Go Sell It on the Mountain (A short play in three acts)


Black stage. Suddenly the sounds of a woman screaming followed by a baby crying, then hammering and screaming. The sounds of wood being dragged and begging. A loud thump.

Repeats three times.

Fades out.

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Virgin Birth (exits right).

Act One

The Theme from the Virgin Birth

Lights up. One man standing stage center smoking. All else in darkness. We hear a baby crying.

Joseph: Virgin my ass (flicks cigarette, exits).


A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Crucifixion (exits right).

Act Two

The Theme from the Crucifixion

Lights up. Three men crucified, one up center, two stage left and right. All else in darkness.

Jesus: My God. My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Thief One: Jesus Christ.

A voice off stage: Quiet up there.

Thief Two: (whispering) Be quiet. We’re dying.

Thief One: I am dying too.

Thief Two: We are all dying.

Jesus: Lord, forgive them…

Thief One: He is really losing it now.

Thief Two: Shhhh.

Jesus: For they, for they, for they know not what they do.

Thief One: Look like they knew what they were doing to me.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: Is that a chant?

Thief Two: I think it is a prayer.

Thief One: Or a poem. It could be a poem.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: O.k. it’s not poetry.

A group of black robes push forward from stage right. Pointing, laughing, whispering, owing, awing. One throws a tomato at Jesus.

Jesus: (Moans).

Thief One: And they crucify us.

Thief Two: I wish they’d throw a tomato at my mouth.

Thief One: Ask’em.

Thief Two: Ask’em what?

Thief One: Ask’em to throw one at your mouth…they might.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief Two: Hey, throw one up here. I’ll try to catch it with my mouth.

The crowd looks at each other.

Thief Two: Jesus. I’m famished.

Jesus: What?

Thief One: Hey, how does it work?

Thief Two: How does what work?

Thief One: Crucifixion. How do you die from it?

Thief Two: I think you suffocate.

Thief One: No, that’s burning.

Thief Two: What’s burning?

Thief One: You suffocate when you burn to death.

Thief Two: That doesn’t sound right…How’s that?

Thief One: The fire consumes the air around you…You can’t breath.

Thief Two: If I were burning to death the last thing I’d be worried about is breathing.

Thief One: My cousin was crucified and my aunt said they broke his legs.

Thief Two: After?

Thief One: After what?

Thief Two: After they nailed him up?

Thief One: They didn’t nail him…They tied him up.

Thief Two: What! That soldier told me it was for my own good…so I wouldn’t slide off.

Thief One: We’ll probably starve to death.

Thief Two: I wish they’d throw a tomato at my mouth.

A Roman Soldier crosses stage left, pushes into crowd.

Soldier: Move along here. Nothing to see. Move along folks…Go on home.

Thief Two: They look so small from up here.

Thief One: It’s the angle.

Jesus: The angel? Where?

Thief One: Angle. God, you’d think he’d learn to listen.

Soldier: Quiet up there…you two. Quiet up there…get on with it.

Thief Two: How’s that? Who’s he talking too?

Thief One: Us.

Thief Two: What’s he going to do? Crucify us.

Soldier: (stabs Jesus in side) There ye go. That’s better.

Jesus: (bleeding) Ooooo.

Thief Two: Lord, have mercy.

Jesus: (slumping) What?

Thief One: That’s just mean.

Soldier sits down and takes his lunch.

Thief Two: Just like that. All in a days work.


Thief One: What did you do to get here?

Thief Two: O, I; well I, I stole a healthy piece of bread.

Thief One: You get to eat it?

Thief Two: Slightly. I dropped it running.

Thief One: Shame.

The crowd moves back on stage left. Pointing, Laughing, etc. etc.

Thief One: Maybe they’ll throw another tomato.

Thief Two: What about you?

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: What?

Thief Two: What’d you do?

Thief One: O, I stepped on a rich man’s shadow.

Thief Two: And?

Thief One: And what.

Thief Two: That’s it. You stepped on someone’s shadow?

Thief One: It was a healthy shadow.

Thief Two: A wealthy shadow.

Soldier Holds hand out for rain, crosses right. Exists.

Thief One: (looks up) Looks like rain.

Jesus: It’s finished (dies).

Starts raining. Thieves collectively start lapping at rain.

Thieves One and Two: Umm, good. Umm, tastes good…good…


A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Resurrection (exits right).

Act Three

The Theme from the Resurrection

Lights up. We see a small group of people standing around a black hole in the ground. Some are smoking; others are stomping there feet and blowing into their hands-trying to stay warm. One is wearing an “I was at the crucifixion and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt.

Person One: God, he’s not gonna show.

Person Two: He might…It’s not impossible.

Person Three: My brother cut a chicken’s head off once and it ran around in the yard all day…six, seven hours maybe.

Person Two: See.

Person Four: How longs it been?

Person One: Couple two, three days.

Person Three: He’s dead.

Person Five: Did any of you see the crucifixion? I heard he put on a show.

Person Six: Seen one crucifixion, seen’em all.

Person One: I heard it got rained out.

Person Two: It did, but it was pretty much over with…so whatever.

Person Six: He went out like a bitch…”Father, Father…why hath thou forsaken me” and shit…God, there was two other people hanging up there with him.

Person Seven: Maybe he didn’t see’em. He was out front, maybe he couldn’t see the other two.

Person Six: What? He could see’em…He kept going “What…What’d you say?” when they’d say something. Why ain’t we standin’ around their holes?

Person Three: Dogs probably ate them.

Person One: Hell, we probably ate them.

They all laugh.

A detuned piano slowly plays “Go Tell It on the Mountain” as lights fade to black.


The End.

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