Act 1 - Scene 2
(Two wise men, taking turns looking through telescope. Marcus is looking out as Emaus begins to speak.)
Emaus: Do you see it? Look way over towards the west.
Marcus: Yes, I see it. I’ve been watching it the last couple of nights from my observatory at home. With all my years of study, I’ve NEVER seen a star quite like this one!
Emaus: Neither have I! I’ve researched all day, and not a clue! I did run across one ancient book, however, that may give us a lead…
Marcus: What was it?!
Emaus: It was from one of my oldest history books. It said that oftentimes a sign would be given in the sky to tell the world that a great ruler has been born.
Marcus: I’ve never heard of such a thing!
Emaus: I hadn’t either, but the book said God lets the world know about important events through a sign in the heavens.
Marcus: Most interesting!
Emaus: I thought so too. (Looking in telescope.) It’s really bright tonight, isn’t it?
Marcus: Yes, I just wonder if Benjamin or Claudus have noticed it?
Emaus: We should find out. The more people we have helping us research, the more information we can find!
Marcus: Yes, let us continue our research tomorrow and maybe we’ll find the answer to this mysterious star.
Act 1 - Scene 3
(Night scene. Telescope in place. All four kings are present. Emaus & Marcus are studying a book together and discussing it. Benjamin & Claudus are taking turns looking at the telescope. Benjamin is looking out)
Benjamin: That is the same star I have been seeing! It has been so bright the last couple of nights…it’s absolutely beautiful! The amazing thing is, it seems to shine a little brighter each night!
Claudus: I don’t know…it just looks like an ordinary star to me.
Benjamin: This is a most unusual star - especially its location!
Emaus: That’s exactly what Marcus and I have been discussing! This book tells how that often a sign would be given when a great leader was born.
Marcus: We have no idea who this leader might be, or where he is, but it could be a life-changing event!
Benjamin: Yes! Now I remember! My father, a great astronomer, told me years ago that mysteries in the heavens were often a sign from God. My roots take me back to the Jewish people, and they follow the commandments of God. That is why my father called me Benjamin.
Claudus: Personally, I think it’s just another bright star. You are all getting very excited about nothing!
Emaus: There’s just something so special about this star that I can’t ignore it! I think we need to continue to observe it over the next week and see what happens.
(Benjamin & Marcus nod heads in agreement.)
Marcus: Let’s get together in one week and discuss what we’ve observed.
(Claudus shrugs shoulders in disgust and leaves alone.Other 3 wise men exit talking excitedly.)
Act 1 - Scene 4
(One week later. Night scene - telescope in place. Four wise men are present.)
Emaus: I can’t believe the star is still shining as brightly as before! In fact, it seems to be brighter than ever!
Benjamin: I spoke with my brother and he also remembers my father speaking of some special writings by the Jewish people. We finally found the book today. It states that a star will come out of Jacob and a scepter will rise out of Israel.
Marcus: That is exactly the area that the star is shining in! Those writings sound like a great king or prince has been born!
Emaus: The Jewish people serve only one God. Their writings prophesy that a Messiah will deliver them and reign over His people. This may be what that star is telling us! This may be the biggest event in world history!
Claudus: Okay, okay, let’s not get carried away! Have you forgotten that we are NOT Jews? We serve our own gods! Those Jews have always separated themselves from us. They serve only one God, who has supposedly done great miracles for His chosen people. It’s a little far-fetched, if you ask me!
Benjamin: Yes, Claudus, but we cannot deny the sign in the heavens! The evidence gets stronger every day that a King has been born! In fact, I think we need to go and see Him for ourselves!
Claudus: Don’t be ridiculous!
Emaus: I agree with you, Benjamin! We are all smart enough to know that this is the chance of a lifetime!
Marcus: Imagine! Us going to see the new king of Israel!
Claudus: And what a long, tiring journey it would be! I still think the whole idea is absolutely ridiculous!
Benjamin: I don’t think so. There is nothing stopping us from seeing this King!
Emaus: All the evidence is before us! Let’s do it!
Claudus: Count me out! I wouldn’t waste my time or energy on such a senseless journey!
Marcus: That is your decision to make, Claudus, but I for one would hate to miss out on this great opportunity.
Claudus: My decision has been made! I think it’s a worthless journey. You all will be sorely disappointed, I’m sure! Benjamin: Well, count me in! There’s enough evidence to convince me! When should we leave? Marcus: Right away! (pause) Wait a minute! We have forgotten something very important! We cannot go to see a King without a gift for Him!
Emaus: You are right, Marcus! Whatever can we take for a King?
Claudus: Well, I’m going home! You can discuss this ridiculous journey all night! I hope you change your minds before venturing out on this senseless journey!
Benjamin: Goodnight, Claudus! We are going and hope you change your mind!
Emaus: Now, about those gifts…I think we need to take our very best to this King…I will take gold for my gift. That’s certainly fit for a king!
Marcus: Frankincense would be a very acceptable gift for a King. It’s an incense the whole world seeks after. It’s almost priceless!
Benjamin: I’m wondering about the perfume, myrrh, for my gift. It’s the best in the world!
Emaus: Then it’s settled! What awesome gifts for a King - gold, frankincense and myrrh! He will be most pleased with us!
Marcus: With that settled, let us plan to leave immediately!
Emaus: I could be ready in two days. How about you others?
Benjamin: My camels will be loaded down and ready for the long journey!
Marcus: This is so exciting! I’ll see you in a couple of days and we’ll begin our journey!
Act 2 – Scene 1
(Night Scene- They are on their journey, following the star.)
Emaus: This is quite a journey, my friends! It is hard to pack enough things for a 1,000 mile trip by camel!
Marcus: But we do have that beautiful star shining above to guide our way!
Benjamin: I’m so weary! Can we stop here for the night?
Emaus: Yes, let’s do that. We have traveled for two months now, and have a long way still to go!
(Unpack sleeping bags - lie down.)
Marcus: Good night, my friends! We must rise at the crack of dawn to continue our journey!
Emaus: Yes, Marcus, now let’s get some sleep! Morning will be here much too soon!
Act 2 – Scene 2
(One year later. The Three Wise Men get up from a night’s rest.)
Benjamin: It’s time to get up, men! We are getting closer every day to our destination!
Marcus: Yes, and the star continues to guide our way!
Emaus: Now we know for sure that it is a sign from one of the gods. It has truly been a miraculous star sent to us!
Benjamin: Let us be on our way. We have already completed the longest part of our journey!
(ALL LEAVE TO CONTINUE JOURNEY)
Act 3 – Scene 1
(The magi are walking towards Herod’s front door. They are tired, but excited.)
Emaus: Here we finally are in Jerusalem! I was so excited last night that I could not sleep! It did bother me, though, that the star is no where to be seen!
Marcus: And isn’t it strange that no one knows where the newborn King is? The people actually seem upset about the very idea of another King.
Benjamin: I think we need to go to the King of Israel and ask him where the newborn King is.
Emaus: If anyone would know, it should be Herod. He is very powerful and has built a great kingdom here.
Marcus: Here we are.
(KNOCK ON DOOR)
Servant Girl (opening door and peering out) Yes?
Emaus: We are seeking permission to see King Herod, please miss. We are wise men who have traveled from the Far East to see the newborn King.
Benjamin: We have followed a star all the way here. We just know that your king will be able to tell us where He is.
Servant Girl: Well, I don’t know…I don’t think that King Herod knows about any other king. He would not like the idea of someone taking his place…
Marcus: Oh, come now! Don’t your people believe in the coming of a Messiah? We also want to honor this King – we’ve brought Him costly gifts.
Servant Girl: I just don’t know…I will have a message sent to King Herod right away!
Marcus: Thank you - you are most kind.
(Servant Girl leaves them outside door and departs.)
Emaus: No one seems very excited about this new King. King Herod doesn’t sound like a very likable guy. Maybe we should not have stopped here…
ACT 3 – Scene 2
(Opens with Herod just having heard the message from the servant girl.)
Herod (furious!) WHAT? A newborn king? Utterly ridiculous! And they want to pay him honor? What about me? Did they bring me any gifts? I deserve honor - not some new king!
Servant Girl: I’m sorry sir, but they desire to speak with you right away.
Herod: I have heard of other similar rumors around town. Seems that these (sarcastically) “wise men” intend to stir up the whole city with their vain babblings!
Servant Girl: What shall I tell them, sir?
Herod: Tell them to come back tonight. I have some research to do before I meet with them.
Servant Girl: Yes, sir.
Herod: And summon all of the chief priests and scribes. I must find the answers to some questions before tonight! This whole thing is an outrage!!
Servant Girl: Yes sir.
LIGHTS ON- Magi are waiting. Servant Girl is talking with Herod.)
Servant Girl: The men from the east are back, sir.
Herod: Very well, send them in. I would like to be alone with them.
Servant Girl: Yes, sir.
(LEAVES AND RE-ENTERS WITH MAGI. They bow before Herod. Girl leaves.)
Emaus: Thank you for seeing us, King Herod.
Herod: What has brought you to my great city?
Emaus: We have come to see the newborn King, the Messiah of your people. Do you know where He is?
Marcus: We want to worship Him and present Him with these fine gifts.
Herod. I see…well, my priests and scribes inform me that the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem. It’s not too far from here. Will you continue to look for Him?
Marcus: Oh, yes! We feel that this will be a special King!
Benjamin: Thank you so much for your help! How can we repay you?
Herod: There is no need to thank me. I do have one small request to ask of you, though. When you find this Messiah, let me know where He is so that I can worship him also.
Emaus: Of course! That is the least we can do. We will not take any more of your time. We must be on our way to Bethlehem!
Marcus: Again, thank you for your help!
Herod: The very nerve! If I DO find that newborn king, I will finish him off! This country is only big enough for one king, and that king is ME!
(LIGHTS OUT ON HEROD. MAGI ARE SHOWN LEAVING)
Emaus: Well, he seemed nice enough. And I am glad we got the information we needed. Bethlehem, here we come!!
Marcus: Yes, it’s been a long journey and we are so close to our destination!
Benjamin: Look! The star! It’s back!!
(The men cheer - high five’s - great joy!!)
Emaus: We MUST be headed in the right direction! The star will lead us the rest of the way! Praise be to the King of the Jews!
ACT 4 – Scene 1
(Magi are in Bethlehem.)
Emaus: Look! The star seems to be directly over that small house!
Marcus: It has stopped moving and is showing us exactly which home the King is at!
Benjamin: Hurry! After a two-year journey, I’m ready to see this important King!
(KNOCK ON DOOR. Joseph answers.)
Joseph: May I help you?
Emaus: Sir, we are here to pay honor to the King who lives here.
Joseph: The king? Well, please do come in. Who are you and where are you from?
Emaus: I am Emaus. These are my friends, Marcus and Benjamin. We are astronomers from the East. The star shining over your house lead us all the way here. It has been a very long journey.
Joseph: We are honored to have you all in our humble home.
(Mary enters - is surprised to see strangers.)
Mary: Excuse me! I didn’t know we had visitors.
Joseph: Mary, these wise men have traveled thousands of miles from the East to honor our Son.
Marcus: Yes, and we have brought fine and costly gifts for Him.
Mary: He’s still a very young Child, but the angel DID tell me that He is the Promised One, and YOU are very wise men to have followed the star to His home.
Joseph: Over here is the Child. His Name is Jesus.
(The three wise men (whispering his name) fall to their knees in reverence and honor Him. They then take their gifts one by one to Him. Music in background during this part of scene.)
ACT 4 – Scene 2
Emaus: What an exciting journey this has been! We were actually lead to the home of a King by a star! It’s like a dream!
Marcus: It has truly been a miracle. I only wish that Claudus could have believed it too.
Benjamin: It IS a shame that he didn’t come with us. He just couldn’t believe it…it’s too bad…
Emaus: I have the feeling that many will not understand this newborn King. There’s something different about Him. Did you notice it?
Marcus: Oh, yes, I did! It was like being in the very presence of God! I could not help but worship Him!
Benjamin: We are supposed to let King Herod know about Him, but I’m not sure…
Emaus: No, we can’t do that. An angel spoke to me last night as I was sleeping and warned me that King Herod wants to bring harm to this new King. In some ways, I’m not surprised…
Marcus: It’s settled then! We’ll travel home on another route!
Emaus: You know, it doesn’t really matter what way we travel home. I think our lives have been changed forever after being in the presence of the King. How honored we have been to behold the Messiah – in person! We must tell everyone about this wonderful news!
(MAGI EXIT EXCITEDLY.)
© Tracy Sue Gimpel, All rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org