Striking Out

  • Cast Number: 26
  • Run-time: 80 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 15:11-32

An excellent script based on the Parable of the Lost Son, all about the father heart of God
Forgiveness
Written by Nigel Camac. For more information on the author click here.

Please contact the author for additional information, nigeandsue@internode.on.net

NOTE: some of the dialog is written from unique Australian perspective so when performed in other countries may require some adaptation, we suggest you consult with the author.

Cast 26
* With the exception of the central characters, an actor could take on multiple parts. For example, one actor could be part of the crowd at the party, a trader in the marketplace and a passerby at the end.

Set
This play contains a number of different scenes. Rather unique to this play is the fact that in parts of the second half it utilizes the audience space, so that theatre is happening all around. What is used for the set will largely depend upon the producer setting realistic expectations for what time, money and talent permit. 3 backdrops would be required. One depicting a county setting with a house in the foreground on the left hand side. A second backdrop showing a city scene (with tavern in the background). One further backdrop would also be useful for Act 4, Scene 1 with images like you may see if you went to the ballet.

Costumes
Space does not permit me outlining what each character should wear. But a few pointers may be handy.
I think the Traveller (Phil) should be dressed in wild, colourful clothes to lighten the moment.
There needs to be a special jacket made up for Jeremy that has the family logo on it. Maybe Craig could be wearing an identical one at the party.
Jeremy must be seen to change significantly when he gets to the city and is transformed in Act 3 Scene2.
The jacket that Jeremy gets from Kyle needs to be specially made, and held together with Velcro so that it can be ripped apart in Act 4 Scene 3.
Near the end Jeremy needs a set of putrid, (very smelly) tattered clothes to show the state that he is now in.
Whisperer first appears in smart business suit, but at the end of the play he is seen in his true colours of drab black.

Sound
There are 5 songs. I have some lyrics written but not the music. Lyrics are attached at the end of this script. Musical backing for Act 3 Scene 2 is needed. It should be a light, bubbly, fairground style. The following scene (Act 3 Scene 3) is also mimed and could feature the same music which becomes ‘darker’ as the scene progresses. By ‘darker’ I mean, discordant and in a minor key and with the melody breaking down. This would help the audience to understand the degradation that Jeremy is undergoing.

Lighting
Roving spot
Coloured lighting to add effect.
Dimmer lights on stage to give the impression of Jeremy getting closer to the city and also of coming day. The lights could gradually illuminate the backdrop.


Last word Following the production, someone could use the opportunity for evangelism by giving a short talk, linking the play with the Father heart of God, and His desire that we all should know Him. Another possible idea could be to include all the audience in a celebration party.

Acts of the play

Act 1 Scene 1 At home
Act 1 Scene 2 A traveller calls

Act 2 Scene 1 Birthday preparations
Act 2 Scene 2 A birthday surprise
Act 2 Scene 3 Farewell

Act 3 Scene 1 Friendship
Act 3 Scene 2 Transformation
Act 3 Scene 3 A new life

Act 4 Scene 1 Father goes abroad
Act 4 Scene 2 The high life
Act 4 Scene 3 Betrayal

Act 5 Scene 1 Bottom of the barrel
Act 5 Scene 2 Return

Songs included in the play

Act 1 Scene 1 Jeremy longs for life away from home
Act 2 Scene 3 Father is pained at Jeremy’s departure
Act 4 Scene 2 Jeremy is victorious
Act 5 Scene 2 Jeremy repents
Act 5 Scene 2 Father re-affirms his love for Jeremy

In Act 3 Scene 2 and Act 3 Scene 3, background music is played as described in previous section under ‘Sound’

Sample of Script

Act 1 Scene 1 : At home

Jeremy and Craig enter, worn out after hard work, their shirts drenched in sweat. They are building a timber fence across the stage. Craig is passing timber to Jeremy and holding it in place while Jeremy secures it with his battery drill.

Craig ….so we followed that old track out past the dam. Man, it was rough as….jagged rocks and tree stumps, everything was just covered in bulldust by the time we got back. You’d have loved it Jerry!

Jeremy Yeh (Halfhearted)

Craig (Stops working and leans on some timber) Just … “yeh”?

Jeremy Just seen enough old tracks to last me for good. (Frustrated by the delay) Come on, I don’t wanna be out here any longer than I have to!

Craig What’s up your nose?

Jeremy Snot.

Craig Seriously.

Jeremy Look, I’ve had a guts-full of this empty place. It’s just endless dust and back-breaking work.

Craig But it’s all good. We work for Dad and we got everything we need. It’s all here.

Jeremy All cosy in our little nest!

Craig Thinking of flying the coop? (Jeremy looks along a length of timber as if to check how straight it is) Jerry?

Jeremy I dunno. Can we just finish, we’re nearly there!

Craig As you wish. (They put the timber in the fence) There. That’s the last repair on the western boundary. Come on, let’s go; Dad’ll be stoked. (He begins to pack up)

Jeremy You go….I’ll catch up. Just need some time.

Craig Well, OK. Hey, (Craig lightly punches his arm) We got it good here Jerry. Don’t forget it. (Craig picks up a few tools and walks off stage).

Jeremy (Jeremy is leaning up against the fence which he jumps and moves towards the audience during the speech) He just don’t get it! I wanna know what’s out there…beyond these paddocks, that’s all. Like….hey bro, there’s a bigger world out there!

{Jeremy sings of longing to see the world}

Jeremy (After the song, he looks around him at the painfully familiar) S’pose Dad’ll be looking for me.

(Saunters off stage)

(Curtain)

Act 1 Scene 2 : A traveller calls

Jeremy and Craig are sitting on the porch in the cool of the evening. The traveller is lighthearted and provides the audience with comic relief.

Jeremy Reckon the drought’s worsening.

Craig I’ve never seen the water so low.

Jeremy It’s a worry.

Craig Can’t do much but wait it out I s’pose

(Father enters carrying a tray of drinks)

Father Drink up. (He grabs one for himself and walks to the edge of the verandah)

Both sons Thanks / Thanks Dad

Father Still talking weather?

Both sons Yeh

Father No need to worry. We’ve had it rough before now. There’s plenty. Have a bit of faith. (They seem consoled)
Great work on the fence today.

Craig Yeh, we sure sweated it!

Father Look…..we’re way ahead of schedule. Why don’t you both take a few days off? Chance to relax.

Both sons That’d be great! / Sure!

Father Think of it as an early birthday present Jerry. (He ruffles Jeremy’s hair and walks inside)

(Loud coo-eee is heard)

Jeremy What was that?

Craig Someone coming.

Traveller Anyone here?

Jeremy Who’s there? (He gets up and walks to the middle of the stage, peering ahead)

Traveller You don’t recognise me? (Traveller enters stage right) Has it been that long?

Jeremy It’s ol’ Phil! He’s back! (He walks over and vigorously shakes his hand. Craig follows, less enthusiastically)

Craig It’s been a while. Where’ve you been?

Traveller Most everywhere! Where haven’t I been is a shorter list.

Jeremy (Awestruck) Come on then, out with it!

Traveller As luck has it, I do have some artifacts and souveniers. (He swings his bag off his back) Interested?

Jeremy You betcha! (They return to the porch)

(Phil stands away from the others to do the presentation of his travels)

Traveller (Handing around pictures)
I’ve climbed craggy mountain peaks,
Crossed seas to strange new lands,
I’ve followed adventure where it led,
Grabbed life with both my hands.

(Animated as if remembering)
Had luxuries beyond my dreams,
Seen wealth you can’t compare,
Like soaring mansions, flashy cars,
Things stunning, old and rare.

(Digs into his bag)
And as for nifty gadgets lads,
I’ve so much high tech gear,
This flashy watch, this mobile phone,
That plugs into your ear.

And wait till you see what’s up next…..

(Phil stops talking as he watches Jeremy walk away from the verandah)

Traveller You seen enough?

Jeremy Yeh, yeh, you keep going.

(Phil and Craig quietly converse in the background)

Jeremy (To no-one in particular) If only I had the guts to leave here! I see it all so clearly….striking out on my own to face my destiny! But…but it’s just a dream! (He falls to his knees with his head in his hands)

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