The Pottery, Pliable

By Glenn A. Hascall


I call this a Mima, a combination Mime/Drama. The mime players represent disobedient clay in the workshop of the Master Potter as narration and music sew the scene together in this visual demonstration of what it means to have clay honor the Potter's wisdom by their obedience.


NARRATOR (off-stage)
At least 5 MIME PLAYERS.


Potter's wheel, pottery vessels, black mime outfits and white face paint, a painted refrigerator box or sturdier prop that the clay and Mime players can enter for a kiln (should be painted with flames and a door).


(SETTING: A potter's shop. The Potter is at the wheel, making a vessel.
NARRATOR:  There once was a potter. He was Master of His craft. He made the most beautiful vases and most usable drinking cups. He shaped the clay with skilled hands. In the blink of an eye a common serving bowl could be transformed into something grand and glorious.
One day the Master left the workshop for a few moments (Walks out leaving the clay on the wheel). That's when something peculiar began to take shape in the Master Potter's shop.
(Mine players are on their knees bent over with their faces on the floor but rise as the Potter leaves the stage - Each mime player holds a different clay vessel)
(One mime player floats around the stage with a pottery cup in hand, then slowly notices the kiln and seems irritably drawn to the flames)
A drinking cup was concerned that the Master Potter may return at any moment and remake it into a less noticeable vessel. Timidly, the vessel ventured closer to the Potter's Kiln. (Mine player walks through the door into the kiln and disappears).
This event was not left unnoticed by the other pottery, still warmed by the touch of the Potter.
(Another mine player floats around the stage and lifts the vase as the kiln seems to capture the attention of the player)
Soon a vase finds the flame an irresistible attraction. "A vase captures the scent of a thousand flowers and provides beauty for the Master's table." It began, "I must hurry if I am to be assured a place of honor at the Master's table." And with that, the little vase lost sight of the Potter's wheel.
This was followed by a bowl and a decorative serving vessel. (three or more mine actors or actresses float in disarray and each disappears in turn into the kiln) Soon every vessel but one became the vessel they had been temporarily shaped into as the flames of the kiln fire hardened them to the Master's touch.
When the Master returned He was saddened to find only one lump of clay remained from the work He had begun. One by one the self-satisfied vessels emerged from the kiln thrilled that they had become what they had always hoped to be. (Master Potter appears sad as the mime players emerge in smiles holding the vessel high in offering to the Master Potter).
The Master Potter rose and took the first vessel and traced the lines that had been lumpen clay not so long ago. Then He did a most peculiar thing - He picked up the last remaining vessel on His wheel and dropped it to the ground. (All the mime actors gather around the back of the vessel) All the other vessels looked on as the bowl became misshapen and seemed beyond repair.
They were suddenly very glad that they had taken it upon themselves to finish the work of the Potter themselves.
With great sadness the Potter took the first vessel He had only recently received and dropped it to the ground as well (Make sure to drop it hard enough to break). The vessel became useless shards on the floor as the other vessels looked on in horror.
The Master Potter gently retrieved the lump of smashed clay and placed it firmly back on His wheel and an even greater vessel emerged. (Sets the soft pottery aside) He then picked up some of the broken pieces of the baked pottery and placed them on the wheel.
It became apparent that there was little that could be done with that vessel.
The Master Potter needed His clay to be pliable. The stubborn refusal of the hardened vessels to submit to His hand made it unfit for the Potter.
Then the Potter spoke..
POTTER: Don't I have the right to fashion (Holds a lump of clay) this clay as I see fit? I make one vessel for practical use and another for its simple beauty. Some may be used for simple chores while others may grace the head table of a banquet hall. How is it possible for the clay to decide what I will do with it. Clay is simply clay, it only become something as it yields to My touch and design. Yet, today we have seen (points to the clay shards) what happens when the clay decides what is best. Please tell me if you can, what use can I find for this vessel now?
(All Mime players have heads bowed in shame as they hold their vessels.)
MIME PLAYER # 1: (Steps forward timidly and looks at the Potter) We are the clay, and You are our Potter, and we all are the work of your hands. Do not be exceedingly angry. (Reference Isaiah 64:8.9)
(All Mime Players smile as they offer their vessels back to the Master Potter who takes them one by one and places them on His work bench as the song "Change My Heart, Oh God" plays and the Mime players respond. The Master Potter should shape new vessels during the song and exchange them for the unyeilding kiln baked clay. In the end the Mime players should return to a kneeling, prostrate position as song ends.)
Copyright 2002 by Glenn A. Hascall.
If you use this script would you please be so kind as to let us know? Email: glenn.hascall<a>