RICHMAN  7'1m1f The Rich Man and Lazarus

RICH -- (enters backward, wearing three-piece suite, looking 
around, turns 360)

MARY -- (follows as Rich turns his back, wearing a tunic) Good 
morning, Mr Rich.

RICH -- (turns, startled) Huh? Who are you? Where am I?

MARY -- I'm your H.R. representative.

RICH -- H.R.?

MARY -- Human Relations. You're in the after-life, Mr Rich.

RICH -- You mean I'm... I'm...

MARY -- Dead. Yes, Mr Rich. You're quite dead.

RICH -- That chest pain... You mean I... I...

MARY -- You died of a heart attack, Mr Rich, that's correct. 

RICH -- Well, I'll be....

MARY -- (points to podium) Please, step this way. I'll show you 
your new work station. (crosses to podium)

RICH -- (follows) It's kind of warm in here. Do you suppose we 
could open a window? (pulls hanky from pocket, dabs brow)

MARY -- (picks up pencil from podium, offers it to Rich) Your 
first assignment is to fill out this form.

RICH -- (takes pencil) It's a crossword puzzle. Is ALL the work 
this simple? 

MARY -- Yes, Mr Rich, it's exactly like this. Let me help you 
with the first few entries until you get the hang of it. Number 
one across....

RICH -- "your wife's first name." Seven letters. Oh, I get it. 
This is a personalized crossword puzzle. (writes) My wife's name 
is Eleanor. (pulls down tie knot, unbuttons collar) Boy, it's 
warm in here!

MARY -- Number one down. "Name the woman you have been abusing 
and neglecting your entire adult life." (points) 

RICH -- How did you know I was abusing Eleanor?

MARY -- ELEANOR? Will that name fit in here? (points) Seven 

RICH -- (writes) Alright, I'll play your silly game.

MARY -- Now, number two across. Seven letters. The name of the 
crippled beggar, covered with sores, who sat at your gate and 
begged for food.

RICH -- I don't know his name. How should I know his name? 

MARY -- He's been sitting at your gate for ten years, Mr Rich. 
You walked by him every day for ten years and you didn't know 
his name?

RICH -- No! Of course not. I don't associate with people like 

MARY -- His name is Lazarus. (points) Write it down.

RICH -- (writes) I know what you're trying to do. You're trying 
to get me to confess all my sins. That's fine. But let me tell 
you, (shake pencil at Mary) I am not a heartless man. I gave 
that beggar money.... more than once.

MARY -- I'm sure Lazarus really appreciated the thirty-five 
cents per year that you gave him, Mr Rich.

RICH -- Well, I didn't want to encourage him.

MARY -- No, you didn't. You even sicked your dogs on him. But 
all the dogs did was lick his open sores.

RICH -- (shudders) Don't remind me. (rubs stomach) Those sores 
turned my stomach. (dabs forehead with hanky) Listen, it's 
really uncomfortably hot in here. Can't you open a window?

MARY -- Oh, I'm sorry there are no windows on this floor, Mr 

RICH -- You mean there's more than one floor here?

MARY -- Yes.

RICH -- Well, move my desk to another floor.

MARY -- I'm sorry. The rules are very clear. People who do the 
work you do are assigned to this floor.

RICH -- (looks down, writes) Alright, I'll finish this work and 
then I can go on to do something else. Number two down. Seven 
letters. "the name of the person who died and went to heaven" 
(looks to Mary) By the way, what happens when I finish this?

MARY -- (pulls a second sheet from behind the crossword puzzle) 
Then you get to do this.

RICH -- Another crossword puzzle?

MARY -- Yes.

RICH -- It's the same puzzle.

MARY -- Yes.

RICH -- Exactly the same puzzle.

MARY -- Yes.

RICH -- You mean I have to keep doing the same puzzle over and 
over again?

MARY -- Yes.

RICH -- (dabs brow) Man! It's hot in here! How do I get to do 
the work on the floor with windows or air conditioning?

MARY -- I'm sorry, you don't. You're stuck here for all eternity.

RICH -- I never expected Heaven to be like this!

MARY -- (tilts head, smiles)

RICH -- Oh, no! You mean this isn't heaven?!

MARY -- It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

RICH -- Oh, no! The worst has finally happened!

MARY -- I'm sorry, but this isn't the worst.

RICH -- It isn't?

MARY -- No. The worst part about hell is that you get to look up 
and see the department with big windows and air conditioning. 
(points up)

RICH -- (looks up) Well, I'll be... The floor is transparent. 
You can see them walking around up there. (gasps, points) Hey! 
That's.... That's the beggar who was at my gate!

MARY -- His name is Lazarus. It's the answer to number two down. 
(points to paper) Seven letters. "the name of the person who 
died and went to heaven" 

RICH -- I can read the stupid crossword puzzle! (dabs brow) Man! 
It's hot in here. Can't I at least get something to drink? 

MARY -- Sorry, there's no water on this floor. But you CAN watch 
the people upstairs drinking. (points up) Did I mention that 
they have a water cooler?

RICH -- You are despicable.

MARY -- Just doing my job. We try to make your stay here as 
miserable as possible.

RICH -- (drops head back in frustration, comes to attention, 
points up) Hey! Is that who I think it is?!

MARY -- Yes, that's Father Abraham.

RICH -- (shouts) Father Abraham, have pity on me and send 
Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my 
tongue, because I am in agony.

MARY -- I'm sorry, they can't hear you. It's sound proof.

RICH -- Sound proof?!

MARY -- If you were in Heaven, would you like to hear the 
screams and waling of sinners from Hell?

RICH -- (hangs head) This is horrible. Don't I get ANYTHING in 
hell? Anything at all?

MARY -- You get lots of heat.

RICH -- Thank you so much.

MARY -- Remember that in your lifetime you received your good 
things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is 
comforted and you are in agony.

RICH -- Can't I at least get a message to Abraham?! (shouts) I 
beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have 
five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also 
come to this place of torment.

MARY -- Save your breath. Your brothers have Moses and the 
Prophets; let them listen to them.

RICH -- But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will 

MARY -- If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they 
will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.

RICH -- (hangs head) I'm doomed. We're all doomed.

MARY -- Precisely.

RICH -- You're really enjoying this, aren't you?

MARY -- It makes my heart go pitter pat. Now, let's (points to 
paper) go on to number three across. A five letter word 
beginning with "M". (exiting) And while you do that, I'll go put 
some more brimestone on the fire.

RICH -- (reads) "The God you have worshipped instead of the 
Lord." (writes) That would be money, M. O. N... (looks up) Did 
she say more brimstone? (exits shouting) Hey, wait a minute! 
It's already too warm in here. Wait a minute!

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