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					     Esther                                                                               Page 1 of 10

 1   Cast
 2                      King Xerxes
 3                      Guest 1
 4                      Guest 2, Recorder
 5                      Hamman
 6                      Mordecai
 7
 8                      Guard
 9                      Beautician, Doorman,
10
11                      Vashti
12                      Esther
13                      Beauty 1, Plotter 1, Bower 1, Worker 1
14                      Beauty 2, Plotter 2, Bower 2, Worker 2, Vashti companion
15
16   Locations
17   A: Stage right, back
18   B: Stage left, back
19   C: Center, front
20
21   Scenes
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
27
28   Props
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
34
35
36   Scene 1: King’s Party
37
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.
40
41   Guest 1       (enjoying self) Hey, King, this is a great party!
42
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?
45
46   King          (Proudly) Of course she is. Guard! Go fetch Vashti. My friends desire to gaze upon the
47                 beauty of my queen.
48

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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.
51
52   Guard         Queen Vashti, great King Xerxes commands that you come to him.
53
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!
57
58   Guard         (fearful) But Queen…!
59
60   Vashti        Go!
61
62            Guard nervous, unsure, goes back to King; lights down on B. Vashti and companion exit.
63            Lights up on C.
64
65   King          Well? Where is my queen?
66
67   Guard         Well… The queen politely suggests that…perhaps you’d like to go for a swim instead?
68
69   King          What? She refuses to come?
70
71            Guard nods yes, with a slight shrug. Guests are shocked.
72
73   Guest 1       Oh, that’s trouble, King.
74
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.
77
78   Guest 1       You’ve got to do something, King.
79
80   King          (a bit desperate) Well, what should I do? What can be done?
81
82   Guest 1       Give her the boot
83
84   Guest 2       (Umpire-like) Outta here!
85
86   Guest 1       So long…
87
88   Guest 2       Farewell…
89
90   Guest 1       Auf Wiedersehen…
91
92   Guest 2       and Goodbye!
93
94   King          You mean, fire her? Just get rid of the queen!?
95
96   Guest 1       Why, sure. You can do that. You are the King, aren’t you?

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 97
 98   King          Well, yes. (importantly) Yes I am. (forlornly) But, then I’d be all alone….
 99
100   Guest 1       No you wouldn’t. Get another queen. Even more beautiful. And less uppity.
101
102   Guest 2       Yeah – someone who will set a better example for our wives. We can help you out.
103
104   King          Ok. But she’s gotta be beautiful.
105
106   Guest 1       Don’t you worry about a thing.
107
108            Lights down on C. Guest 1 moves to area A. King, guard and guest 2 sit.
109
110
111   Scene 2:      Recruitment of Esther
112
113            Beauties and beautician enter area B. Mordecai and Esther enter area A. Lights up on A.
114
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?”
118
119            Guest 1 exits stage right. Esther turns to leave, but is stopped by Mordecai.
120
121   Mordecai      Didn’t you hear the King’s command?
122
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.
126
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.
129
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.
132
133   Mordecai      Our Lord bless you, my dear cousin.
134
135            Esther turns to go
136
137   Mordecai      Oh – Esther - Don’t tell anyone you’re Jewish. It might not be appreciated.
138
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.
142
143   Esther          (tentatively) Hello? Is this the right place for “beautiful-but-compliant” virgins?
144

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145   Beauty 1      You got it, baby.
146
147   Beauty 2      Step right up and get in line
148
149   Esther        But what do I do?
150
151   Beauty 1      Six months of oil of myrrh…
152
153   Beauty 2      And then six months of perfumes and cosmetics.
154
155   Beauty 1      And then comes your big day… or should I say, your big night.
156
157   Esther        What do you mean?
158
159   Beauty 1      You go to the King in the evening, and you come back in the morning
160
161   Beauty 2      And if he likes you – whammo – you’re the new queen.
162
163   Esther        (quite taken aback) No! That can’t be true. It’s…scandalous!
164
165   Beauty 1      (holding up a Bible) Maybe so, but it’s all right here.
166
167   Esther        What’s that? The rule book?
168
169   Beauty 2      No - it’s the Bible. What’d you say your name was?
170
171   Esther        Esther
172
173   Beauty 2      Esther, huh? That sounds familiar…
174
175   Beauty 1      Well, don’t be shy – take a seat and get started.
176
177   Beauty 2      And good luck.
178
179   Esther        Thanks.
180
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.
183
184   Guard         Esther of Susa!
185
186   Beauty 1      Go get ‘em, girl.
187
188   Beauty 2      See you in the morning.
189
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.
192

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193   Guard         (announcing to King) Esther of Susa!
194
195            Xerxes looks up, is very impressed, stands, circles Esther, appraising her, likes what he sees,
196            gives the thumbs up to guest 2
197
198   King          Esther of Susa? Make that: Queen Esther of Persia!
199
200            Lights down on area C. King and guest 2 sit. Esther and guard move to area B. Esther lies
201            down.
202
203
204   Scene 3: Mordecai foils plot against the king
205
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.
209
210   Mordecai      ( incredulous) Who would have thought: my little cousin Esther: a queen! Wow.
211                 (listening) But hark, what is it that I hear?
212
213            Mordecai moves towards door, listens in on plotters.
214
215   Mordecai      It’s a plot to kill the king! The king needs to be warned!
216
217            Mordecai rushes to edge of area B.
218
219   Mordecai      Esther! Pssst. Esther. Turn the light on! (when nothing happens, Mordecai speaks to
220                 the light controls) Turn the light on!
221
222            Lights come on dimly in area B. Esther rises and goes to Mordecai.
223
224   Esther        Mordecai! What is it?
225
226   Mordecai      It the king – he’s in danger! There’s a plot to kill him – you need to warn him - now!
227
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.
231
232   King          What? What is it?
233
234            Guard continues to whisper in the King’s ear
235
236   King          What? Kill me? Who?
237
238   Guard         (pointing) Them!
239
240   King          Them?

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      Esther                                                                             Page 6 of 10

241
242   Guard          Yes, them!
243
244   King           Well, stop them you fool!
245
246   Guard          You there! Stop walking funny and put your hands up! You’re under arrest!
247
248            Plotters drop the slow motion walk, disappointed
249
250   Plotter 1      Aw, shucks.
251
252   Plotter 2      Rats, foiled again.
253
254            Guard starts to lead plotters off stage left.
255
256   King           (to guard) Who warned you of this evil plot?
257
258   Guard          It was Mordecai, your highness.
259
260   Recorder       “Mordecai”?
261
262   Guard          Yep, that’s it.
263
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.
266
267   Recorder       Yes, your highness.
268
269            Lights out everywhere. King and recorder stay in area C. Esther stays in area B.
270
271
272   Scene 4: Hamman plots to kill Jews, First meal
273
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.
276
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.
280
281            Hamman turns towards others, who obsequiously bow down to him. Mordecai, however, stays
282            defiantly standing.
283
284   Hamman         Won’t bow down to me, Mordecai? Your time will come, Mordecai – sooner than you
285                  think.
286



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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.
290
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?
295
296   King          (disinterested) Oh, Hamman. Well, sure, I guess you know best. Make it so.
297
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.
301
302   Hamman        Read it and weep, Mordecai. (exits, laughing menacingly)
303
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.
306
307   Mordecai      Esther. Esther.
308
309            Lights up on area B, down in A
310
311   Esther        Mordecai? What is it? What’s happened?
312
313   Mordecai      Esther. It’s Hamman. He’s done it. He’s convinced the king to have all the Jews killed.
314
315   Esther        No – kill us all? That can’t be!
316
317   Mordecai      It is, Esther. And you’re our only hope. You need to talk to the king.
318
319   Esther        But I can’t! It’s the law. If I go to talk to him without an invitation, I could be killed!
320
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.
325
326   Esther        (considering) If you, and all the Jews in Susa fast for me, I will do it.
327
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…
331
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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      Esther                                                                                Page 8 of 10

335
336   Esther        If it pleases my king, would you, and Hamman, come today to a banquet I have prepared?
337
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!
340
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.
345
346   King          Well, Esther, that was some good eating. Don’t you agree, Hamman?
347
348   Hamman        Oh, yes, great king, very delicious.
349
350   King          Now, Esther, tell me, what was it you wanted to ask of me?
351
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.
355
356   King          (a bit perplexed) Well, sure, I guess. Does that work for you, Hamman?
357
358            Hamman readily agrees, still honored.
359
360   King          (standing) Well, good night.
361
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.
364
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)
370
371            Lights out in area A, though Mordecai remains.
372
373
374   Scene 5: King can’t sleep, 2nd meal, Hamman accused
375
376            Dim lights up in area C, where recorder is reading to King.
377
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.
381


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      Esther                                                                              Page 9 of 10

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.”
385
386            Hamman and workman with big 2x4 enter area B as dim lights come up there. Hamman is
387            giving directions to a workman.
388
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?
391
392   Recorder      (searching) Well …. apparently nothing.
393
394   King          Nothing? Hmm…that doesn’t seem quite adequate. I wonder what we could do…?
395
396            King ponders a bit, then notices Hamman.
397
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.
400
401            Hamman crosses from B to C. Workman exits. Lights down in B.
402
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?
405
406            Hamman assumes the king is thinking of him, and is quite pleased.
407
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!”
413
414   King          Excellent idea, Hamman. Very good.
415
416            King gives Hamman his crown, and recorder gives Hamman a robe.
417
418                 Go, and do so at once for Mordecai.
419
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.
423
424   Hamman        The king thinks this guy is really, really, really great!
425
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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      Esther                                                                               Page 10 of 10

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.
431
432   King          Again, my dear, a delicious meal. Wasn’t that good, Hamman?
433
434   Hamman        (moaning) Oh….
435
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.
438
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.
441
442   King          (aghast) No! Who? Who would have dared to do such a thing?
443
444   Esther        The enemy…is this vile Hamman!
445
446            The king is enraged and leaves. Hamman is terrified and pleads for his life with Esther.
447
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…
450
451            In his pleading, Hamman falls before/on Esther, just as the king returns down the aisle.
452
453   King            What?! Will you even molest the queen in our very house? (to guard) Away with him!
454
455            Guard takes Hamman away, Mordecai, King and Esther line up behind recorder. All lights up.
456
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.




                                                                                                updated 3-3-04

				
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