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JOSEPHRT 5'1m*f RT: Joseph conquers famine in Egypt

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

PHARAOH -- (enters wearing ornate midriff shirt and skirt, crown
and sandals, crosses to podium) I am Pharaoh, King of Egypt. The
reason I called this press conference is to read a brief
statement about the future of our country. Then, I will take a
few questions from reporters.

(reads)

As you know, about seven years ago, I had a dream in which I
prophesied seven years of ample rainfall and bumper crops for
Egypt's farmers, followed by seven years of record-breaking
drought and famine. As you also know, these last seven years of
prosperity have surpassed even my expectations. But the time for
rejoicing has passed. As you know, the famine has begun right on
schedule. So, I hereby declare a state of emergency, during
which my prime minister Joseph Son of Jacob, who was in charge
of collecting and storing the surplus grain from the bumper
crops, will now administer the sale of grain during the coming
famine. Joseph will have the power of life and death over anyone
who hoards or steals grain during the seven year famine. And may
the God who prophesied the famine through me preserve the land
of Egypt during the coming hard times.

REPORTER -- Your Majesty, Joseph is a foreigner. Wouldn't an
Egyptian citizen be a wiser choice for the office of Prime
Minister at such a momentous time in Egyptian history?

PHARAOH -- Actually, you have your facts wrong. Joseph is a
citizen.

REPORTER -- But I was led to believe that Joseph was a Hebrew
from the land of Canaan.

PHARAOH -- He is both of those. But I personally declared Joseph
to be an official citizen of Egypt seven years ago after he
interpreted my dream which predicted this famine. Even if Joseph
wasn't a citizen by declaration, he would be a citizen by
marriage, as he married the daughter of an Egyptian priest.

REPORTER -- But in addition to being a foreigner, Joseph is also
a convicted felon.

PHARAOH -- You need to get your facts straight. While it is true
that Joseph spent several years in jail, he was exonerated of
all charges seven years ago, after a thorough investigation.

REPORTER -- But the charges against him were brought by the
captain of the palace guard. Are you saying that he lied?

PHARAOH -- I'm saying that the captain of the palace guard was
deceived. It turns out that his wife was pursuing a romantic
relationship with Joseph while Joseph worked on her household
staff. But when Joseph rejected her advances she sought revenge
by filing false rape charges against Joseph. He's an innocent
man.

REPORTER -- So, you're not bothered by the fact that your prime
minister is not a native Egyptian?

PHARAOH -- During the past seven years as my prime minister,
Joseph has shown himself to be loyal and honest and a capable
leader. What difference does it make what country he was born
in?!

REPORTER -- It might make a difference if Joseph shows
preference to his own countrymen when they come to Egypt to buy
grain from us.

REPORTER -- Is it true that Joseph's brothers came to Egypt
recently to buy grain for their families?

PHARAOH -- Yes. But I can assure you that he didn't show them
any preferences. Joseph through one of his brothers in jail and
sent the others home.

REPORTER -- Why would he do that?

PHARAOH -- When Joseph was living in the land of Canaan, his
brothers sold him into slavery. His slave holders sold him into
slavery here in Egypt.

REPORTER -- Why would his brothers treat him with such contempt?

PHARAOH -- As many of you know, Joseph has inherited his
father's gift of prophecy. His gift of prophecy is even more
profound than my own. Seven years ago, Joseph was the only
person in the entire land of Egypt who could interpret my own
dream predicting the famine. But what we Egyptians see as a
valuable gift from God, Joseph's brother saw as a threat. You
see, Joseph was not the first born son to his Father Jacob. But
inheriting the gift of prophecy meant he would supplant his
older brothers as their father's favorite son. It was jealousy
that cause them to sell Joseph into slavery.

REPORTER -- Now that Joseph is Prime Minister, do you think
he'll declare war on his brothers and have them all killed?

PHARAOH -- Well, I would seek revenge, if I were him. But
Joseph's high moral character will undoubtedly prevail.

REPORTER -- The brothers will undoubtedly return here to get
their brother out of jail. What do you think Joseph will do to
them?

PHARAOH -- Joseph only held his brother hostage in order to get
his father and the rest of his family to come to Egypt. I think
that, once Joseph sees his parents again, he'll forget all about
revenge and focus on reconciliation. That's the kind of person
Joseph is. And that's why I named him Prime Minister.

And now, may the God of Joseph and his father Jacob bless the
nation of Egypt.

(exits)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
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