“In The Shadow Of Death”
Written by Frederick Passmore
Copyright 1995-2018 Sheep Laughs Publications
Synopsis: In this modern parable, a young person at a party is confronted by the Grim Reaper and seeks the guidance of those around him for ways to deal with it. Death closes in as the main character rejects the typical advice given for dealing with it. Finally heeding the urging of a Christian friend, he prays to receive the Lord, and the Lord comes to rescue him and take him to his Heavenly Kingdom. This script is not quite as humor-oriented as the others, (although it does have funny moments) but it’s very effective in the portrayal of the ways people try to avoid facing the fact that a dark predator is stalking them. Good for some chills, with guaranteed goosebumps when it comes to a powerful conclusion!
Soundtrack key: This is the type of script where your actors deliver their lines and the soundtrack supplies the background music and sound effects as the script calls for them.
Length of play: 8-10 minutes
Number of cast: Seven, plus some extras in non-speaking roles
Category: Comedic, Dramatic, Modern-Day Parable, Easter, Halloween, Medium-Length Skit, Fall Festival
Price of script pdf & Skit Trax MP3: Instant download: $9.99 – Add to Cart
Price of script pdf & Physical CD: (Not available; not enough tracks to warrant a CD)
YOU MAY ALSO ORDER THE SCRIPT AND SOUNDTRACK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
MAIN THEME: All of us have to deal with the specter of death sooner or later. Ignoring it or embracing it will still have the same results if you are in a lost condition. Only by accepting Christ can you defeat the fear of it, and ultimately, its condition.
M.C. – main character
J.B. – M.C.’s friend
DEATH – the Grim Reaper
PERSON #1 – Personifies the “Ignore it” attitude (may be a female)
PERSON #2 – Personifies the “Embrace it” attitude (may be a male)
PERSON #3 – Personifies the Christian perspective (may be male or female)
THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST – figure in white robe
SMALL CROWD – four or more extras in non-speaking roles
TOTAL OF ELEVEN OR MORE.
PROPS: HARDBACK BOOK WITH SPECIALLY-PRINTED COVER, MAGAZINE, PLASTIC SCYTHE
COSTUMES: FOR DEATH, BLACK HOODED CLOAK, SKULL MASK. FOR THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST, WHITE ROBE
STAGE: A large open room, with several chairs and small tables positioned around the edges. A music source can be placed on one of the tables, to play the music required for the party.
CHARACTER NOTES: Any of the “natural” characters, i.e.; mortal or non-figurative, can be played by either a male or female. If the players are all teens, then encourage them to dress in styles relative to the current trends (as long as it isn’t in bad taste). The background music can be something that represents the culture but is to be played at a low level. If the players are more mature, they can dress accordingly and the music should reflect that as well.
M.C. represents “Everyman,” and as such should be played straight, not too broad or comedic.
PERSON #1 could be played as a “nerd” type character, or simply more straight-laced than the others.
PERSON #2 should be played as the most “in” character who is up on the latest lingo and moves. Encourage the player to work in attitudes that those familiar with popular culture could relate to.
PERSON #3 could be carrying a small pocket New Testament. This character should come across as the most “together” person in the crowd, not preachy or weird.
DEATH should be played by a tall male. He should move in a subtle threatening manner, but not in a hokey, “Bela Lugosi” style. Think of the Spirit of Christmas Future from the “Scrooge” films. Restraint should be used with a minimum of unnecessary movement.
THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST actor wears a white cloak, which could include a hood that is like the ones worn by Christ in art and film. The player should move naturally, with each action sure and strong.
(A general description of the script; not all details or scenes are here, but it gives you an overall picture of what it is like.)
The setting is a gathering or party of young people, and we see our main character, DJ, talking with his best friend, JB. As they joke back and forth, the figure of the Grim Reaper comes into the room and stands on the edge of the crowd, facing toward the two friends. Noone else notices or reacts to his presence. Soon, however, DJ catches sight of him and is startled. He points him out to JB, who casually suggests they just play it cool, he’s probably not there for them, so it’s nothing to worry about. However, Death moves toward them and lays his hand on JB, who suddenly is stricken with fear and protests that he isn’t ready to go with him. Death nevertheless pulls him away and out of the room, as the young man screams. No-one else really acts very concerned, merely patting DJ on the back as they take turns consoling him then moving away to continue their party.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: in_the_shadow_of_death_sample_01
DJ is bummed out over this, but his sadness turns to apprehension as Death returns and focuses his gaze on him, slowly moving toward him. DJ seeks solace in company, quickly talking to another friend, and pointing out the specter, he asks advice for how to deal with it, The young person advises him to ignore it, as everyone else does. Nothing can be done about it, so don’t worry about it, is their attitude, which JB finds unhelpful. After sharing this outlook, the friend moves hastily away, so as not to attract Death’s attention by staying too close to DJ. Noticing that the cloaked figure is moving closer, he hurries to hide behind another person who is reading, who asks who he is hiding from. On hearing the situation, the fellow tells him it’s nothing to worry about, as Death is a party animal that he likes to hang out with! To prove his point he goes over to Death and puts an arm around him, palling around and joking with the silent wraith. Death does not respond, only turning his head to look at the youth as he slaps him on the back. Coming back over to DJ, he offers to loan him his book, one that endorses suicide as a solution to life’s problems, with instructions on how to do it. Repulsed, DJ refuses and moves away to try and lose the stalker.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: in_the_shadow_of_death_sample_02
Finally, as Death confronts him and DJ falls back into another person who steadies him, he grabs hold of the person and begs for help. Surprisingly, they do have some helpful advice, telling him that accepting Christ, who conquered Death, is the only way to overcome the terror he is feeling and avoid dying lost and condemned by his sins. Unconvinced that he needs to do something he considers extreme, he tries to run but Death gestures toward him and he begins to move in slow motion. As the music on the soundtrack intensifies the drama, the Reaper slowly advances on the boy as he struggles to move, and the Christian kneels beside him offering him guidance on how to pray. Finally, as Death is about to lay hold of him, DJ prays to accept the Lord, and Death is forced to stop. As he finished, the music changes to a triumphant chorus as the Presence of the Lord enters the room. Coming between DJ and Death, the Lord holds up a hand to the Grim Reaper, who steps back in obedience and turns to leave. Helping DJ to his feet with a smile, the Lord embraces him in welcome and leads him out the door into His Kingdom. Waving goodbye to the one that led him to the Lord, he leaves with the Lord as the music reaches a majestic crescendo.
Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below. (Coming soon)
Read some of the testimonials about the script from just a few of the many users:
We performed “In The Shadow of Death” in November. Thank the Lord for your work because it was definitely a big hit here at the church, and the best part of it all was that a soul was snatched from hell because of it! We were very pleased with the way the play transformed. There was so much positive feedback, that we have decided to perform one every year. Thank God for your writing ability! Honor to whom honor is due, so I want you to know that I appreciate what you have done. There will be a soul in Heaven because of you.
In His Service,
Brian Hargis Assistant Pastor
Charity Baptist Church, Dayton, OH
Great work on the skits–our teens are really enjoying them.
I just wanted to inform you that the Bluelick Bible Church (Lima, OH) Teen Missions Team will be using two of your scripts: “the Red Tie Club” and “In The Shadow of Death.” We will be performing them on two of three nights: July 30-August 1, at Lighthouse Baptist Church in New Castle, DE. Thanks again for the scripts, they’re great–and the kids are loving sharing the message in such a unique way.
Josh Neighbors, Bluelick Bible Church
Okay, if you liked the story breakdown, and enjoyed the Skit Trax previews, and were encouraged by the testimonials of those that have done it, buy the complete script and soundtrack here!
Get the script PDF (to print out) and audio tracks (to burn to your own CD) here.
Price of script pdf & Skit Trax MP3: Instant download: $9.99 – Add to Cart
Get the physical CD mailed to you by ordering here. You will be taken to a page where you can print out the script PDF as well as an email containing the script PDF. (Not available; not enough tracks to warrant a CD)
Order through the mail with a check or money order by printing out this order form and mailing it to us. Click to open or download: Printable order form
Questions before ordering? Call me at 912-347-9579!