Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of Acts 16: 16-34, one of the suggested scripture readings for the 7th Sunday of Easter, Year C. It is set for three voices.
(Acts 16: 16-34)
One: One day as we were going down to the place of prayer,
we met a demon-possessed slave girl.
She was a fortune-teller
who earned a lot of money for her masters.
She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting,
Two: These men are servants of the Most High God,
and they have come to tell you how to be saved.
One; This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated
that he turned and said to the demon within her,
Three: I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.
One; And instantly it left her.
Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered,
so they grabbed Paul and Silas
and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.
Two: The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!
They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.
One; A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas,
and the city officials ordered them stripped
and beaten with wooden rods.
They were severely beaten,
and then they were thrown into prison.
The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape.
So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon
and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,
and the other prisoners were listening.
Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake,
and the prison was shaken to its foundations.
All the doors immediately flew open,
and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open.
He assumed the prisoners had escaped,
so he drew his sword to kill himself.
But Paul shouted to him,
Three: Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!
One: The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon
and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and asked,
Two: Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Three: Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved,
along with everyone in your household.
One: And they shared the word of the Lord with him
and with all who lived in his household.
Even at that hour of the night,
the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds.
Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized.
He brought them into his house and set a meal before them,
and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.