Wise Men in King Herod’s Court

Drama Sketch in Two Voices for Christmas or Epiphany

By Patricia Souder

SYNOPSIS: A Court Attendant approaches King Herod to request an audience for the Wise Men who have arrived at the palace. Herod enumerates endless excuses for refusing to see them until he learns that they followed a star indicating a new King has been born. Paranoid and power-driven, Herod repeatedly threatens the Court Attendant. When Herod inadvertently reveals his evil intentions to eliminate the rival King, the Court Attendant demonstrates growing courage and true wisdom. Irony and subtle humor underscore God’s ability to “out-wise the blood-thirsty Herod . . . in his own court.”

SETTING: Herod the Great’s palace when the Wise Men stop in Jerusalem.

CHARACTERS:
     KING HEROD: Petulant, ruthless, power-driven Judean king appointed by Rome.
     COURT ATTENDANT: Member of the Palace Court assigned to announce visitors.

PERFORMANCE TIME: 8 minutes.

PERFORMANCE NOTES:

  • Although Herod the Great was known as a brutal tyrant, he no doubt saw himself in a positive light. Portray him as a self-centered character who dangles people and demands his own way, always believing he is right.
  • A strong Herod gives the Court Attendant maximum room to grow from a “scared centipede” into a person of courage and prayer even though his “head is on the line.”           
  • Characters perform lines together when marked with a star.

TOPICS: Christmas. Epiphany. Power. True wisdom. God’s overarching plan.

PERFORMANCE POSSIBILITIES: Worship services. Christmas or Epiphany programs. Small groups. Men’s groups.

BIBLE REFERENCES: Matthew 2.

PROPS: Throne, bowl of grapes, wine goblet, scepter. Scroll for the Attendant.

Script Preview of Wise Men in King Herod’s Court

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