Night 1—up to the naming of Moses.
Narrator: This story begins where the story of Joseph ends. It has been many years since Joseph saved Egypt and his own family from the famine by interpreting Pharoh’s dreams. A new Pharoh is in Egypt now and he does not remember Joseph. He now looks at the Israelites as a problem. He sees their numbers and might and he is worried…
Exit narrator and scene opens with Pharoh and advisors up on a high place overlooking kingdom.
Pharoh: Look at them! There are so many of them! Look at the strength of their numbers! We have to do something about this!”
Advisor 1: why? What’s the worry?
Pharoh: They are mightier than we are! What if our enemies come to make war with us and the Israelites join them…
Advisor 2: What if we increase their work? I mean really work them hard… Have them build you new storage cities.
Pharoh: That is what we will do. Appoint taskmasters over them to build two storage cities. Call one Pithom and the other Raamses! Work the Israelites harder!
Advisor 1 and 2: Yes, Pharoh!
While the curtain is closed, light from the back of the stage will silhouette the action of the Hebrews being worked vigorously by the Egyptians. The sounds of harsh treatment, screaming, whips, crying in pain. Egyptians speak of the glory of pharaoh, and the majesty of his cities and wealth. They yell for the Hebrews to work harder. Slowly fade this scene.
Pharoh: WE have failed! The more we afflict them, the more they multiply! The more they spread out!
Advisor 1: I do not know what we can do, mighty Pharoh.
Advisor 2: I see this as a serious threat to us. We must do something to get their numbers under control.
Pharoh: Work them harder! Work them in the fields. In Mortar! In Brick! Break these people down!
Advisor 1 and 2 just stand there…
Pharoh: (spoken out to the audience) We must strike at the source of their numbers. I know what we will do. (turning to Guard 1) Bring me the Hebrew midwives!
Guard 1: “Yes, My King!”
Pharoh: (to the audience) I know how to deal with this problem.
Pharoh on his throne.
Enter Guard 1 and two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah.
Guard1: “The Hebrew Midwives you sent for, my king.”
Pharoh: (to the Guard1) “You may go.”
Guard bows and exits.
Pharoh: “You are the midwives of the Hebrew women?”
Shiphrah: “Yes, Pharoh.”
Pharoh: “I have a command for you. And it shall be carried out immediately.”
Puah: “What is this command, mighty Pharaoh?”
Pharaoh: “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”
Midwives look at each other.
Pharaoh: “Do you understand?”
Shiphrah finally answers after a brief silence. “Yes, my king. We understand.”
Puah: Turning to Shiphrah…“We cannot do this!”
Shiphrah pulls Puah off to the other side of the stage (closer to the audience), and speaks as if secretly.
Shiphrah: “We will not do this evil thing, for we Fear God. We will let the boys live.”
Puah and Shiphrah hug each other.
Shiphrah: “But Pharaoh will know the boys are not being killed. What will we do?”
Puah: (looking out to the audience) “Perhaps we can tell him that the Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women--- and they are vigorous and give birth before we can get to them.”
Shiphrah: “That’s it… Great idea. All we have to do is trust in God and He will be good to us.”
Midwives exit as curtain closes.
Pharaoh sitting on throne as curtain opens. Officers around his throne. 4 in number (2 on each side).
Pharaoh: “Every time I try to control their numbers, I fail. I fail because I am holding back. The situation is now that I must act in a manner that cannot fail. I have a command for all the people. You will enforce it. Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”
Officers: “Yes, Mighty Pharaoh!” Exit.
Pharaoh: (stands) Command all the people!
Enter narrator. (while this is happening major scene change below to the house of Moses)
Narrator: now there was a man of the house of Levi who married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for 3 months…
Scene Change… House.
Mother working on a basket is on stage near a baby bed. Daughter enters.
Daughter: Mother. What are you doing?
Mother: I can no longer hide him. It is too dangerous for him to remain… what can I do? We will put him in this wicker basket I’ve covered with tar and pitch (show it to the daughter and the audience at the same time). I’ll place it in the Nile. He cannot remain here.”
Mother walks over to the baby bed and picks up the baby and puts it into the basket. She turns to the daughter as she exits. Mother exits. Daughter sits and puts her face into her hands, as if to cry. Then stands and runs out after mother.
(major scene change: NILE RIVER)
We have the scene of the basket traveling down the nile into the reeds… basket will be pulled across the stage slowly and rest in the reeds. Moses’ sister is in the reeds watching the basket go down the river… when she hears someone coming… ducks down out of sight.
Enter Pharaoh’s daughter and maid.
Pharaoh’s daughter: “This looks like a good spot to bathe.” She continues to look around…
Maid: “Yes ma’am”.
Pharaoh’s daughter stops for a moment. Looks intently at something. “What’s that along the bank over there?”
Maid: “where? Oh. It looks like a basket.”
Pharaoh’s daughter: makes her way over to it and leans down and opens the basket up. (crying coming from basket now) “It is one of the Hebrew children.”
Moses’ sister runs out from hiding and up to Pharaoh’s daughter: “ Shall I go and call a nurse for you from among the Hebrew women to come and nurse the child for you?”
Pharaoh’s daughter: “Go ahead”
Moses’ sister runs off stage.
Narrator: So the young girl ran back to tell her mother all that had happened. About how the basket had been found by the Egyptian girl, the daughter of Pharaoh, and how she needed someone to nurse the child. So Moses’s mother came to Pharaoh’s daughter and it was agreed that she would nurse the child and pharaoh’s daughter would pay her wages for this service to her. So the child continued to Grow.
Pharaoh’s daughter on stage in the palace. Enter the Levi mother with the child (oliver? or older like coen?)
Child walks over to Pharaoh’s daughter.
Pharaoh’s daughter walks to the middle of the stage and picks up the child. “I will call him MOSES. Because I drew him out of the water.”
End Night 1