My church does a celebration of famous UUs every Thanksgiving weekend, complete with famous UU skits acted out by the Sunday School classes.
I wrote YRUU's contribution this year.
It loses something on paper, but oh well.
(Lights come up. VOICEOVER PERSON stands at a mike. As VOICEOVER PERSON talks, ROD, CINDY and the other students are setting up tables and chairs onstage, perpendicular to the audience. Mrs. Denton stands in front of them.)
VOICEOVER PERSON: Portrait of a classroom. The year is 1946 and the place is Binghamton Central High School in Binghamton, New York and it’s a sleepy Friday afternoon in Mrs. Denton’s history class. The assignment was a reading on the wives of Henry the Eighth, a topic fascinating to historians but that has left most of the class daydreaming about tonight’s football game.
One student, however, one special student who would grow up to be a famous UU, has dreams all his own…
(The students take their seats, two or three to a table. CINDY is in the front row. ROD is in the last row. Voiceover can join the students or simply slip offstage. Meanwhile PIANO PLAYER has started to play sci-fi esque music. When everyone has taken his/her seat, Mrs. Denton speaks)
Mrs. Denton: Quiet, class.
(PIANO PLAYER keeps on playing. Students are chattering.)
Mrs. Denton: I said, QUIET!
(Students quiet down. PIANO PLAYER stops, looks nervous)
Mrs. Denton: Good afternoon, class. I hope you’ve done your homework.
(There are general nods. ROD stares off into space.)
Mrs. Denton: Let’s start from the beginning. Can someone tell me what Henry wanted from his wives? Rod?
(Rod jumps up and delivers his lines like a little kid describing a REALLY NEAT MOVIE)
ROD: He wanted to be alone, to read. More than anything. And then one day, he woke up and the palace was totally empty and he ran to his royal library and grabbed a book. But just then, he broke his glasses. He had all the time in the world to read and got only loneliness.
(Pause for a beat. Entire class is staring at ROD. He sits down.)
Mrs. Denton: That’s a very creative answer, Rod. But an incorrect one.
(CINDY waves her hand)
Mrs. Denton: Cindy?
(Cindy stands. For the rest of the show, all students stand when called on and sit back down when they’ve spoken.)
Cindy: The most important thing King Henry wanted from his wives was an heir.
Mrs. Denton (interrupting): Very good, Cindy. Now, Steve, did Henry’s first wife Catharine of Aragon have any children?
Steve: Yes, she had a daughter named Mary. But Mary was raised Catholic and King Henry became a Protestant, so she never got the throne of England.
Mrs. Denton: Excellent, Steve. Sarah, tell us about Catharine of Aragon.
Sarah: She and Henry were married for twenty years, but their only child was Mary.
Mrs. Denton: And?
Sarah: Eventually, Henry really started to want an heir and he thought it was her fault, so he divorced her and married Anne Boelyn.
Mrs. Denton: Very good, Sarah. Rod, what happened to Anne Boelyn?
(Again, Rod stands and delivers his lines in a dramatic manner.)
ROD: She was in a horrible accident and the doctors told her she was horribly disfigured, but when she took off the bandages she looked like a movie star. You see, all the doctors had pig noses, so it was really all about perspective and…
(Cindy jumps up)
CINDY: No! That’s not true at all! Henry got tired of Anne Boelyn and had her beheaded.
(Rod and Cindy sit.)
Mrs. Denton: Cindy? Rod’s answer was not impressive, but that’s no excuse to interrupt.
That said, your answer is correct. Now Anne Boelyn had a child. Who was Anne Boelyn’s child? Steve?
Steve: It was a girl named Elizabeth who grew up to be Elizabeth the first of England.
Mrs. Denton: We will learn a little bit more about her next week. Now, who was Henry’s third child? Sarah?
Sarah: Prince Edward.
(Rod is staring off into space.)
Mrs. Denton: Rod! Tell us about Prince Edward.
(Same line delivery as before)
Rod: He had these creepy powers and he could control the weather and make people disappear into a mysterious cornfield. So the whole palace had to pretend it was his birthday every day and they lived this meaningless, depressing existence and one guy tried to kill him, but…
Mrs. Denton (snaps): Rod Serling? You haven’t studied a BIT of this history. If you don’t start doing your homework, you’re going to grow up to be a big nothing.
ENTIRE CAST suddenly stares at audience and says in unison: OR WOULD HE?
(Piano player plays Twilight Zone theme.)
Voiceover: Greatness does not come only to kings and emporers. Famous Unitarian Universalist Rod Serling wrote television scripts that made people think and consider their values. Because of Rod Serling, Americans considered whether xenophobia might be more dangerous than an alien invasion, that power usually brings new responsibilities, and that sometimes the best way to ruin someone's life is to give them exactly what they think they want. Because of Rod Serling, and because of the Twilight Zone.