Summary: Kind of a Cats In The Cradle approach to Father's Day. Purpose: To make the audience -- especially the fathers and the father-wannabees -- reconsider their priorities and their relationship with their children. Key words: Father's Day • Memories • Parents • Generations • Regrets • Portraits • Plans
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10min
Actors: 6M (mostly non-speaking)
The Narrator: Speaks all lines. Could be the same actors as those on stage or not.
The photographer: Mostly requires being able to stay still for a long time.
The Son: Young (8 or 9).
The Dad: Successful looking. 30 - 40 years old.
The Grandfather: Dressed comfortably with a tie. 55 - 60.
The Great-Grandfather: Old. Sweater, etc. 75 or older.
Staging: One stool facing the audience in front of a photographerrapher's backdrop.
Props: photographer's backdrop, professional-looking camera, stool, baseball hat, briefcase, walker or cane.
Notes: This works better with guys actually in these age groups, as opposed to actors depicting an age group.
(Photographer enters and begins setting up camera. As small boy enters, a "voice" begins speaking. Boy, wearing a baseball hat and carrying a ball glove, crosses to stool, waves at photographer with a big smile, climbs up on stool and adjusts clothing, etc..)
When I was a small boy, Father's Day was really special around my house. That's because Dad always made a point of being home on Father's Day. We would always do something, like go to the park, or to a ball game. Then I'd give Dad his new tie, and he'd act like he really needed one, and he'd let me give him a hug, until I turned 9 or 10, then he taught me how to shake hands. He'd always give me some Fatherly advice that always ended with,
"Remember, you can be anything you want to be!"
And then, when Father's Day was over, well, Dad was always real busy taking care of us. He worked lots of hours at the office and on trips so we'd always have just enough money to make ends meet -- whatever that meant.
He sure was something. And I remember thinking that when I got to be a Dad, since I can be anything I want to be, I was gonna be just like my Dad was on Father's Day, except I was gonna be that way all year long......
(Camera flashes and boy and photographer freeze for rest of sketch. The photographer comes to life briefly a moment before each flash.)
(Father enters carrying a briefcase as the next script begins. He crosses to center stage, checks his watch, then his calendar, and generally fidgets until he spots the photographer session. He crosses behind boy on stool and begins adjusting his clothing, etc. Boy remains frozen although father interacts with him.)
Then I became a father. And Dad was right... I could be anything I wanted. And I was the best Dad in the world. Everyday was Father's Day.
Then the darndest thing happened. On my boy's third birthday I got this fantastic promotion with a huge raise and suddenly I was an even better Dad cause I was making even more money and providing my family with even more of everything they needed. Of course, I had to work a few more hours, but I was really making something out of my life!
My son got me a tie for Father's Day this year. It was one of those wild kind and kind of wide. Reminded me of the ones my Dad used to wear. I knew they'd come back in style.
Dad had a heart attack a few months ago. Do you know what the last thing he said to me in the hospital was? He said, "Son, I wish I'd spent more time with you!"
Boy. I know what he meant, too. I feel that almost every night when I check in on my sleeping son after getting home from work. I really would like to spend more time with him.
(Camera flashes and Father freezes into the "picture".)
(Grandfather enters. Waves at the boy and his Father as the next script begins. Crosses to the photographer session.)
Then my son became a father. Suddenly, I felt like I was watching an instant replay of my life. I thought that after sending him through college, he would have been smart enough to not make the same mistakes I did. But, I always told him he could be anything he set his mind to, so I guess he's a big boy now and I should leave him alone.
It's just that, well, there are so many things I wish I could tell him about the direction he's going.
I'd like to tell him to pay more attention to the Lord, and to his family. I'd like to tell him to ask himself what's really important, and to go after those things. Or those people.
I'd like to tell him, that I wish I had spent more time with him. But, he's a big boy, now, and I guess I should leave him alone.
(Camera flashes and Grandfather freezes into "picture".)
(Great Grandfather enters with a walker or cane.)
Well, old Dad was right. I could be anything I wanted to be. I just don't remember wanting to be old! But here I am...
(Seeing his son.)
And there he is. The boy I used to take care of, is now taking care of me.
You've been awful good to me Lord. I just wish I'd taken a little better care of what you gave me.
It sure has been great being a Dad. Especially on Father's Days!
Hey, Lord. Any chance you'd let me try being a father one more time.
(Pauses as he realizes what he's asking for.)
On the other hand, maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea.
(Moves into position for the picture.)
But I really do think I could do a better job, now. I mean, I'm just better prepared now than I was back then.
(Camera flashes and lights go to black immediately.)
(Alternative: Everyone stays frozen excepts for the photographer, who takes his camera and leaves. Everyone else leaves when the photographer is gone.)
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