bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Ruth and Naomi

March 18th, 2010 by Bekah Brunstetter

 naomi_entreating_ruth-400.jpg

Well hello, Unique Visitor. Hello, You. 

One of my favorite Off-Off companies, Flux Theater Ensemble, does this really genius thing before each of their productions: they ask some playwrights to write short plays riffing on the themes that the play presents – and stage readings of said plays before the opening, to get their audience jazzed about the production, as it were. This is my 3rd year doing it, and I was delighted to find that this year’s play is Jacob’s House, a modern re-telling of Jacob wrestling the angel.

Ummm, Hi, do you know me? I love to write about the Bible. Love it love it love it. I think it is so fascinating to re-visit its stories, and think about them in terms of our current world. They can seem so dusty and distant – but at the core of each, there is something really timeless and morally strong.

Specifically I’m writing about the story of Ruth and Naomi. Basically:  Naomi, a widow, had 2 sons with wives. Both sons died. Naomi bid her daughter in law’s goodbye to go back to her homeland. One left, but Ruth refused to leave her mother-in-law:

‘….Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.’

It’s this really beautiful story of love and loyalty. Other bible-esque things like the gleaning of barley and marriage come afterwards, but in a nutshell, Ruth’s loyalty leads to her new love – Boaz – a rich man who then cares for both of them – and then eventually, to King David himself (Great grandson I think?)

And so: I’m working on follow you anywhere in which A modern woman, a workaholic who barely knows her son, meets his young mail-order bride (straight from the Old Testament)  for the first time ever at his funeral. And she is then followed everywhere. I love juxtaposing then and now! Like: if then-type things happened Now. That sort of loyalty / devotion would be awkward or ridiculous.

Stay tuned, of course, for Ruth and Naomi: the sitcom, or  half hour dramedy.

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