No Strings Attached

By Myke Merrill


A silent skit which mimes a marionette play. The Puppeteer represents Puppeteer, or the world’s influential control. This script uses two dancers to represent humanity, and a clown to represent Jesus Christ, and His power to overcome.

Throughout the early antics of the dancers, at the pull of the puppet master, the Clown is lying on the ground, as if dropped there, with arms outstretched. At the end of the skit, the Clown arises, with his own red ribbons tied to his hands being cut loose, and cuts through the strings holding the dancers. Though they falter at the beginning, they are able to go off, learning new dance steps with the Clown, as the puppeteer is forced to look on angrily.



Puppeteer: All black or all red
Dancer 1 and Dancer 2: Dance outfits or ballerina outfits
Clown: Clown outfit and face paint


A large table (for Puppeteer to stand on) and black cloth visual barrier suspended another three feet above the top of the table top (making the legs and body of Puppeteer not visible to the audience)
Two three foot crossbars, in the shape of a wide 'X' (yardsticks work perfectly, attached by tape or nails at the 18 inch marks)
Elastic string (to go from the four ends of each crossbar and the center point to the puppets’ hands, feet and head)
Two 12' lengths of 1 inch red ribbon (tied on the clown’s hands, hanging down)
A small table near the puppets
A large '1st Place' ribbon or 'Winner' button
A clear bottle or empty beer bottle
A large pair of scissors

The long table should be set parallel to the front of the platform, with the black cloth suspended like a puppet stage immediately in front of it. Puppeteer stands on the table, holding one of the crossbars in each hand to control Dancer 1 and Dancer 2.

The elastic strings should be tied to the wrists and shoe laces, plus to the top of the hair of both Dancer 1 and Dancer 2. The hair tie should attach at the center point of the crossbar, the left hand and foot to their ends of the 'X' and the right hand and foot to the other ends. Lengths of the elastic strings for all these connections will vary with the height of Puppeteer, Dancer 1 and Dancer 2.

Clown is lying on the ground, one knee bend and that foot crossed over the straight leg, as if dropped there. Hands are stretched out, suggestive of the shape of a cross. Red ribbons are tied around C’s hands.

The smaller table is out front, with the '1st Place' ribbon or 'Winner' button, the bottle and the scissors on it.

If the music of 'Tiny Dancers' or some other ballet or dance type music can be played in the background, it would assist in setting the scene. It is not necessary.


The dancers begin slumped on the ground, as marionettes would be if left. The crossbars can be set over the edge of the drape. Puppeteer is not visible for the first few seconds. (If music is used, it can begin the skit’s action.)

Puppeteer stands up on the table top, becoming visible. Puppeteer rubs his hands together, with a wicked grin on his face, and picks up the two crossbars. When Dancer 1 and Dancer 2 feel the strings move, they rise up also, and go through some random arm and leg movements. Every action the dancers do throughout the skit should appear to come from Puppeteer’s moving the crossbars.

Puppeteer begins to move Dancer 1 and Dancer 2 in time to the music, whether it is actually heard or not. Dancer 1 and Dancer 2 should go through some jumps, and toe rises, and ballet or dance moves, without spinning. Puppeteer can make Dancer 1 dance more, while Dancer 2 is passive, and then have Dancer 2 dance more while Dancer 1 is passive. After 20-30 seconds, the dancers bow deeply as if done, and seem to wait for a score.

After a brief pause, both dancers rush for the table to grab the ribbon or button. They fight over getting it, swinging at each other and trying to pull it away. Dancer 1 eventually gets it, and puts it on proudly. Dancer 2 looks very angry and turns away while Dancer 1 pins the ribbon on. Dancer 2 goes to the table and picks up the bottle, takes some swigs from it, eventually stumbling and swaying as if drunk. Dancer 1 can do some championship motions like 'thumbs up' or high 5.

Puppeteer gloats over the actions of Dancer 1 and Dancer 2. At this point, Clown begins to move and get up on his own. Puppeteer looks very concerned about this, and tries to move Dancer 1 and Dancer 2 over to the other side of the stage, away from the Clown.

Dancer 1 and Dancer 2 try to pull off the strings attached to them, but cannot. They reach out toward Clown, but Puppeteer keeps pulling them back, and occasionally they do a small dance step. Once Clown is standing, he puts his arms out to the sides, cross shape, so the red ribbons hang down off his hands. He goes to the table and takes the scissors. Coming up to Dancer 1, he cuts the strings, and Dancer 1 slumps to the ground. Clown goes to Dancer 2 and cuts the strings, and again, Dancer 2 slumps to the ground. Puppeteer is left holding two crossbars with no one attached anymore.

Clown goes to Dancer 1, removes the ribbon or button, and puts it back on the table, then takes the bottle and puts it back on the table. He touches Dancer 1 and Dancer 2, and they rise up and begin to dance, much more gracefully than before. Clown leads them off stage, while Puppeteer continues waving the empty crossbars in the air, as if trying to control someone who is not there anymore.


©1997, Mike Merrill, Strategic Grassroots Ministries
All Rights Reserved
More skits like this are available from: Box 200, Hilton, NY 14468-0200