Teen Angel Goes To Nazareth2

  • Cast Number: 17
  • Run-time: 25 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 2

A simple telling of the Christmas story emphasizing how God can (and does) use anybody, no matter how unprepared they think they are. Even Mary, a young woman from the impoverished village of Nazareth; even an awkward teenage angel filling in for Gabriel.
 

Bible Reference:         Luke 2

 

Cast:                Total 17+ speaking parts, plus a narrator if it's performed as a radio play. Minimum of 12 actors (at least 2 female, at least 6 male) if smaller parts are doubled. One character, the Little Angel, is a child, or must at least seem childlike.
Angels: Gabriel, Fred, Little Angel
Shepherds: Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth
Wise Men: Caspar, Melchoir, Balth
Others:            Max the herald, Anne, Mary, Jean, Foreman, Joseph, Villager
Non-speaking crowd
 

Set:                  When this script was first performed at Westminster United Church, Waterloo, Ontario, Christmas 2010, it was done as a radio play — read by actors at microphones, openly using scripts, without action, props or costumes; stage directions were read by a narrator. Full staging would require six scenes (heaven, kitchen, carpentry shop, roadside, pasture, stable), each of which could be suggested very sketchily.

 

Lighting:         standard

 

Sound:             Trumpet blasts
Three songs are suggested, but could be changed or omitted:
The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came, on internet
Away In A Manger, traditional carol
On A Day When Men Were Counted, on internet

 

Costumes:       Something suggestive of villagers, shepherds and wise men; or could be done in plain clothes, apart from the angels, who will at least need haloes, preferably with a glow.

 

Props:              (if fully staged): Broom, carpenters’ tools, trumpet, handkerchief for angel with a head cold, blankets, gifts brought by the wise men.

 

Special Instructions:  
Sepphoris (real city near Nazareth, population 30,000 in Roman times) is pronounced SEP-por-iss.

 

Time:              25 minutes, plus songs if used.

 

Sample of script:            

 

SCENE I: PREPARATION

Fred enters, followed by the Little Angel. Fred is dressed in white and with an angel’s wings, but lacks a halo and also seems to lack self-assurance. The Little Angel has both a halo and, in a five-year-old sort of way, poise.

 

FRED               Testing, testing. One-two-three-four. Glory to God in the highest.

 

LITTLE            Fred? Fred, why did you count to four? I can count all the way to twenty!

 

FRED               Hush! I have to practise my speech!

 

LITTLE            Sorry, Fred.

 

FRED               Glory to God in the highest. The Lord is with you, and — is with you, and you are —

 

LITTLE            Fred? Fred, are you going to wear your halo when you make your speech?

 

FRED               Oh, will you stop interrupting me? I have to practise! And yes, I’m going to wear my halo. It’s going to be all shiny and polished. I’ll be so bright that everybody will have to squint at me like this!

 

LITTLE, laughs:
Fred, you’re funny. Fred, how come you get to make the speech this time? Every other time, when God has a message for somebody, one of the big angels gets to bring it.

 

FRED               Well, now I’m one of the big angels. They picked me because I’m the best. And because Gabriel and Michael and Raphael all have those awful sore throats this week.

 

LITTLE            I think they’ve got the bird flu.

 

FRED               Well, whatever they’ve got, they can’t take God’s message, so I get to do the job instead. And now I have to practise, because today is the big day. I’m on my way right after lunch. Testing, testing. . . .

 

SCENE II: ANNUNCIATION

 

In the kitchen of a small house in Nazareth, a young woman, Mary, is sweeping the floor, while her mother, Anne, clears away the dishes.

 

ANNE              That’s the kitchen all cleaned up. I have some mending to get to, and I suppose you need to work on the clothes for your wedding. Or maybe you’re just going to daydream about Joseph for a while!

 

MARY             Mama, don’t tease me about him so much. Of course I’m excited! He’s the nicest man in the world… and he’s going to be making really good money in a couple of years, with all the construction that the Romans are planning over at Sepphoris.

 

ANNE              Yes, dear… and oh, Mary: soon after that I suppose I’ll be a grandma!

 

MARY             You’re still teasing me. But it’s true, ever since I was a tiny girl I’ve been praying to God to make me a mother some day. So we’ll see.

 

Anne exits, leaving Mary in a daydream — but not for long. Fred appears in the doorway; he has his halo now, polished bright but a little crooked.

 

FRED               Testing — umm — message begins. Glory to God in the highest.
(Mary sees him and gasps in surprise and fear.)
It’s okay, don’t worry. Glory to God — oh, I said that part already. Greetings from heaven to you on earth: you have found favour with God.

 

MARY             Are you really an angel?

 

FRED               Yes, I am, but please don’t interrupt me. It was a hard speech to learn. You have found favour with God, and now here is what is to happen: a baby boy will be born to you, and you will name him Jeshua. He will grow up to be a great man, and will be called the Child of Heaven, and God will give him the crown that once belonged to his ancestor, King David.

 

MARY             How did you know that my family is descended from King David? And so is Joseph’s family, we think.

 

FRED               I work for God, remember. God knows these things. As I was saying: your son, who will be called Jeshua, will rule over the people forever. That is the end of the message I bring you from God. Have a nice day.

 

MARY             Wait a minute! When is this supposed to happen? I’m not even married to Joseph yet. There’s no way I can have a baby.

 

FRED               That doesn’t matter. It’s the Spirit of God that will give you this boy child. Now please don’t ask any more questions. I   have to hurry back and tell the big angels that I delivered the message! (dashes away)

 

MARY, to Fred If that’s what God wants, that’s what I’ll do! Oh, he’s gone. Mama! Mama! Oh, but wait, I have to think about this for a minute. A baby for me, a boy child who will be a King! And I suppose that means I will be a queen. It’s just as amazing as the promises they read out from those scrolls when we go to the temple. God makes wonderful things happen in poor families like ours. Mama, I have to tell you about the message that came with an angel! (runs offstage)

 

MUSIC — SOLO: “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came”

 

SCENE III: COMPLICATION

 

Joseph and fellow-carpenters, one of them the Foreman, work with saw and plane in their shop.

 

FOREMAN      Hey, Joseph, do you want to work some overtime this weekend? I know you need to save up for getting married, and that rush job over at Sepphoris has to be done by next week.

 

JOSEPH           Sure, I can do that. The money will really help.

 

Trumpet-blast, actors move toward the door of shop, Max the Herald arrives

 

MAX                Hear ye, hear ye. Hail, Augustus Caesar, Emperor of the World, and also hail Cyrenius, Governor of Syria, and Herod, King of Judea. A decree from the Emperor! All the people of the world are to be registered, in accordance with the Taxation Act previously announced. All persons are to report to the tax office at their ancestral village within thirty days of this date. Herein fail not, or you don’t want to know what awful things the Emperor will do to you. This ends the decree. Hail Augustus!

 

FOREMAN      More taxes. You’re going to need that overtime, Joseph.

 

JOSEPH           It’s not just the taxes. The problem for me will be going to my ancestral village. I come from the family of David, you know. This is going to mean travelling all the way across the country to Bethlehem, where David came from seven hundred years ago.

 

MAX                Hail Augustus! Here follows Addendum One to the previous decree. All family members are to accompany the head of household in reporting to the ancestral village. Young women old enough for marriage are to travel with their future husbands instead of being a burden on their fathers. Hail Augustus!

 

JOSEPH           Young women old enough — that means Mary is going to have to come with me, cross-country to Bethlehem. She can’t walk that far — I’m going to have to borrow a donkey or something for her to ride. But how am I going to protect her from bandits and dangers like that?

 

FOREMAN      It’s not an easy life with the Emperor in charge. But I’d better not say that too loudly while the herald is around. So I suppose this means you can’t do the overtime hours after all?

 

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