This reading uses the language of the court – ‘plead your case’ – suggesting a courtroom scene as a suitable setting. A judge, seated at a ‘bench’ (table), introduces the case (vv.1-2). Then, from the witness stand (a lectern, or similar), ‘the Lord’ presents his case (vv.3-5). Up to four defendants respond (sitting on chairs, but standing to speak), reading vv.6-7, half a verse each in turn. Finally, the judge sums up and gives the ruling (v.8). The defendants bow to the judge and leave.
The Beatitudes may be examples rather than a definitive list, inspired perhaps by the people Jesus saw gathered around him. You could dramatise this by having a small crowd of people around an actor playing Jesus. The first half of each beatitude is said by someone from the crowd, to which Jesus responds. Alternatively, the crowd could be the congregation, with people standing to speak from their place.
A narrator begins by reading verses 1-2. Then verse 3 to 10 continue antiphonally – e.g. person: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ followed by Jesus: ‘for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. Jesus might take a moment to ponder his response before giving it. Verses 11-12 are a little different: there is a whole verse for each part of the saying, and they are two statements rather than one, both clearly delivered by Jesus. Jesus should pause after verse 10, say verse 11 in a more sombre tone, then pause again before delivering verse 12 in a much more upbeat way. It could help to link the readings together, and make it clear that the Beatitudes – written in the third person – are about our attitudes and actions, if Jesus concludes with the end of the Micah reading: ‘What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?’