The Seat of her Pants-Drama Skit

The Seat of her Pants-Drama Skit

Themes: Rosa Parks, black history, civil rights, segregation
Categories: Black History 

When it comes to writing about black historical figures, Shondra has an edge: her grandmother knew Rosa Parks.  It came as no surprise then, when Shondra and her friend, Jackie were asked to write about an event in black history, they chose the story of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus.  


In this skit, the stage is divided into 3 small sections: a table and chairs for the grandmother and the 2 girls; a middle section where Rosa and Louise (a younger version of the grandmother) wait for the bus; and the bus itself made up of rows of chairs. As the grandmother recalls the story of Rosa, as it was told to her by Rosa herself, the various scenes switch back and forth, so the audience sees "first hand"  how this important even in history may have played out.

Style: Comedy

Add to cart

Characters: 12 (6 Male, 4 Female, 2 Neutral)
Length: 8-10 minutes
Excerpt (Sample)

Setting:            The stage is divided in three sections.  On the left sits two girls, seated at a table or on a couch, with books, backpacks and notepads around them.  There should be a rocking chair or some other kind of chair for the Grandma to sit in once she enters.  In the middle, the characters of Rosa and Louise (a younger version of the grandma) stand.  On the right, chairs should be placed in rows to simulate a bus: 3 rows, with 2 chairs in each row.  The first and last rows of the chairs should be full, (Marshall and Lewis in the back and two extra people in the front'they have no speaking parts) and the second row should contain only 1 person (Marjorie). There should be 1 chair in front of the first row, to the left, where the bus driver sits. 

As the skit opens, 2 girls, Shondra and Jackie are speaking.  All other characters .freeze. in place, until it is their turn to speak.  If you have a spotlight, it could shine on the people in various scenes, but it is not necessary. 

Jackie:             (flipping through one of the books) So, who do you want to do our report on?  There's lots of important historical figures to choose from. 

Shondra:         I think we should write about Rosa Parks.  My grandma actually knew her, you know. 

Jackie:             Get out of here!  She did not! 

Shondra:         She did too! 

Jackie:             Girl, you're lyin.! 

Shondra:         If I'm lyin., I'm dyin..  

Jackie:             Then you must be dyin., cause I know you lyin.! 

Shondra:         I'm not lying.  Rosa worked at the same place my grandma did.  They were friends. 

Jackie:             Are you sure we're talking about the Rosa Parks--the one who refused to give up her bus seat to some outraged white guy? 

Shondra:         The one and the same. 

Jackie:             (obviously impressed) But she got arrested, right?  

Shondra:         Yeah. 

Jackie:             Then why did she do it?  Didn't she know she'd go to jail? 

Shondra:         Probably. 

Jackie:             Then why didn't she just sit somewhere else?  What was she thinking? 

Shondra:         I don't know.  

Jackie:             (begins to talk faster, barely taking a breath in between questions) Why didn't the white guy just let her have the seat?  Why did he have to sit there any way?  Couldn't he have sat somewhere else? What was the big deal about Rosa moving? Why didn't she... 

Shondra:         (interrupting) I don't know, Jackie! 

Jackie:             Maybe we should look it up in our text book then.  If we're going to write a report about her, we need to find out as much information as we can.  

Shondra:         Why look it up in some dusty old textbook, when we've got a first hand account of it right here? Why don't we ask my grandma?  She was a friend of Rosa's.  I bet she could tell us all about it.  

Jackie:             Hey, that's a great idea.  You think she'd mind? 

Shondra:         Let's find out.  (calls off stage)  Grandma, could you come in here?  We need to ask you something. 

Grandma:        (enters) What is it Shondra? 

Shondra:            Jackie and I want to write a report about Rosa Parks, and I told her you were a friend of hers a long time ago.

Jackie: We were wondering if you'd mind telling us about what happened the day she was on that bus.

Grandma: Well, that was a long time ago , but I could never forget that day. It was the day Rosa made history.

Shondra: So, you'll tell us?

Grandma: Of course I will. Let me get comfortable. (she sits in the rocking chair, as the girls grab their notebooks and pencils)

Jackie: This is so exciting! An actual eye-witness!

Grandma: I wasn't actually on the bus, you understand, but this is how Rosa told it to me: (as she talks, the girls take notes & Grandma rocks in the chair as she speaks)

It was a cold day in Alabama. It was Dec. 1st, 1955. Rosa Parks would have been about 43 years old then. We'd just ended a long shift at the Montgomery Fair department store.

Jackie: What did you and Rosa do there?

Shondra: They were seamstresses, right grandma?

Grandma: That's correct, Shondra. On that particular day I had just come out of the store and started to walk home, when I spotted Rosa waiting for the bus.

(These characters freeze, as the attention turns to the scene in the middle)

Louise: Hi, Rosa. The bus hasn't come by yet?

Rosa: One of them did, but all the seats were full'standing room only. I thought I'd wait and catch the next one so I could get a seat.

Louise: Long day, huh?

Rosa: Seemed longer than most, anyway.

Louise: You look tired.

Rosa: I am, and my back and shoulders are aching something fierce! I just want to sit down and take a load off of my feet.

Louise: Sounds like you could use a hot bath.

Rosa: I'd love one, and I'd have me one too, if that next bus would ever get here.

Louise: It looks like you're in luck. Here it comes now.

Rosa: (strains to see if there are any seats available) At least there's some seats on this one.

Louise: Have a good night, Rosa. Enjoy your hot bath and I'll see you tomorrow.

Rosa: Good night, Louise.

(Louise exits, as Rosa approaches the bus. Bus driver goes through motions of opening the door etc. Rosa steps near the bus driver, goes through the motions of paying the money, then exits off the bus, and re-enters from the rear, finding a seat in the middle row next to Marjorie.)

Jackie: Wait a minute, why did Rosa get on the bus, pay the money and then get off the bus, go around to the back and get on the bus again? Was she crazy?

Grandma: (chuckles) No, Jackie. Rosa Parks was not crazy. That happened to be the proper custom back then.

Jackie: People paid their fares up front, then went around the back to get on the bus?

Grandma: No, white people could enter from the front, black people had to enter from the back.

Shondra: Are you serious, grandma?

Grandma: I'm afraid so.