Tensions are high and accusations are made. John tries to be a peacemaker and calming influence. Several women arrive early in the morning to let the men know that they are heading to the tomb. There is much discussion before they leave. The play ends when Mary Magdalene arrives to tell them that she has seen the Lord.
Cast of 20 (11 men and 9 women) About 30-35 mins.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
JOHN: (970 words), MARY MAGDALENE: (761 words), PETER: (523 words), PHILLIP: (459 words), MARY, JESUS’ MOTHER: (363 words), JOANNA: (286 words), JAMES: (270 words), ANDREW: (243 words), SALOME: (190 words), MARY, MOTHER OF JAMES: (150 words) MATTHEW: (148 words), NATHANAEL: (124 words), THADDEUS: (98 words), THOMAS: (83 words), SIMON, THE ZEALOT (45 words), SUSANNA: (21 words) JAMES, THE LESS: (19 words), 1ST WOMAN: (56 words), 2ND WOMAN: (46 words), 3RD WOMAN: (56 words)
The set can be as creative as you like, or you can keep it simple. The set never changes. Something that looks like biblical times, perhaps a rustic table and benches… perhaps old large pillows or cushions on the floor. There does not have to be a door, as people can just enter, with the door being offstage. But if walls and a door are built, then keep them old and rustic looking, or anything that gives the appearance of a dwelling in Jerusalem at that time.
LIGHTS UP ON: SCENE ONE: The safe house, possibly the upper room. The disciples have gathered after the crucifixion to discuss their next move. Several of the men and women are seated or pacing the room. John enters.
PHILLIP Where have you been?
JOHN What do you mean?
PHILLIP We have been waiting here to talk about what happened… and the Master’s inner circle is missing!
JOHN Didn’t James tell you where I would be?
PHILLIP We haven’t seen James either! I just said.. You were all three missing!
THOMAS Well, I’m not going to wait around for everyone to get here.
PHILLIP Thomas! Don’t go running off. We need to talk about this.
1ST WOMAN Let him go! Who needs him, anyway?
2ND WOMAN Yes… I have always doubted his commitment.
PHILLIP Will you two just be still?
1ST & 2ND WOMAN You be still!
2ND WOMAN Don’t talk to us that way!
JOHN Come on, Thomas. You know what Jesus said to us.
THOMAS It doesn’t mean anything now, does it? How is He going to set up His kingdom now??
JOHN I don’t know… but I still believe in Him.
THOMAS He’s gone, John! He’s gone and He’s not coming back!
JOHN Remember when we went to Lazarus’ tomb? Thomas… you were ready to die with Him.
2ND WOMAN Please! And you believed him? Thomas wasn’t ready to die with Him any more than you! That was just talk. He was confused, just like he is now.
3RD WOMAN Hold on, hold on… Jesus would not be very pleased with us right now. Remember, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
1ST WOMAN Just because I’m telling Thomas the truth about himself doesn’t mean I’m not a child of God.
2ND WOMAN That’s right.
3RD WOMAN That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that we need to be about making peace not about finding fault and quarreling. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us?
1ST WOMAN You’re right.
JOHN And Thomas, remember what He said before we went to the garden? He talked about going away and you asked how we could know the way if we do not know where He was going. What did He say to you?
THOMAS He said that He was the way.. And the truth and the life… and no one comes to the Father but through Him. But..
JOHN Okay then. Let’s just stop and think about the things He said. Maybe we’ll understand.
THOMAS Well, you can think all you want. I’m not staying.
PHILLIP Thomas! (hollering out the door) Thomas! Oh! That man! Why won’t he listen? He’s been threatening to leave for a long time! If only you men would have gotten here faster.
MATTHEW It probably would not have made a difference. When someone decides they are going to do something…
PHILLIP I don’t know, Matthew. I was hoping. Why are you so late, John? Where were you?
JOHN Well, if you had been there… You would have heard Jesus tell me to take care of His mother as if she were my mother.
NATHANAEL Are you saying that you’re like Mary’s son now? She has other sons, you know.
JOHN He was dying up there and I was standing there with Mary and Magdalene… trying to comfort them in all my own personal despair… and those were His dying words.
PHILLIP Okay. I could not hear what He was saying from my viewpoint.
JOHN Oh.. So you WERE there. I didn’t see any of you.
MATTHEW Some of us watched from a far distance… we tried to stay hidden.
NATHANAEL I just wish everyone could get here so we can talk about our next move.
JOHN What next move, Nathanael? I’m just going to take care of Mary. That’s where I have been, by the way. So, who are you still waiting for?
PHILLIP Well, James and Peter. We thought James was with you and Andrew went looking for his brother. James enters
MATTHEW There’s one of them. They all look at him
JOHN They were wondering where we were, James.
JAMES I just needed some time to myself to think.
JOHN I think we all need that.
PHILLIP We also need to be together and talk about what happened!
MATTHEW They murdered our Lord, Phillip, that’s what happened!
SIMON, THE ZEALOT And now is the time to rise up and do something! How about we go shed some blood, get the Pharisees…. And….
1ST WOMAN What are you going to do? You didn’t do anything while they were dragging poor Jesus from court to court or beating him. Why be tough now?
JOHN Simon, you always thought that Jesus was going to take His reign as king of the Jews… but I think He had a different message. Now He’s gone and we need to figure out why. Andrew and Peter enter
ANDREW I found him.
PHILLIP Finally.. We’re all here… well, except Thomas.
THADDEUS And Judas. But I expect we’ve seen the last of him.
MATTHEW How could we have not seen that? Why did we ever let him hold the money bags?
THADDEUS It’s not like we were going to let you do it, Matthew!
JOHN Well, we HAVE seen the last of him. I heard from someone at the temple that he gave back the money they paid him and went out and hung himself.
THADDEUS That’s terrible!
ANDREW He hung himself?
JAMES Do you think that means that Judas never really was one of us?
JOHN Jesus chose him just like he chose each one of us.
PETER And Jesus probably knew from the beginning what Judas was going to do.
NATHANIEL You think so?
PETER He was God… don’t you think that means He knew everything?
MATTHEW How much money was it?
JOHN Thirty pieces of silver.
ANDREW He sold our Master for thirty pieces of silver? How could he do that?
PETER I think Satan entered him, Andrew. In a way… I think I ….(Pause) Forget it.
ANDREW I’m very angry with him, but I didn’t expect him to do that! Kill himself?
PHILLIP Let’s forget about Judas. We can’t do anything about that now. Now that we are all here, we can find out what the inner circle has to say to the rest of us.
JAMES You can start by not calling us that. If I have learned one thing from the Master it’s that no one is greater than the other.
NATHANAEL Tell that to the new son of Mary.
JOHN Nathanael, please!
THADDEUS Or to James, the less.
JAMES, THE LESS You would HAVE to bring that up, Thaddeus!
JAMES I never said he should be called James, the less!
THADDEUS At least we are not calling you James, the greater!
JAMES I’m grateful for small favors!
ANDREW Wait a minute! Phillip, you said ‘now that we are all here’… but I don’t see Thomas.
MATTHEW He got impatient and left. We tried to stop him.
PHILLIP Peter! I want you to explain to me what happened.
PETER What do you mean? What happened when?