Introduction

Welcome to Christian Drama Online, a website containing a wide variety of Christian dramas, dramatic readings, dramatised liturgy, monologues, combined readings, ideas for services and sundry jottings.

If you are looking to communicate the good news of God, I hope you will find something here that suits your capability and circumstances and which stimulates your imagination.

Most of what is here is quite simple – because I have rarely had a team of committed actors to do something much more complicated.  Many of them were written for all-age services which were only a couple of weeks away and were performed with one brief rehearsal.  Quite a number depend on one lead person who knows the part well supported by others, often children or older people, who have been rehearsed briefly before the service or who are coached to take part during the performance.  Others have parts such as a narrator which can be read without needing to be learned.

My experience is that any church which relies on sermons as its main method of teaching – most faithful churches – is fundamentally short-changing its congregation.  Most ordinary Christians do not naturally respond well to an academic lecture, especially if they come from the same person or perspective and use the same teaching techniques.  They benefit from approaches which reach different parts of their minds and hearts – story, laughter, shock, parable, participation – even just from what is familiar being put into different words or unusual juxtaposition of words or thoughts.

I believe passionately that these approaches are not just for children – indeed, a number of the dramas on this site are not really suitable for children.  When we first started doing all age services where drama was one of the approaches we used, we found that the people who responded most were older people from an ordinary background who had sat faithfully in church every week since they came to faith under Billy Graham, listening to high-quality sermons which went completely over their heads, who at last had something they could relate to.

A word of warning – you may find that doing some or any of these dramas stirs up strong feelings.  This may not be a bad thing, but it is important that you and the church leadership are not taken by surprise.  Some of the reaction may be a sense that these presentations offend against church traditions; others may be discomfort with something which hits close to the bone; others may be tears because they allow emotions to be expressed.  Think about what reactions might be reasonably predictable, and do not push boundaries too far until people are sufficiently familiar with what you do to be able to trust you when they are unsure.

Above all else, I hope that these dramas will inspire you to use your own imagination and create your own material.  The bible is a wonderful starting point for a creative mind, and much of its teaching is in story format.  I was originally inspired by Riding Lights, but found as they became more established that much of their material was too complex for us to perform or unsuitable for our context.

You will find that each drama is presented both as web text and as a Word attachment.  This is to make it as accessible as possible to all those who visit the website, and in particular so that you can download it in a format which you can easily adapt as appropriate.  Please feel free to play about with the dramas as much as you wish.

A word about copyright.  The copyright remains with me, and no rights whatever to publish are granted to anyone else.  However, you may download, photocopy, adapt and perform for free without needing any further permission.  If you wish to perform commercially or for a paying audience, you may do so on payment of an appropriate donation to either Church Army www.churcharmy.org.uk – I will leave it to you to decide what is appropriate.  Where practicable, please refer to this website as the source of your material.

As far as I am aware, the material on this website is original except that much of it is inspired by or drawn from particular passages of the bible, or occasionally other sources such as liturgy.  I have little doubt that others will have dramatised some bible passages in a similar way.  Where I am conscious of another source of an idea, I have mentioned it.

If you like the material on this website, please tell others about where to find it.

Finally, please read, enjoy and use.

James Archer