through the audience, chatting all the way) There, that’s much better. So, what’d you hear about the choir director? I really want to hear this…

ELIZABETH
(watches Melissa leave, then looks up at Rob) Daddy?

ROB
Yes, pumpkin?

ELIZABETH
Why does Mommy always talk so much on the phone?

ROB
Now that’s an excellent question; actually one I’ve been struggling to answer myself for several weeks.

ELIZABETH
Is it because she doesn’t love me? This is all my fault? (tears up)

ROB
(steps over and holds Elizabeth sideways) Oh, no honey—there’s no way that this your fault.

ELIZABETH
Why won’t she help me with this? She made me take all this music stuff.

ROB
She’s been apparently too busy—too busy worrying about everyone else and what they are doing or not doing… This is a spiritual battle.

ELIZABETH
You mean like in Ephesians? (reaches for a book—a Bible—on the table, and opens it) Let’s see, Ephesians, Chapter 6. Verses 1 through 20 are our memory verses for this Quarter.

ROB
Can I please see that?

ELIZABETH
Sure (hands Rob the Bible, opened to Ephesians 6)

ROB
(reads Verse 10) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

ROB AND ELIZABETH
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

ELIZABETH
See, I AM learning it!

ROB
I see that. (rubs his chin, thinking for a moment)

ELIZABETH
What are you thinking, daddy?

ROB
I’m thinking that this gossiping has to stop, and stop now. It can have no place in this house and certainly not in the Lord’s house. (pulls out a cell phone, and presses it a few times and put it to his ear.)

ELIZABETH
Therefore, put on the whole armor of God...

ROB
Exactly. (pauses) Melissa?

(Melissa enters from the back, walking through the audience toward the stage)

MELISSA
Yes Rob? I’m on the other line.

ROB
I know. You’ve been talkin’ now for over 3 hours.

MELISSA
Oh, I didn’t realize it was gettin’ that late.

ROB
Please hang up and come back to us. (pauses, then almost whispers) Lord, please help me to speak the truth in love.

ELIZABETH
(whispers) Amen.

MELISSA
Okay. (pauses) Michele? Yeah, I gotta run. Didn’t realize the time (nervously laughs) Okay, I love you, too. (walks back on stage) What’s goin’ on?

ROB
It appears we have a problem.

MELISSA
We, meaning me?

ROB
No, we, meaning us. Here, I want you to read this. (hands Melissa the Bible, still open to Ephesians Chapter 6). Look especially at Verse 19.

MELISSA
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak—

ROB
Can you honestly say that the conversation you just had would please God?

MELISSA
Honestly? No…
I’m so sorry.



+++

Reference:
Ephesians 6:1-20 (NIV)
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)


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Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Nielsen 11/28/10
Interesting play.I really like to see them performed. Still remember seeing 'The Crucible' live.
For this one however, I felt the ending a tad forced. Don't worry though It's just my opinion and my last story had a similar problem.
Lollie Hofer 11/29/10
Good drama. I could see it taking place on stage. The ending was a little rushed perhaps but still a good message.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/10
I really enjoyed this especially the part where the little girl comes up with the answer. Often are children can be the wisest in the house, but sometimes parents don't have time to listen.

The ending seemed kind of sudden. Maybe if she had argued a bit before having her epiphany, but I know how the word count can often make a sudden ending necessary.

This is a great message and would be a great skit to do in church, many of all ages could learn from it. Nice job.