Jonah and the Whale
(A slightly warped retelling) By Ed and Zach Deforest
A very low-budget (and slightly warped) retelling of the story of Jonah.
Pictures of various whales, map of Old Testament lands, Tape player, toy
boat, toy whale, three milk crates, small plastic person.
Bare stage with both narrators sitting on milk crates. Tape machine on
(N2 starts tape. Tape plays singers doing first verse to the tune of Gilligan’s
“So listen up and I’ll tell you a tale
N1: (stands) Wait!. We don’t have the rights to use that tune.
a tale of a stubborn prophet
God wants Jonah to go to Nineveh
But he don’t want to go, No he don’t want to go.
Tape player: Sorry about that. How about…..
N1: No, We don’t have the rights to that either. This is a very low
budget skit. What till you see the props.
N2: (turns off tape player. Says to audience) We are here to relate
the tale of Jonah and the whale to you. It is a fascinating tale of God’s
soverigenty and Jonah’s disobedience, along with Jonah’s subsequent obedience.
The geography includes Ninevah, the capital city of Assyria - the
ruling world power at that time. The prophet Nahum stated that Nineveh
was guilty of evil against God, exploiting the helpless, and performed
witchcraft and idolatry. The time was about 760 BC. This map will help
pinpoint the location of Nineveh. (gets map and points to location)
N1: Wait!. Just wait a minute. Too much information. We just need to
tell the tale. Ok?
N2: (sadly) OK. But I just have a few questions. Why did God want Jonah
to go to Nineveh? Why did Jonah not go? Is Nineveh a city or town? What
about the fish? Was it a whale or some other cetacen? How did Jonah
survive three days inside the whale? What did he eat?
N1: Stop!! These questions and others, I hope, will be
answered with the telling of the tale. May I start the tale?
N1: Jonah was a prophet. Possibly a student of Elisha. He was just
minding his own business when he heard a voice call to him. (pause) He
heard a voice call to him. (looks pointedly at N2)
N2: Sorry.(In a deep voice) Jonah I am calling you.
N1: Thank you. So, the Lord called Jonah and asked him to go
to Nineveh. And Jonah was sore afraid.
N2: What is sore afraid?
N1: Very scared.
N2: Thank you.
N1: You’re welcome. Now, Jonah was sore afraid. So, he hightailed it
out of Joppa. Which is located where?
N2: (juggling, looking around)What?
N1: Since you like maps, where is Joppa located?
N2: (Happy) Joppa is located on the coast of Judah. It was a seaport.
N1: Thank you! Jonah was going to Tarthish. (N2 jumps up and goes to
map) I do not need to know where that town is located. Thank you very much.
(N2 sits looking sad) He booked passage on board a boat. He was attempting
to run away from God. While on board God caused a great wind to come upon
the water. (looks at N2) sound effects and props please.
N2: (Gets a toy boat and moves the boat up and down while making wind
noises. Looking throughly disgusted)
N1: Thank you. The sailors were sore afraid. I really like saying that.
Sore afraid. (pause) Well, the sailors started throwing their cargo overboard
and crying out to their gods to save. (pauses and looks at N2)
N2: (starts throwing little bits of cargo off the ship. “Save us” Still
N1: While this is happening, Jonah is asleep is the bottom of the ship.
The Captain comes to find Jonah and asks Jonah to pray to his God and ask
Him to stop to storm. The sailors next decided to draw straws to see who
would be tossed overboard. Guess who lost? Our boy Jonah. The sailors
were not happy with Jonah. They asked him who he was and why this had happened?
Jonah replied that he was a Hebrew and worshipped the Lord, the God of
heaven who made the earth and sea. The sailors were now more sore afraid.
(pauses and looks at N2.)
N2: (acts very afraid)
N1: Thank you. Jonah asked the men to throw him overboard because
he had caused the storm by his disobedience. But the sailors tried to row
the ship back to shore. But the storm grew in strength. (pauses and loooks
N2: (Makes louder wind noises and rocks boat more violently)
N1: So the sailors had no choice. They tossed Jonah overboard (pauses
and looks at N2)
N2: (Tosses a small plastic person overboard, maybe with a slight scream)
N1: Thank you. Immediately the storm stopped. Jonah was swallowed by
a big fish. (pauses and looks a N2)
N2: (Motions toy whale eating toy person. Maybe with a cut off scream)
N1: Thank you. Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days.
While in the belly he prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God that he had
not drowned. Then God spoke to the fish and the fish spewed Jonah out.
(pause and looks at N2)
N2: You're joking!
N2: (resigned - motions whale spitting out Jonah)
N1: Thank you. Now…
N2: Excuse me.
N2: What type of fish was it that swallowed Jonah?
N1: I have no idea. A big one. Now…
N2: I have an idea. It was probably a rorqual whale, (shows pictures
of various whales), a toothless whale and the largest of the the whale
species. They are found all over the world. There is a documented account
of a British sailor in 1891 who was a harpooner on board the whaling
ship Star of the East who was swallowed by a whale and found alive in the
belly of the whale 3 days later. (May cut rest of story or may add rest
of story) The sailor, James Bartley, was in the front of one of the boats
and he sighted the whale and drove his harpoon into the whale. The whale
dove and flipped Bartley’s boat. Bartley was hit by the whale’s tail and
landed in the whale’s mouth. The sailors on the ship found the dead whale
the next day and proceeded to cut up the whale to get to its blubber. This
took 2 days. As they cut open the stomach they spotted James Bartley, barely
alive. They nursed him back to health and he lived to a ripe old age.
N1: Thank you for that fascinating story. May we get back to Jonah?
N2: You may.
N1: Thank you. Now, Jonah had a change of heart when God again
called him to go to Nineveh. (pause and looks at N2)
N2: (In deep voice)Jonah, go to Nineveh and proclaim the message I
will tell you.
N1: Jonah makes his way to Nineveh. (pauses and looks at N2)
N2: (Makes walking motions with toy person)
N1: Jonah enters Nineveh and proclaims Gods message. (pauses and looks
N2: Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
N1: The king of Nineveh believed Jonah and dressed in sackcloth and
ashes. (pauses and looks at N2.)
N2: No way will I wear sack cloth and ashes.
N1: OK. The entire city repented their evil ways and God had mercy
on the city of Nineveh. This ends our presentation of the story of Jonah
and the whale. Thank you.
Copyright Ed and Zach Deforest.
If this play was helpful please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and let us know. Thanks.