Christian Plays

by catherine wells

Catherine Wells also writes music for women's trios. Download a free sample.

In the late 1920s, a dissatisfied young man takes his inheritance and leaves Tucson, Arizona, for the fast times and jazz music in Chicago.

Most of the plays below are available in electronic format.  E-mail me at the address below to request a reading copy and specify hard copy or electronic version.  (Please specify the type and level of your word-processing software.)

a one-act play one man, two women
An elderly widow is reluctant to leave her house in a deteriorating neighborhood. When a homeless young woman takes refuge on her porch during a thunderstorm, the widow finds a new way for herself and her house to serve the Lord.

Approx. running time: 30 minutes

a one-act play for Lent
one man, one woman

One a thief, one a prostitute, both transformed by the love of the Savior. For Mary called Magdalene--Maggie--finding an old flame among the Master's disciples is a pleasant surprise. But for Judas it is cause for embarrassment, self-defense, and finally jealousy. Love accepted and love feared are the difference between them.

Approx. running time: 20 min.

a one-act play for Good Friday, or other holy days
one man

Frustrated by an empty ink pot, the Apostle Paul paces and fumes, rants and reflects as he writes to the churches in Galatia of the dangerous theology being suggested to them: that they can only be Christians if they have first come under the Law. His own conversion, the potency of the Gospel, and the completeness of Christ's sacrifice are all subjects of this monologue as he waits impatiently for ink to finish his letter.

Approx. running time: 15 min.

a one-act play
one man, one woman, one singer

The haunting strains of a folk hymn provide the atmosphere for this 1930's setting of the New Testament story. Living in a small rural town, Jenny finally has what she thought she wanted, the respectable young storekeeper, Levi. But on this parched summer day both are so thirsty, so dry, the thing they truly need is at the well.

Approx. running time: 25 min.

a one-act play
two men, one woman

At the gate just outside the Temple courtyard in Jerusalem, a pigeon seller named Aaron tries to sell his birds to a stranger from Nazareth. Beneath their lighthearted banter lie deeper issues concerning the nature of sacrifice and how Aaron, like others before and since, has tried to adapt God's plan to his own purpose.

Approx. running time: 20 min.

a one-act play
two men, one woman

King David has a dream: to build a house for the Lord. But Nathan the Prophet has a contrary vision: David is forbidden to build the Lord's Temple. Instead, God will build a house for David; and a Son of David will build for the Lord, not only a house, but an eternal kingdom.

Approx. running time: 20 min.

a play in two acts for Christians who don't really want to be born again
five men, four women, opt. parts for five men and one boy

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to ask about eternal life. Jesus told him he must be "born again." The meaning is so clear to us--why didn't Nicodemus understand?

Here is a very human Nicodemus: a man afraid of advancing age, trying to shuttle between two sons with opposing lifestyles, and offend neither family, friends nor conscience. "Naomi," he cries to his wife, "must you always contradict me?" She replies, "I don't have to. You contradict yourself."

Caught in the very real conflict between comfort and conviction, Nicodemus does what we are all capable of doing: the ridiculous, the ineffectual, the pretentious--and eventually, the sublime.

Approx. running time: 90 min.


a play in two acts
two men

"Who's on first?"

"With all the philosophical questions a man can ponder," storms Smith, "your only question is about a baseball game!"

But poor Dimwood can't think of anything else when it's his turn to begin a scene. And, locked in their prison cell, there is nothing to do but play scene after scene.

Condemned to death for crimes against the New Regine, the two men await execution at an uncertain time. So they pass the hours in playlets, one man with a secret he's dying to share, the other with a secret he wishes he could forget ...

Approx. running time: 100 min.


four one-act readings for Advent

These reader's theater pieces feature the forebears of Christ in various familial relationships: husband and wife, parent and child, in-laws, brothers. As they strugle to contend with quarrelsome and sometimes dangerous relatives we see them as human beings with human faults and frustrations; and we see in them the overbearing love and forgiveness which made them truly forerunners of the Christ.

Approx. running time: 20 min. each

Download a sample play for use in worship. (All materials are covered by copyright.)
Text file: Joseph and his wife Mary from "Those Who Have Gone Before."

For an electronic reading copy of any of the above plays, e-mail your request to: catherine- All plays are covered by copyright. Royalty payment is required for any for-profit performances. Not-for-profit groups may produced these plays without royalty, but credit must be given to the author in all printed materials.