Ruth and Esther Theater
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Featuring the Creative Works of Dennis L. Dunn




Where you go, I will go . . .
Your people will be my people and your God
my God. And may God judge me . .
if anything but death separates us.
(Ruth 1:16-17, paraphrase)


Act 1, Scene 1

 Click Here to Open MP3 of Dialogue Scene 1

Click Here for MP3 of Trouble, Trouble Sung

Click Here for pdf file of piano for Trouble, Trouble 

 Note: Songs will take a few seconds to load. Most media players will play songs and still allow you to read the script. But some have default setting that take up the entire page. If you have one of these players try the following: (1) Right Click to Open in a SEPARATE NEW tab/screen; (2) click on the "TV" screen which is a separate media player; (3) use the BACK Arrow at the top left of the screen (this stops the song/dialogue).
Permission: The author grants permission for non-commercial presentations of Act 1, Scene 1 (for instance, by churches and synagogues).  You may edit the script and songs.  PDF files of music will be on the web site or may be obtained from the author.  Please give program credit to the author and reference the play.   (Contact the author if you want MP3s or pdf files of the Orchestration score.)   

Act 1, Scene 1

So, Naomi, you are really leaving . .
It is time, Sylvia. There is nothing for me here. I will go back home.
Better to have trouble around family, than foreigners.
With family, you can share in your misery . . then you're not so miserable.
Our life is full of hardship.
Indeed.  But, I worry about my girls.
May God protect them . .
(Naomi resigned, quietly.)

. . . for I cannot.

(They continue to pack. Lights darken and lighten on Ruth side stage,
beside a mound of rocks to represent the unmarked grave of her

husband, Mahlon. Mahlon will have died two months prior to this.)

Hi Honey, I brought you some flowers.
I'm taking your mother back to Bethlehem. . .
the famines over . . . I don't know when I'll be back.
I could go home. . . but I won't . . can't live like that . .
I won't . . (she shivers)
I know you didn't want to be buried here, like this.
Well, your name's written on my heart.

I hope that's enough . . . for now. 

(Orpah Enters and calls to Ruth. Naomi, Sylvia and Clara are inside the house and Naomi will eventually hear them.)

Ruth, like, let's get on with it? OK? Put the pedal to the metal

and the sandal to the road. This is gonna be a totally bitchin' trip, ya know? 

(Ruth rolls her eyes. Goes to pick up suitcases/bundles of belongings.)

Have a little faith, Orpah.
Think of it as an adventure.
An adventure? Like, gag me with a spoon.
We're going to Bethleham, population 450.
All hicks, all the time. Are you really sure about this?
I mean, really? Bethle-hamburger?
It's Bethlehem.

And how can something with "ham" in it be Jewish?

(Naomi Enters side stage where she can hear the conversation but not be seen by the girls.
Orpah's dialogue may be adjusted -- without including profanity --

if the Valleygirl rhythm does not seem natural for the actress.)

 I mean, like, will anyone ever talk about Bethlehem?
I don't thinkkk so.

Hole in the wall, valley of the shadow of nothing.

(Ruth shakes her head in bewilderment. Naomi,
Sylvia and Clara come from out of the house
to joint them. Naomi has heard Orpah. Naomi sighs.)
You're right Orpah. . .
Trouble. That's all my life has been . . . trouble.
Left home in a time of famine. A husband.
Two sons. Hopes. Dreams.
All I wanted was a home, a garden -- maybe a grandbaby on my lap.
Was that so much to ask? I think not.
What do I get? . . Three graves.
Not 'nough money for tombstone.
But, you girls, you don't have to go.
But, we want to go! Orphie, tell her --
(Orpah shrugs)
No. Girls . . you have been good to me . . good to my sons. .
The time has come for me to
be good to you -- GO HOME! Go home to your families.
God has deserted me, you must, too.
It's worse for me than you.
What do I have? No hopes, no dreams,
no nothing - nothing but you.
(Intro music Trouble, Trouble).
And the promise of a God who took away my happiness
and gave me instead . . a grave.
(May also be played top of screen)
Trouble, Trouble
(Vocals: Jan Powell as Naomi; Barbara Richardson as Naomi; P. Fifer as Orpah)
Trouble, trouble, toil and trouble
that's all I've ever known.
(Sylvia & Clara) Don't ya know it!
To be with me, it's a sorry thing,
It makes you vant to groan. (May be sung "want'a groan")
(Sylvia & Clara) Don't ya know it! (done on demo by Ruth/Orpah)
For the grace of God has deserted me,
His promise seems a lie,
for I went out full with a family
and all they did was die.
 By Ray P. Coleman; 1892-1968, 1937
For my husband and both my sons
lie behind a cold, stone tomb.
And even if I marry another, vell,
would you wait for my womb?
        (Sylvia/Clara look at each other,
         armed crossed, and roll their eyes)
Naomi / (Ruth, Orpah)
So get going!
(We ain't going!)
So get going!
(We ain't going!)
Please, leave me alone.
Just get going!
(We ain't going!)
Just get going!
(We ain't going!)
Just go to your home.
Trouble, trouble, toil and trouble
you're all that I have left.
You're good girls and I care for you,
but I was born to be bereft.
So just leave me now to my sorry fate.
I'm going home to die.
But you should go to your families, dears.
Let this be our goodbye.
(Orpah is becoming convinced; Ruth will start to sing the "we ain't going" alone here, with quizzical looks at Orpah.)
So get going!
(Ruth: We ain't going!)
So get going!
(Ruth: We ain't going!) (Orpah is mulling it over)
Please, leave me alone.
Just get going!
(Ruth: We ain't going!) (nudges Orpah to join)
Just get going!
(Ruth: We ain't going!)
Just go to your home.
(Interlude, music continues to play.)
(Orpah shrugs, hugs Ruth and then Naomi, takes a suitcase from the cart and starts to walk away.)
Orpah, will you put flowers on Mahlon's grave?
Like you can totally count on me.
I've loved having you as a sister.
If you decide to come later, you'll be welcome.
Uh, huh. . Whatevverr . . .
(Ruth turns back. Naomi makes her last pitch, consider a fist to the waist forming a triangle with the arm.)
More trouble, trouble, toil and trouble
I hope for you they're through.
Your sister has taken the visest track,
that I recommend to you.
So get going,
(Ruth: I'm not going.)
Leave me alone           (Ruth: I'm staying with you)
So get going,
(Ruth: I'm not going.)
Go to your home.        (Ruth: I promised I'd be true.)
Don't be stubborn and stupid.
Don't throw away your life
Find a man in your hometown.
Let him take you as his vife.
Just get going,
(Ruth: I'm not going.)
Please, leave me alone      Ruth: I won't leave you alone.
Just get going,
(Ruth: I'm not going.)
Go to your home!        Ruth: We'll make a home!
Naomi: WHY . . . VONT . . . YOU . . . GO?!
(MUSIC begins for I Will Never Leave You . . Ruth responds -- see next section)