Randy Petersen


Drama Sketches

Theater is another love of mine. Through the years I’ve acted, directed, and taught acting in various theaters and schools, and now I’m pursuing a master’s degree in theater at Villanova University. As a Christian, I’ve always been intrigued by the interplay of faith and art, especially the art of drama. So in 1991 I formed Hope Players at Hope United Methodist Church (Voorhees, NJ), and I’ve been writing scripts for this group ever since. The group generally performs sketches 3-5 minutes long in the church’s worship services, on an average of once or twice a month. So I have hundreds of these things. . . . As a rule, our dramatic sketches raise questions rather than give answers. In the context of a worship service, that’s our job—the sermon can provide answers. Drama isn’t very good at answers anyway. . . . Our sketches use humor a lot. . . . Most of them are written for small casts (2-3) with minimal set or props.

People try too hard to sound impressive, Randy says. Say what you mean, as clearly as possible, but have fun with it too. With all the distractions around them, readers today need to be coaxed back into the material again and again, so keep the language light and let the sentences soar. Good writing is like invisible ink. When people read what I write, I don’t want to hear, “Wow that was great writing!” I want them to say, “Those were fascinating ideas.

© 2016 ~ Randy Petersen
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