Abraham
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Abraham

Abraham is a musical about the great patriarch and the challenges and joys of his life.

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Abraham

Abraham is a musical about the great patriarch and the challenges and joys of his life.


Author:    Herbert Smith

Synopsis:

Abraham is a musical about the great patriarch and the challenges and joys of his life.

Abraham

Abraham

by

Herb Smith



Abraham

by Herb Smith

Copyright 2003

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that ABRAHAM is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to ABRAHAM are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.  Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.



Act 1 Scene 1

(A light but steady drum beat begins as the house lights go down, and continues throughout the Voice Of Genesis lines.  Stage lights gradually grow to reveal a small,  colorful bazaar set up rear stage center.  Baskets of grain; rice, oats, seeds etc., vegetables, and fruits as well as jars of honey  and oil can be displayed.  Pieces of fabric may also be displayed.  Lot and the citizens of Haran wait in places around bazaar.  Yada, a shop keeper, is in her stall. Citizens can be involoved in “activities” such as juggling, flag waving – using the long narrow type flags, etc. when the song starts.)

The Voice of Genesis    This is the account of Terah.  Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.  And Haran became the father of Lot.  While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth.  Abram and Nahor both married.  The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah.  She was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah.  Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.

(Music starts.)   Haran .

Terah took Abram his son, his grandson Lot, son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan.  But when they came to Haran, they settled there.  Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.  (Drum out.)

(Lights come up.  Chorus, turns toward audience.  Joyfully.)   

Music 1.

Haran

  Haran!  Haran! 

 This is our homeland of  Haran.

Haran!  Haran!  

This is our homeland of Haran.

This is the place we call Haran,

The place where Abraham has come

To wait awhile before he goes

To Canaan, land of promises

Where God has planned for him a home.

Haran! . . . .Haran!

This is our homeland of Haran.

He brought his flocks and herds with him,

Up to the land we call Haran, 

To wait here ‘til the time will come

When God will send him out to roam,

To reach the land God promised him.

Haran! .. . . . . Haran!

This is our homeland of Haran.

(Chorus moves aside for Sarai’s entrance from left, followed by Hagar.  She goes to center stage in front of market stall.  She is greeted by some of the people. Noise and Light increase.  Then, while Yada speaks, the people continue bargaining and talking in low murmer and pantomime.  Music out.)

Yada, a Vendor Woman     Sarai!  Wife of Abram!  Welcome!  I have some wonderful fresh figs and excellent cheese!  Also fresh bread made this morning.

Sarai    (Handing a woven bag to Yada)    That sounds fine, Yada, and I ‘ll also need some oil – – – and a measure of finely ground meal.  And, oh, yes, some honey.  Figs are so good with honey.  That’s what Abram likes!

Yada     (Preparing items as she speaks.)     Yes, a man with a sweet tooth.

Sarai     Yada, does anyone have silk today?  I  want a new silk headpiece.

Yada     Over there – at Mizak’s – he has some silk, but it is overpriced!  Watch out for him.  (conspiratorially)  Offer him half of what he asks – I always do.

Sarai   And what are you asking for this today, Yada?

Yada For you, only the smallest pittance.  You are such a very good customer!  Twelve and a half.     ( Hands Sarai the food during music.)

Sarai his wife has come with him,

Up to our land we call Haran

And Lot his nephew and Terah

His father, came with him and saw 

Our land, our lovely peaceful land.

Haran! . . . . Haran!

This is our homeland of Haran.

(Music beat is stronger.  Dancing starts.)

(Dancers begin to swirl ribbon flags through crowd, and a juggler or similar act

 may also start performing.  Near end of dance, there is a commotion as Abram (with a walking staff) enters from left.  Some men greet him by name.  Chorus turns toward Abram. )

Why don’t you stay here if you can,

In this, our lovely, peaceful land?

Why do you have to leave to find

The land you say God has in mind

For you and all your folk to dwell?

Haran! . . . . . Haran!

Why don’t you stay here in Haran?

Haran!  . . . . . Haran!

Why don’t you stay here in Haran?

(Abraham sees Sarai.   Music out)

Abraham    Sarai!  Sarai!  I have been searching for you.  Please come back to the tent with me now.

Sarai       Just a little while and I will come.  I need to look at some silk over at Mizak’s.  I’ll come home soon.  Hagar is with me, and she will accompany me home.

(All but Yada and Lot exit.) 

Abraham   Very well, but come soon.  I must talk to you right away.

Sarai    Oh, I will.  Don’t worry.  I’ll be there soon!     (Sarai exits with Hagar. Abraham and Lot move to left front. )

Lot    Soon?  She’ll be until after mid-day.

Abraham    She does seem to have a difficulty with time.  Especially when she’s shopping.  But I have something really important to say to her.  (Pauses.  Turns toward Lot.)   Lot!  The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me again!  He has told me that I must leave here and go to the land of Canaan.  I will gladly go – but I don’t know how to tell my wife!

Lot    Maybe you should ask the Lord to tell her for you. 

Abraham    You must not make light of this, Lot.    When the Sovereign Lord speaks, he means what he says!  

Lot    Anyway, I will go with you.  I’m tired of Haran.  A new life could be very interesting.

Abraham    Are you sure?  Well , you are welcome to come.- – – But now we must go and wait for Sarai to come to the tent.

Lot    I want to stay here for awhile.  You go on ahead.  And I will go away with you to Canaan.   I want to go!

(Abraham exits.  Lot, remaining behind, swaggers up to Yada)

Lot (In a teasing tone)     I need some of that honey, too.

Yada  (Businesslike but angry.)    How much honey do you want?  I’ll even sell you some, and some figs, too.  And I have some sweet smelling soaps.  You could certainly use some of them!  Will you BUY them?

Lot     Why do you say that?   Do you still think I’m the one who stole your perfumed soap?

Yada     (coldly )    Be gone if you don’t want to buy anything.

Lot     That’s no way to talk to a regular customer.

Yada     I know your kind, Lot from Ur.  You  – – you – – thief!!

(She turns her back and starts slamming things around.  Lot struts offstage.  Music rises as he goes.   Music –  Haran .)

Scene 2

(Outside the tent, where a bench is placed outside the  flap, and a large rock/altar is in the rear center.  Sarai is seated on a bench and Abram stands beside her.)

Sarai  (In a loud, wailing voice)    But why should we move?   I want to live here in a civilized place among people that we know.  I want to be able to buy things – and to go to the well and talk with the other women.  Why do you want to take me from all this?  (Gestures around herself.)    (Music out.)     

Abraham     Because the Sovereign Lord has told me that I must do this.  I would never leave otherwise.

Sarai     You are an important man, Abram.  You are the head of your family now, and you are wealthy, even by the standards of Haran.   But, I know you, and if you believe that God has told you to do this, then you will do it.  But why has The Lord asked you to become a nomad?

Abraham     Become a Nomad?  I’ve always been a nomad – and so have you!  We have no home – not yet, anyway.  Come on, we’ve been here too long!  Let’s go start to begin to get things ready to go.  I have to tell the herdsmen.  I’ve already told Lot and he wants to go, too.

Sarai     But what about  the tents?  That will take a long time to get them ready, won’t it?  And how will I get you honey and figs out in the desert?  

Abraham       We aren’t going back to the desert!  We are going toward the Great Sea!  (He hurries right.)  Now come along!

Sarai     The Great Sea.  Thank God for that!

Abraham     (As he exits )    You are exactly right!  ( Music – This Land Is Mine.  

Scene 3   

(Bags and jars (from bazaar) are stashed in the background,  blankets, small earthenware jars, etc.   Eliezer is standing front just right of center.)

Abraham    (Entering)      Do we have enough supplies for  the porters we just acquired?  And what about waterskins?

Eliezer  ( A servant who is marking with charcoal on a small board.)    I’ve ordered more waterskins – and we seem to have enough food and supplies for everyone  for at least a moon and a half.  Then we will have to buy more or live off the land.

Abraham      By that time we should be close to the Great Sea and things will be easier.  And the goats should give milk unless  there is a water shortage. . . Or we could camp somewhere for long enough to get resupplied and do some hunting.  God will provide for us, in some way, I know.  How soon do you estimate we can be ready to go?

Eliezer      In less than the half moon.  That is about six days away.

Sarai   ( Entering from right.  Wearing new headpiece and calling behind her.)

Hagar!  Hagar!  Get the mirrors and the perfumes packed.  (Turns) Abram, I need to take some things to keep myself looking right.  I’ve bought a few more mantles and some slippers to keep my feet  warm.  You know how cold I get.  It’s likely to be colder by the Great Sea.

Abraham       I hope that you will be reasonably comfortable, my dear.  Whatever it is that you need, be sure to take.    (Sarai exits to R.)  ( Abraham speaks to audience)  She will never understand why I am going, I think.  But I still must go.  I wish, sometimes, that this would be easier.  Especially for my wife.

(Abraham music –  Offstage Chorus .  Then Abraham steps forward and raises his hands in prayer as music contiues.)      

Music 2. 

    

 Abraham     

(Chorus)

Abraham, Abraham, 

You have heard God calling you, 

Abraham.

He is calling you to go 

To a land you do no know,

Will you do what God has planned,

 Abraham?

( Music continues under Voice.)

The Voice of Genesis      Abraham, the friend of God – – -Abraham, the father of many nations – – – – Abraham, the nomad herdsman from Ur who had gone to Haran with his father Terah and nephew Lot and their families.  But – he isn’t Abraham yet – he is still called Abram, the name his father gave him in Ur.  He has just been called by God, who told him a little about the future.  God said:  “Leave your country and your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.  I will make you a great nation . . . and I will make you name great, and you will be a blessing  . . . all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you.”  Abram is mystified.

Abraham   (Faces audience, eyes lifted – hands raised.)   But why did you choose ME?  I’m not anybody important.  You know me.  I’m just a nomad who travels with his herds.  How can I bless the world?

The Voice of Genesis        But God didn’t speak again yet.

Abraham  (Looking up in wonder)    A great nation.  How can this be happening?  Please – – – please, tell me what you mean.

The Voice of Genesis        God remained silent.  So Abram talked.

Abraham         I really don’t know what to do – or what you mean, or what to say.  I’ll try to go to Canaan – but I don’t know where it is.  I’ve only heard of it once before.  I think it’s toward the Great Sea.    But I will  find it!  I’ll go toward the Great Sea – there’s a lot of grazing land that way.

(Chorus)

Abraham

Abraham,  Abraham!

You have heard God calling you, 

Abraham.

He is calling you to go

To a place you do not know,

Will you do what God has planned,

Abraham?

Act 1      Scene 4.

  (Abraham is in center, hands raised,  as Voice speaks.     Abraham Music continues.)

The Voice of Genesis    So Abraham left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.  He took Sarai his wife, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.  (Music out.)

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.  At that time the Canaanites were in the land.  The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land..”  So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.  (Music :  This Land Is Mine)

  Music 3.

Abraham

  This Land Is Mine

The Lord called me to travel here, 

To bring me to this tree,

To see this land that He will give

To all my sons  – and me,

Spoken  Except I have no sons – not even daughters!

Sung  The Lord, the Sovereign Lord has said

That all this would be theirs,

So there must be a plan for me

To bring forth lots of  heirs.

  But I don’t know how;  Sarai has never produced a child, and she’s not so young anymore – neither am I, as a matter of fact . . .

This Land Is Mine!  This Land Is Mine!

I don’t know how or why,

But God has promised it will be

Mine, before I die.

 God, I don’t know anything about this except what you told me.  The people who live here now are a fierce looking bunch!  They will defend this land, so if you want me to have it, I’ll need your help.  I know, I know, there is plenty of room for us all, but do THEY know that?  If you will tell them, I will be very grateful.

And to my sons this land will be

Their inheritance!

This land, as far as I can see –

That is God’s Covenant!

This Land Is Mine

This Land Is Mine 

I don’t know how or why,

But God has promised it will be

Mine before I die.

This land is mine,

This land is mine,

This  Land Is  Mine!!

Act 1   Scene 5

(Music:  This Land Is Mine)  (Abraham is seated outside his tent.  )

The Voice of Genesis    After he had built an altar and worshiped the Lord at the Tree of Moreh, Abraham traveled around the land and came to Beth-El, where he pitched his tent. He built another altar there, and after some time, set out again until he came to the Negev desert in the southern part of the land.     (Music out.)

There was a severe famine in the land at that time, so Abraham went on down to Egypt, as would Joseph and his other great-grandsons to come, and took everything he had with him, including Sarai and Lot.  In Egypt he attempted to deceive the Pharaoh, but was found out, and so the Pharaoh sent him out of the country.   He had become very wealthy, with large herds and much silver and gold.  He went through the Negev again, until he came back to Beth -El, and there he called on the name of the Lord at the altar he had built before.

Then disputes arose between Abraham’s herdsmen and those of Lot.

Lot   (Gruffly.)  Your herdsmen are getting out of hand, uncle.  They are demanding that my men leave certain areas where the best grass is found.  I had always thought we would share the land together, and let our herds graze in the same places.

Abraham    That is true, but it is getting difficult to separate the animals.  Sometimes the men don’t know if they are yours or mine.  Even with the marks that we have placed on many of them, there are always more to divide and try to find out whose they are.

Lot    You will have to do something about this – my men don’t want to be chased away – they complain that the best land is always protected and saved for your herds.

Abraham    I have been thinking about this, also.  Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine.  Isn’t the whole land before you? 

Lot    And before you as well.

Abraham    Let’s part company, then, and go our separate ways.  If you want to go to the left, I will go right, and if you go right, I’ll go to the left.

The Voice of Genesis    Lot looked up, and he saw the whole plain of the Jordan River, well watered, like the garden of the Lord.  So Lot chose – – –

Lot    Then I will go to the right, uncle, and try to find enough land to support my increasing flocks.

Abraham   That is very well, then.  We will do as you have chosen. (Abraham exits into tent.)

The Voice of Genesis    So Abraham set out to the left.  Abraham lived in Canaan, while Lot pitched his tents near the infamous city of Sodom.

(Lot steps, swaggering , to the center of the stage.  He stands with feet wide apart and with gestures of pride and defiance, sings his soliloquy. )

 I Am Lot!

Music 4.

I am Lot, I am Lot, I am Lot!

I am known as Lot from Ur.

(On Monotone)

That great city beside the River Euphrates

In the beautiful land of the Chaldean’s.

(Sung)

I am Lot, I am Young, I am Strong!

If you think otherwise, you are wrong.

Uncle Abram is the weaker man,

The one who says he knows God’s plan,

But he is weak and I am strong

I am Lot! I am Lot! I am Lot!

(Music out.)

When Uncle Abram took us down to Egypt he told the Pharaoh that Sarai was his sister!  Can you imagine that – his sister!  That was because he was afraid that Pharaoh would kill him and steal his wife.  I smiled to myself because I can’t fathom anyone wanting to steal Sarai.  She is a bitter woman, and she hates me.  She has no children, and is afraid that Uncle Abram will make me his heir.  I only wish!  Uncle is very rich, as you all know.  But he is weak.  He let me choose the best land to settle in, and he had to go to the dry land.  He is afraid of confrontation!  I’m not.  I always like a little action.  It makes things so much more interesting.  So Uncle Abram is to be the father of nations?  Well, I will be a father of nations, too!

(Music in)

I am Lot, I am Lot, I am Lot!

I am known as Lot from Ur.

I came with Uncle Abram, a boy still in my teens, 

I went down into Egypt, and came out a man of means!

My Uncle is afraid of life, but I am fearless now,

I plan to take life on, and win at living, and somehow,

I know that in the time to come, I’ll find the guts to be

The kind of man that I’ll become, so all the world can see

I’m not like Uncle Abram, the “Friend of God,” not me!

I’m wily, unafraid, and smart, as young men ought to be –

I am Lot!  I am Lot!  I am Lot!

If you think I am kind, well, I’m not!

I’m careless, bold, and terrible,  Abram I cannot be;

Life has a way of choosing men, so now let life choose me!

I am Lot! I am Lot!  I am Lot!

I feel it, I know it, the truth will come out!

I feel it, I know it, I have no doubt

That I will be more famed than he

I am Lot!

(Two herdsmen enter, bowing, in a hurry to find Lot and tell him the news.  (Music out.)

Herdsman One   Your excellency, I have some news that isn’t good.  I don’t like to tell you this- – – –

Lot   (angrily)    Out with it!

Herdsman One           Well  (pause)    the Kings of Shinar and Ellasar and some other kings have come to fight the king of Sodom, and so we are all being asked to go fight in the battle for Sodom.  I knew that you wouldn’t want to do that, so I came here as fast I  – – –

Lot  (Roaring)   You knew what!!??  How could You know?  You worthless worm!  You insignificant insect!  You don’t know anything!!  I’ll go take care of this.  Of course we’ll fight for Sodom!  That is our new home! (Music enters.) Now get out before I have you quartered and fed to the jackals!

(Herdsmen exit hurriedly.)

I am Lot, I’m a self made man!

Soon the world will see who I am!

That I live for myself and I work for myself

And I think and plan and scheme for myself  –

No one does these things for me

I am Lot!!

A victory in  battle is exactly what I need to get on the good side of the King of Sodom!   

(Exit L.)

Act 1  Scene 6

 

( Music:  I Am Lot)

(Sarai and Abraham are seated on benches outside their tent in the Negev.  Sarai is working at some domestic chore, while Abraham is in thought. )

Sarai    So, Lot’s gotten himself into trouble again!  Why do you have to go and 

rescue him?

Abraham    (wearily)    There is no one else.

Sarai    He was always in trouble as a boy in Haran.  I had hoped he’d have learned by now.  After all, he is a grown man!

Abraham    I still get myself in trouble now and again.

(Music out.)

Sarai    That is true.  Well, don’t be hard on yourself.  Lot  gets into things you never would.  He is not a good man.  You are.

Abraham    Nonetheless, I must go after him..  The Kings of Shinar and Ellasar have made him and his men captives.  T

Abraham

Author: Herbert Smith

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