Saturday, May 13, 2017

First Pharisees

First Pharisees
Genesis 2-3
Matthew 23

Cast:  Two people, one of whom is a woman and the other can be male or female but dressed as a snake.  A stuffed animal snake with voice over would also suffice.  The snake could be maneuvered by fishing line on a pole.  The voice over character could be visible or hidden.  The snake must crawl on the ground.  His days of walking ended in the Garden of Eden.

Set:  Any set.  A full-length mirror or prop to represent a mirror is needed.  Eve will need one or two extra dresses.  Background could include vegetation, but not a paradise as in the Garden of Eden.  This scene takes place after the couple was kicked out of paradise.

Lights up.  Eve is centerstage, standing in front of a mirror trying on new dresses.  After a few seconds the serpent approaches.

Serpent:  Had any good apples lately?
Eve:  Hey, you bum!  Ever since I ate that apple, my husband has had to work for a living.
Serpent:  For food?
Eve:  Yes, and buying me clothes.
Serpent:  Doesn’t he need clothes too?
Eve:  He wears the same thing day after day after day after…  Hey, you no good, slimy, crafty, scaly thing that made me eat that apple…
Serpent:  Who decided to eat it?
Eve:  Don’t even go there.  You know that you wanted me to eat it.
Serpent:  What difference does that make?  It was always your decision. 
Eve:  Yeah, OK, I see how you roll.
Serpent:  Really now, if all of your friends decided to go jump off a cliff would you go with them?
Eve:  What are friends and what’s a cliff?
Serpent:  Point taken.  Besides, I’m not here to drag up the past.  I’m excited about the future.
Eve:  Really?  What mischief do you have in store for us this time?
Serpent:  It’s not my mischief, it’s yours.
Eve:  I didn’t even know what mischief was until you slithered in.
Serpent:  Actually the first time that we met I was walking.
Eve:  Yeah, I remember.  How’s that working out for you now?
Serpent:  Let’s not pick at each other.  I won’t bite at you and you won’t try to crush my head, just this time.  OK?
Eve:  OK, unless you try something slimy again.
Serpent:  OK, but I am a serpent, so I’ll have to make this short time of good behavior brief.
Eve:  So what about the future?
Serpent:  Centuries into the future, there will be these people who think themselves to be very important.  They will be called Pharisees.
Eve:  You call this breaking news?  I don’t have much of a concept of people so why should I care what they call themselves?
Serpent:  You know that sickness you had the last couple of mornings?
Eve:  Yes.  What about it?
Serpent:  You are soon going to understand the concept of people—as in more than the two of you—soon enough. 
Eve:  Whatever.
Serpent:  Back to the Pharisees.  I just wanted to congratulate you on being the father, err mother of the Pharisees.
Eve:  Snake, you are not making any sense; and the last time that I thought you were making sense, it cost me paradise.
Serpent:  Pharisees just add little things to what God says so as to make everything much clearer. 
Eve:  And your point?
Serpent:  The problem is that instead of making what God said better, they put burdens on the backs of men and women and then wouldn’t do anything to help them.
Eve:  OK, I’m not liking these people that are not even born yet.
Serpent:  Oh, you can’t dislike them.  You are one of them.
Eve:  Bite you forked little tongue!  I certainly am not!
Serpent:  What did God say about the fruit of the tree of good and evil?
Eve:  That we should not eat it or even touch it.
Serpent:  Are you sure?  You were still just a rib back then.
Eve:  And you were there?
Serpent:  Yes, I was nearby listening in like a fly on the wall.
Eve:  More like a snake in the grass.
Serpent:  Touch√©.  Like a snake in the grass, then.  In any case, all that God told Adam was not to eat of the tree.  He never put touching off limits.
Eve:  Yes, but touching leads to eating…
Serpent:  So you did add to what God said?
Eve:  I had to.  That man hardly says anything.  We needed some guidelines.  He put the nix on fencing off the tree and digging a moat around it.  Finally, he conceded one amendment to the divine directive and that’s how we got to we shouldn’t even touch it.
Serpent:  How did that work out for you? 
Eve [Very Angry]:  You had better slither away now before I crush your head.
Serpent:  Such a fine Pharisee.  I will pick up a couple Phylacteries for you and your husband at Slither Mart.  I can get 25% off if I buy it on the Sabbath.
Eve:  Snake!
Serpent:  Pharisee!
Eve:  Go!  Now!

Serpent departs stage right talking to himself and laughing.

Serpent:  Pharisee, Pharisee, Pharisee…

Eve looks around to make sure the serpent is actually gone, then looks stage left and calls out to Adam.

Eve:  Adam!  That no good snake called us Pharisees, and…

Eve rubs her belly.

Eve:  And I’ve got news!

Lights down.

The end.

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