Humble Compassion

  • Cast Number: 17
  • Run-time: 60 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 1:46-55
A Christmas stage production is falling apart due to egos and lack of unity. Seems even a message of Christmas can become a source of bickering. The cast, who play everyone from the obnoxious Herod to the sweet Mary, show their humaness as feelings are hurt and competitive forces seek to destroy the relationship between the actors.
Includes an original song, "Humby Yours", the sheet music for which is included in the script.

Bible Reference: Luke 1:46-55
Esther

Cast: 17 speaking, any number of non-speaking
Director – Jane
Stage Manager – Wanda
Techie – Karl
Mary – Mary
Moira – leading lady, stuffy, egotistical
Elizabeth
Zechariah
Joseph, husband of Mary
Innkeeper’s wife
Herod
Simeon
3 Shepherds
3 Angels

Set: blank

Costumes: likely traditional for Biblical characters

Sample of script:

all actors except Moira, Karl and Mary are on stage as lights come up

Jane: All right, places everyone, we start at line 325. Wanda, do you have the costumes available for walk-through?

Wanda: No I do not! Miss Super Star had a light blown above her dressing table that simply had to be replaced.

Jane: A light? Moira, that is not your job! Why do we have a lighting person on staff?

Wanda: Perhaps you forgot. Madam Moira ordered Karl out of her dressing room and she throws a tizzy-fit if he is within fifty feet of her at any time.

Jane: When is everyone going to get their minds around the fact that creative people can be high-strung, perhaps somewhat temperamental? You of all people, a stage manager, surely you realize that sometimes artistic people require white glove treatment!

Wanda: Sorry, I had to take my white gloves off to change her creative light bulb.

Jane: Wanda, wake up! This show opens in two weeks. The show is built around Moira, and whether you like it or not, she is the leading actor, she is the star. Without her there is no show. Do I make myself clear?

Wanda: Perfectly clear! Just as clear as the fact that Moira is causing problems throughout the cast and crew. Unless you do something about her attitude you might well make it to opening night with a happy Moira and no one else around here.

Jane: Read my lips! Moira is the star. Whatever Moira wants, Moira gets. Can you handle that logic? The concept is not really all that difficult!

Wanda: What’s not difficult is understanding where this is going to lead us. “The Magnificat” is an incredibly good play, it has so much to offer. But the pettiness and the rivalries that are going on are destroying the production. Jane, I know you are the director, I know you are the boss but . . .

Karl and Mary come on stage, react uncomfortably to what is happening

Jane, to Wanda, very arrogant: Who said you couldn’t grab hold of a concept Wanda? Yes, I am the boss. And last I looked at the depth chart, you report to me. Now then, let’s get this straight, once and for all. Don’t tell me what is wrong with the star of this show. Don’t moan about her attitude, the fact that some people feel intimidated by her. They should be intimidated. The woman, Moira Michaels, is a legend. People will flock to the show, just to see her.Or perhaps you suggest that we can Moira and put in the understudy, what’s her name?

Wanda: It’s Mary. And no, I don’t suggest Mary should replace Moira. It’s just that . . .

Jane: What now? I assume you have another person ready to step in and play the lead role in The Magnificat? Solid actor, wonderful voice, great singer, right?
(pauses, looks at Wanda)
Well, do you have someone in mind?

Wanda: No, no one in mind.

Jane: Then my guess is you will want to turn your inventive mind to ways of keeping Moira happy and productive until the final curtain call.Am I correct?
(pause)
I said, am I correct?Or are you offering your resignation as stage manager for this production? Let’s get one thing crystal clear: if I am faced with a choice of needing to find a new lead actor or a new stage manager, which one would you guess would be my preference?

Wanda: I believe in the performance. I will do my best.

Jane: Your best? I don’t want your best! I want you to make it happen! No matter what, or who, has to change!

Wanda: It will be done.

Jane, sarcastically:You simply have no idea of the joy that floods my heart to hear you say that.Now just do it!

Jane stomps off stage

Karl: Someone run after her, I think she left her broom behind.

Mary: I am so sorry Wanda, I know how unfair those comments are. That must hurt a lot.

Wanda: I should have listened to my mom, she wanted me to go for a low stress job, like a brain surgeon.

Karl: It was all my fault. I shouldn’t have reacted when Super Star chewed me out for living.

Moira comes on stage, reacts to Karl’s comments

Moira: Jane! Where is that director! Jane, this minute!

Jane comes on stage

Moira: Jane, I have a job for you!

Jane: Yes, Moira, how’s my favorite star?

Moira: Cut the malarkey Jane. I am your only star and you know that full well.

Jane: What can I do for you?

Moira: I want you to haul out the trash.

Jane: Haul out what trash, I don’t understand.

Moira, points to Karl:Him! The one supposedly in charge of all things technical. The only thing bright about him is the lights that shine on him, and he doesn’t have the sense to know whether they are on or off.

Jane: Moira, slow down, Karl is . . .

Moira: . . . he is an imbecile, that’s what he is! I told you he was to be fired, out of here. As director can’t you even handle such an elementary task? Now get rid of him immediately!

Jane: Moira, Karl is needed here, he is a professional. We can’t run this production without him, he stays . . . .

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