A Revolution Without a Head: Still Feeling the Aftershocks
Liberté, égalité, fraternité – the famous words of the French Revolution. This historic event is one that many of us know from Bible classes on Revelation as ‘a great earthquake.’ (Rev. 11:12)
This drama presentation was done as an evening program at a Bible School.
The structure of the play is to have the “common people” surround the audience, and sit with them when not acting to give the impression that this revolution is by the people and for the people.
As there is no main narrator in this play, all of the scriptural references have been tucked into characters lines. Here are a few examples:
NECKER: Yes sire, but times are different now, and this is your only choice. You must call the common people to “come up here.” (Revelation 11:12)
LUC: So basically, what we’re looking for is nothing less than the systematic, simultaneous elimination of all existing French laws and customs! An enormous political earthquake if ever there was one! (Revelation 11:13)
ROBE: My beloved Republic. Man needs to reach for something higher than himself. I have never waivered in my belief that there is some great power watching over us – protecting the innocent, blessing the virtuous, condemning the wicked. People of France, what could we offer as a more worthy gift to our God than the vision of Paris this day? (Revelation 11:13)
Running Length: 33 minutes
Number of roles: 32 plus stage hands – some roles can be played by the same person
This is a link to the drama presentation.
Here is a short summary of the French Revolution, as it pertains to the Bible.
On May 4th 1789 –King Louis XVI of France convened the estates general (a general assembly representing the French estates of the realm: the clergy (First Estate), the nobility (Second Estate), and the commoners (Third Estate). This was the first time in over 175 years in which common people were elevated politically into the heavens (or the government of France) by the King himself. The National assembly was formed, abolished feudalism and confiscated ecclesiastical properties. This ‘great or a political earthquake’ (Rev.11:12) shook the ancient aristocratic and ecclesiastical order of France. The revolution lasted from 1789 to 1794, and France, the tenth part of the Roman world fell. In 1792 the monarchy was abolished, and France proclaimed a Republic. In 1793, Louis XVI was guillotined and the reign of terror followed. However, by the most extraordinary turn of events, on the 7th of May, 1794, Robespierre proclaimed the existence of God and on June the 8th, a national festival in God’s honour was held.
For more information about the French Revolution and the Bible, below is a class given by Bro. Stephen Hornhardt.
On a more comical note – we had a lot of different ideas for a title for the play. In the end we decide to go with A Revolution Without a Head: Still Feeling the Aftershocks as we felt it was a nice summary of the play. It has the reference to a revolution by the people, without any strong leadership, but also a reference to the mass slaughter of the leaders of France by the guillotine. It also speaks of the earthquake reference from Revelation, but a reminder that the spirit of the revolution spread throughout the world and throughout time, down to the present age where we see the frog like spirits of the French Revolution still at work. However, the title “runner-ups” will hopefully put a smile on your face.
- We Beheading for a Revolution
- The French are Revolting
- The French Revolution: the Lightheaded Version
- We Beheading for a Revolution: the Ribbiting Version
- Freeing the Prisoners, Imprisoning the Free
- The French Revolution: Why 70, 000 croaked
This PDF document is the script.
This PDF document is the costume list.
This PDF document is Robespierre’s cue cards.
This PDF document is a play prop (the daily program).
This PDF document is a list of people to be executed.