Turning the Other Cheek – a silent skit for a troupe of clowns
From an idea in Ministry of Clowning compiled by Everett Robertson. By the Beauregard Parish clowns.
Play is silent except for the reader and for the audience’s last reaction and the narrator’s reading. Could use background noises when stick hits and when tramp sits on glasses. Using background music could be effective.
Lady – a “bag” lady carrying a grocery bag or pushing a cart of some sort with bags in. She is not dressed warmly. She has a large stick (but one that is easily broken) in her cart and is wearing glasses. Could use a large empty purse to show she has no money.
Tramp – carries a large bible. He has on a large (best if tattered) coat, a hat, muffler and gloves. He needs to be able to quickly hide her glasses and produce a broken pair. He needs a length of bright red yarn, cloth or string to tie the two sticks into a cross.
Reader – traditional clown garb or street preacher type outfit. Needs a Bible to read from.
Audience (optional) – If used, audience will show the attitudes of most people as they watch the scene unfold. For example, they may look sad that the lady is cold. Can dress as clowns or as children or whatever seems fitting.
Setting: Bench in a park on a very cold day
Audience – If using audience, they come in first and sit on the ground near the bench.
Tramp – enters, looks around and sets on left side of bench. Opens Bible and begins reading silently.
Lady – walks in. Her actions show that she is very cold. If she has a shopping cart or bag, let her look through them for something to put on. She finds nothing. She sits on the bench shivering.
Audience – may look sad that the lady is cold or may make fun of her.
Tramp – looks at lady. Frowns. Reads in Bible. Smiles. Gets up, takes off his coat and holds it out to her.
Lady – stands up to put the coat on and places her glasses on the bench where the tramp was sitting. She acts reluctant to take the coat. May want to turn out her pockets or turn her purse upside down to show that she has no money to pay for it. At last accepts coat. Shows that she is warm.
Tramp – takes off his gloves and gives to her. Then his hat and muffler. Lady puts them on and shows gratitude and warmness.
Both – Smiling they both sit down.
Lady – begins to look for glasses.
Tramp – starts helping look.
Both – They find he is sitting on the broken glasses.
Lady – shows anger and appears to hit him on the cheek with a stick. (for safety, have actor actually tap – not hit – the shoulder on the side away from the audience rather than the face) Then she sits down looking angry.
Audience – raises fists and expresses anger toward the woman. Shows him that he should hit back.
Tramp – reads his Bible. Taps woman and points to the other cheek.
Lady – looks surprised.
Audience – acts shocked
Tramp – holds Bible over for lady to read.
Lady – reads and shows amazement.
Tramp – takes stick, breaks it in two and forms a cross which he hands to her.
Lady – accepts cross, hugs it and places it in her basket or shopping bag.
Lady – gets up to leave.
Tramp – taps her on the shoulder and hands her his glasses.
Lady – puts glasses on
Both – they sit down together with tramp pointing to Bible and lady appearing to read it..
Reader -stands up, walks to them, reaches out hand for Bible, accepts it and reads Matthew 5:38-44 Jesus said, “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.’ Here’s what I propose. ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues you for the shirt off your back, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes advantage of you, use the occasion to practice servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”
Audience – reacts in surprise and then approval to the reading. Goes “oh-h-h” and “ah-h-h”, then cheers and all exit together.