Philip and the Ethiopian

This play, by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken, is based on Acts 8:26-40, and was written with youth groups in mind.

Download the full script

The studio of a Christian radio station.
Three people, wearing headphones, are seated around a microphone.

Radio Announcer: Christian radio welcomes you to this week’s episode of “The History of the Church”. Today our panel of church historians will be discussing the coming of Christianity to Ethiopia.

Panel, to begin with, would you share with our listeners some fascinating facts about the church in this North African nation.

First panellist: It may interest our listeners to know that the Egyptian Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches are the only expressions of Christianity in the continent of Africa that predate the witness of western missionaries. Christianity was recognised as the state religion of Ethiopia in the fourth century, only a few years after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Announcer: So Christianity has existed in Ethiopia for a very long time.

Second panellist: Indeed. There were Christians in this part of Africa from the first century. The indigenous Ethiopian church has been a great survivor. …

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The Handwriting on the Wall

A play for youth groups by Joy Kingsley-Aitken.

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Scene One

An elderly scribe is sitting at a table on which is stacked a pile of clay tablets. He picks one up and begins to read it aloud.

Scribe: God says here through the prophet Hosea, “My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy, for someday the people will follow me. I, the LORD, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west. Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt. Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria. And I will bring them home again, says the Lord.”

He sets down the tablet.

Most High God when will your fulfil your promise? When will you bring us home again? Not just from Egypt and Assyria but from Babylon too. I was a baby in my mother’s arms when she and all my family were forced to march day after day all the way from Jerusalem to Babylon. The journey was too long for many, the days too hot and the nights too cold. There was too little water and too much dust. Though many died, many managed to survive, to live in captivity here, dreaming of our homeland, willing to undergo the perils of the return journey. I am an old man now. Will I ever see Jerusalem? When I left I was too little to remember anything of her? God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when will you fulfil your promise?

The scribe stands up. He gathers up the clay tablets and leaves the room.

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Joseph tests his brothers

A play with seven speaking and eight non-speaking parts, by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken and set in Ancient Egypt, written for youth groups:

Download your copy here.


In an office, beside a grain store in ancient Egypt, near the border with Canaan, the “first minister” of the kingdom is checking the distribution records for the store. A slave enters.

SLAVE: Excuse me your Excellency. There are ten men here from Canaan come to buy grain. What do I tell them?

JOSEPH (preoccupied): Tell them to go away. Egyptian grain is for Egyptians, not for the riff raff of other nations who haven’t made provisions for hard times.

SLAVE: They won’t like that.

(The slaves exits, then hurries back a few moments later).

Your Excellency …

JOSEPH (impatiently): Now what? …

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If Jesus Came for the First Time This Year

Related imageIntroducing this “Nativity Story with a Modern Twist,” author Joy Kingsbury-Aitken writes – “Each year churches use nativity plays to involve their children in the telling of the story of the first Christmas. Finding creative new ways of doing this is often challenging. This version locates the story in our time and our place and in our summer.”

A 5-page pdf can be downloaded here.

ANZAC Day – a play reading by Rosalie Sugrue


A play reading that reflects on war

4 characters: Mum, Dad, son Jamie, daughter Amber.

Jamie is sitting by the table engrossed with his smart phone; Mum stands behind the table, she wears an apron and holds a cloth (or other kitchen item) and looks busy; Amber enters wearing a uniform, or a symbol of uniform (hat scarf etc), she removes her back-pack with a thud.

Jamie: Why are you wearing your Girl Guide (or Girl’s Brigade) uniform?

Amber: I’ve been selling red poppies in the mall. Our company was asked to help.
(sits at the other end of the table, chair turned towards audience)

Jamie: Yea! It’s ANZAC day tomorrow, we get a day off school.

Mum: We will be going to the Citizens Service at the War Memorial in the morning.

Amber: I’m going to be in the parade. There is going to be a band and I am going to be carrying the Girl Guide flag.

Mum: That is an honour. We will be proud of you.

Jamie: I like the parade but the speeches get really boring. They go on and on.

Mum: Those speeches are important, you should try listening. If we don’t know our history we are in danger of repeating it.

Jamie: I know what ANZAC is about – old soldiers who died years ago. We learn that stuff at school. Hundreds of New Zealand and Australian soldiers died at Gallipoli in Turkey. But it was ages and ages ago.

Amber: It was exactly (102) years ago.

Jamie: You are such a know all. History is full of wars but we don’t have them now.

Amber: There are wars now.  …

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Download the full script here.

The script also includes Shirley Murray’s
“Hymn for ANZAC Day”, written in 2005, set to music by Colin Gibson.


An Advent and Christmas Miscellany

A Collection of Advent Poems, Prayers and Blessings

A Liturgy for Advent and Christmas

Betty Shore has sent us an Advent/Nativity reflection/study she used with a group. You may be able to use all or part of this

A Birth in Bethlehem – a Nativity Play – by Joy Kingsbury-Aitken

If Jesus Came for the First Time This Year – A Nativity Story with a Modern Twist – by Joy Kingsbury Aitken

A Collection of Christmas Prayers and Blessings

Hot off the press – new Nativity drama!

From Rev Silvia Purdie, Minister at  Cashmere Presbyterian Church, Christchurch –  (24 Nov 2017)

Image result for nativity angels

“The Angels’ Big Entrance” is a brand new nativity play – which means that it has all your favourite Christmas characters, includes various carols, and ends with the “ohhh” moment as the nativity scene is formed at the front. It has 5 speaking parts, plus you can involve as many children or whatever ages as show up on the day without needing rehearing. This play is from the perspective of the angels: there’s Gabriel keen for his big moment, and 2 assistant angels running around trying to find out where the Messiah will be born.

Download the script of the play HERE

Download the powerpoint to go with it HERE  –  please note – some editing may be required, e.g., adjusting the graphics to fit the shape and size of the slides