Esther Page 1 of 10
2 King Xerxes
3 Guest 1
4 Guest 2, Recorder
9 Beautician, Doorman,
13 Beauty 1, Plotter 1, Bower 1, Worker 1
14 Beauty 2, Plotter 2, Bower 2, Worker 2, Vashti companion
17 A: Stage right, back
18 B: Stage left, back
19 C: Center, front
22 1. King’s party and invitation to Vashti, Vashti’s refusal, plan for a new queen
23 2. Search for new maidens, training and selection of Esther
24 3. Mordecai foils a plot to kill king
25 4. Hamman plots to kill Jews, Mordecai asks Esther for help, Esther’s 1st meal
26 5. King can’t sleep, Mordecai rewarded, Esther’s 2nd meal, Hamman punished
29 1. King’s throne, 3 wine glasses
30 2. beauty treatments, “1 year later” sign
31 3. Door, plotter disguises and clubs, guard sword, Recording book
32 4. Hamman’s horse, paper edict, hammer, nail, dinner bell, cups
33 5. crown, royal robe, king’s horse, building supplies
36 Scene 1: King’s Party
38 Lights up on area C. King and two guests, each with a wine glass, are enjoying a party. King
39 is seated on his throne. Guard is standing respectfully by. Recording book and pen on stage.
41 Guest 1 (enjoying self) Hey, King, this is a great party!
43 Guest 2 Yeah, Xerxes, the food’s great, as always. The best in all of Persia. But, hey, when are
44 we going to see the queen? Is she still as beautiful as the last time you showed her off?
46 King (Proudly) Of course she is. Guard! Go fetch Vashti. My friends desire to gaze upon the
47 beauty of my queen.
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49 Guard bows and starts toward area B. Lights down on C. Lights up on B, where Vashti and
50 Vashti-companion are talking.
52 Guard Queen Vashti, great King Xerxes commands that you come to him.
54 Vashti What, so he can show me off again? As if I were a piece of meat? A prize cow in his
55 herd? (mockingly) Moooo! Forget it! I’ve had enough of being paraded about. Tell
56 “great King Xerxes” to go jump in a lake!
58 Guard (fearful) But Queen…!
60 Vashti Go!
62 Guard nervous, unsure, goes back to King; lights down on B. Vashti and companion exit.
63 Lights up on C.
65 King Well? Where is my queen?
67 Guard Well… The queen politely suggests that…perhaps you’d like to go for a swim instead?
69 King What? She refuses to come?
71 Guard nods yes, with a slight shrug. Guests are shocked.
73 Guest 1 Oh, that’s trouble, King.
75 Guest 2 Oh, yeah. We’re all in trouble. If it gets out that the queen disobeyed the king, and got
76 away with it, our wives will start to do the same thing to us.
78 Guest 1 You’ve got to do something, King.
80 King (a bit desperate) Well, what should I do? What can be done?
82 Guest 1 Give her the boot
84 Guest 2 (Umpire-like) Outta here!
86 Guest 1 So long…
88 Guest 2 Farewell…
90 Guest 1 Auf Wiedersehen…
92 Guest 2 and Goodbye!
94 King You mean, fire her? Just get rid of the queen!?
96 Guest 1 Why, sure. You can do that. You are the King, aren’t you?
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98 King Well, yes. (importantly) Yes I am. (forlornly) But, then I’d be all alone….
100 Guest 1 No you wouldn’t. Get another queen. Even more beautiful. And less uppity.
102 Guest 2 Yeah – someone who will set a better example for our wives. We can help you out.
104 King Ok. But she’s gotta be beautiful.
106 Guest 1 Don’t you worry about a thing.
108 Lights down on C. Guest 1 moves to area A. King, guard and guest 2 sit.
111 Scene 2: Recruitment of Esther
113 Beauties and beautician enter area B. Mordecai and Esther enter area A. Lights up on A.
115 Guest 1 Hear ye, hear ye. The great king Xerxes desires a new queen. All beautiful-yet-
116 compliant virgins are hereby required to come to the harem in Susa to become contestants
117 on “Who wants to be the new Queen?”
119 Guest 1 exits stage right. Esther turns to leave, but is stopped by Mordecai.
121 Mordecai Didn’t you hear the King’s command?
123 Esther Sure, Mordecai – but it can’t possibly apply to me. Beautiful? Not! And I’m a Jew –
124 the king’s army conquered our people and dragged us all here to Persia. I don’t thing I’m
125 queen material.
127 Mordecai Oh, don’t sell yourself short. And anyway, it wouldn’t be good to disobey the king’s
128 orders. I think you better go.
130 Esther (considering) I guess you’re right. (resigned, but getting used to the idea). This
131 shouldn’t take long; I’ll be back soon.
133 Mordecai Our Lord bless you, my dear cousin.
135 Esther turns to go
137 Mordecai Oh – Esther - Don’t tell anyone you’re Jewish. It might not be appreciated.
139 Esther nods, and goes over to area B. Lights down on A, where Mordecai stays. Lights come
140 up in area B. Two other beauties are lounging around getting beauty treatments from a
141 beautician. Beauty 1 and 2 are friendly, but continue their routine as they talk.
143 Esther (tentatively) Hello? Is this the right place for “beautiful-but-compliant” virgins?
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145 Beauty 1 You got it, baby.
147 Beauty 2 Step right up and get in line
149 Esther But what do I do?
151 Beauty 1 Six months of oil of myrrh…
153 Beauty 2 And then six months of perfumes and cosmetics.
155 Beauty 1 And then comes your big day… or should I say, your big night.
157 Esther What do you mean?
159 Beauty 1 You go to the King in the evening, and you come back in the morning
161 Beauty 2 And if he likes you – whammo – you’re the new queen.
163 Esther (quite taken aback) No! That can’t be true. It’s…scandalous!
165 Beauty 1 (holding up a Bible) Maybe so, but it’s all right here.
167 Esther What’s that? The rule book?
169 Beauty 2 No - it’s the Bible. What’d you say your name was?
171 Esther Esther
173 Beauty 2 Esther, huh? That sounds familiar…
175 Beauty 1 Well, don’t be shy – take a seat and get started.
177 Beauty 2 And good luck.
179 Esther Thanks.
181 Beautician starts on Esther. Lights down. When lights come back up, beautician holds up a “1
182 year later” sign. Guard approaches from area C and announces.
184 Guard Esther of Susa!
186 Beauty 1 Go get ‘em, girl.
188 Beauty 2 See you in the morning.
190 Esther follows guard to area C. Lights out on area B - beauties and beautician exit. Lights up
191 on area C. King and guest 2 discussing something, don’t notice entrance.
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193 Guard (announcing to King) Esther of Susa!
195 Xerxes looks up, is very impressed, stands, circles Esther, appraising her, likes what he sees,
196 gives the thumbs up to guest 2
198 King Esther of Susa? Make that: Queen Esther of Persia!
200 Lights down on area C. King and guest 2 sit. Esther and guard move to area B. Esther lies
204 Scene 3: Mordecai foils plot against the king
206 Doorman (with door, nail and hammer) enters area A; Mordecai stands. Plotters are
207 whispering and gesticulating behind the door, with clubs. Nighttime lights come on dimly all
208 over, a bit more on A.
210 Mordecai ( incredulous) Who would have thought: my little cousin Esther: a queen! Wow.
211 (listening) But hark, what is it that I hear?
213 Mordecai moves towards door, listens in on plotters.
215 Mordecai It’s a plot to kill the king! The king needs to be warned!
217 Mordecai rushes to edge of area B.
219 Mordecai Esther! Pssst. Esther. Turn the light on! (when nothing happens, Mordecai speaks to
220 the light controls) Turn the light on!
222 Lights come on dimly in area B. Esther rises and goes to Mordecai.
224 Esther Mordecai! What is it?
226 Mordecai It the king – he’s in danger! There’s a plot to kill him – you need to warn him - now!
228 Plotters slowly start making their way to area C in slow motion, with strobe light going. Esther
229 rushes to tell the guard. Guard does slow motion race ahead of plotters to area C to tell the
230 king, who is sleeping at the time, and shakes him awake.
232 King What? What is it?
234 Guard continues to whisper in the King’s ear
236 King What? Kill me? Who?
238 Guard (pointing) Them!
240 King Them?
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242 Guard Yes, them!
244 King Well, stop them you fool!
246 Guard You there! Stop walking funny and put your hands up! You’re under arrest!
248 Plotters drop the slow motion walk, disappointed
250 Plotter 1 Aw, shucks.
252 Plotter 2 Rats, foiled again.
254 Guard starts to lead plotters off stage left.
256 King (to guard) Who warned you of this evil plot?
258 Guard It was Mordecai, your highness.
260 Recorder “Mordecai”?
262 Guard Yep, that’s it.
264 King Well, go on, take them away. “Mordecai.” That’s a funny name. Sounds foreign,
265 doesn’t it? (yawning) Anyway, I’m going back to bed.
267 Recorder Yes, your highness.
269 Lights out everywhere. King and recorder stay in area C. Esther stays in area B.
272 Scene 4: Hamman plots to kill Jews, First meal
274 Hamman enters stage right on his horse into area A. Mordecai is already there behind bower
275 1 and bower 2. Doorman is there with door.
277 Hamman (mimicking) “Mordecai saved the king’s life – isn’t that wonderful?” Stinking Jews.
278 Well, the king’s just given me, Hamman the Magnificent, a promotion. Now I finally
279 have the power to rid Persia of Mordecai and all those other Jewish foreigners.
281 Hamman turns towards others, who obsequiously bow down to him. Mordecai, however, stays
282 defiantly standing.
284 Hamman Won’t bow down to me, Mordecai? Your time will come, Mordecai – sooner than you
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287 Lights down in A. Bowers 1 and 2 exit. Mordecai and doorman stay. Hamman crosses over
288 to area C. Lights up in C as Hamman is finished talking. King is chatting with recorder, not
289 really paying attention to Hamman.
291 Hamman And so, your highness, for all these reasons, you must at once issue a decree, stating that
292 the Jewish people are bad, very bad, and for the goodness and purity of your holy
293 kingdom they shall, in one week’s time, be completely exterminated. (no response from
294 king). King?
296 King (disinterested) Oh, Hamman. Well, sure, I guess you know best. Make it so.
298 Hamman crosses back over to A. Lights out on C, up on A. Hamman takes proclamation out
299 of pocket, paper, gets nail and hammer from doorman, and nails proclamation to the door.
300 Hamman looks at Mordecai, smugly.
302 Hamman Read it and weep, Mordecai. (exits, laughing menacingly)
304 Mordecai goes to read proclamation, moans, gets down on knees to pray, stays there, then
305 finally rises, and crosses over to area B. Doorman exits A.
307 Mordecai Esther. Esther.
309 Lights up on area B, down in A
311 Esther Mordecai? What is it? What’s happened?
313 Mordecai Esther. It’s Hamman. He’s done it. He’s convinced the king to have all the Jews killed.
315 Esther No – kill us all? That can’t be!
317 Mordecai It is, Esther. And you’re our only hope. You need to talk to the king.
319 Esther But I can’t! It’s the law. If I go to talk to him without an invitation, I could be killed!
321 Mordecai (calmly and seriously) Esther… Just because you’re in the king’s house doesn’t mean you
322 alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, deliverance for the
323 Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who
324 knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.
326 Esther (considering) If you, and all the Jews in Susa fast for me, I will do it.
328 Mordecai nods, and returns to area A, where he kneels in prayer for a while. Lights stay down
329 in A. Esther considers for a while, then slowly approaches area C. As lights come up in area
330 C, lights go down in area B. The King is in the middle of talking to guest 2…
332 King So, there were these three people were riding in a flying chariot, see, but there were only
333 two parachutes, see, and then… oh, Esther… What are you doing here? (tense pause)
334 Well, come in, please. What is it you want? Ask me anything.
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336 Esther If it pleases my king, would you, and Hamman, come today to a banquet I have prepared?
338 King A banquet? Well, I love food. That sounds great! (to guard) Call Hamman at once.
339 We’re going to have a banquet!
341 Guard goes to fetch Hamman. Esther goes back to B and arranges chairs. Lights up on area
342 B. Esther rings dinner bell. King moves to area B. King and Hamman sit down for the feast,
343 with guard standing respectfully behind. King, Hamman and Esther each raise a glass to each
344 other. Lights down. Then lights up, at which time, King and Hamman are laughing.
346 King Well, Esther, that was some good eating. Don’t you agree, Hamman?
348 Hamman Oh, yes, great king, very delicious.
350 King Now, Esther, tell me, what was it you wanted to ask of me?
352 Esther Er, uh, well, my request is this: that, if it pleases my king… would you and Hamman
353 come tomorrow again to another banquet I will prepare for you? Then I’ll tell you what I
354 wanted. Honest.
356 King (a bit perplexed) Well, sure, I guess. Does that work for you, Hamman?
358 Hamman readily agrees, still honored.
360 King (standing) Well, good night.
362 Wine glasses given to Esther. King returns to area C. Hamman moves towards area A. Lights
363 out on B. Esther and guard exit. Lights up in A, where Mordecai continues bowed in prayer.
365 Hamman (gloating) An invitation two nights in a row to eat with the king and queen! Yes! What
366 more could I want? (notices Mordecai). That’s what I could want: to see Mordecai dead.
367 Hmmm…. I’ll think I’ll build the highest gallows in all of Persia, and have Mr. Mordecai
368 here be it’s first swinging customer. (to Mordecai’s prone figure). Won’t be long now,
369 Mordy-pie (spits and exits)
371 Lights out in area A, though Mordecai remains.
374 Scene 5: King can’t sleep, 2nd meal, Hamman accused
376 Dim lights up in area C, where recorder is reading to King.
378 King I hate not being able to sleep. I knew I shouldn’t have had that third helping of Persian-
379 peach pie. But it sure was yummy. But go on, read me something else from my
380 wonderful life.
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382 Recorder Yes, your highness. Here’s something: “In the year 549 BC, enemies of great King
383 Xerxes plotted against the great King Xerxes, but the great king Xerxes’ life was saved by
384 Mordecai the Jew.”
386 Hamman and workman with big 2x4 enter area B as dim lights come up there. Hamman is
387 giving directions to a workman.
389 King Wow. This guy Mordecai saved my life. That’s good, isn’t it? What did we do for this
390 Mordecai to reward him?
392 Recorder (searching) Well …. apparently nothing.
394 King Nothing? Hmm…that doesn’t seem quite adequate. I wonder what we could do…?
396 King ponders a bit, then notices Hamman.
398 Hey, I bet Hamman will have a good idea. (yelling out) Hey, Hamman, come in here.
399 I’ve got a question for you.
401 Hamman crosses from B to C. Workman exits. Lights down in B.
403 Now Hamman: Suppose there was someone that the king really wanted to honor. How do
404 you think the king should do so for that person?
406 Hamman assumes the king is thinking of him, and is quite pleased.
408 Hamman (to himself) The king wants to honor someone – who could that be but me? (dreaming a
409 bit) Well now… I think the king should give this man the king’s royal robe, and maybe a
410 crown, and put him on the king’s best horse. Then this man should be paraded around the
411 city, with someone going ahead of him proclaiming, “The king thinks this guy is really,
412 really, really great!”
414 King Excellent idea, Hamman. Very good.
416 King gives Hamman his crown, and recorder gives Hamman a robe.
418 Go, and do so at once for Mordecai.
420 Hamman is aghast, but goes over to A. King lies down to sleep, and lights out in C. Lights up
421 in area A, where Hamman raises Mordecai up, puts the robe on Mordecai, gives him his own
422 horse, and starts parading him around.
424 Hamman The king thinks this guy is really, really, really great!
426 When they get back to area A, Mordecai is content, but Hamman is in anguish. Esther and
427 guard re-enter area B. Lights up in area B and down in A. Esther rings the dinner bell. King
428 and Hamman enter from their respective locations, getting wine glasses from Esther. Hamman
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429 looks terrible and terrified. They sit to eat and raise their wine glasses. Lights out. When
430 lights come on, only King is laughing this time.
432 King Again, my dear, a delicious meal. Wasn’t that good, Hamman?
434 Hamman (moaning) Oh….
436 King Hmm, wonder what’s wrong with him. Now, tell me Esther: what can I do for you? Ask
437 me anything, even up to half of my kingdom.
439 Esther Well… This is my request, my king. (dramatically, standing) Spare my people, and
440 grant me my life. For I and all my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter.
442 King (aghast) No! Who? Who would have dared to do such a thing?
444 Esther The enemy…is this vile Hamman!
446 The king is enraged and leaves. Hamman is terrified and pleads for his life with Esther.
448 Hamman Please, O Queen Esther, I beg of you, this is all a mistake, I didn’t know you were one
449 of them, please, oh please…
451 In his pleading, Hamman falls before/on Esther, just as the king returns down the aisle.
453 King What?! Will you even molest the queen in our very house? (to guard) Away with him!
455 Guard takes Hamman away, Mordecai, King and Esther line up behind recorder. All lights up.
457 Recorder (reading) And so, King Xerxes had Hamman, the enemy of the Jews, hung on the very
458 gallows that Hamman had intended for Mordecai. The king also issued a proclamation,
459 protecting the Jews throughout the land and granting them safety and victory over their
460 enemies. And Mordecai was given a place second in rank to King Xerxes, and held in
461 high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and
462 spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.