Don’t forget to KISS. That’s right, KISS (keep it short, silly). This is especially true when you are in the middle of act 2, examining the meaning of the Scripture reading. Make your mantra the same as that of the casting director for the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz: “The shorter, the better.” Trust that the participants will get the point if you keep that point short and sharp.
It’s the action, not the actor. The ham. Every group has at least one, and you’ll find out who they are in your group soon after you start using these Scripture skits. Hams love to hog the stage—but offering them opportunities to do so is not the pur- pose of Ready-to-Go Scripture Skits. The point is not to see who can become the best actor, but to engage as many people as possible in telling and understanding the Scriptures. This means that the hams in your group should not be selected for the leading roles every time, even though they are the ones who will arrive early . . . with gifts of chocolate . . . when they sense a Scripture skit coming on. To avoid favoritism and give everyone an equal chance to be onstage, you may want to put every person’s name into a box, then call out a Scripture skit role and randomly pull a name from the box.
Forget the gender. Unfortunately women are not represented as frequently as men in many of the Scripture stories, so there are more roles for men. In the words of my eight-year-old daughter, “IT ISN’T FAIR!” And frankly, she’s right, so ignore the gender. If Shakespeare could have his male actors play female characters, then, by golly, why can’t the director of these skits have female actors play male roles? Don’t worry if a woman is chosen to play the man born blind or a guy is cast as Moses’s sister, Miriam. Some of the best laughs might just occur when the gender roles are purposely switched or drawn at random.
Learn to just say no. No is not a word that we like to use, but it’s better if we begin to face the hard truth now: No, we can’t act up every moment of every day. Your young people are going to love doing Scripture skits, and you’ll become addicted to their screams and cheers to learn more about the Scriptures. At some point, however, you are going to have to convey to the young people that there is more to life than acts 1, 2, and 3. When you reach that point, tell them it’s time to stop acting up and start playing (and then introduce them to Ready-to-Go Game Shows!).