Most moments of learning start here, at the point of engaging the learner. Unfortunately many end here as well because we dismiss some of the more creative ideas that grab young peo- ple’s attention these days, like bungee jumping and Splatball. Act 1 is all about grabbing their attention and holding on to it, but unlike those over-the-top methods, it does not risk their lives (their reputations might be another matter).
Each session begins with the director (a.k.a.: you) asking for volunteers from the audience (a.k.a.: them), which quickly moves into the director grabbing volunteers from the audience and assigning them the various roles called for in the Scripture skit. The director then tells the actors to wait offstage until their parts are announced, which is just a nice way of telling them to get out of the way until they are needed. Next the director (a.k.a.: the one smart enough to be reading the script rather than acting it out) instructs the actors and the audience mem- bers that each must do exactly what is read, when it is read. The director will know when someone is supposed to act because in the script, the action statements are followed by ellipsis points (a.k.a.: three dots that look like this: . . . ).
Whenever there are ellipsis points, the director pauses— and in some cases needs to repeat the action statement . . . and in some cases needs to repeat the action statement—to signal that the action must be performed before the show can go on. For example, the director might read, “They froze in their tracks . . . ,” and while pausing notice that the actors are still moving. In that case, the director might need to say again, loudly, “I said, ‘FROZE in their tracks . . . ,’” while giving them the evil director’s eye that literally does freeze them in their tracks.
Because each Scripture skit is a bit different from the bibli- cal story most of us hear at church (okay, okay, a lot different), it will not only keep the actors paying attention, it will require them to pay attention in order to keep up with what is going on and what is being asked of them. The same holds true for the unsuspecting audience members who mistakenly think they are safe because they are not onstage [insert diabolical laugh here]. The director knows that no one is safe from a Scripture skit, especially the audience. That is because many of the skits re- quire the audience to be fully, consciously, and actively in- volved and on their best behavior, ready to be called on at any moment to do something really important (kind of like being in church on Sunday!).