THE PARABLES:  Adventures of the Prodigal Son

Libretto for ACT TWO; Appendices


SCENE 5:            DEAR ROSITA

A pigsty.  Lights remain dim throughout scene.  Prodigal Son, dirty and severely tattered, sits in the pig lot. Thoroughly dejected , he sings straight from the heart;  minimal action.

[scene is viewed in complete silence for several seconds]





Dear Rosita, you are beautiful,

Do you care for me, do you understand how my heart aches?

What did I do to fall so low?


Dear Rosita, I remember when I stood at the head of the line;

So sure then, the world was mine,

How did it go so swiftly, I love you

Rosita, how can I go on,


Through my tears and pain no word of disdain

will you utter, Rosita,

because you’re only a pig.


[he lowers head, remains motionless as lights fade;


— End of Scene 5 —


[SET CHANGE:  Reprise;  brief pause;  bouncy GREAT SUPPER intro]


SCENE 6:            THE GREAT SUPPER, Part I

An elegant dining room suggestive of a banquet.  Rich Neighbor paces, evidencing last-minute jitters.  Servant enters … turns to face R.N. with resigned air of one who must deliver bad news.




Everything is ready, Sir, the table is set,

The first three courses are ready to go,

The wines are all the very best that money can get,

[aside} (and I don’t think the guests are gonna show)…    [rolls eyes]



That’s good, that’s fine!  Bring up some more wine;

Get the hors d’oeuvres and the bread and…




[repeats}  …and I don’t think the guests are gonna show…



[begins low, menacing … builds louder, faster]

Whaddaya mean they’re not gonna show?

This dinner was planned three months in advance!

Now the table is ready and where are the guests?!

Explain, explain, while you still have the chance!


SERVANT    [matter of factly]

The Van Sneeds telephoned a moment ago

to say they’re sorry and they want you to know

there’s an awful good reason why they can’t come:

They’ve bought a new condominium…

…and they must go try it out.



Irrepressible Van Sneed passion, no doubt!

But what of the others?  Why aren’t they here?



The Lumpterbilts will be unable to appear,

They just bought a limo at a bargain rate,

And they have to check it out     [aside]  (though that’s a bit late),

So they took it for a long, long drive.


RICH NEIGHBOR    [angrily]

May they and their limo never arrive!



Young Feiffer just got married to his second wife

And they seem to be having their initial strife,

So they must stay home to repair the nest…

Would you like to hear about the rest?



No, no!  Please spare me!

[volume and tempo build with anger]

What a crummy bunch of copouts,

Better I invited dropouts,

Canceling out at the very last minute,

What do they care if we’re already in it?!

            Nuts to them all and good riddance!!



But what’ll I do with the table, Sir?

It’s just a bit much for the two of us.



[finger to head, scheming, dawning evil grin]

I have an idea for sweet revenge,

With very little bother or fuss.


[idea complete, whirls around with action orders]

Get yourself out and drive around,

And pick up every bum in sight,

Drunkards and riffraff, peons and trash,

And promise them all one hell of a night!


[warms to his theme]

Go get that hippie who lives with the pigs

(but perfume him before you let him in),

Say there’s more food than they all can eat,

With gallons of free wine and gin!   HURRY!!

[Servant dashes out;


[Rich Neighbor continues, speaking thoughts aloud with evil inflection]

… and I’ll get my friend … who is the editor …

… of the society page … and his photographer …

… so they’ll have a scoop … on the stand-ins

… who represent … by proxyBY NAME

THE SNOBS WHO NEVER SHOWED!!!     Hahahahahaha…


[chortles gleefully moving offstage, rubbing hands;

[Reprise plays briefly to empty stage suggesting passage of time … then he returns with

two new people: one carries camera, the other a prominent notebook;

[Animated pantomime as he explains the scheme, pointing about as Editor scribbles]



SCENE 6:            THE GREAT SUPPER, Part II

Intro music.  Servant enters leading a motley crew including Prodigal and Barmaid.

Rich Neighbor gestures grandly toward the table




Welcome, everybody, just grab yourself a seat,

And dig right in for all you can eat;

[all hands fall to with gusto – except Prodigal, who holds back]

help yourselves to the food and drink!

[aside, significantly}  There’s a lot more here than you think!



I am so hungry, for weeks I haven’t had a decent meal;

Why are you doing this, this is too much, this can’t be real!



I am known for my generous ways,             [editor cringes]

I like to spread the good stuff around.






Don’t waste time on a gift horse, Boy,

Where else can a spread like this be found?!



Life is hard and the world is cold,

You don’t get nothin’ free;

Why the photographer?  What’s your game?

I believe you’re using me!!


BARMAID   [impatient with him]

How can you be so suspicious in the presence of a sirloin steak?

Mind your manners and hold your tongue,

Don’t ask why, just take!


PRODIGAL    [angry, proud]

That may be all right for you,  but that is not the way for me!

I will not be used like this!  They demean us, can’t you see?!



I see pride unjustified!!


PRODIGAL          [scornfully]

What do you know of pride?

Do you think you can know what I feel?



You don’t even know yourself,                      [stamps foot]

Don’t try telling me!

[all others notice the argument in progress, one by one they stop to gape]



I hate this place!  I will not stay!

In my home the servants eat from a table better than this,

every day!



Your home is a pigsty.                                   [general snickering]



My home is my father’s home,

A far better place than this.



Then why aren’t you there instead of here?



I could be if I wanted!



Why don’t you go then, you prodigal!



I will go, I don’t need you!



You need somebody, because you’re not man enough to go it alone,

Not anywhere!



You got me into this!  I will go!

I don’t need any of you!



Then GO, high and mighty!   Go it alone – with the pigs!

[Prodigal dashes out, hands to head;  Barmaid hurls taunt after him]


Go back to your noble station!

Claim your birthright … PIG!!


[Lights fade.

— End of Scene 6 —

SET CHANGE as Reprise plays



The pigsty again.  Prodigal stands holding bucket, a bedraggled forlorn wretch


[Strong one-measure INTRO for THOSE WHO LOVE ME]




I am hungry, forsaken and alone;

I hurt so many ways inside;

I can sink no lower now,

But I will keep my scrap of pride.


I could have had the very best

By lucky chance where I was born,

Now I exist by counting pigs,

And feeding them their corn … and I must share their corn.


[SPOKEN with quiet intensity and affection; swings arm from bucket as if feeding corn]

[Two-chord phrase continues through most of the following dialogue]


Hey pigs! … come and get it! …  … sooey pig! …


… we’ll have our own great supper, huh?! …


… here’s your corn.  Turn it into bacon! …


… just save me some …


[moment of silence while he swings arm, dispersing corn from bucket]


Hey, you’re not all here!  Who’s missing? …


Rosita!  Where’s Rosita??!!      [growing alarm]     ROSITA!!


Where are you, stupid pig?!! …  God, don’t let her be lost! …


Rosita, you’re the only friend I have left!  RO-SI-TA!!!!


[suddenly to himself, increasingly animated]


Am I losing my mind? … Look at me!  Frantic because of a dumb lost pig!


What is wrong with me?!  … RO-SI-TA!!!!


Oh, I want to die!  I WANT TO DIE!!!


[very dramatic, anguished, turns aimlessly]


Face the truth!   This is rock bottom!!   I’ve arrived!!!


What a folly!!   WHAT A COST!!!


[turns and sees Rosita]


ROSITA!   There you are!!  Thank God, where were you?!


[laughs]   Welcome home, baby… Oh, you’re beautiful!


…  And I’m crazy!  What a reaction to one lost pig!  …


…  No concern for the others – just the one that got lost …


[slower, introspective]

… like me …   like me …


Oh, what happened to my values??!!


What an end to my beautiful world trip!


I took so much for granted!


What was I looking for  …  Myself? …


Why, I’m no better than these pigs!


I brought myself here!  …  just like one more lost pig …


I am a pig … [musical repetition ends with bass octave]   …and I’m lost!!



…  But there’s no one to say … “Welcome home  …  pig” …


[Music resumes softly]

[reflective]    …  Welcome home  …  I said  …  my father said  …


[pause]  … I remember!…    “You’re always welcome to come home”  …  he said  …


[pause]   He said “I’ll always hold a place for you  …


… wherever fate may lead you to” …     …  my father said …



[loud, dramatic]   Oh, see where I let fate lead me to!!


Father, I want to come home  …  but I’m not worthy!!


How can I go home  …  like this?!!

[Music resumes]

You held a place for me … but I brought shame on you!


I’m ashamed,  ASHAMED   …  IT’S SO HARD!!!  …


SINGS  [begins low, intense;  volume and drama gradually rise]

My shred of pride is gone, I am wretched and alone;

How would he greet me, would my father greet me?


My shred of pride is gone, I am so weary and alone;

How will he greet me, will my father greet me?


Did he hold a place, a place for me, a place for me? …

[pause – momentary silence – he visibly makes decision]

Goodbye Rosita, wish me luck,

I’m going home, I’m going home …

– – – – –

I have a ray of hope, maybe I will yet learn how to cope,

With the help of those who love me,

It’s a beautiful world.


I may yet learn how to live, when to take and when to give,

With the help of those who love me,

It’s a beautiful world.


Truly life is meant for the living,

And living is more than just the here and now;

True happiness is what you make it,

But first you’ve gotta learn how!


I will find my separate peace, from this mental bondage find release,

I am going home to those who love me,

It’s a beautiful world.

I will find my beautiful world!!


—  End of Scene 7  —

[ Lights fade;  reprise continues through set change]




SCENE 8, Part I:      HE IS FOUND

The yard outside Father’s home again   Scene opens in silence.  Father is seated doing something.  Bedraggled Prodigal, barefoot, enters opposite, sees his Father – moves

slowly toward him – then stops, tense and silent.  Father eventually looks up, does a dramatic double take, leaps up, runs across stage and embraces him.



My son!!



SINGS exuberantly:

He is found, praise God, my son has come home,

Ring the bells, let the joy resound,

Call in all the relatives, prepare a celebration,

Tell the world that my son is found!


[as “family members” hear commotion they drift onstage; Older Brother hugs him]


PRODIGAL              [humble]

Father, I am no longer worthy to be called your son,

I have reached the lowest level, I have nothing left,

I have brought shame upon your name …



My son, my heart is bursting, let the past be done and gone,

You were lost and now you’re found,

You were dead, now you’re alive,

Welcome home!


FATHER AND ALL  [except Prodigal]

He is found, praise God, my son has come home,

Ring the bells, let the joy resound,

Call in everybody and prepare a celebration,

Tell the world that my son is found!


PRODIGAL           [humble and incredulous]

Father, I have no expectations, will you let me stay?

I only ask forgiveness and a chance to rebuild

my life on solid ground  …  the strength of solid ground.



Forgiving is not needed, you have made my life complete;

[to others]

Bring new clothes for my son,

Put a ring upon his hand,

And new shoes upon his feet,

[beautiful new robe and slippers are brought and put on Prodigal]

He is found  … welcome home!  …


[singing goes straight into PRODIGAL, PRODIGAL ]






[unison; hold back some volume]

Prodigal, Prodigal, you got burned,

But now you’re much wiser and you have learned

Of responsibility,  Now you’re really, truly free;


You have changed, you’re much more of a man than before,

You’ve been gone for so long, you have traveled full circle

and now you’re strong;


Prodigal, Prodigal, you were wrong,

But you’ll be remembered in verse and song

for all time to be,   Prodigal, Prodigal you’re free!



Prodigal, Prodigal, you got burned,

But now you’re much wiser and you have learned

Of responsibility,  Now you’re really, truly free;


You have changed, you’re much more of a man than before,

You’ve been gone for so long, you have traveled full circle

and now you’re strong;



Prodigal, Prodigal, you were wrong,

But you’ll be remembered in verse and song

for all time to be,   Prodigal, Prodigal, Prodigal, Prodigal,

Prodigal, Prodigal, Prodigal, Prodigal,


Now…  you’re…  free….. !!




*          *          *



1,  PRODIGAL SON               A young man.  He maintains throughout a bearing and mannerisms that reflect his well-to-do upbringing.  From first to final scenes his clothing steadily degenerates to rags, his hairstyle and appearance become increasingly brutish.


  1. FATHER         A father figure of obvious means.  He conveys kindness, tolerance, and understanding of human frailties.


  1. OLDER BROTHER A younger version of FATHER, he conveys less tolerance and understanding, and is openly exasperated with his younger brother.


4-7.  FOUR PARTY GIRLS       Young, pretty, full of themselves, tittery, vampish.  They come across as shallow, good-time partygoers ready to serve any handsome male.


  1. RICH FOOL   Middle-aged, bustling, believes his own good-time philosophy.  Loves to associate with party people younger than himself.  Is somewhat afraid of his domineering frugal wife.


  1. FRUGAL WIFE Large woman of overbearing manner.  A breast beater who comes on strong while seeking sympathy for her burdens, notably her non-frugal husband.  Frugality keeps her in plain simple clothing rather than apparel that would display her wealth.


10-11.  TWO MUGGERS           Dressed to look the part.


  1. WOMAN OF WORTHY CAUSES A bustling do-gooder, she is well-dressed and showy with bracelets, dangly earrings, etc.


  1. FELLOW YOUTH Young, long-haired, middle-class, superficial, probably stupid.


  1. THE BIGOT Working class gray or blue duds, could be a truck driver or slaughter house foreman.  He conveys unassuming lower class folk wisdom, kindness and understanding toward people.


  1. BAR OWNER       Nervous, assertive, seedy, greasy old tie with sport shirt.


  1. MR. MAXIMUS From Eternal Revenue.  A nondescript suit.


  1. BARMAID         A young woman plainly dressed.  Unpretentious, she conveys rural lower class.  Essentially kind with a measure of folk wisdom, she displays the selfishness born of poverty.


  1. RICH NEIGHBOR Prideful, trying to be flashy beyond his means, which are less than those of Prodigal’s father.  Displays a spiteful nature.


  1. SERVANT In white serving jacket, maintains bearing of a paid employee who knows his boss well.


NON-SPEAKING ROLES:   Act One, Scene 3:  Passerby.    Act Two, scene 6:   News Reporter and Photographer, plus miscellaneous riffraff invited to dinner





ACT ONE, Scene 1                  Set 1.  Yard outside the home of Prodigal’s wealthy father.    House exterior in background conveys wealth.  Father and Older Brother work on timber with draw knife and rasp.


Scene 2                 Set 2.  Rich Fool’s party room.  Table(s) for drink glasses and bottles, stuffed chair(s) for lounging. Door at one side.


Scene 3                 Set 3.  Open road.  Small motorcycle.


Scene 4                 Set 4.  Truck stop bar & grill.  Bar (shelf?  mirror?), beer bottles, glasses, carrying tray.  Ash tray.  Customer table and chair(s). Broom.  Door at one side.


ACT TWO, Scene 5                Set 5.  A pig sty.  Some type of easily transportable rails suggesting a fence.  Bucket.  Perhaps a lightweight trough.  Pig(s) may or may not be seen.


Scene 6                 Set 6.  An elegant dining room. Table set suggestive of a banquet.  Decoration(s) on wall.  Door at one side.


Scene 7                 (Set 5) Pig sty again.


Scene 8                 (Set 1) Yard of Prodigal’s wealthy father again.



CAST   in order of appearance

Prodigal’s Father  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Prodigal’s Older Brother  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Prodigal Son  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Party Girl 1  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Party Girl 2  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Party Girl 3  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Party Girl 4  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Rich Fool  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Frugal Wife  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Mugger 1

Mugger 2


Woman of Worthy Causes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Fellow Youth  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

The Bigot  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Bar Owner  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Barmaid  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Mr. Maximus  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Rich Neighbor  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Servant  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .



Passerby in road scene

Reporter and Photographer

Guests at The Great Supper



Luke 15, 11-24            The prodigal son

Luke 12, 13-21            The rich fool

Luke 15, 8-9                The frugal woman

Luke 6, 39                   The Blind leading the blind

Luke 10, 29-37            The good Samaritan

Luke 14, 7-11              The upper and lower rooms

Mathew 18, 12-13       The lost sheep

Also Luke 15, 3-7

Luke 14, 16-21            The great supper


Therefore speak I to them in parables: because seeing they see not;

and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Matthew 13: 13