God gives us gifts every day. What do we do with them? In this play, based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we will learn the value of the true gifts we receive.
THE PRESENTS OF THE PRODIGAL SON by Bernadete F. Leal
Based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son
- VOICE (God)
- RICKY’S MOTHER
- RICKY’S FATHER
- TONY – RICKY’S BROTHER
- PERSON 1
- PERSON 2
- PERSON 3
- CHILD/CHILDREN – THEY BRING THE PRESENT IN THE LAST SCENE
A young man is sitting in the living room reading a book when he hears a voice.
RICKY: Who’s there?
VOICE: It’s me, God, the Father, the Creator. I have many names.
RICKY: I can’t see you! Where are you?
VOICE: I don’t have a body like you, but I am mostly in your consciousness. I am always talking to you and inspiring you. You’re never alone!
RICKY: … so, you know me?
VOICE: I’ve known you before you were born.
RICKY: Why are you talking to me now?
VOICE: To remind you of the gifts I gave you.
RICKY: Gifts? What gifts? I didn’t get any gifts!!!
VOICE: You did. You probably forgot about them. But do not worry. I will have them delivered to you again.
RICKY: I love presents. When am I gonna get them?
VOICE: Soon. See you, Ricky.
RICKY: Wow. Presents. Thank you!
The doorbell rings. Ricky gets up and opens the door. A person from UPS, FedEx, or a familiar delivery company is at the door with a big box.
DELIVERER: I have a delivery for Richard Miller.
RICKY: That’s me!
DELIVERER: Please sign here.
Ricky signs the paper and takes the package with a large card on top.
The delivery man leaves. Ricky sits down, opens the card, and reads it aloud.
RICKY: “Ricky, here are my gifts to you. Signed, God, the Creator.”
Wow, the gifts arrived so fast! I wonder what they are.
Ricky opens the big box. Four presents are wrapped in separate small boxes. He looks inside the big box but doesn’t take any of them out. He points, counting his gifts.
RICKY: 1,2,3,4. God sent me more than one gift! That’s so cool!
TONNY: (walks in) Hi, brother! I heard the doorbell. Who was it?
RICKY: Antonio, you won’t believe it! It was a delivery man with gifts from God for me. Wanna see it?
Ricky shows to his brother what is inside the large box. The brother looks inside the box and is surprised!
TONNY: You got four gifts! What are you going to do with them? Are you gonna share?
RICKY: No, they are all mine. I’m going to take all these presents, travel, and meet new people. I’ve always wanted to do this. I don’t want to stay here anymore. I need new experiences!
TONNY: But we’ll be sad if you leave us. Why don’t you stay and share these gifts with us?
RICKY: (laughs) Not me! I think you’re jealous of my gifts! Maybe God gave you some, too, but you haven’t found them yet!
Tonny looks upset and leaves the scene.
RICKY stands on one side of the stage, holding the large gift box given to him. His father and mother are on the other side of the stage. They are hugging each other and are sad. The mother has a handkerchief in her hands, wiping her tears. They wave goodbye to Ricky, who waves goodbye back. Then, they all leave the stage.
RICKY sits on the floor with the big gift box on his lap. He opens it and stares inside.
A group of 3 people enters the scene. They are talking loudly, singing, and pushing each other playfully. After a few seconds, they notice Ricky sitting down. They point at him, still half a distance away, and approach him.
PERSON 1: Hello, what are you doing there all alone?
RICKY: Thinking about life!
PERSON 1: Life is not to be thought about, my friend. It is to be enjoyed!
PERSON 2: That’s right. Look how happy we are!
RICKY: (looks at them) Yes, you look happy.
PERSON 2: So, join us. Be happy with us and have fun.
RICKY: I guess. Well, I didn’t have much fun at home. I think that’s why I left.
PERSON 3: You left home?
RICKY: Yes. I wanted to see the world and have other experiences.
PERSON 1: And… you left everything you had?
RICKY: Well, I left my family, my house, but I brought my gifts.
PERSON 2: What gifts? (Curious)
RICKY: The gifts that God gave me. They are here in this box.
PERSON 2: Wow, you got a gift from God! The almighty? (speaking sarcastically)
PERSON 1: Show me your gifts.
Ricky opens the box, and the three PEOPLE look inside.
PERSON 3: What? You haven’t opened your presents yet. Oh, I’ll help you.
PERSON 3 reaches his hand into the big box without asking permission and pulls out a box. He quickly tears open the wrapping paper, throwing it on the ground. Next, he takes out a piece of paper from the pack with big letters saying: PROSPERITY/MONEY.
PERSON 3: I like this one. This is a gift of prosperity and money.
RICKY: Give me my present! (Not liking it and trying to get it back, not succeeding)
PERSON 3: Relax, my friend. We’re not going to steal your present!!!
But this gift is very nice. God gave you a gift like this to have fun, enjoy life, spend….be happy, right? (nudging his friend and winking)
PERSON 2 quickly reaches into the box without asking permission and pulls out another box. First, he rips off the gift wrapping paper, opening the gift carelessly. Then, he takes out a piece of paper inside the box with big letters saying: FRIENDS.
PERSON 2: Wow, you don’t even need this gift here (reading) “FRIENDS”. WE are your true friends now. Don’t worry. You won’t need any other friends.
(Person 2 puts the paper back in its box and throws it on the floor)
RICKY: Don’t throw my gift away! It came from God!
PERSON 2: Don’t be silly. I told you, WE are your true friends!
PERSON 1: (Looking inside the box) There’s another gift here.
PERSON 1 quickly reaches into the box without asking permission and pulls out another box. He rips open the gift paper and pulls out a piece of paper with the word FAMILY.
PERSON 1: What? God gave you a Family as a gift? Ah, here’s something else you don’t need.
(Person 1 puts the paper back in the box and throws it on the floor)
PERSON 3: True. We are your real family now! (Hugging Ricky)
PERSON 2: Do you have another present? (looking inside the box).
RICKY: (closing the box quickly) Yes! But this one, I will keep it.
PERSON 1: (laughing) Whatever! We don’t want this last present anyway!
This one, here, is everything you need to be happy (showing the paper that says PROSPERITY and MONEY and waving it)
Everyone leaves the scene.
NARRATOR: Ricky and his new friends are having fun. They walk around splurging and spending the gift that Ricky received.
Scene of Ricky with PERSON 1,2,3 having fun, laughing, eating, dancing, and drinking. In each activity, they tear off a piece of the paper that says PROSPERITY AND MONEY and throw it in the air falling on the ground. They keep tearing and throwing the pieces of paper until there is no more left.
RICKY: Wow, I’m having fun. You are very good friends indeed! Who needs a family when I have you, my friends? So, what are we going to do next? Are we going to travel, eat, and drink? What do you have in mind?
PERSON 3: To do all these things, we need more money and (pause)… we ran out.
PERSON 2: You need to get more money. Take a look in your God’s box (laughing!) Any more money in there?
RICKY opens the gift box and looks inside.
RICKY: No, it doesn’t have any more money gifts. Did we spend it all? (surprised)
PERSON 1: Yes, everything. So, it’s no longer fun to be with you?
RICKY: How come?
PERSON 2: Simple: No money, no fun!
PERSON 1: And no friends!
RICKY: But you said you were my friends, my new family!
PERSON 3: You are such an idiot! Easy to fool! We don’t need you anymore.
PERSON 1: Let’s go and see if we can find another “friend” (laughing) somewhere else.
The three people leave the scene. Ricky sits down on the floor crying, holding the box.
RICKY: I can’t believe it! I thought they were my real friends, but they were only with me because of my presents. Now, what am I going to do? I’m alone, without money, and very, very hungry…
Ricky walks around the stage with one of his hands on his stomach while holding the big box.
RICKY: I’m starving! (He sits down on the floor and sees some pigs eating).
RICKY: (Looking at the pigs) They are very lucky. At least they have something to eat!
Ricky remains silent, staring at the pigs. Then, suddenly, he runs towards them and eats their food. After he is satiated and tired, he falls on the ground, looking at himself, very dirty, and starts to cry…
RICKY: God gave me wonderful gifts, and I didn’t know how to keep them and use them well.
Look at me. In my house, with my brother and family, I’ve always had food, a roof over my head, good clothes, and I’ve always been treated well. What am I going to do? I shouldn’t have left. I was a fool!
(Ricky is silent, thinking) I’m going back home, but I don’t know if my family will receive me after all I’ve done.
He gets up and starts strolling on his way home, holding the box.
On the way, he sees the gift box with the paper written FRIENDS on the floor.
RICKY: I had real friends and didn’t even know it. (He picks the box up, hugs it, and puts it inside the big box. He continues walking and sees the gift box that has the paper FAMILY written on the floor).
RICKY: God gave me a great family, a father, a mother, and a brother.
I didn’t realize how wonderful they were (He grabs the box, hugs it, and puts it inside the big box)
Ricky walks, feeling increasingly tired as he sees his house from far away.
RICKY: I can see my house. I’m almost there.
FATHER: (He is at the door and sees his son from a distance) Who is there? Oh, my God, it’s Ricky! My beloved son!
The father runs and hugs Ricky, who falls to his knees and begins to cry, dropping the big box.
RICKY: Father, I’m not worthy of your hugs. I abandoned you; I left you.
I took all the gifts God gave me. I was selfish. Please, forgive me!
FATHER: Dear Son. My heart is full of joy with your return. Every day I stood at the door waiting for you. I always had faith that God would one day bring you back to us.
I’m going to throw a party to celebrate YOU! So get up, let’s bathe and eat. We have a lot to celebrate because my son was dead and now he is alive!
Come in. I will tell your mother and brother that you have returned.
Ricky stands in the middle of the stage. He sees the large box on the floor and picks it up, holding it carefully.
VOICE: Ricky, my son, how are you?
RICKY: Is that you, God? Don’t look at me. I’m not worthy of your gaze.
VOICE: Don’t say that, dear son. I am always looking at you!
RICKY: But I am not worthy after what I have done!
VOICE: Have you forgotten the other gift I gave you, and you didn’t open it?
RICKY: Well, you gave me the gift of family, friends, and prosperity.
VOICE: Yes. But I gave you four gifts. You forgot the most important of all, which you carried with you all along.
RICKY: What is it?
VOICE: Look inside the box and open your present (He opens it and takes out the last paper, written LOVE in big words)
RICKY: LOVE! How could I’ve missed it?
VOICE: Ricky. This is the most powerful gift I give you. Love! My love and the power you have to love! I love you for all eternity, and I will never abandon you, even in the most challenging moments of your life!
Ricky’s parents enter the scene and happily hug him.
NARRATOR: Every day, God gives us gifts. (One or more children come on stage with large boxes of gifts and place them in front of the stage.)
Today, from the moment you woke up, God has given you many gifts. (Other child/children come on stage with large boxes of gifts and place them at the front of the stage next to the other gifts).
What about you? How are you manifesting these gifts from God in your daily life?
ALL: Let’s be thankful for God’s gifts in our lives!
*Hint: The gifts in the last scene can have names written on them for the audience to see – Ex: joy, hope, faith, health, harmony, work, etc…