Characters: Jess, Raina, Moose, Buddy, Captain
(Important: Make sure the plane is not visible before the
(Scene begins with stage dark and video on screen of the view aboard a small commercial jet [VIDEO]. Heard in the background is jet cabin white noise [SFX].)
RAINA: (In-flight announcement ding [SFX], then with a “radio voice effect”) Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain has just turned off the fasten seat belts sign, so please feel free to move about the cabin.
JESS: (recording some thoughts in her journal) Dear Journal . . . I can’t believe it. I’m actually on my way to the Amazon rain forest. Four years ago, when I started missionary training, all I could see was a mountain of courses and hundreds of hours of studying. But now, in just a couple hours, we’ll be landing in Brazil. I’m so excited! Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of taking the gospel to a people who have never heard of you.
(Then, screens go dark and lights come up with the sound of the aircraft in trouble [SFX].)
CAPTAIN: (with “radio voice effect”) MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Victor-Bravo-Sierra, this is AiG Flight #316 with total engine failure! Repeat, we have total engine failure! Attempting forced landing! Our last known position was 50 miles northeast of Tikal heading 1-2-4!
(The sound of a very rough landing in the jungles of Guatemala is heard. Then the nose of the small jet pushes through the foliage as the plane comes to a stop and smoke [smoke machine] begins to rise. Then jungle sounds [SFX] are heard continually in the background. JESS is the first to exit the plane.)
JESS: (looks toward heaven and prays) Lord, I know a miracle just happened, because that should have been a lot worse. Thank you for protecting us. (pause as she looks around at her new surroundings) But what does this mean for my trip? How will I make it to Manaus in time? Please help me to trust you. (then she sees the ziggurat) Wow . . . what’s this? A ziggurat? This is amazing! (as she proceeds to examine the ziggurat more closely)
(Then MOOSE and BUDDY emerge from the plane dragging their backpacks.)
MOOSE: Well, all I can say is I sure like taking off A LOT more than landing!
BUDDY: Yeah . . . and why’d they make us put our head between our knees? No one ever told us we’d have to do that!
MOOSE: I know. That was ridiculous! Remind me never to fly this airline again. (short pause) Wow . . . so this is RYE-oh duh JANNER-oh? It’s definitely NOT what I expected.
BUDDY: Yeah . . . woulda thought we’d see some people.
MOOSE: And an airport. I mean, when did you ever hear of a plane landing where there wasn’t any airport? (as he puts on his backpack)
(They don’t yet notice the enormous ziggurat in the center of the stage.)
BUDDY: Hmm . . . I never thought about it . . . but I think you’re right. (as he tries to put on his backpack but has trouble)
MOOSE: Of course I’m right! And besides . . . that’s where we’re supposed to pick up our rental car. Says so right on the clue. (as he shows BUDDY the clue)
BUDDY: Hmm . . . then it must be around here somewhere.
MOOSE: We just gotta find it before any of the other teams get here!
(Suddenly, BUDDY notices the ziggurat.)
BUDDY: Hey, Moose . . . I think I found it!
MOOSE: Really? That was fast. (turns toward BUDDY) Whoa! What is THAT??
JESS: It’s a ziggurat.
BUDDY: What kinda rat?
JESS: A ziggurat. It’s like a pyramid.
BUDDY: So, it’s not an airport?
MOOSE: C’mon. Let’s keep looking.
(MOOSE and BUDDY exit the stage as they continue their search for the airport. Then RAINA enters, followed by CAPTAIN.)
CAPTAIN: You okay?
RAINA: A little shaken up. But the question is, how are you?
CAPTAIN: Just happy to be alive. Is everyone off the plane?
RAINA: All except for “his majesty.”
CAPTAIN: His majesty?
RAINA: As soon as you meet him, you’ll know why I call him that. He’s refusing to leave his seat until he speaks with the president of the airline and the FAA.
RAINA: Yeah, he wants to see your pilot’s license, your flight school transcript, and a complete maintenance report on the aircraft.
CAPTAIN: Let me guess . . . a spoiled rich kid.
RAINA: You got it.
CAPTAIN: Well, he can just sit there. (then suddenly notices the ziggurat) Wow! Would you look at that!
(Then JESS approaches RAINA and CAPTAIN as they look at the ziggurat.)
JESS: I guess someone’s been here before us.
CAPTAIN: Yeah, good thing we didn’t hit it!
RAINA: That’s for sure.
JESS: So, what happened?
CAPTAIN: Both engines failed. I don’t know why . . . I’m just glad there was a clearing where we could land.
JESS: So, what do we do now?
(Then MOOSE and BUDDY return to the stage. Still searching for the airport, they are becoming impatient.)
MOOSE: (to CAPTAIN) Uh . . . excuse me, sir, but could you please point us in the direction of the airport? We’re kind of in a hurry.
(CAPTAIN and RAINA look at each other.)
CAPTAIN: Airport?? What do you mean?
MOOSE: Uh . . . what do you mean, “What do you mean?”
BUDDY: This is RYE-oh duh JANNER-oh, isn’t it?
CAPTAIN: What?? I’m totally confused.
RAINA: I think he means Rio de Janeiro.
JESS: (with a smile) Ha! This is more like Rio de Jungle-o.
(No one laughs.)
JESS: Sorry . . . that was dumb.
CAPTAIN: Seriously? You think THIS is Rio de Janeiro??
(MOOSE and BUDDY look at each other, then shrug their shoulders.)
BUDDY: Uh . . .
RAINA: Can I see your tickets, please?
MOOSE: Sure. (as MOOSE hands his boarding pass to RAINA)
RAINA: (taking a quick look) Yep . . . look (as she hands the boarding pass to CAPTAIN)
CAPTAIN: Hmm . . . I keep telling corporate to update the ticket scanners.
MOOSE: Is there a problem?
CAPTAIN: Oh, there’s a problem, all right.
RAINA: Well, gentlemen. I’m sorry to tell you this, but somehow you got on the wrong plane.
MOOSE: What?? That’s impossible!
BUDDY: Yeah . . . that’s impossible!
CAPTAIN: Well, it should be impossible, but it’s not.
MOOSE: So, what do we do now?
BUDDY: Yeah . . . what do we do now?
RAINA: Well, under normal circumstances, we’d put you on another flight. But, since we just crash-landed in the middle of the jungle, there’s not much we CAN do.
BUDDY: (to MOOSE) Ha! That’s funny. I thought she said, “crash-landed.”
MOOSE: I know, me too.
JESS: She did say, “crash-landed.”
MOOSE & BUDDY: CRASH-LANDED?!!! (as BUDDY jumps into MOOSE’S arms)
MOOSE: So that’s why we had to put our head between our knees!
CAPTAIN: Wait . . . you mean you thought that was a normal landing??
RAINA: Haven’t you boys ever been on an airplane before?
MOOSE: No. (as he lets BUDDY down)
BUDDY: But we have been on the airplane ride at the zoo . . . a bunch of times!
JESS: Wow . . . so your first ever plane flight crashes in the jungle. That stinks.
CAPTAIN: Yeah . . . what are the odds of that happening??
RAINA: Okay, you’ve never flown before. So why now? I’m just curious.
MOOSE: Well . . . you see, we’re in this really, really big race with a bunch of other teams.
BUDDY: (gets excited) It’s a race around the world, and it’s got prizes and everything.
MOOSE: It’s really incredible.
JESS: You mean The Incredible Race? You guys are in The Incredible Race??
MOOSE: You’ve heard of it?
RAINA: Sure. Everyone’s heard of it!
JESS: That is so cool! How far into it are you?
BUDDY: We just started this morning!
JESS: Oh . . . that’s a bummer.
RAINA: Yeah . . . I always feel so bad for the teams that get eliminated right off the bat.
BUDDY: Well, it’s not gonna be us, is it, Moose?!
MOOSE: Nope, we’re going the distance. We’ve got our eye on the prize!
JESS: Really? Well . . . I guess it’s good to stay positive.
MOOSE: So, Captain, how soon until we’re back in the air?
CAPTAIN: Back in the air?? Back in the air?? Well, considering the fact that we don’t have a runway, we’ve got two damaged wings, two flat tires, and two engines that don’t work, I’d say . . . never.
BUDDY: (to MOOSE) “Never?” Wow, that’s a long time, isn’t it, Moose?
MOOSE: Sure is.
RAINA: Yeah . . . so, until someone rescues us, we’re pretty much stuck here.
MOOSE: Hmm . . . well, we’re not gonna just stand around like a couple of ninnies, are we, Buddy?
BUDDY: I should say not!
CAPTAIN: So, what are you going to do?
MOOSE: I don’t know, but . . . we’ll think of something, won’t we, Buddy?
BUDDY: I should say so!
MOOSE: C’mon, let’s go make our plan.
(MOOSE and BUDDY exit.)
CAPTAIN: (smiling, as he watches them leave) I’d love to listen in on that meeting, but . . . I guess I’ll try one more time to get the radio to work.
RAINA: Is there anything I can do?
CAPTAIN: I’ll let you know. (CAPTAIN exits.)
RAINA: I saw you reading a Bible on the flight. So you’re religious?
JESS: Well, I’m a Christian, if that answers your question.
RAINA: Do you ever wonder why God allows bad things to happen? I sure do.
JESS: You mean like crash landing in the jungle?
RAINA: Yeah . . . and earthquakes and tornadoes and diseases.
JESS: I used to. That’s for sure.
RAINA: Used to? You don’t anymore?
JESS: No, not really.
RAINA: Why not?
JESS: Because the Bible tells us why.
RAINA: It does? What does it say?
JESS: Well . . . do you remember Adam and Eve? The first man and woman?
RAINA: I might have heard the story, but it’s been a very long time.
JESS: Well, first of all, it’s not just a story. They were real people in a real place. But, anyway, I’ll give you the condensed version. You see, in the beginning, when God created the world, everything was good. There was no death or disease or sadness. Nothing bad ever happened.
JESS: Yep . . . but it wasn’t like that for long.
RAINA: What changed everything?
JESS: Well . . . God had put them in a beautiful garden and gave them everything to enjoy except the fruit from one certain tree. Then he warned them not to eat from the tree and told them what would happen if they did.
RAINA: But they ate it anyway.
JESS: You got it! And the rest is history. Because of their disobedience, the whole universe was put under a curse. Sin entered the world and affected everything. And now . . . just like Adam and Eve, we all disobey God.
RAINA: Hmm . . . so that’s why there’s death and disease and earthquakes and tornadoes.
JESS: And why bad things like this happen.
RAINA: Wow . . . it’s not a very happy story, is it?
JESS: No . . . but the good news is . . . God has promised to remove the curse someday . . . so it won’t always be like this. There will be a happy ending. (she suddenly notices a scorpion by RAINA’S foot) But, speaking of the curse, you should probably move your foot.
(JESS chases the scorpion and stomps on it as CAPTAIN returns with a backpack.)
CAPTAIN: What’s wrong?
JESS: Nothing . . . just a scorpion.
CAPTAIN: Oh, is that all.
JESS: It’s okay. He’s dead now.
RAINA: Any success with the radio?
CAPTAIN: Nope. And now I’m even wondering if my Mayday call went through.
JESS: So what does that mean?
RAINA: It means that no one knows where we are.
CAPTAIN: I’m going to have to go for help.
RAINA: By yourself? Why don’t you take one of the guys with you? (Then they look over in the distance to MOOSE and BUDDY playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.)
CAPTAIN: Uh . . . I don’t think so.
JESS: How do you know which way to go?
CAPTAIN: When I was looking for a place to land, I remember a village of some sort showing up on radar about 30 miles due east of here.
RAINA: 30 miles?? That could take you several days in this terrain!
CAPTAIN: I know. That’s why I need to get going. And while I’m gone, it’s very important for you all to stay put. You should have enough food and water for several days, and you can sleep in the plane at night.
RAINA: I don’t know . . . I just hate the idea of you going alone.
CAPTAIN: It’s okay. I had lots of jungle experiences in the military.
RAINA: But what if you get injured or encounter wild animals?
CAPTAIN: Just pray that I don’t. (then he starts to walk away) Don’t worry. We’re going to get through this. I know it.
(CAPTAIN exits toward the rear of the auditorium.)
JESS: (PRE-RECORDED) Dear Journal . . . I have to admit, a wave of fear swept over me as I watched the Captain leave. Here we were stranded in the jungle with very limited supplies and no way to communicate with the outside world. Please God . . . protect the Captain and guide him quickly to someone who can help us!