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JONAH    9'3m0f A non-traditional tale of Jonah and the whale

Opening scene --  On board ship. Captain and first mate sway in 
unison on stage.

(Thunder clap, lights up)

Cap -- Oh, dear! The storm is getting worse! Oh, dear! What are 
we going to do, number one?!

Mate -- You're the captain, Captain. You tell me.

(thunder clap)

Cap -- (Shouts) We're all going to die. (Screams) Aaaaaah!

Mate -- Get hold of yourself, Captain. We don't want the crew to 
get the wrong idea.

Cap -- The crew. Yes, of course.

Mate -- The men are standing by, Captain. You just tell us what 
to do.

Cap -- Oh, yes, that's right. I'm the captain. Let's see... 
(shouts) way anchor!

Mate -- (Whispers) The anchor is already up, sir. It's been up 
for five days. How about if we secure the starboard lines? 

Cap -- (Shouts) Secure the starboard lines!

(Whispers) How'd I do?

Mate -- Starboard is on the right side, sir. 

Cap -- Oh, THAT starboard. (shouts) Starboard is on the right 
side, you swabbies!

Mate -- Very good, sir. You might try striking the mainsull, 
Captain.

Cap -- (Shouts) Strike the mainsull!

(Whispers) Pretty good, huh?

Mate -- (Whispers) The mainsull is the big sail over there, sir.

Cap -- I knew that. (shouts) I said the mainsull, swabbies!

(Whispers) That's telling them, huh, number one?

Mate -- That's telling them, captain. Now, maybe, batton down the 
hatches, sir?

Cap -- (Shouts) Batton down the hatches! Move smartly, you 
swabbies!

(Whisper) I'm getting pretty good at this, huh?

Mate -- Never better, Captain.

Cap -- Then, why is our ship still taking on water, number one?!

Mate -- Well, perhaps we should lighten the load, if you know 
what I mean, sir.

Cap -- (Whispers) Yes! Yes, that's it! The cargo, yes, of course.

(Shouts) Dump the cargo overboard!

(Whispers) How did we do?

Mate -- Very Good, Captain. The ship is a lot lighter now, but 
she is still taking a pounding from the storm. She could still 
break up. 

Cap -- (Screams) Aaaaaah!

Mate -- Captain, please. What will the crew think?!

Cap -- (Whispers) The crew, yes. I have to remain calm.

(Shouts) Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

Mate -- Belay that order.

Cap -- (Shouts) Belay that order!

(Whispers) Why did I just belay that order, number one?

Mate -- Because we're nowhere near land, Captain. We'd all drown 
for sure.

Cap -- I knew that.

Mate -- Someone on board is incurring the rath of God.

Cap -- (Shouts) Someone on board is incurring the rath of God.

(Whispers) Now, let's tell them who it is, number one.

Mate -- I don't know, Captain.

Cap -- But I just told them... They're expecting for me to...

Mate -- Could be any of us, maybe even our passenger.

Cap -- Our passenger. Where is Jonah, anyway?

Mate -- Jonah? Oh, he's below decks.

Cap -- What's he doing below decks during a storm? Is he hiding?

Mate -- No, sir. He's sleeping.

Cap -- Sleeping?!

Jonah -(Yawning) Did I miss anything?

Cap -- Only the worst storm I've ever seen in my entire career! 
And that's almost two weeks.

Mate -- The ship is in danger of sinking, Jonah.

Jonah - Sinking?!

Cap & Jonah --  (Scream) Aaaaaah!

Mate --  Captain, get hold of yourself.

Cap -- Yes, of course. I'm the captain, I just got caught up in a 
little mass hysteria. I'm fine. I'll be fine.

Mate -- It's like the Lord is angry with us for something. Or 
maybe he's just angry at ONE of us. 

Cap -- The Lord couldn't be mad at me. I've been at sea for 
almost two weeks.

Mate -- It can't be any of the crew, Captain. We didn't even take 
shore leave during the stopover in Joppa.

Cap -- We didn't have any problems until AFTER Joppa, where we 
picked up...

Mate and Cap -- Jonah!

Jonah -What.

Cap -- You booked passage to Tarshish. What business do you have 
in Tarshish?

Jonah -(Under his breath) None?

Cap -- What?

Jonah -None. I don't have any business in Tarshish.

Cap -- Then why are you going to Tarshish?

Jonah -So, I won't have to go to Nineveh.

Cap -- But that's in the opposite direction from Tarshish. Why 
don't you want to go to Nineveh? Are you a fugitive?

Jonah -Of course not. (Covers his mouth to muffle his voice) The 
Lord told me to go there.

Cap -- What?

Jonah -I said, the Lord told me to go there.

Mate -- The Lord God Almighty told you to go to Nineveh?

Jonah -To prophecy against them and to tell them to turn away 
from their sinful ways.

Mate -- But you disobeyed the Lord? You can't disobey the Lord 
and get away with it! 

Cap -- The Lord is punishing you and now we're all going to die!

Cap and Jonah --  (Scream) Aaaaaaah!

Mate -- Captain, please!

Cap -- Jonah, you must go to Nineveh!

Jonah -But, how can I go to Nineveh now? We are being blown all 
over the Mediterranean Sea.

Mate -- There is a huge fish swimming along side, Captain. Maybe 
Jonah can ride to Nineveh in the belly of the fish.

Jonah -Right. You want me to ride to Nineveh in the belly of a 
fish. That's very funny. Get your hands off me. This isn't 
right. You can't just....

(fall-away scream, splash)

Cap -- The fish swallowed him. Poor guy.

Mate -- Better him than us.

Cap -- Well, what do you know? The storm stopped! Well!

(Shouts) Now, listen up, you swabbies, that's the kind of 
treatment YOU'll get on this ship if you...

Mate -- Land Ho!

Cap -- Excuse me, number one. I was waxing eloquent to the crew 
here, when you rudely...

Mate --  Land Ho!

Cap -- There, see? That's exactly the kind of rude behavior I was 
just...

Mate -- Land off the starboard bow!

Cap -- It can't be! It looks like Tarshish. It IS Tarshish!

Mate -- Two days ahead of schedule! That was some storm!

Cap -- But. But, we can't go to Tarshish! Not now!

Mate -- Why not? That was our destination.

Cap -- We just threw their cargo overboard.

Mate -- We? It was you who gave the order to throw the cargo 
overboard.

Cap -- I can't face them in Tarshish! I just can't. 

(shouts) Jonah, wait for me!

(Fall-away scream, splash)

Mate -- Oh, what a shame. The captain is gone. That means I'm in 
the captain of the ship.

(Whispers) Man overboard.

(lights out) JONAH --  ACT 2

(In the dark)

Cap -- Where are we?

Jonah -Where are we? Where we've been for the last three days. 
Inside this fish's stomach.

Cap -- No, I mean the fish stopped swimming. I wonder where we 
are.

Jonah -I think we'll find out pretty soon.

Cap -- What do you mean?

Jonah -Can't you feel it? The fish's stomach is heaving. I think 
he's going to...

(spit: "PTUY")

Cap & Jonah --  Wooooooo! Ugh!

(lights up. Cap and Jonah, all wet, are sprawled out on stage)

Cap -- ...spit us out.

Jonah -Thank you, Lord, thank you for sparing our lives.

Cap -- Jonah, these clothes were brand new when we left Joppa. 
Look what you've done!

Jonah -You just spent three days in a fish's belly, the Lord 
saved us both from certain death and all you can do is complain 
about a few stains on your clothes?

Cap -- These clothes were brand new where we left Joppa. Look at 
them now!

Jonah -It wasn't my fault that we were swallowed by a fish, 
captain.

Cap -- None of this would have happened if you had only obeyed 
the Lord's command and gone to Nineveh. Now get going.

Jonah -Don't push me! We're not on your ship anymore. You're not 
in charge here.

Cap -- If you don't go, the Lord will call down his wrath on us 
again. Get going!

Jonah -But...

Cap -- Besides, you stink. Get going.

Jonah -Captain, please. We don't even know where we are, let 
alone where Nineveh is. 

Cap -- Get going.

Jonah -Wait a minute. Those Ninevites are ruthless! They eat 
people like us for lunch! (Fading) Maybe tomorrow.

(Collides with King, grunts) 

Excuse me, sir.

King -- I will not excuse you! You stink!

Cap -- See, I told you, Jonah. You stink. Say, mister do you know 
the way to Nineveh?

King -- This IS Nineveh.

Jonah & Cap --  This is Nineveh?!

Cap -- Good. Jonah, here, has a warning for the King of Nineveh.

King -- YOU? You, who smells like fish vomit, have a warning for 
the King of Nineveh?

Jonah -Well, maybe just an observation... 

Cap -- Jonah!

Jonah - Call it a mild caution.

Cap -- Jonah!

Jonah -Alright, I have a warning for the King of Nineveh.

King -- I am the King of Nineveh.

Jonah and Cap --  (Scream) Aaaaaah!

Jonah -Please don't kill us!

King -- Stop groveling. I hate it when people grovel. Get up off 
your knees and give me the warning like a man.

Jonah -Mind you, King, this warning is not from me. It's from 
the Lord. See, I didn't even want to come here. In fact, I tried 
to run away to Tarshish, then this storm came up and....

King -- Spare me the details. Cut to the chase.

Jonah -"Because of the sins and wickedness of the people of 
Nineveh, the Lord will destroy your city in forty days."

Please don't kill us!

Cap -- Actually, King. Since it was Jonah's warning. Justice 
would be served if you just kill him.

King -- Okay.

Jonah -Okay? You're just going to kill me?

Cap -- Good. See, I shouldn't even be here. This fish swallowed 
us and just spit us out on the beach here.

King -- I said, Okay. I won't kill you.

Cap -- Can we clarify that? By YOU, did you mean the collective 
you? You did mean you won't kill both of us, right? I mean, if 
I've learned anything in my two weeks as a sea captain, I've 
learned that you can't be too specific about how many people you 
will or will not kill.

King -- I have decided that my people will repent in sack cloth 
and ashes.

Cap -- So, that means there will be no killings today? Zero. 
None. Zilch.

Jonah -He can't do that! 

Cap -- He can do that.

King -- I can do that and I will. 

Cap -- See? He can do that.

King -- We will turn from our sins and turn back to the Lord.

Jonah -Kill me, your majesty, kill me now.

Cap -- Listen, King, Jonah's not in his right mind. He just spent 
three days inside a fish's belly.

Jonah -You may as well kill me. My life is over.

Cap -- Mind you, king, he's not speaking for both of us. We 
didn't vote on it or anything.

Jonah -I'm a prophet and I promised that Nineveh would be 
destroyed in forty days. But, if the people repent, the Lord, 
won't destroy the city.

Cap -- That's a good thing... isn't it?

King -- A good thing.

Jonah -No, it's not! If I say one thing, and the Lord does 
another, noone will trust a thing I say. What good is a prophet 
who can't be trusted? Kill me now, great king.

Cap -- This man is obviously a raving lunatic. I think you should 
discount everything he says, especially when it affects those 
around him.

King -- No. 

Cap -- Now, you've done it, Jonah! We're as good as dog food and 
it's all your fault!

King -- No. You shall not die. You shall live. 

Cap -- Alright! 

Jonah -What about my reputation?

King -- I shall make a decree explaining that your prophecy was 
no less true and correct merely because we repented.

Cap -- See what happens when you do the right thing, Jonah? 
Everything turns out in the end.

King -- Now, you will both come along with me.

Cap -- Wait a minute. If you're not going to kill us, where are 
you taking us?

King -- To jail, for stinking up my city.

Cap & Jonah --  (scream) Aaaaaaah!


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