If you are looking for a big passion play to do for Easter, this could be the Christian play for you. You could just do the scenes that you wanted to do and still have a very large cast. All the lines of Christ are actual scripture taken from the NASB version. The part of Jesus is very large.
60+ speaking parts total plus extras (at least 40 males) About 2 hours in length.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
JESUS: By far the largest part with the most lines. All the lines are scripture.
PETER, JOHN AND MARY MAGDALENE: Substantial roles.
MARY (HIS MOTHER), CLEOPAS, SATAN, JOHN (THE BAPTIST): Supporting roles, medium sized.
PHARISEE, SAMARITAN WOMAN, SIMON (THE PHARISEE), PILATE, MARY (JAMES’ MOTHER), BLIND MAN, CLEOPAS’ FRIEND, SALOME: medium roles
MATTHEW, JOSEPH, ANDREW, JOANNA, TWO GUARDS, THOMAS, SIMON (THE ZEALOT), NATHANAEL, BRIDEGROOM, PHARISEE #2, BYSTANDER: small roles.
PHILIP, JAMES, SCRIBE, TWO ANGELS, MEMBER OF THE CROWD, SERVANT, JUDAS: small roles.
OTHER SMALLER ROLES: CAIAPHAS, MOTHER, FATHER, THADDEUS, JAMES THE LESS, M.C., TOWNSPERSON, ROMAN SOLDIER, TWO THIEVES, CENTURION, ADULTEROUS WOMAN, HARLOT, EXTRA BYSTANDERS, BRIDE, SHEPHERDS, MALCHUS, SOMEONE IN THE CROWD, OTHER SOLDIERS, OTHER SERVANTS, EXTRAS.
Total of 60 speaking parts.
(Adapted from all four gospels’ accounts and taken primarily from the New American Standard Bible, and also today’s English. The lines of Jesus are actual scripture.)
(The disciples rise and as the sound of men coming is heard… the others gather close by. Judas enters with soldiers and Jewish leaders)
JUDAS: Hail, Rabbi! (He kisses Jesus on the cheek)
JESUS: Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? (Judas steps back and acts very guilty and shocked at His comment.) Friend, do what you have come for. (Jesus turns to the soldiers) Whom do you seek?
ROMAN SOLDIER: Jesus the Nazarene.
JESUS: I am He. (At this…they all fall back on the ground, but quickly get back up, not understanding what just happened.) I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way.
JAMES: Lord, shall we strike with the sword? (Peter grabs his small sword and runs at one of the guards named Malchus and swings at his up stage ear)
MALCHUS: (Screams and grabs his ear) Aaaaaahh!
JESUS: Stop! No more of this. Put your sword back into its place; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?
(He crosses to Malchus and places His hand on the ear and heals it. Malchus suddenly feels the pain stop and knows he is healed.)
JESUS: (To the disciples) All those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way? (To the mob) Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets. For this hour and the power of darkness are yours.
(The soldiers grab Jesus and the disciples all run in all directions, as the mob marches with Jesus off the stage. John and Peter come back and follow along behind the crowd, keeping their distance.)
(Some Pharisees and scribes arrive with Jesus, bound and a crowd gathers around the edge of the stage. The bystander is in the crowd and may yell a few positive things to oppose the majority. There is a judgment seat for Pilate. He enters with the Centurion and some soldiers)
PILATE: It is very early. Why are you bothering me at this time of the day? (Looks at Jesus standing with them) What accusation to you bring against this man?
PHARISEE 2: He is a blasphemer! He claimed He would destroy the temple and rebuild it in 3 days!
SCRIBE: He said He was the Christ!
PHARISEE: If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have brought Him here.
PILATE: Is this really a matter for your governor? Take Him and judge Him according to your own law.
SCRIBE: We are not permitted to put anyone to death.
PHARISEE: We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.
PILATE: Are YOU the King of the Jews?
JESUS: It is as you say.
SCRIBE: There! What other proof do you need? He blasphemes!
(Pilate puts up his hand to silence them and he slowly walks up to Jesus and leads him off to speak with him alone.)
PILATE: I’ll ask you again…Are you the King of the Jews?
JESUS: Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?
PILATE: I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have You done?
JESUS: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.
PILATE: So You are a king?
JESUS: You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
PILATE: What is truth? (Turns and walks back to the Jews) I find no guilt in Him. (Crosses to his judgment seat and sits)
SCRIBE: He claims to be the Christ!
PHARISEE: He blasphemes!
PHARISEE 2: He is leading the people away from our teaching! He must die!
PILATE: Let Him speak in His defense! (Looks at Jesus waiting for a response in defense) Do you make no answer? Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?
SCRIBE: He does not even deny it!
PHARISEE 2: He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee, even as far as this place.
PILATE: You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. Nothing deserving death has been done by Him. (Pause) As you know, each year at your Passover feast, it is customary for me to release one prisoner. I will therefore punish and release for you the King of the Jews.
CROWD: No! Give us Barabbas! Away with this man! Release for us Barabbas!
PILATE: Barabbas is a murderer!
CROWD: Give us Barabbas!
PILATE: Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?
CROWD: Let Him be crucified! Crucify Him!
PILATE: Why? What evil has He done?
CROWD: Crucify Him!…
(Peter enters clearly upset and wanders about, distraught and afraid. John enters, sees him and crosses to him.)
JOHN: Peter! I’ve been looking for you! What happened? Where did you go?
PETER: John, I denied Him.
JOHN: What…what do you mean? How?
PETER: Remember what He said back in the upper room? He said that I would deny Him three times. I would not have believed it but I heard the words come out of my mouth!
PETER: John! I was asked three times if I knew Him and three times I said that I did not. I swore! I cursed! I denied Him three times and then the cock crowed. I’ve been up all night. The tears would not stop. I just want to go someplace and die now.
JOHN: (Putting his arm around Peter or hugging him) The whole world is coming apart, Peter. The Master seemed to know that this was all going to happen. They’ve tried Him, Peter. They put Him on trial…the council and then Pilate, the governor. He’s been condemned to die!
PETER: We should have been able to do something!
JOHN: You mean, like you cutting off that servant’s ear?
PETER: Did you see Jesus heal his ear?
JOHN: Just like all the other times. Look! The women!
MARY MAGDALENE: John! Peter! (She enters with Joanna and Salome) I’m so glad we found you! We are beside ourselves with grief! What’s happening? (The women are clinging to each other)
JOHN: Mary…Joanna…Salome. (Perhaps some greetings of hugs if you feel it would be appropriate)
MARY MAGDALENE: This has been the worst night of my life.
JOHN: It is not over. I’m afraid it is going to get worse. They are taking Him to Golgotha. He is to be crucified.
MARY MAGDALENE: Oh no! Are you sure?
JOHN: Pontius Pilate pronounced the sentence just a little while ago. They are going to make Him carry His cross!
MARY MAGDALENE: Then it’s true.
SALOME: There was shouting in the streets. They were saying, “crucify Him” “away with Him”. We could not believe it! There was a huge crowd of people and the news is spreading fast.
JOANNA: I saw my husband, Chuza, and he said that Jesus was even brought before Herod. But Jesus spoke not a word.
SALOME: Can’t anything be done?
PETER: If only we could. But what can we do now?
JOHN: (Suddenly realizes) Where is His mother? Where is Mary?
PETER: (To Mary) Magdalene…wasn’t she with you?
MARY MAGDALENE: She was with me all night. Someone woke us with the news. She wanted to go to Him. I didn’t know what to tell her. I said that we should try and find the others. Then she left. I didn’t see her go.
SALOME: We were hoping she was with you.
JOANNA: Or that you would have seen her.
JOHN: I wish I had. I’ve been close by all night, listening to the trial and trying to find out what is happening. Oh sisters…it was so awful! They scourged Him. They mocked Him. He was beaten so badly! I can hardly speak of it.
MARY MAGDALENE: Then it is really happening. They really are going to crucify Him! Our Lord! Our Master! Why John? Why is this happening to Him? All that has been done…is it all over now? Was it all for this?…