Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- The story "Why? A Playlet in Four Scenelets"
- Optional: Materials for characters' name cards
- Optional: Props for characters
Preparation for Activity
- Read and print out the story, "Why? A Playlet in Four Scenelets." Make eight copies for participants to use as scripts.
- Decide how you will assign the eight roles: Narrator, Parent, Little Kid, Pediatrician, Adult, UU Minister, Old Scientist and Old Scientist's Young Friend. Plan to ask for volunteers rather than assign roles and, if possible, give each performer a copy of the story well ahead of time.
- Arrange the meeting space for a simple dramatic play.
Description of Activity
Have participants perform and discuss the playlet.
The group's performance can be as simple or complicated as you wish. If time is short, participants can simply read their lines aloud. With enough time and an ambitious group, let participants prepare the scenelets in advance and add any props or actions they like.
At the end of the presentation, ask the group to identify the play's central messages. Suggest these ideas, if others do not:
- Many big questions can never be completely answered.
- Unitarian Universalism does provide answers to all the big questions. Many UUs share their responses to help themselves and others think about the mystery.
- Mystery is part of why life is interesting.
- When we do find answers to questions, the answers often raise new questions and create new mystery. (In Scene Four, for example, Old Scientist creates something new (the fummagaroochit) from two known things (the thingamadoojit and the whatsamajig). Now scientists and others might have questions about the fummagaroochit. Some will want to find out what happens if you combine the fummagaroochit with something else.
Including All Participants
Present the playlet in a way that involves all enthusiastic participants. Do not put any youth on the spot to read aloud. Provide scripts to volunteers, ahead of time if possible. Offer to help all performers prepare their roles, in order to include youth who may have reading or vision limitations.