Start Packing

By Jenny Mitchell


An updated version of the Parable of the Talents, set in a modern office.


Matthew 25:14-30.


Williams (the boss)
3 workers (any gender)


(Setting - 4 people working at desks/tables in an office; 3 in one group and one in the other. The telephone rings.)
WilliamsÖ[answers phone] .Hello. (pause) Oh, yes, Mrs. Hagel. (pause). Uh-huh. (pause).Well, yes, I could leave pretty much right away. All I have to do is to assign a few projects to people. Yes, maíam. Iíll get right on it. Your secretary is making my flight reservations? Okay, Iíll be by to pick up the confirmations in, oh, half an hour? Okay. Thanks. Good-bye.
[Williams gets up from desk, straightens it up a bit, and picks up 3 sheets of paper. Williams then walks from his/her office to the other office.]
Williams: May I have your attention please? I just got a call from our boss and they need me in our Cleveland office to take care of some problems they are having with the new contract proposal. I donít know how long Iím going to be gone, but itíll be a while. There were three things I was working on here that I need to assign to people. They are all projects that are near and dear to my heart and a good chance to prove your value to the company. Letís seeÖ Smith, Iíd like you to take this one. [Smith gets up as Williams walks over to give it to him/her and then takes the paper] And Brown, you take this one [the scene repeats with Brown]. Lyons, you can take this one. [Lyons comes over and gets the paper]. Now, when I get back Iíll be looking forward to seeing your proposals. Do your best, and there will be a bonus for each good project. Goodbye!
Smith/Brown/Lyons: Goodbye. Have a nice trip! EtcÖ.
[Williams leaves the stage. The other 3 return to their desks. Smith and Brown immediately get to work, writing on the project paper, making phone calls, etc. Lyons stares at the paper for a while, then slowly sticks it on the bottom on of his/her pile. Lyons returns to work, but much less energetically than the other 2]
(Lights fade, then come back up)
[The 3 are still working at their desks. Williams enters the stage, wearing a coat, and walks through the group office to his/her desk. ]
Smith/Brown/Lyons: Welcome back! Did you have a nice trip! Etc.
[Williams takes off coat and hangs it on chair, then returns to group office]
Willliams: Iíd like to see those proposals now. Smith, letís see yours first. [Smith gets up excitedly, with a big smile and hands the paper to Williams. Williams reads the paper].
Smith: Here you go boss. Iíve done the research, and Iím sure that this proposal will boost our sales by 50%!
Williams [looks up from reading, nodding head and smiling]. Great work Williams! This is very well done. There will be a nice bonus in your next paycheck.
Smith: Thank you, sir/maíam!
Williams: Now letís see yours, Brown.
[Brown gets up, also with a smile, and hands paper to Williams. Williams begins reading it]
Brown: I estimate that if we implement this proposal we can cut our manufacturing costs by 20%.
Williams [looks up from reading, nodding head and smiling]. Very good! I couldnít have done it better myself. Your next paycheck will also have a bit extra in it.
Brown: Wonderful! Thank you.
Williams: Lyons? [Lyons gets up, hesitantly pulls the paper from the bottom of his/her pile and hands it to Williams. Williams looks at it and frowns.] Lyons, what is this? I donít see any proposal here at all.
Lyons: Well, sir/maíam, itís like this. I knew that you wanted the proposal done well, and, well, I was afraid youíd fire me if I messed it up, so I, well, I just didnít do it. I figured it was better not to do it than to do it badly. So you can finish the proposal yourself now that youíre back. Iím sure youíll do a much better job than I would have.
Williams: So you knew Iíd fire you if you messed it up, did you? If I would have fired you for a bad proposal, what do you think Iím going to do for ignoring my instructions? At least you could have asked your co-workers for help! Youíre fired. I want to see your desk clear by the end of the day. Here, Smith, take this proposal and see what you can do with it. Thereíll be another bonus if you do it as well as you did the first one. [Williams hands paper to Smith] What are you just standing there for, Lyons? Start packing!
Copyright Jenny Mitchell, all rights reserved.
This script may be used without royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance to the performance. In return for free use, the author would like to be told of any performance. She may be emailed at