By Jenny Mitchell
An updated version of the Parable of the Talents, set in a modern office.
Williams (the boss)
3 workers (any gender)
(Setting - 4 people working at desks/tables in an office; 3 in one group
and one in the other. The telephone rings.)
WilliamsÖ[answers phone] .Hello. (pause) Oh, yes, Mrs. Hagel. (pause).
Uh-huh. (pause).Well, yes, I could leave pretty much right away. All I
have to do is to assign a few projects to people. Yes, maíam. Iíll get
right on it. Your secretary is making my flight reservations? Okay, Iíll
be by to pick up the confirmations in, oh, half an hour? Okay. Thanks.
[Williams gets up from desk, straightens it up a bit, and picks up
3 sheets of paper. Williams then walks from his/her office to the other
Williams: May I have your attention please? I just got a call from
our boss and they need me in our Cleveland office to take care of some
problems they are having with the new contract proposal. I donít know how
long Iím going to be gone, but itíll be a while. There were three things
I was working on here that I need to assign to people. They are all projects
that are near and dear to my heart and a good chance to prove your value
to the company. Letís seeÖ Smith, Iíd like you to take this one. [Smith
gets up as Williams walks over to give it to him/her and then takes the
paper] And Brown, you take this one [the scene repeats with Brown]. Lyons,
you can take this one. [Lyons comes over and gets the paper]. Now, when
I get back Iíll be looking forward to seeing your proposals. Do your best,
and there will be a bonus for each good project. Goodbye!
Smith/Brown/Lyons: Goodbye. Have a nice trip! EtcÖ.
[Williams leaves the stage. The other 3 return to their desks. Smith
and Brown immediately get to work, writing on the project paper, making
phone calls, etc. Lyons stares at the paper for a while, then slowly sticks
it on the bottom on of his/her pile. Lyons returns to work, but much less
energetically than the other 2]
(Lights fade, then come back up)
[The 3 are still working at their desks. Williams enters the stage,
wearing a coat, and walks through the group office to his/her desk. ]
Smith/Brown/Lyons: Welcome back! Did you have a nice trip! Etc.
[Williams takes off coat and hangs it on chair, then returns to group
Willliams: Iíd like to see those proposals now. Smith, letís see yours
first. [Smith gets up excitedly, with a big smile and hands the paper to
Williams. Williams reads the paper].
Smith: Here you go boss. Iíve done the research, and Iím sure that
this proposal will boost our sales by 50%!
Williams [looks up from reading, nodding head and smiling]. Great work
Williams! This is very well done. There will be a nice bonus in your next
Smith: Thank you, sir/maíam!
Williams: Now letís see yours, Brown.
[Brown gets up, also with a smile, and hands paper to Williams. Williams
begins reading it]
Brown: I estimate that if we implement this proposal we can cut our
manufacturing costs by 20%.
Williams [looks up from reading, nodding head and smiling]. Very good!
I couldnít have done it better myself. Your next paycheck will also have
a bit extra in it.
Brown: Wonderful! Thank you.
Williams: Lyons? [Lyons gets up, hesitantly pulls the paper from the
bottom of his/her pile and hands it to Williams. Williams looks at it and
frowns.] Lyons, what is this? I donít see any proposal here at all.
Lyons: Well, sir/maíam, itís like this. I knew that you wanted the
proposal done well, and, well, I was afraid youíd fire me if I messed it
up, so I, well, I just didnít do it. I figured it was better not to do
it than to do it badly. So you can finish the proposal yourself now that
youíre back. Iím sure youíll do a much better job than I would have.
Williams: So you knew Iíd fire you if you messed it up, did you? If
I would have fired you for a bad proposal, what do you think Iím going
to do for ignoring my instructions? At least you could have asked your
co-workers for help! Youíre fired. I want to see your desk clear by the
end of the day. Here, Smith, take this proposal and see what you can do
with it. Thereíll be another bonus if you do it as well as you did the
first one. [Williams hands paper to Smith] What are you just standing there
for, Lyons? Start packing!
Copyright Jenny Mitchell, all rights reserved.
This script may be used without royalty payment, provided no charge is
made for entrance to the performance. In return for free use, the author
would like to be told of any performance. She may be emailed at email@example.com