A monologue collection by Gillette Elvgren, based on women from the Bible, presents issues of faith, religion, and contemporary challenges.
SPREAD YOUR GARMENT OVER ME (Ruth, 3:9) is written as a series of monologues and songs which capture the spirit and character of several women revealed to us in the Bible. These pieces are not necessarily meant to look and sound “Biblical” or to have a specific historical or period feel to them. Overt anachronisms are avoided, except in the use of dialects. I especially recommend that Eve be done with an Appalachian accent; Rahab could sound Brooklyn, Dinah, American teenager. The Witch of Endor Cockney, and Peter’s Wife either Irish or Scottish. These dialects help to find the energy and the feel of these characters, as well as to provide variety, especially if performed by a single actress. Every scene is built around at least one prop and the use of a shawl.
Visit with Eve as she looks back over the choices she made in the garden; share Sarah’s anguish over her barrenness and her joy over the coming of Isaac; meet Dinah, the petulant spoiled teenager; travel the temple steps with Anna as she awaits the coming of the Promised One. These and other revelations by Rahab, Deborah, Michal, The Witch of Endor, Mary Magdelene, Rizpah, the Syro-Phoenician woman, the Woman at the Well and Peter’s Wife can be performed individually or as a full-length show. This play has been toured extensively by several professional theatre companies.
Optional music rounds out these monologues for women for a complete evening of spiritual exploration.
From the Play
EVE (Has the shawl wrapped around her waist so that she looks slightly pregnant. She carries a basket and is picking fruit. Role could be done with an Appalachian accent.) I’m hopin’ it will be a girl this time. Had it up to here with boys. Cain won’t do much—sits around a lot watchin’ things grow. Abel’s always up to somethin’—drives his brother crazy. Havin’ them two weren’t no picnic—I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But once yer holdin’ em.. .and Adam does so enjoy the cleavin’ part of things.. .I often wonder whether we was meant to have children, you know, back there, or whether God mighta just took one of MY ribs this time and quicker than you could blink an eye….
DINAH (Speaking to Leah.) Get out! You could never understand, you’re too old. There’s nobody that understands me around here-it’s all boys, brothers, men. I am sick of men. I never want to see another man as long as I live. I should have been Rachael’s child not yours. She’s pretty. She understands what it’s like to be looked at. Can’t you see, she’s the one he loves. He uses you to breed sons, like a goat.
Don’t give me that! I didn’t “sneak off.” I walked out right in plain sight of everyone. But nobody pays any attention to me. There’s so much sneaking and conniving and tricks around here. Jacob tricks Esau. Laban tricks father. And Rachael has been pulling the wool over your eyes for years. It’s always Joseph this and Joseph that. Nobody cares. So I left. So what. Schechem is a real town, with real silks and real jewelry and real… people….