Friday, September 24, 2010

REPOST: If Jesus Was Choosing "The Apprentice"...

Now that The Apprentice is back on the air with real people (as opposed to celebrities) for the first time in a couple of years, it seemed appropriate to repost this parody I wrote when the show was first becoming popular.

(As with all material on Transforming Seminarian that I created myself, this work is covered by a "Creative Commons" license. In this case, permission is expressly granted to make photocopies of this work and to stage a production of this script for their church or parachurch organization, provided that the author is given credit for the script in a bulletin or program accompanying the performance.)

Jesus’ “Apprentice”
By Mark Baker-Wright


Setting: The Boardroom: looking for DaVinci's "Last Supper" appearance, so that all participants face the audience.

As actors come on stage, it is suggested to play the soundtrack only (no words) of "For the Love of Money" (the theme of The Apprentice)?

Disciples on stage left: Peter and other unnamed disciples. This is the "Fisher" corporation.

Disciples on stage right: Paul, with Barnabas and John Mark, and other disciples. This is the "Xairos" corporation.

Jesus in Center: (dressed like Trump. If he can do the voice, even better)

Two people dressed as angels stand behind Jesus. One on either side. Perhaps dressed in white business suits or some such. At least one of these should be female, to make up for the lack of named/speaking females in the rest of the sketch. (Although there should be women on both corporations as well.)

JESUS: OK, so how did the disciples do this week?

ANGEL 1: The Fisher corporation did extremely well. They made converts of some Roman Centurions, and baptized their entire households. Total converts this week: 653

ANGEL 2: The Xairos corporation also did very well. They sent missionaries out from Antioch and planted a new church in Corinth. Total converts this week: 547. The Fisher corporation is the winner.

JESUS: Congratulations, Peter. You and your team of disciples have won this week's challenge. For your reward, you will enjoy a fine dinner of fish from the Sea of Galilee, prepared by my finest chefs. Go and enjoy! (The Fisher Corporation thanks Jesus and leaves offstage)

JESUS: Now, for the rest of you. What went wrong?

PAUL: It was all Mark's fault, Lord. He abandoned us at the very beginning of our journey in Pamphylia.

MARK: That's not fair! I had worked with the group in both Antioch and Cyprus, and found that I was more effective working from home. I continued to send messages and kept in touch through Barnabas.

JESUS: Barnabas, is this true?

BARNABAS: Well, Mark certainly did keep in touch, and I've always considered him an asset, but I cannot speak for what he thought was most effective.

PAUL (angry): You can't speak for it because you don't know! None of us know why Mark left! All we know is that he abandoned the group just when we were getting started!

JESUS: I think I've heard enough. Paul, as Project Manager, you can choose two people to remain in the boardroom with you. Who do you choose?

PAUL: Barnabas and John Mark.

JESUS: All right, then. For the rest of you. Although you failed the competition, you have served me faithfully. Go join the others in their fish-bake. (The others are surprised, but leave happily offstage, leaving only Barnabas, Paul, and Mark with Jesus and his Angels.)

JESUS: Now, Barnabas. You tried to speak in Mark's defense earlier, despite the fact that you didn't know why he left the group to work on his own. Why?

BARNABAS: Well, Mark's family. We've known each other for years, and I know him to be a man of deep faith. He may not have done things the way Paul or I would have done them, but I can vouch for Mark's integrity.

PAUL: He's unreliable! I can't allow someone who won't follow through with the job to stick around just because he's got well-connected relatives!

JESUS: OK. We know why you've asked John Mark in the boardroom. Why is Barnabas here?

PAUL: Because...

BARNABAS (cutting Paul off): Paul's mad at me because I stood up for Mark. No other reason. He knows I've stood by him faithfully through travels and controversy. Never once have I given him reason to question my devotion to your work. But I could not stand aside and let him cut Mark loose like that. It was simply unfair.

PAUL: Unfair?! I'm accused of being unfair for making a decision to weed out a team member who can't be counted on? If Mark stays on, he'll drag the rest of us down. I can't allow that. And if you can't see that, then I have no use for you either.

JESUS: I see. Barnabas, I don't think you should be here. You have continued to see the good in one of my workers when others couldn't. You continue to encourage him and give him support. Mark, although you may have honestly felt that you were being more effective by working alone, you obviously left at least your Project Manager down by leaving when you did. You should have worked out details on how you were best to serve the team with others rather than acting unilaterally. Paul, as Project Manager, it was your job to find out if there were problems within the team, and find out how to solve them. Mark clearly felt that he wasn't a part of the group, and you should have dealt with that. And you've stubbornly turned against one of your best friends for speaking up for him...

PAUL (tries to interrupt, although Jesus keeps talking): But... but...

JESUS (continuing from before): ... and I keep hearing these reports of you stirring up riots and getting thrown into prison!

PAUL: But, Lord....

JESUS (pointing to Paul, the "Trump cobra"): Paul, you're hired!

PAUL (pause: caught off guard): Wha? Hired?

JESUS: Yes, hired! Barnabas and Mark, you're hired, too. Go and join the others in the banquet.

(Paul, Barnabas, and Mark are dumbstruck, but get up and leave offstage)

ANGEL 1: (after Paul and others have left) You know, you're never going to be successful that way.

JESUS: We'll see.

(Post-boardroom music from The Apprentice plays, Jesus and Angels leave stage. Lights out.)

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