Last year I wrote a couple of plays for a local dinner theater. Esther: Queen of Persia was the first one. Since then I have had people asking for a copy of the script. I am posting the script free of charge. If you do the play, I would ask is that you email or contact me with photos. Thanks!
Here are some photos of our performance.
ESTHER: Queen of Persia
By: Missy Armstrong
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Minimum Cast 8 Men 6 Women 1 unisex
King’s Scribe- Male or Female
King Xerxes[ZURK] + [SEEZ] – 24-year-old Ruler of the Persian Achaemenian Empire
Queen Vashti [VASH] + [ty]/ Zeresh [ZER] + [esh] – Wife of King Xerxes/ Wife of Haman
Harem Dancers/ Servants- 2 Speaking Female
Abagtha [uh]+[bag]+[thuh]- Servant- Female
Karshena [KAR]+[SHE] +[na]- Wise man of Persia
Shethar [Sheth] + [ar]- Wise man of Persia
Admatha [ADD]+ [math]+[a]- Wise man of Persia
Tarshish [TAR]+[shish]/Servant/Guard (act 2)- Wise man of Persia
Meres [Mir]+ [s]- Wise man of Persia- Non-Speaking Can be combined with Memukan
Marsena[mar]+[SEE]+[na]/Servant/Guard (act 2)- Wise man of Persia
Memukan[ME]+[moo]+[can]- Wise man of Persia
Guards- 2- 1 Speaking Male
Mordecai [More]+[deh]+[kai] – A Jew—the adoptive father of his cousin, Esther
Esther (Queen Esther)[es]+[ter] – A Jew who was chosen as Xerxes’ new queen
Hegai [Hegg]+[I]/ Guard(act 1)- the king’s eunuch- Male
Hathak [hu] +[thak]- Esther’s Maidservant- Female
Haman [Hay] + [man]/ Servant or Guard(act 1)- Prince of Persia-Enemy of Mordecai
The Persian Achaemenian Empire during the reign of King Xerxes I,
King Xerxes Empire
What it would look like today.
Anytime someone enters or is leaving the room with Xerxes, Vashti or Esther(once she becomes queen) bows, except Mordecai.
During most scenes, the scribe is on stage somewhere with a quill and scroll.
Harem Dancers are used between certain scenes to ease transitions.
Servants will move in props and set pieces for scene changes.
King Xerxes has a scepter and every time he makes a decree he hits the scepter on the ground.
Music should be Middle Eastern (sitar type) music.
The battle scene will be choreographed depending on the cast.
SCENE 1: Palace
Sound cue: Sitar or harp music low
(Biblical description= The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones. The wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other.)
(The back door opens and the Guards Come through.)
(shouting forcefully)Make way for the king!
(Xerxes enters and all the men follow him. They make their way through the audience. When Xerxes gets midway to the stage he addresses the men)
Queen Vashti is having a banquet here for all her closest friends. Isn’t it exquisite? Our banquet is just inside. Come let us enjoy this feast.
(harem dancers dancing )
(King’s scribe steps away from the feast and addresses the audience)
King Xerxes ruled over 127 provinces stretching from The Balkans to India reaching Ethiopia and The Nile region. Today, King Xerxes reigns from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and this is the third year of his reign. The King held a celebration that has lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the magnificence and splendor of his majesty. At the end of the celebration, he has blessed us with a banquet for all his nobles, officials, and princes. We are enjoying the seventh day of this feast.
(stands and addresses the banquet)Eat, drink, and enjoy yourselves, for my lands are vast and plentiful. Servant! Fill my cup. (Takes his seat)
Your Highness, you are too kind, your generosity is overwhelming. Raise your goblets. All hail, King Xerxes(everyone raises their goblets)
All hail, King Xerxes(toast and drink)
(raises his goblet) To Persia, which definitely has the best wine and food in the world.
(Shouting half-drunk) And the most beautiful women… Don’t forget the women.
(to the king)Where is the Queen? We haven’t been blessed by her beauty since we arrived.
You ( pointing to another Abagtha) bring me, Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, so I can display her beauty to the people and nobles. (Abagtha bows and leaves)
(With enthusiasm)I have seen her from a distance. She is as gorgeous as our king says!
(Dreamily)Ah, I long to see her. What an honor. She is so… beautiful.
(Queen enters stage right)
Your highness(bowing to the queen), the king requests your presence at his feast. He wishes to show off your great beauty.
(slightly angry) The king wishes for me to leave my own guests. He wants me to drop everything and run to his side. So, all the men in the empire can stare at me. He wants to parade me like a cheap harlot. Tell the king I refuse to go.
(Shocked)QueenVashti, you must come with me! You have no choice in the matter. It is the king’s wish.
Tell him, I am entertaining my friends and I must not leave them. Our celebration has only begun.
(nervous)Your majesty, if I tell the king you refused he will become angry at you or he might think I did not give you the message.
(pompous)Am I not the Queen that I can say and do as I please? Tell the king if he wishes to be in my presence he can come to me. (Vashti storms off)
My Queen! My Queen! (Abagtha exits)
My queen is fairest in the land, crowned by stars from the skies.
(Abagtha enters bows to king nervously)
Your majesty, the queen refused to leave her guests. She will not come.
(The king is furious and burns with anger.)
What? (Emphatically)the queen, my wife, refused to do as I say?!
Who am I that she should refuse my command? (Angrily)No wife should refuse her husband and I-I am King!
(trying to create dissension)What does it say about a king that his own wife will refuse him?
Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, and Marsena, I require your counsel. (The King and the men huddle away from the other party-goers) You are my closest and wisest subjects. According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti? She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the servants have taken to her.
Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will be known to all the women.
The women will tell their husbands, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ By tomorrow morning the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end to disrespect and anger.
If it pleases the king, issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also, let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she.
Let this be done. Proclaim this decree(hits scepter on the floor) throughout the entirety of my vast realm; all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest. Guards! (Guards come on stage) Queen Vashti has been banished from my kingdom. Go remove her from my palace and lands.
(everyone leaves the feast to spread the word of the decree)
(Guards enter the side door, one carrying some rags )
Queen Vashti! Queen Vashti! By royal decree, you are banished from the kingdom of Persia and Media.
What? ( guards grab her arms as she wrestles to get free. )Where am I to go? (visibly upset) I refused the King one time!
We will require your crown and clothes. We have these here for you. (hands her rags) We are to escort you to the border. Where you go from there is up to you.
Wait! Let me get some things or a servant. Servants! (all exit)
(Stage is cleared and the thrones are pushed out)
(Harem dancers dance through the transition)
SCENE 2: Throne room and Palace Garden
(Xerxes sits alone on his throne feeling saddened by his loneliness, harem dancers dancing, servants come in with food and drink)
In the three year absence of Vashti, the king slowly became more and more saddened.
(Xerxes waves the harem dancers away. Servants come in with wine and food and offer it to the king)
My king, please eat something. (Xerxes waves the servant away. Servant Exits)
Out now! You bothersome creatures!
(Shethar and Admatha enter)
Nothing cheers him up. I couldn’t even get him to play a drinking game with me yesterday.