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Summary: This skit takes a look at how the birth of Jesus may have looked if it had occurred in the modern southern hemisphere summer.  Keywords:
Style: Lighthearted style. Duration :35 to 45 minutes.
Actors: N, 5M, 2F.

Characters
God (voice only)
Singers (mic- used off stage]
Gabrielle [lapel mic – to share with hotel owner]
Mary [lapel mic]
Joseph [lapel mic]
Hotel owner [lapel mic – to share with Gabrielle]
Mother In law [hand held – to share with father]
Father In law [hand held to share with Mother In Law]
Narrator

Script

NARRATOR:

Did you ever wonder how the birth of Christ would have unfolded if it had occurred in the New Millennium? Meet Mary and Joseph. Both from conservative families, concerned with tradition and family values. How would Mary have reacted? How would Joseph have reacted about his fiancée being pregnant? What about Joseph’s parents? Let’s take a look. 

Scene 1: Gabrielle the archangel is sitting at a desk, reading a file. He is only partially reading the file as he listens to “Snoopy’s Christmas” on the radio.  

Scene Props: Black back drop, desk, chair, file, tape recorder, “Snoopy’s Christma”s soundtrack. 

God:           Hmmm Hmmm! 

[Gabrielle carries on listening to the song, humming along] 

           Hmmm Hmmm!… [sharply] Gabrielle. 

Gab:           [Startled] Oh! umm…sorry…I was elsewhere. 

God:           Yes…I know. Why are you still here Gabrielle? 

Gab:     I’m just trying to get the facts right on this before I head off and get beat over the head with a bat.  

God:           Trust me Gabrielle, it won’t happen. 

Gab:     [Pausing and taking in what God just said] Yeah I know. I just can’t help but think that they may not take the news all that well. From what I’ve read about Joe, well, he’s pretty conservative, likes to do things by the book. This could create some tension. 

God:     If you do it right, then you don’t need to worry. Say to Joseph “Joseph descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son and you will name him Jesus - because he will save his people from their sins.” In saying this he will remain faithful to Mary; he is a good man and will want to save face. 

Gab:     You know best. [Gabrielle starts to write down what God has just said]. 

God:     Yes I do. [Pause, Gabrielle remains sitting] Shouldn’t you be on your way? 

Gab:     [Hesitantly] Yeah, sure, of course [Gabrielle exits]. 

[lights down and stage set up]. 

Scene 2: Gabrielle appears to Mary. Mary is sitting down reading a book and doesn’t notice that Gabrielle has just appeared behind her. Gabrielle peers over her shoulder. 

Scene Props: Black backdrop, chair and magazine/book. 

Gab:           [Hesitantly] Hi 

Mary:     [Jumps with fright] Don’t you knock…who are you? More to the point how did you get in here?

Gab:     I am Gabrielle, an angel of the Sovereign Lord. Please don’t be afraid. I have been sent by God to tell you that you are pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 

Mary:     [In disbelief] You’ve got to be kidding me. Me pregnant, yeah right! 

Gabrielle:     It’s true Mary. You really are pregnant! 

Mary:     [Stunned] I am sure that will make Joseph happy, not to mention my parents, oh and how could I forget his parents. Like they already think I am wonderful, not! 

Gab:     I know it’s a tough concept to grasp, but I am sure God will prepare their hearts like he is preparing yours. You are to name the child Jesus, as he will save mankind.  

Mary:     [Still trying to come to grips with what is happening] Right! I guess that is one job taken care of. 

Gab:     Good, one down. 

[Gabrielle exits. Mary is left staring into space trying to understand what is happening].  

SONG: 

Scene 3: Gabrielle appears to Joseph, who is reading. Joseph doesn’t notice Gabrielle peering over his shoulder as he did with Mary. 

Scene Prop’s: Black backdrop, chair and newspaper. 

Gab:     [Clearing throat] Hmm?

Joseph:     Holy…. 

Gab:     Wow…how did you know?

Joseph:     Know what? 

Gab:     That I was holy?

Joseph:     I didn’t…who are you? What are you doing here? 

Gab:     Ok, from the top. I am an angel of the Most High God, the Sovereign Lord! Don’t hit me…I bruise easy. 

Joseph:     How did you get in here? 

Gab:     God brought me here to prepare the way for him to implement his plan to save mankind.

Joseph:     And I fit into that how? 

Gab:     Your fiancée Mary is pregnant. 

Joseph:     Are you talking about her cousin, is she staying over at her place? I know her home life is hard but… 

Gab:     Wait, wait…boy; you’re a tough nut aren’t you. Mary your fiancée is pregnant. 

Joseph:     [Staring at Gabrielle in disbelief] She’s what? Well, I can hardly marry her now...our families will think this is a disgrace. Who? How? Actually forget the how… 

Gab:     [Gabrielle pulls out a piece of paper and reads from it] Hmm Hmm! “Joseph descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son and you will name him Jesus - because he will save his people from their sins”. 

Joseph:     [Struggling to come to grips with the news] Right then…well…OK

Gab:     [Misinterpreting that he thinks Joseph is OK] Excellent, well my work here is done. Boy this was nowhere near as difficult as what I thought it was going to be. 

[Joseph sits down and stares into space, Gabrielle exits]. 

Joseph:     [Stunned] Mary Pregnant? She’s pregnant? God made Mary pregnant? Mary’s pregnant? This is way too much information for me to take in! 

{Lights down, stage set up} 

{VIDEO-all lights out} Scene 4: Joseph is talking with his parents at his parents house. His parents have been told about the Immaculate Conception, but do not believe. They are trying to talk Joseph out of staying with Mary. Joseph’s parents are sitting down watching TV; there is a knock at the door. Both sit there waiting for the other to get the door. 

Scene Props: To be videoed inside a living room.

Father:     Who is it? 

Mother:     I don’t know. [There is a pause, the doorbell rings again]. Well?

Father:     Well what? 

Mother:     Are you going to get that? It could be someone important. 

Father:      Or it might not be. I got it last time; it’s your turn. 

[Joseph’s mother begrudgingly gets up to answer the door. Father carries on reading his book. Mother and Joseph enter]. 

Father:     Hello there, Son.

Mother:     You see dear, it was someone important, your Son. 

[Joseph and father ignore the comment] 

Father:     So what’s happening in the wide world of carpentry boy? 

Joseph:     [Somewhat distant] Oh you know, same old stuff. Always busy. 

Mother:     So, to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit? Is it washing week again?  

Joseph:     No, actually, there’s something I need to tell you, its quite big news but I need you to hear me out. OK? 

F & M:     OK. 

Joseph:     There’s no easy way to say this, so here goes…Mary’s pregnant, but I’m not the father.  

Mother:     I knew it! I always said to your father that you were too good for that girl. Come here and let me give you a hug. [Joseph resists and mother moves towards].  

Joseph:     Mum…hold on, I haven’t finished. It was an Immaculate Conception.  

Father:     [Not understanding] Now how would you know that? If she’s playing up behind your back, there’s nothing immaculate about it.  

Joseph:     [Getting frustrated] Look, will you both listen and stop jumping to conclusions. An angel of God visited both Mary and I last night at our own places. God has made this happen, Mary is giving birth to God’s son. 

Mother:     Now come on honey, I know its difficult to accept that Mary hasn’t been faithful to you, but to say that sort of stuff, well, that’s just nonsense. I think you need to talk to Mary and tell her that the wedding plans are off.  

Father:     That’s right son, you deserve better. Get rid of her, your mother’s right. Why don’t you come round for tea tomorrow night and meet that nice Helen Green?  

Joseph:     [Defiantly] No. You don’t understand. Mary has remained faithful. She hasn’t been with anyone. We still love each other, and we will get married. You can’t stop us.  

Mother:     We were just trying to give you the benefit of our wisdom and advice, but if you don’t want to take it, well, there will always be a bed here.

 Father:     And we will only say “I told you so” once. It’s important that you learn the error of your ways. This is a big mistake. It will look very bad on the families. Imagine the rumors that will spread around your mothers bridge club. 

Mother:     Funnily enough, your father’s right. The ladies think very highly of you… and me… down there.  This won’t look good.

 Joseph:     I made a promise to God. I said that I would stay with Mary. So that’s that. [Joseph stands up to leave]. I had hoped you’d be a little more understanding, but I guess I was hoping too hard. 

[Joseph walks out. Mother and father look at each other then turn back to carry on reading their books]. 

{Lights down, stage set up} 

Scene 5: We join Mary and Joseph having a discussion about Mary’s pregnancy. They are discussing the best way forward. 

Scene Props: Sitting on a park/garden bench or form. If possible have some pot plants around the bench or form. 

Mary:     So are you beginning to understand now?

Joseph:     Yes. I just find it hard to deal with. 

 Mary:     How do you think everyone else is going to deal with this? I mean, the story isn’t quite normal is it. 

Joseph:     No matter what I still want to get married to you Mary. 

Mary:     I don’t expect you to; I can bring the baby up by myself. 

Joseph:     No, I want to be a part of this child's life, and it doesn’t change the way I feel about you. It wasn’t like you betrayed me. This is history in the making. I want to do the right thing. 

Mary:     Are you sure about this? 

Joseph:     Mary, you know me. You know that I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. I have a plan. We bring the marriage plans forward… get married in a registry office, that way we get to save face in front of the family. 

Mary:     That wasn’t quite how I planned it happening. 

Joseph:     I know, who would have thought Immaculate Conception. 

Mary:     I mean our wedding, one of the biggest days of our lives. Sometimes you are so unromantic. 

Joseph:     Oh right! Sorry, I wasn’t thinking romance and all that. I was just trying to be practical. 

Mary:     I know, and thinking about it, it is probably the most practical thing. Maybe we can do something once the baby is born. This is such a huge thing. I hope we don’t fall short of God’s expectations. 

{Lights down, stage set up} 

SONG:

 

{VIDEO-all lights out} Scene 6: Mary is near full term. Mary and Joseph are traveling on a holiday. They appear lost. The video starts off showing them traveling and going over the same roads, doing u-turns and getting out of the car looking at the map, arguing etc. The backing music is from Benny Hill and the video is sped up at 4.0 times the normal speed. 

Scene Props: Motor vehicle, roadmap, camera, cameraman. 

Mary:           Well, that last turn was certainly a stroke of genius. 

Joseph:           It’s a shortcut. 

Mary:     [In disbelief] Right, just like yesterday’s short cut that added another hour to our trip. Why don’t you ask for directions? 

Joseph:           Why? We aren’t lost. 

Mary:           So where are we then? 

Joseph:            Somewhere on God’s wonderful earth! 

Mary:           Great, so we are lost. 

Joseph:     [Getting frustrated and in a strained voice] Well maybe we should enroll you in map reading 101 before out next trip. 

Mary:     That is no way to speak to the woman who is carrying the Saviour of the world. 

Joseph:     [Talking to her stomach] Jesus cut me a break, can’t you come now to save me at least? 

Mary:     Funny ha ha. 

Joseph:     [Reading the map and trying to get Mary to understand] So, we are here, now we are meant to be there tonight. But seeing as someone forgot to phone through and confirm our motel bookings, which we have now lost, we will have to get in where we can. 

Mary:     And you think we will get accommodation just like that. 

Joseph:     Will you stop raining on my parade just for once? 

Mary:     I’m hot…I’m tired…oh and did I mention I’m pregnant, my back hurts and I want to get this baby out of me…for 9 months I think I have been pretty patient. 

Joseph:     Look I know how you feel 

Mary:     I don’t think you do. 

Joseph:     In that case just pretend I do…look I’m tired and hungry ok. Let’s give this plan a shot ok. 

Mary:     OK! I’m sorry for being so grumpy. I know it reminds you of my mother. I will try and change. Ok honey? 

Joseph:     Sure. So let’s get going then. 

{Lights down, stage set up} 

SONG:

 

Scene 7: Mary and Joseph arrive at the last hotel looking for accommodation. They enter dejected. The hotel owner is talking to a client on the telephone.

 

Scene Props: Reservation’s desk, sidewall representing a wall/entranceway, brochures of whale watching, reservations book, telephone

 

Hotel:     [On the telephone] Yes sir. The luxury spa is working, but unfortunately since you are not booking more than 6 months in advance and are not staying for a period exceeding 8 continuous days the luxury spa is excluded from the package. [Hangs up phone] Clients…such high expectations! [Laughing lightly]

 

Joseph:     [Tiredly] Hi… Joseph, Mary, [pointing to Mary’s stomach] Saviour of the free world. Any chance of accommodation for the night?

 

Hotel:     Just one moment? Are you looking for a double, single…or penthouse suite?

 

Joseph:     You have a penthouse suite?

 

Hotel:     No sir…just a little holiday humor [Laughing at his own joke]

 

Joseph:     Right…how could I miss that? Any room will be fine, just so long as my wife can rest.

 

Hotel:     Right, well in case you didn’t notice we have our ‘No Vacancy’ sign out, that means ‘No Vacancy’.

 

Mary:     [Impatiently and strained] Listen buddy…I don’t have time for your little games. Now, lets start again. We have been traveling all day, I am tired, hot, worn out and very, very pregnant… in case you hadn’t taken time to notice. Now…do you have any where that we can rest?

 

Hotel:     Anywhere?

 

M & J:     Anywhere.

 

Hotel:     Just one moment. [disappears out the back for about 10-20 seconds. Mary & Joseph read a couple of brochures]

 

Joseph:     [looking at a travel brochure] Oh look, whale watching…only a short 6 ½ trip from here. I wonder what a long 6 ½ trip is?

 

Mary:     [sarcastically] Travelling with you! [Joseph glares but doesn’t get a chance to reply as the hotel manager enters]

 

Hotel:     Well there is one place, but I wouldn’t recommend it really….its away in a manger, in the loft out back. It is secure and was used as a sleepout some years ago but…

 

Mary:     We’ll take it.

 

Hotel:     Look, I don’t think it’s a good idea, we’ve had some animals there.

 

Joseph:     You heard the woman…we’ll take it, don’t argue with her, you won’t win…trust me I’ve tried. I’ll sleep in the car if I have to. [Speaking to himself] Holy night!

 

Hotel:     OK, in that case please take it with our compliments free of charge…and here is your complimentary milk.

 

Mary:     Gee thanks!

 

[Mary takes the milk somewhat bemused and leaves it behind. They exit. The hotel owner carries on thumbing through his reservation book]

 

{Lights down, stage set up}

 

SONG

 

Scene 8: We join Mary and Joseph in the loft.

 

Scene Props: Sleeping bags, back pack, mattress

 

Mary:     I suppose it could be worse.

 

Joseph:     Really…I don’t see how. [Pause] I’m sorry. I should have listened to you. I feel like such a failure. This trip is turning into a compete disaster and its all my fault. I’m sorry I snapped at you earlier. I should have stuck to the main road. You’re my wife and you deserve better.

 

Mary:     Oh Joe! You are so good to me. I am so lucky to [Screaming] HAVE….

 

Joseph:     [Going into panic] What? What? What’s happening?

 

Mary:     Baby

 

Joseph:     Yes my dear?

 

Mary:      No…you [Screaming with the contraction] knucklehead! Baby! I’m having the baby!

 

Joseph:     Oh no! [Flustered] I know! Breathe! [Joseph breathes short breathes] Now you. I should have paid more attention in the Lamaze class. [Yelling off stage] HELP! Hot towels? Cold towels? Someone? Is there a doctor in the… wherever we are?

 

Mary:     [Screaming with the contraction] Oh sweet mercy! Joseph! Get here now! [Joseph comes running over. Mary grabs his hand and squeezes it hard]

 

Joseph:     [Screaming and writhing to the ground as his hand gets squeezed hard] Yes dear. Sweet Mary. Sweet Mary [Screaming as Mary squeezes his hand hard] SWEET MARY. Hurry up and have the baby. [Mary lets go]

                 Right…hang on I’ll be right back.

 

Mary:     [Screaming with the contraction] Oh sweet mercy! Joseph! Back here now! [Joseph comes running over. Mary grabs his hand and squeezes it hard]

 

Joseph:     [Screaming and writhing to the ground as his hand gets squeezed hard] Sorry dear. Sweet Mary, Sweet Mary [Screaming as Mary squeezes his hand hard again] SWEET MARY! Owwww!.

 

End of scene.

 

{Lights down, stage set up}

 

SONG:

 

Scene 9: We join Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus has been born. Mary and Joseph are making baby noises.

 

Scene Props: Mattress, sleeping bags, towels, baby.

 

Joseph:     You think he understands?

 

Mary:     Who cares, he’s so beautiful. He looks nothing like you, but then why would he? He is God’s gift to the world. This is the day the scriptures talked about, the Saviour of the world.

 

Joseph:     I think that was a compliment. Never mind. Let’s hope he doesn’t get your mother’s personality and sense of humor. [There is a knock on the door].

 

Hotel:     [holding a small carton of milk] More milk?

 

[There is another knock on the door, the hotel owner opens the door, Joseph’s parents enter].

 

Mother:     [Speaking as a disbelief] Well? Where’s the miracle child?

 

Joseph:     Here he is. He is beauti…

 

Father:     He looks no different. Doesn’t look like a miracle child to me at all! He looks like a regular baby boy…a carpenter in the making eh Joe? 

Mother:     And its like I suspected, he looks nothing like either of you. Makes you think doesn’t it. But he is ever so cute! Coochy, coochy, coo! Boo! 

Hotel:     I must say he looks like he’ll be a tough young lad. You’ll have to let me know how he goes in this world.

 Joseph:     I am sure you will hear plenty about him, after all this is God’s gift to the world. 

THE END

 

© Mark Peterson 2004. All rights reserved. This script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He/she may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..com