.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

MARTHA NEWHEART LIVING – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        relationships
SCRIPTURE:    Prv.25:6-7; Mt.22:2-14; Lk.14:7-24;
.             1Cor.7:33, 13:3; Jms.4:10
Style:        satire/conversation: Martha Newheart
.             gives advice on how to plan a banquet,
.             and how to be a good host
.             as well as be a good guest
Cast:         MARTHA NEWHEART (try to be as close
.             to Martha Stewart as possible, who
.             talks with a fairly tightly closed jaw,
.             and really emphasizes her “r”s and “t”s
.             while meticulously enunciating
.             using a fairly low voice)
Set & Props:  Bible, guest list, invitation, pen,
.             hostess gift, place card, small table


(MARTHA enters and smiles shyly.)

MARTHA   Good morning.  If you do not know me already,
.        I am Martha Newheart.  In the past,
.        my reputation has been built on planning,
.        preparing and hosting lavish parties
.        for many famous and important people.
.        But after realizing that I needed a new – heart,
.        my approach to everyday living needed to change-

(MARTHA leans forward to make her point.)

MARTHA   therefore my approach towards banquet etiquette
.        has most certainly changed.

(MARTHA stands up straight again, and holds up a Bible.)

MARTHA   When planning any event, whether it is
.        a luncheon, a dinner, or a party,
.        it is good idea to be organized and prepared.
.        But more importantly, a good host
.        will prepare everything with love.
.        For helpful tips and excellent advice,
.        I recommend this book right here.

(MARTHA sets the Bible down.)                           2

MARTHA   In order to prepare a successful function,
.        consider the guest list
.        to be a very important aspect.

(MARTHA can hold up a guest list written out already.)

MARTHA   A well thought out guest list will include
.        the poor, crippled, lame, and the blind.
.        Do not just invite people
.        you think will do favors for you.
.        A good host will NEVER invite guests
.        and expect something in return.  

(MARTHA puts list down.)

MARTHA   And whether guests bring a hostess gift or not,
.        a good host will always be generous
.        and hospitable to EVERYONE.

(MARTHA leans forward to emphasize...)

MARTHA   Everything - should be done with love...

(MARTHA can hold up a tiny invitation,
maybe pulling it out of its little envelope.)

MARTHA   EVEN - when YOU are the guest.
.        When receiving an invitation to a function,
.        give careful consideration.
.        Avoid such frivolous excuses not to attend,
.        such as telling the host
.        that - you just bought a pet, or -
.        that you are too busy with work.
.        Everyone needs to eat sometime;
.        therefore you cannot be playing
.        or working all of the time.
.        Having good relationships with people
.        is a very important part of life.
.        Remember, if you keep finding reasons not to go,
.        very soon you will no longer
.        be invited to such functions.
.        A good guest will try their very best to attend,
.        and RSVP in a timely fashion.

(MARTHA can check off the invitation and put it down.)
.                                                       3
MARTHA   And, unless the invitation specifies
.        that it is a “come-and-go” sort of event,
.        it is good etiquette to arrive on time,
.        especially if there is a dinner planned.
.        It’s very rude to keep everyone waiting.
.        And not only that, but arriving late
.        makes the statement that you believe –
.        you are more important than the host
.        and all the guests put together.

(MARTHA can hold up a tiny hostess gift,
like a box of chocolates or flowers...)

MARTHA   Now, even though you should not expect
.        a hostess gift when inviting people over,
.        it is still very thoughtful
.        to BRING a hostess gift.
.        It does not have to extravagant at all.
.        Whatever you can afford, is fine.

(MARTHA sets the gift down.)

MARTHA   Being a guest to someone’s function
.        should demonstrate your love
.        for not only the host,
.        but everyone else who is invited.
.        If you really care about the host,
.        then you will care about each
.        and every guest the host invites.
.        With that being said,
.        there are certain circumstances
.        that can arise at a function which,
.        if you are not careful,
.        can turn into an awkward situation very quickly.
.        Determining where one should sit
.        can be a critical decision.

(MARTHA can hold up a place card with a name on it.)

MARTHA   Although a good idea,
.        not every host puts out place cards.
.        If you should find yourself at a party
.        where there are no place cards,
.        remember that everyone invited
.        is just as important as you are.
.        Never assume that you are a guest of honor.
.                                                       4
(MARTHA sets the place card down.)

MARTHA   It would be most embarrassing
.        to take a place of honor,
.        and then be asked to move.
.        It would be better to sit toward the back.
.        Then, if the host notices
.        and wants you to sit closer –
.        allow the host to call you over
.        and direct you to another chair.
.        Otherwise, if you find yourself
.        staying in the background,
.        a good guest will be content
.        and make the most of things
.        no matter where you are sitting –
.        making those around you feel comfortable,
.        accepted, appreciated – and loved.
.        Good banquette etiquette is to NEVER complain,
.        but ALWAYS be grateful, generous and pleasant.

(MARTHA leans forward to make a point.)

MARTHA   And remember, whether PLANNING an event
.        or GOING to an event,
.        everything is better when done with love.