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PLEASE DON’T PASS ME BY – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        reaching out, helping those in need
SCRIPTURE:    Luke 10:25-37
Style:        drama/conversation:  women pass by
.             other women on the street, not realizing
.             the desperate conditions of their hearts
Cast:         WOMEN 1 & 2, PROSTITUTE (P), BAG LADY (B),
.             DISTRAUGHT WOMAN (D)
Set & Props:  WOMAN 1 & 2: trendy, purses, cellphones
.             PROSTITUTE: appropriate dress just above
.               the knees and no cleavage,
.               just give the illusion with
.               high heels, big earrings, big hair...
.             BAG LADY: dirty clothes, suitcase, bag
.             DISTRAUGHT WOMAN:  bruise on her face,
.               disheveled clothes

SCRIPT:

(BAG LADY sits down on the ground at center stage.
PROSTITUTE stands at stage left and strikes a pose.
WOMEN 1 and 2 enter at stage left, talking.)

W1    That was fun.  We should totally do that again.

W2    I SOOO needed that mani-pedi.  I say,
.     we need to set an ongoing monthly appointment.
.     We deserve to be pampered!  So next time,
.     I suggest the facial.

W1    (admiring her nails)  Well, you were right,
.     they definitely do amazing work.

P     (softly)  Hello, ladies.

(WOMAN 2 notices PROSTITUTE and nudges WOMAN 1 to look.
WOMAN 1 and 2 stop, just past the PROSTITUTE, to talk.)

W2    Wow!  Get a load of her.
.     Do you think she’s trying to proposition us?

W1    Someone needs to just lock them all up
.     and throw away the key.  All they do
.     is encourage more temptation and sin.
.                                                       2
W2    Not to mention attract more crime to the area.

W1    Oh-I’ve got to take this.  (pulls out cellphone)

W2    (pulls out her cellphone, talking as she texts)
.     LOL, so if you never hear from me ever again,
.     I was last seen on Second Street-

(While WOMEN 1 & 2 mime their conversations,
PROSTITUTE steps forward to talk to the congregation.)

P     It’s not unusual for people to blame me
.     for other people’s sins and crimes.
.     I’m not saying that I’m perfect.  Not at all.
.     I can barely look at myself in a mirror.
.     It’s hard to believe that I’m not even 17 yet,
.     even though I may act and look like an adult –
.     I don’t remember playing, or ever being a child.
.     Well, people see what they want to see.
.     Most people refuse to even acknowledge
.     my existence, unless it’s to look at me
.     with self-righteous scorn.  Especially the women.
.     But a lot of men have usually acknowledged
.     me in other ways, especially my stepfather.
.     No one cared, or dared, to protect me.
.     Just to survive, I had to run away,
.     thinking I could escape that hell.
.     Except, it didn’t take very long for another man
.     to see my distress and take advantage.
.     When he offered to buy me lunch,
.     and take care of me, and love me –
.     he put something in my soft drink, I’m sure of it,
.     because after that point, the whole world
.     became hazy – and more desperate than before.
.     And every time I reach a moment of clarity,
.     a strong craving takes over.  As long as I do
.     what I’m told - the man keeps supplying me
.     me with whatever it is that keeps me
.     from going crazy.  And as long as I do
.     what I’m told – I won’t get beaten.
.     Well, sometimes I get beaten anyway.
.     I probably won’t live very long.
.     And I don’t see much reason to.
.     I can’t see any way to escape.  And there
.     definitely isn’t anybody who really cares.

(PROSTITUTE slowly exits stage left.                   3
WOMEN 1 and 2 close their cellphones.)

W1    (noticing)  So nice of her to leave.

(WOMEN 1 and 2 continue their walk and see the BAG LADY.
WOMEN stop to comment when LADY holds out a cup to them.)

W2    Wow!  Can’t this city clean up the streets?

W1    Don’t even give her a penny.  It’s her choice that
.     she’s here.  It’s just pure laziness on her part.
.     SOME PEOPLE should just get up – and find a job –

W2    Oh, that reminds me, I was going to give Noreen
.     a call.  Sorry.  Just give me a second.

(WOMAN 2 gets on her cellphone, while WOMAN 1 pulls out
her cellphone to text.  While WOMEN 1 and 2 mime
their conversations, the BAG LADY struggles to get up
to talk to the congregation.)

BL    Well, what can I say for myself?
.     Both my parents worked very hard,
.     and taught me to work very hard for what I wanted.
.     I graduated with a degree,
.     but could never get work in my field.  Typical!
.     So I worked two part-time jobs, which meant that
.     I never got benefits.  Then, once I was diagnosed
.     as schizophrenic, I tried working three part-time
.     jobs just so I could afford my meds.
.     They are not cheap, and I kept slipping further
.     and further into debt.  Soon, I couldn’t afford
.     the mediation.  Well, without the medication,
.     my brain likes to do its own thing.
.     Even if I COULD get a fulltime job which offered
.     benefits, I already have a preexisting condition.
.     So here I am – I can’t hold a job because
.     I need medication, but - I can’t get medication
.     without a job.  Hm, (looks around suspiciously)
.     there’s danger lurking.  I must get to
.     Wendy’s house and see what kind of food
.     she’s left behind for me today.  They disguise it,
.     and keep it protected in a big metal box outside.

(BAG LADY exits and WOMEN 1 and 2 close their cellphones.
WOMAN 1 waves her hand in front of her face.)
.                                                       4
W1    Ah, I can still smell that bag lady.

W2    Next time the youth group wants to do a fundraiser
.     for some ski trip, instead of a carwash, they could
.     always take donations to hose down street people.

W1    Brilliant!  Sounds like a great idea.  Now what?

(DISTRAUGHT WOMAN runs up from stage left.)

DW    C-could you help me?

W2    Sorry, I don’t have any change.

DW    I-I just n-need – I – I don’t know – ah – I -

W2    Ah, you need to stay off of drugs, lady.

W1    We don’t have time for this, you know.  Sorry.

(WOMAN 1 answers her cellphone and turns her back.
WOMAN 2 puts up a finger and gets on her cellphone.
DISTRAUGHT WOMAN turns to the congregation.)

DW    I just don’t know what to do.  My husband has
.     really done it this time.  People have warned me
.     that he could do something drastic, but I –
.     I keep telling myself that he can change.
.     He’s always really so sorry right afterwards –
.     and always promises to change.  A-and then,
.     for a while, things are always really good –
.     when they’re good – a-and I’m not pushing
.     his buttons.  But then, eventually he loses it –
.     again – and it just keeps on getting worse.
.     I suppose I just refused to see this.
.     I don’t know.  I love him so much.
.     And somehow, I think I deserve to be hit.
.     (WOMAN 2 begins to listen to the DISTRAUGHT WOMAN)
.     If only I could just try to be perfect, then -
.     everything would be okay.  For me - and the kids.
.     Oh!  The kids!  I left the kids behind.
.     I’m so selfish.  What kind of mother am I?
.     I really need to stay – just for the kids.
.     I need to protect them!  If I’m not there,
.     he-he could put all his anger onto the children.
.     I need to go back!
.                                                       5
(DISTRAUGHT WOMAN begins to leave, back to stage left.)

W2    Wait!  You can’t go back to that!
.     No one deserves to be hit!  It’s - too dangerous.

DW    But my children!

W2    Right, you – need to get them out of there!
.     But you need to do it safely.

DW    I – I – don’t know h-how –

W1    Ah, yeah, exactly, you need call someone
.     on your cellphone and get some help.

DW    I – I just ran out.  I left everything behind.

W2    (to W1)  She’s obviously not thinking clearly.
.     (to DW)  Why don’t you come with us?
.     You can use my cellphone.  In fact,
.     I’ll do some calling around for you and
.     we’ll get you some help.  We’ll make sure that
.     you safely get your children out of that situation,
.     and get you all to a safe house.  Okay?

(WOMAN 2 turns DISTRAUGHT WOMAN around to exit
stage right.)

W1    (to W2)  What are you doing?

W2    What I SHOULD have been doing all along!
.     (to DW)  Come on.

(WOMAN 2 leads out DISTRAUGHT WOMAN.
WOMAN 1 finally gets into the spirit of it.)