Style: Light-hearted. Duration: Approx. 15 minutes
Actors: Eight, of any age or gender.
Characters (Part one): Mandie, Harry, Lilly, Bryan, Samantha, Kate, Dan, Michael
Characters (Part two): Coach, Lefty, Dash, Sly, Snatch, Baby Ruth, Hank Aaron, Snoopy.
Setting (Part one): A church meeting – seated in a circle of chairs, with some room for acting. (Part two): At a baseball game, in the dugout.
PART ONE: In search of a skit
(Actors sit in a semi-circle as though in a meeting, facing the audience.)
Mandie: So, does anyone have any ideas for a skit to perform for the Minister’s Appreciation Dinner?
Harry: When is it again?
Lilly: Actually, I came up with a good one.
Mandie: Really? Did you bring a script?
Lilly: Well, no, but I have an idea.
Bryan: What is it?
Mandie: Umm… okay. Ties. Can you give me a little more detail?
Lilly: Long ties, short ties, bow ties, string ties, striped ties, polka-dot ties —
Mandie: Forget I asked. Did anyone else come up with an idea?
Harry: How about a potluck? You know, with food! We could have everyone bring something to share, and —
Mandie: No, I mean for a skit.
Mandie: Okay, so let’s try to come up with a skit that has something to do with our minister.
Bryan: Well, what do we know about him?
Harry: He eats, sleeps, he has two eyes, two ears….
Kate: No, no! Something a little more… special.
Lilly: He wears a tie.
Harry: Two feet, two knees, two hands, two heads –
Lilly: He likes ties…
Bryan: He knows how to drive…
Michael: He preaches on Sundays…
Lilly: What about ties?
Dan: He dresses up in a suit on Sundays …
All: (at once) Ties!
Lilly: (sarcastic) Now why didn’t I think of that?
Samantha: Okay, something about a tie (writes down). What color?
Michael: Purple polka dot.
Bryan: Purple polka dot? Nobody wears a purple polka dot tie!
Kate: You can’t have a green tie! It clashes with the church carpet!
Dan: Green. Lime green.
Kate: But green clashes with —
(At the same time):
All: Glurple That’s it!
Samantha: (writing) okay, so we’ve got a preacher with a glurple tie…
Bryan: and a red and white suit…
Kate: With matching carpet.
Samantha: (writing) … okay. Got it. (holds out notes, grimaces.) Maybe we should just send a card (crumples paper and throws it over her shoulder)
Samantha: Actually, I have something I thought would be appropriate…
(Samantha gets up and starts walking around aimlessly)
Second person: (walks up) What are you doing?
First person: Shhh! Follow me. (Second person quietly falls in behind first person.)
(One by one, the rest of the actors walk up and ask what they’re doing. Each are told to be quiet and follow. The leader continues to walk around aimlessly)
Last person: What’s going on?
All: (loudly) Shhh! Follow!
Last Person: (follows for a while, then stops.) You know, we’re not getting anywhere.
All: (Stop. They look at each other, shaking heads, shrugging) Where are we going? We’re not going anywhere, etc.
First person (Samantha): (thoughtful) You know, it’s been like that all day. (wait for laughter, then everyone returns to the discussion circle)
Dan: I don’t get it. What does that have to do with Minister Appreciation Sunday?
Samantha: (looks confused) Well, I… It’s obvious, don’t you see? (long pause, then she explains as if making it up on the spot) The first person is the leader… he’s following… uh, following God, and …. the others are following his example.
Dan: But they weren’t getting anywhere!
Samantha: Like I said, it’s a completely ridiculous skit. Whose idea was that, anyway? (looks around accusingly)
Kate: Well, if you really want to do a skit about a leader, I think I’ve got something that might work.
Mandie: (looks at watch) We’ve got thirty seconds ‘til we’re up for our skit.
Harry: Perfect! Let’s do it.
Kate: But you haven’t even heard my idea yet!
All: (They pull her along) That’s okay, we’ll do it. Let’s go! (etc.)
(they go offstage to grab props for part two)
PART TWO: Just Like Teamwork
(Everyone marches in like soldiers, following coach)
Coach: Halt! Attention! (all stop, stand at attention) Present arms! (they hold out baseball mitts, bats) Stand at ease. (they all stand with legs apart, hands behind their backs) No really, at ease. (They relax, slouch, lean on each other.)
Coach: Okay, boys. This is it. Prepare for battle. We play the big boys tonight, and it’s going to take a mighty show of teamwork to beat them. What do you say? (loud cheers, shouts, hold up baseball equipment.)
Lefty: Yes sir, coach sir!
Coach: Take that bat and hit us home! No strikes, you hear?
Lefty: Strike, sir? What’s that?
Coach: That’s the spirit! Dash, I want you to take what you can get, and turn it into a grand slam.
Dash: They won’t even see me rounding those bases, sir.
Coach: Sly, what are you going to do when you’re up on that pitcher’s mound?
Sly: I’m going to keep them guessing, sir. They’ll never know what hit them.
Coach: Now Sly, you know we can’t win by giving the other team concussions.
Sly: Awww, man! (tosses hat on the ground)
Coach: Snatch, I want you to be right on top of every fly ball.
Snatch: How about underneath every fly ball? It seems to work better that way.
Coach: You know what works best out there; do it. The rest of you — Baby Ruth, (yes sir!) Hank Aaron, (yes, sir?) Snoopy (sir!) — just get out there and do your thing.
Baby Ruth: Will do
Hank Aaron: Right behind you, sir
Snoopy: Yes, sir! Woof!
Coach: Let’s go then!
All: (put hands in the middle) GOoooo team!!
Coach: Let’s play ball! (coach turns and walks out. Baseball players sit down on the bench)
Dash: Well, that was encouraging. Good pep talk.
Snatch: This is going to be a good game, I can tell. (settles down to watch)
Snoopy: Hey, anybody up for a game of old maid?
Hank: Heck yes!
Lefty: Hey, no swearing! No spitting, either. We’re in the church.
Hank: Can I chew?
Lefty: Only food.
Snoopy: Speaking of food, did anyone bring popcorn?
Snatch: You mean peanuts and crackerjacks?
Sly: A hot dog sounds good to me. Anybody else?
All: yes, I do, get me one, too! (etc.)
Sly: Here, take up a collection, and I’ll go buy us a mess of dogs. (he takes off his cap and passes it around as everyone puts a dollar in. He leaves. Snoopy pulls out a deck of cards and starts dealing)
Hank: I love Old Maid!
Baby Ruth: I want to play Go Fish.
Hank: Old Maid.
Baby Ruth: Go Fish!
Hank: Old Maid!
Baby Ruth: Old Fish!
Hank: Go Maid!
Lefty: Cut it out, guys. Our coach is out there defeating the other team for us – the least we can do is live in peace and unity here in the dugout.
Hank and Baby Ruth: Fine. (The two close their mouths, cross their arms and glare at each other. Snoopy finishes dealing, picks up his cards and smiles expectantly at Hank and Baby Ruth, oblivious that there was an argument.)
Sly: (returns) Sorry guys, they were clean out of hot dogs.
Sly: But they did have some gum left! (Cheers and shouts. Sly passes out the gum.)
Coach: (returns, dragging his bat, looking tired)
Snoopy: Look! There he is! (Everyone drops what they’re doing and stands up to greet the coach)
Snatch: Three cheers for the coach!
All: (in unison) Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
Lefty: (gives a fourth “hurrah!”)
Snatch: You’re doing great out there!
Dash: Hey, that was a nice hit you got a while back. You almost made it to first base!
Hank: Don’t be discouraged. We’ll beat them in the end.
Lefty: Man, you’re the best coach we’ve ever had — and a multi-tasker to boot!
Sly: I was especially impressed with the way you got the ball back in the game. I know it’s got to be tough playing second base and outfielder … at the same time. Keep it up!
Baby Ruth: Yeah, get on out there. We’ll be right here if you need anything!
Coach: (discouraged, slightly sarcastic) Thanks, guys. (They pat him on the back and hand him a piece of gum. He slowly walks back out.)
(Baseball players sit back down to their card game or gum chewing. A couple of them stand and stare out as though watching the game.)
Lefty: I’m pretty sure he could have hit that first pitch. It wasn’t that hard.
Sly: He seems to be doing the best he can, though.
Lefty: Yeah, I guess.
Dash: Hey look! The other team’s up. (pause)
Snatch: (shouts) Nice pitch, coach!
Sly: A little slow, I thought.
Baby Ruth: Go fish.
Hank: We’re playing old maid, dummy.
Lefty: Hey, look at him chase that ball! Wow, that’s a long run from the pitcher’s mound!
All: (look up from card game to watch. In unison:) Ooo! (grimace)
Snoopy: That had to hurt.
Baby Ruth: He’s really taking a beating out there, isn’t he?
Snatch: Yeah. We should do something to help.
Hank: Let’s send him a card to encourage him.
Sly: Good idea. I’ll go pick one up. (takes off hat, passes it around again. Before he can leaves, the coach approaches.)
Baby Ruth: Too bad, it looks like he’s giving up.
Coach: (enters, dragging.)
Coach: Look guys, I can’t do this alone. I need your help.
Baby Ruth: We’re right behind you, coach, right where we’ve always been.
Coach: Yeah, well, I think I’m going to need a little something extra from you now.
Sly: (hesitantly holds out his hat with money in it)
Coach: Not that! I need you to get out on that field and play baseball!
All: (look at each other, confused. Quietly to each other:) Play baseball? What’s he talking about? (etc.)
Coach: I need you to pick up your bats and your mitts and get out there and do what we’ve been practising all season to do! (points at Snatch) Snatch!
Snatch: (surprised) Yes sir, coach?
Coach: What’s your excuse for sitting in the dugout?
Snatch: Well, sir, I’m just not comfortable playing the real game yet. I’d like to sit here and take more notes, work on my catch a little more. I don’t think I’m good enough yet.
Coach: Dash! What’s your excuse?
Dash: I just think someone else could do a better job than me. Sure, I can run, but I’m kind of slow when it comes to hitting the little round thing.
Lefty: (holds up his bat) Coach, you know I can’t play with a right-handed bat.
Coach: What do you have to say for yourself, Baby Ruth?
Baby Ruth: I’m waiting for a game worth playing. The finals, maybe. This kind of game… well, it’s just a little below my standards.
Snoopy: I’m a dog! And a guy on the other team said I had a big nose (starts crying).
Coach: Hank, you’re a good hitter. Why aren’t you out there?
Hank: Lately I’ve just been so busy – you know, signing autographs, practising my swing, playing Old Maid, that kind of thing. I just feel like I need some time off, you know?
Coach: You’re our best pitcher, Sly! What’s wrong?
Sly: Well, I… I’m… it’s just…. the other team hits pretty hard, and…. (hesitates) well, honestly, coach, I’m just plain scared.
Coach: Guys, this isn’t a one-man team. It’s going to take every one of us doing our part to beat the other team! I need you to get out there and — (he stops, sighs loudly and hangs his head, too tired for another pep talk). Never mind. (He leaves)
(Players stand quietly, heads down, as he leaves. Long pause.)
Snoopy: (holds up his hand of cards) Go fish, anyone?
All: (shake heads, turn away) No, not me. I’m going with coach. (etc.)
(They follow the coach offstage, leaving Snoopy standing there)
Snoopy: (pause) Hey, wait for me! (Drops cards and runs after the other players)
Copyright Kelsey Berkoff, all rights reserved.