Bethlehem zero thousand
This sketch takes place in a shop but all your set really needs is a table to be a counter. Put all the props in a box and label the box “Bethlehem 0AD”. You will need a cardboard backdrop of a stable scene (which doesn’t need to be elaborate so it’s easy to make) and a manger (which can be a small box with straw) and you can be a flexible with the animals if you change the text appropriately. Again, you may use this freely but do acknowledge me as the author.
SHOPKEEPER IS BEHIND THE COUNTER. CUSTOMER ARRIVES WITH BOX.
SHOPKEEPER: Good afternoon.
CUSTOMER: Good afternoon. I’d like to return this. [PUTS THE BOX ON THE COUNTER.]
SHOPKEEPER: Ah, the Bethlehem Zero Thousand. A lovely nativity set.
CUSTOMER [SARCASTICALLY]: Is it?
CUSTOMER PUTS THE STABLE BACKDROP ON THE COUNTER. IT FALLS OVER.
SHOPKEEPER: A bit wonky, but that’s authentic: they didn’t have modern building standards in turn-of-the-millennium Palestine.
CUSTOMER: Wonky? Try shonky – but that’s not the problem. [TAKES ANIMALS OUT OF THE BOX ONE BY ONE AND SETS THEM UP ON THE COUNTER.]
SHOPKEEPER: Ox, sheep, very nice.
CUSTOMER PUTS A TOY CAT ON THE COUNTER.
SHOPKEEPER [DEFENSIVELY]: Cats are nativity animals too – the Palestinians used them in their stables to keep the mice down.
CUSTOMER: That’s not the problem.
CUSTOMER PUTS A TOY DINOSAUR ON THE COUNTER.
SHOPKEEPER [SHEEPINSHLY]: Ah, your nativity set may have got mixed up with our Noah’s ark – we do a fundamentalist version with a very nice mating pair of T‑Rexes.
CUSTOMER: That’s not the problem. [TAKES OUT A MANGER. ADDS JOSEPH AND A SCANTILY-CLAD BARBIE DOLL.]
SHOPKEEPER: Well, none of those Madonna paintings are actually contemporary. Who’s to say what Mary really looked like? …Although I admit that she may not have worn Lycra.
CUSTOMER: That’s not the problem. [TAKES OUT AN ANGEL BEANIE BEAR AND PLACES IT IN THE MANGER.]
SHOPKEEPER: Very cute.
CUSTOMER: Cute! That’s supposed to be the baby Jesus and it’s a Beanie Bear!
SHOPKEEPER: It’s the Messiah Beanie Bear! Check the swing-tag! [READS THE SWING TAG.] Birthday: twenty-five December.
CUSTOMER: I want a refund.
SHOPKEEPER: We don’t do refunds… But we do allow exchanges and I have a very nice Exodus kit you might like if you’ve got a pond you can use as the Red Sea.
CUSTOMER: Is Moses human?
SHOPKEEPER: Yes indeed. Well… humanoid.
CUSTOMER: That might be good.
SHOPKEEPER: It’s out the back: I’ll show you.
THEY EXIT, CHATTING.