The Prodigal Son
A Drama Script
During our 2013 renovation, our reviewers really liked this lesson. They suggested it be videotaped. If it's too long for your classtime, or too involved for younger children, break it down, assigning roles to different groups, rather than trying to do it all as one large group. Consider cue-cards. For non-readers, have them act it out as it is read by readers.
Additionally, member Angie Rich left this message:
We did the Prodigal Son last month and used the drama in this lesson. Our kids (and adults) had a great time! We shortened it up a bit to fit in our time and made a few changes. We had a Video/Toy store instead of a clothing store and use XBox games instead of clothes. We thought the kids would relate to video games more. We are going to use this drama for our end of the year skit to perform in worship service. Thanks for sharing this lesson and God bless.
A Parable Drama About Wasted Opportunity
What did the Younger Son "waste" of his father's? Of his family's?
In addition to the inheritance, how did the younger son waste his reputation and the family's?
What did the Older Brother waste? ...an opportunity to show forgiveness, to reconcile, to be an example to others. What did the father risk in this story?
You can present the following drama in many ways.
If you have a larger group, you can split it up into scenes and have different students portray the Prodigal in different scenes.
You might also add GOD to the drama...standing there talking to an angel about what they are seeing. You can highlight them by having them turn on a bright light at their feet.
Prodigal Son: Drama Lesson
Props–biblical clothes, table with dishes & food, coins, material for clothing store, a ring
Narrator: Jesus once told a story about a man who lived on a beautiful farm with his two sons. The father loved both boys very much. He promised his sons that everything he owned was theirs to share. The younger son was not happy on the farm.
Cast: Younger Son, Narrator, Father
Younger Son: I hate living here in the middle of nowhere. Everyday I dream of an exciting life far away. I want to be with lots of other people doing lots of exciting things. I must talk to my father about this.
Narrator: One day, the younger son decided to have that talk with his father.
Younger Son (to his father): You once told me that half of everything you have is mine. I want my half now so I can leave home and have fun. I want to start living and enjoying my life!
Father (answers sadly): I don’t want you to leave, Son. But, I know that I can not make you want to stay, so I will give you your share of the money.
Younger Son: Thank you Father. I will start packing right away.
Narrator: And soon after, the son packed all his things and left home. He went to a country far away. At first, the son was very happy. He had fun every day.
Cast: Younger Son, Friend 1, Friend 2, Narrator
Younger Son (enjoying a meal with friends): What a great life I have! Would you like some more fruit?
Friend 1: Yes, some more fruit and more wine would be nice.
Younger Son (yelling happily): Yes! More fruit! More wine! More bread! Let us enjoy ourselves!
Friend 2: And perhaps we should have more lamb?
Younger Son: Yes, yes, just bring more of everything. Money is no object. There is plenty of that. Eat up! Enjoy!
Narrator: Not only did he treat his friends to many meals, he also made many purchases.
THE CLOTHING STORE
Cast: Younger Son, Shopkeeper, Friend 1, Friend 2, Narrator
Younger Son (entering a store with Friends 1 & 2): Hello, I would like clothes made of your finest material. Cost is no object.
Shopkeeper: I can see you are a gentleman who appreciates quality. You have come to the right place. Please have a seat while I show you our finest cloth.
(Younger Son, Friend 1 & 2 are seated.)
Friend 1 (looking and touching the material): This is fine material. I love the color. Yes, this would look great on me. I look wonderful in this color.
Younger Son: Then you will have a cloak for you too. I’ll take one for me and one for each of my friends.
Shopkeeper: Very good, sir. You not only have fine taste, you are also very generous.
Friend 2: When we leave here, let’s go celebrate. I’m getting hungry.
Younger Son: Yes, and it’s my treat!
Narrator: The younger son thought he was rich, so he was not careful with his money and spent it in foolish ways. Eventually, things changed.
Cast: Younger Son, Friend 1
Younger Son (upset): I can’t believe it. I am broke. All of my father’s money. So much money and gone so quickly. At least I have good friends to help me. (Sees his friend on the street) Hello, Friend! How are you this fine day?
Friend 1 (rubbing his belly): Hungry! What I would really enjoy is one of the fine meals that you are famous for providing.
Younger Son: I am afraid that I am financially embarrassed. I have run a little short of funds. I would be happy to join you though if you don’t mind treating this time.
Friend 1: I just remembered that I have somewhere to be. We’ll get together soon though.
Younger Son: I hate to ask, but could I borrow a little money? I’m sure I’ll be able to repay you soon.
Friend 1: I never carry any money on me. It’s far too dangerous.
Take care. I have to run now.
Cast: Younger Son, Friend 2, Stranger, Waiter, Narrator
Younger Son (talking to himself): Maybe my other friend is dining here today. Surely he will help me (He enters the restaurant.).
Friend 2 (speaking to the Second Son and seated at the table with a stranger): Hello, my friend, please join us.
Younger Son (very happy to see him): I am so relieved to find you.
Friend 2 (interrupting & speaking to the stranger): This is the friend I told you about. He is a very wealthy man and a very generous man. In fact, I am sure he will pay for our meal tonight.
Younger Son: I am afraid that is why I am here. I have run low on funds and I was wondering if I could borrow a little until things improve for me. I am embarrassed to ask but I thought since we were such good friends that you wouldn’t mind helping me out.
Friend 2 (looking disgusted): That’s exactly what I’ll do–help you out. (Looking at waiter) Please escort this man out. He has no reason to be here.
Younger Son: But I have no money now because I bought you many meals and many gifts of clothes and jewelry! I thought we were friends.
Friend 2: I am not friends with people who can’t afford to buy a meal. Get out in the streets and beg for money. I will not give anything to trash like you!
Narrator: Not only was the second son without money and friends, a famine spread through the country. Food was hard to find. People were starving. The son had nothing to eat. Poor and hungry, the boy thought to himself, “I must find a job.” So off he went in search of work.
THE CLOTHING STORE
Cast: Younger Son, Clothing Store Owner
Younger Son (enters the store & is greeted by the Shopkeeper): Hello, do you remember me?
Shopkeeper (smiling & happy to see him): My best customer! Of course I remember you! Do you see my fine new house across the street? I think you paid for it. I have enjoyed making garments for you and your friends very much. How can I help you? Ask anything and it is yours.
Younger Son (looking sad): Actually, I am embarrassed to come to you.
Shopkeeper: You! Embarrassed? It is ridiculous. I won’t hear of it. A gentlemen with your taste and your money should never feel embarrassed.
Younger Son: But you see that is the problem. I have spent all of my money.
Shopkeeper: I still don’t see the problem.
Younger Son: So you will help me?
Shopkeeper: Me? You don’t need my help! Your father will surely help you. Just go to your father and ask him for more money.
Younger Son: My father has given me all of my inheritance. I beg you sir, please help me. If you would only buy back some of the clothes I have purchased from you. I’m certain you can sell them. They are of the finest cloth, as you know.
Shopkeeper: People are not willing to spend that kind of money every day, and there is a famine. People have nothing to eat–do you think they will buy clothes from the finest cloth. You are crazy. Get out of my shop you crazy man!
Younger Son: But perhaps I can work for you. I am willing to do anything you ask in exchange for food to eat.
Shopkeeper: Out of my shop you crazy bum! Get out!
THE PIG FARM
Cast: Narrator, Younger Son
Narrator: The only job the son could find was feeding pigs for a farmer. For a Jewish boy in biblical times to work with pigs was the lowest job in the world. Nobody wanted to work with pigs because they were unclean animals that were not to be eaten. As he fed the pigs pods to eat, he wished he had something to eat for himself. But no one gave him any food.
Younger Son (talking to himself as he fed the pigs): I am so hungry–even the pigs’ food looks good to me. If only I were home. It was such a fine farm. It is the most beautiful place on earth. Everyone eats well, including the servants. I miss my father and my brother and my beautiful home. I was a fool to ever leave. But I can never return. I am afraid to go back. What if my father didn’t love me anymore? But what if he will allow me to come back as a servant? I will return home and tell my father that I know I was wrong. I will tell him how sorry I am. If he will forgive me, maybe he will allow me to be a servant in his house.
Cast: Narrator, Younger Son, Father, Older Son
Narrator: He began the long trip home. It was a very long journey. After many days of traveling with very little to eat, he could see his father’s house in the distance. Everyday the father stood at his front door watching for his youngest son, hoping he would return someday. When he saw his son walking down the road toward him, he couldn’t believe it! He ran to his son and held him in his arms to welcome him home.
Younger Son: Father, I am sorry. I have been such a fool. I am so sorry for making you sad and wasting all the money that you worked so hard to earn. I have been such a stupid fool. I can not even ask for your forgiveness. I do not deserve your forgiveness. I am not worthy enough to be called your son. I am so sorry, Father. I do not deserve your help at all, but if you could find it in your heart to allow me, I would like to be one of your servants. I promise to work very hard.
Father (smiling & hugging his son): I am so happy to have you home again. I have prayed for your return.
Father (to his servants): Come quickly and dress my son with my finest robe. Place a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then prepare a great feast with the fatted calf. We will celebrate all night long!
Narrator: As the older son returned from working in the fields, he heard the music so he approached a servant.
Older Son: Why is there music playing? What is happening?
Servant: Your brother has returned home! I have never seen your father so happy. He is throwing a party to celebrate! We have killed the fatted calf and are preparing a great feast. You must come and join the celebration!
Older Son: I am ashamed of my brother and I am ashamed of my father for welcoming him back. He should not have a home to return to. Yet he is treated like a king!
Narrator: The food was served and the father noticed that the older son was not present. The father searched for the older son and found him outside with his head in his hands.
Older Son: How could you, Father?
Father: How could I?
Older Son (angrily): How could you have a party for the son who left you? And how could you kill the fatted calf in celebration after my brother spent all the money you gave to him? All these years I have worked for you, and yet, you have never given me a party. He has disgraced our family and you welcome him as though he has done nothing!
Father (speaking softly to his son): My dear son, everything I have is yours. You are with me always. Your brother has made mistakes, but he is sorry and he wants to come home. Although he made mistakes, I never stopped loving him. He asks for our forgiveness. He has come back to us. How can we not celebrate in happiness? We thought he was dead, but he is alive.
Narrator: The younger son came outside and joined his father and brother.
Younger Son: Thank you for forgiving me. I love you both and I will
work hard never to disappoint you again.
Father: I am happy man to have both my sons home again.
1. Although this parable is called The Prodigal Son, you could say that the POINT of the story is about the father's forgiveness. What does the father do about his son’s mistakes? (He loves and forgives his son.)
2. This parable is one of the most famous stories told by Jesus. It is commonly known as The Prodigal Son although the word prodigal is not mentioned in the biblical story. If you were to give this parable a new name, what would it be? :::if you focus on the father; ::::if you focus on the younger son; :::::if you focus on the older son.
3. In biblical times, if a son denounced his heritage (walks away from his family), as the younger son does in this story, the father would have considered him dead and would never have contact with him again. Jesus was well aware of this normal response, but he challenged the social norm by having the father eagerly await the son’s return, ready to forgive. Most people of the time would have found this reaction of the father disgraceful. What lesson do you think Jesus was trying to teach us?
(that God doesn't care about outward appearances, but inward change, and being true to his love for us).
4. Are you always loving and kind to other people? Even to people who are not loving and kind to you?
5. Are you always willing to forgive others when they do something to hurt you?
6. When you make bad choices, do your parents still love you?
Do you think God still loves us even when we’ve done things that are wrong? This type of love is sometimes called “grace.”
6. What should we do if we would like someone to forgive us for something we have done? (be sincere, admit the mistake, ask for forgiveness)
7. What should we do when we would like God to forgive us for something we have done?
Written by Kathryn Vetarbo of Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church,
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.