WITNESS  5'3m0f A false witness at Jesus' trial

(scene: podium/judge's bench, bar stool/witness stand)

JUDGE ------- (enters in black choir robe, stands behind podium,
gavels) This hearing of the Sanhedrin will again come to order.
Where is the prosecutor?

PROSECUTOR -- (enters) I finally found a witness against Jesus,
your honor.

JUDGE -------  Good, for a minute there, I thought we were going
to have to let him go. Call your witness.

PROSECUTOR -- (calls to wings) Vinnie the Weisel to the witness
stand. (pause) Vinnie the Weisel.

WITNESS ----- (Brooklyn accent, enters backward, shouting to
wings) Hey, hey, hey, I'm a witness here! I'm a witness here!
(turn, talks to Proc) Imagine that guy accusing me of stealing
an ash tray from the hallway. (turns, shouts back to wings) I'm
a respectable witness for the Sanhedrin, fella. (to Proc) Who
does he think he is?

PROSECUTOR -- Right over here, sir. (points to bar stool)

WITNESS ----- Is this where the witnesses sit?

PROSECUTOR -- Yes, this is the witness stand.

WITNESS ----- Good. Cuz I'm a witness for the Sanhedrin. Imagine
that jerk accusing me of stealing an ash tray from the hallway.
(begins to sit)

JUDGE ------- Oh, don't sit down yet. We have to swear you in.

WITNESS ----- Oh. Sorry.

JUDGE ------- Raise your right hand.

WITNESS ----- Yeah, sure. (left first, then right, ash tray
falls from arm pit) Well, what do you suppose that is?

PROSECUTOR -- It would appear to be an ash tray.

WITNESS ----- I don't know nothin' about that! It musta stuck to
my coat or somethin'. Yeah, that's it. The ash tray stuck to my
coat while I was waiting out in the hallway.

JUDGE ------- (clears throat) Do you solemnly swear to tell the
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

WITNESS ----- (pause) You mean about the ash tray? I already
explained that...

JUDGE ------- (irritated) We're talking about the accused.

WITNESS ----- Oh. Yeah. I knew that. Yeah, sure. I'll tell the
truth. Why not?

JUDGE ------- Be seated.

WITNESS ----- Okay. (sits) What do you wanna know?

PROSECUTOR -- Do you know the accused?

WITNESS ----- The accused?

PROSECUTOR -- (irritated) The accused. (points to front row of

WITNESS ----- Oh, that guy over there? Yeah, he does look kinda

PROSECUTOR -- (clears throat) It has been said that you know him
very well.

WITNESS ----- Oh! Yeah! I know him real good. That's, ah.
That's, ah. Help me out here.

PROSECUTOR -- So, you know Jesus of Nazareth?

WITNESS ----- Oh, yeah. Jesus of Nazareth, that's him. I know
Jesus of Nazareth real good. All his friends, of whom I am one,
call him Naz.

PROSECUTOR -- (pause) And?

WITNESS ----- And what?

PROSECUTOR -- And do you have an accusation against Jesus of

WITNESS ----- Oh, sure. (pause) So, ah, when do I get my money?

PROSECUTOR -- Can you be a little more specific? (nods at front

WITNESS ----- Specific? Yeah, I believe the specific amount was
five shekels.

PROSECUTOR -- What I meant was, can you be more specific about
the accusation against the accused? Can you tell the Sanhedrin
if Jesus said anything about destroying the temple?

WITNESS ----- Oh! Yeah, he said that. So, ah, when do I get my

PROSECUTOR -- Did the accused ever say that he would destroy the
temple and rebuild it?

WITNESS ----- The accused. Oh, you mean that Jesus guy? Yeah, he
said that he'd, ah tear down the temple and, ah, rebuild it in a
two days.


WITNESS ----- They said you'd pay me five.

PROSECUTOR -- (irritated) I'm not talking about that! (laughs
nervously) Didn't the accused tell you he'd destroy the temple
and rebuild in in THREE days? Didn't he say that exactly?

WITNESS ----- Oh! Yeah! Yeah, that's exactly what he said.

PROSECUTOR -- Thank you. That will be all.

JUDGE ------- The witness may step down.

WITNESS ----- (clears throat)

PROSECUTOR -- Did you have another accusation against the

WITNESS ----- No.

PROSECUTOR -- Then, you're dismissed.

WITNESS ----- (softly) There was just a matter of five shekels?

PROSECUTOR -- I have no idea what you could be talking about.
Perhaps the person to see about money matters would be out in
the hallway. (nods toward exit)

WITNESS ----- You mean the guy who accused me of stealing the
ash tray is the guy who's gonna give me my five shekels?

PROSECUTOR -- Why don't you just clear that up with him?

WITNESS ----- (picks up ash tray) Yeah, I'll do that. I'll just
hold onto this ash tray as collateral until I get my dough.
(stares at front row while walking toward exit, returns) Hey,
fella, haven't I seen you before?

JUDGE ------- Would the witness please exit the hearing room?

WITNESS ----- Yeah, sure, but I think I seen this guy before.
The accused here. (points at front row)

PROSECUTOR -- Yes, so you said on the witness stand, remember?

JUDGE ------- Now, will you please exit the hearing room before
you embarrass us all?

WITNESS ----- Yeah! Now I know where I seen you. You're the guy
who drove me and the other sacrifice sellers out of the temple
courts. You called us thieves and robbers. You gonna take that
back or am I gonna have to get rough with you?

JUDGE ------- Mr Prosecutor will you escort the witness out of
the court room.

PROSECUTOR -- (grabs Witness' arm, they both exit)

WITNESS ----- Hey, hey. I'm a witness here! I'm a witness here.

JUDGE ------- The court will now recess to determine the guilt
or innocence of the accused. I'll be right back with the death
sentence. (exits)

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