Ruth and Esther Theater
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Featuring the Creative Works of Dennis L. Dunn

 

                 This Could Be the Day I Die

 
 By:  Eikonik 
 
Three days of fasting.
Three days of prayer.
One terrified woman.
 
She stands outside the magnificent throne room in her official dress. The crown that Vashti refused to wear rests upon her head.
She swallows.
The moment has arrived.
She nods to the attendant. He opens the door.
Every eye in the court stares.   Everyone wonders: What is she doing here?
 
 *           *         *           *          *          *          *
 
The Bible has a number of dramatic moments:  Abraham raising his knife above Isaac.  Joseph revealing himself to his brothers.  Daniel in the Lions' Den.  Moses beside the sea.  David and Goliath. 
This is one of those moments.
Jews are commanded to relive and return to the day of their deliverance before Pharaoh each year at Passover.
And so it is that they also return to that fateful day when Esther entered the court.
Alone.
Against the power of Persia and the Prince of this World.

 

But she wasn't alone.  She went before the court supported by the prayers of her people,  the conviction that she was right, and with the unseen army of the living God of Israel.

 
The staging of this scene attempts to remind us of all those people who joined Esther on her fateful (and faithful) walk.  Which includes us.

 

Act 2, Scene 2

(Narrating side stage).
Mordi:
 
It has been three days.  Three days of prayers. 
Prayers that the God of Israel will answer us. 
Of fasting and tears; of sackcloth and ashes.  And more prayers.
 
Unseen kingdoms and principalities lining up on both sides. 
On one side -- the powers of Hell.  
On the other side -- the powers of the living God of Israel.  
 
On the side of Hell, Haman and his supporters, Satan's Servants,
sharpened their swords and dream of the booty
that they will receive upon our destruction.
 
(Haman and his menions enter and sing Satan's Servants -- or an alternate song for younger actors.  
 
The tape may be listened to on other places on this site.  The first two stanzas of Satan's Servants:
 
(1)  We are Satan's Servants
We're the S.S.
Spreading lies and confusion.           
That's what we do best.       
(2) Bring the Jews to their knees.
Hang their bodies from a million trees.
We are Satan's Servants.
We're the S.S.
 
(Haman and his servants Exit.  Cast enters and start to surround the auditorium with candles.)
 
(Mordi Narration)
Mordi:
 
And on the other side, millions were praying for deliverence though
the living God of Abraham and Isaac and Israel.
 
Setting:  The auditorium is dark.  The throne softly lighted (the king can be seated or come in later).  The cast, carrying thier candles, surrounds the audience.  Esther enters in the back or side stage and a spotlight finds her.  Then it dims slightly.

 

Side Stage:   Another spotlight highlights a young child and his or her mother .

 Small Child:

Mommy, why do we light candles?

Child's Mother:

Well, in the temple there are lamps and incense. And just as the smoke
from the lamps and incense goes up to heaven so do our prayers. 
And God hears us.  
And He answers.
 
(Spotlight on Child and mother fades.  Light on Esther increases. 
 
Consider having the audiance stand as she enters in honor of her courage.)

 

(Allow 10 seconds on cable internet.  Please consider opening in  a separate tab, so that you can follow the script.) 
 
This Could Be the Day I Die
Esther Vocals:  Rachel Stoner
 
Esther:
This could be the day I die.
Still I know I've gotta try.
While the soldiers' blades are gleaming
I will tremble, I wlll cry:
          Lord, save me or I will die.
 
Jews:
A thousand cries to heaven
A thousand whispered prayers.
Undeserving of God's love and care.
But we'll cry unto the heavens
to the God of Abraham.
And our hearts say He'll meet us there.
 
Esther:
This could be the day I die.
This could be the day I die.
 
(Esther paces forward while the Jews sing.  She stops mid-audiance for the next verse, depending upon size of auditorium.  Soldiers will take out their swords or javelins to slay her.  They look to the king.  NOTE:  for "Men" part below, add female voices if needed.)
 
Men:
If my people call upon Me
If they raise their voice to pray
If they turn from all their wicked ways.
 
All Jews: 
I will hear them in the heavens,
forgive them of their sins
and I will heal their land.
 
Esther:
This could be the day I die.
This could be the day I die.
 
(Interlude)
 
Esther:
 
This is it.  I may be walking to my death.  For if the king does not
extend his septer, I wll be struck down.
(She is shaking, her eyes teary.)
What am I doing? . . .
Breath . . in and out . . don't look at the swords . .
one step in front of the other . .
Lord, please prepare the king's heart. 
Let me know what to say. . what not to say. 
Please, Lord, prepare me.
 
(She takes a deep breath and walks forward a few steps as the music gives intro.)
 
Esther:
I'm not witty or courageous.
Just a child of Abraham.
Will God protect me with His hand?
 
This could be the day I die.
This could be the day I die.
 
Jews:
A thousand cries to heaven.
A thousand burning tears
A thousand hopes, a million prayers.
 
(Esther joins)
We will cry unto the heavens
to the God of Abraham
And trust that He still cares.
 
Esther:
This could be the day I die.
Esther & Jews:
This could be the day I die.
 
(Jews may blow out candles and go to one knee to pray to God while the rest of the scene plays out.
Esther advances, faltering, as the king talks to himself.  Consider playing portion of interlude as king speaks.)
 
(To himself) 
King:
 
What is this . . the Queen in court? 
She's never come before . . .
What could be so important that
she'd risk her life to see me?
 
(The guards position their swords to attack Esther; they take a few tenative steps forward, Esther turns her head to them, scared; they all look to the king.  Esther advances further.  She falters.  Then she collapses on the ground, having fainted.
 
The guards advance.  The king motions with his hand for them to stop.  They do.  The King gets down from his throne and quickly approaches the queen.  Taking her in his arms or lap.  He may fan her and/or have a guard without a sword do so.
 
His voice is gentle.)
 

King:

Esther . . Esther . . wake up . .
 

Esther:

 Oh, my king . . .
 
(To guards.)
 
King:
 
Men! . . Get back! . . Can't you see she's frightened? . . (to Esther)
Now, what is it my queen? . . What do you want?
 
Esther:
 
My king . . to be in your arms . . should be enough . .
I've made a mess of things .  .
disrupted the court . .
 
King:
 
It's fine.  It's fine.  We were due for a little excitement.
Besides, I haven't had that effect on women in years . .
(Big cheesy Gastonish grin to audiance.)
I've still got it! . .
 
Esther:
 
Of course you do, your Majesty.
 
King:
 
Look, can you get up?  We need to do this properly. 
Gotta keep up appearances,  you know. .
I'll need to go to the throne and extend my sceptor.
(Softly)
Esther:
 
Thank you.
 
. . . . .