Purim begins February 25. It’s time to prepare your hamentashen, decorate your masks, and plan your (virtual) Purim parties! While circumstances may keep us apart, they shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the story of Esther (if that’s something you’re into.)
When I set to work searching the internet for a free Purim play script, I found that most were for children or way too complicated. Then, under the Holy Bible thread on Goodreads, I stumbled upon a gem. Jake’s comments became the basis of the script below. It’s silly and dumb and best suited for irreverent 20-30-year-olds. If you have fewer than 11 people (virtually) gathering this year, parts can easily be combined. Enjoy!
- King Ahasuerus
- Queen Vashti
- Haman’s wife
Narrator: King Ahasuerus reigned from India unto Ethiopia. In the third year of his reign he made a feast unto all the princes of the land. This feast was rich in food and drink and lasted seven days. And on the seventh day the king was very merry.
King: This party rocks. I am well pleased with my feast and my guests. Bring to me another cup of wine, perhaps a shot of Fireball, and then go fetch my queen. Tell Queen Vashti to come here in only her gold and jewels so that all men might look upon her, see her beauty, and grow horny with jealousy.
Narrator: The servant goes to the queen who is feasting with her own maids.
Servant: My Queen, the great King Ahasuerus has sent for your presence in the throne room where all the princes of the land feast in his honor.
Queen Vashti: Go back to the King and tell him I shall not come. I am feasting in my own house with my own servants. They have Bagel Bites.
Narrator: The servant bows and goes back to the King.
King (to himself): My Queen is fairest in the land, crowned by stars from the skies. I’m going to hit that so hard tonight.
Servant: My Lord, the Queen says she will not come.
King: What is this you say? She will not come? What will I do?
Servant: My King, if it became known that Queen Vashti would not come out at your summoning, all would doubt your ability to command respect! They will see you as a little sissy boy. If it pleases the king, let the queen be sent away and let another take her place.
King: So be it. I will never set eyes on her again. And I will take her crown, gold, and jewels and give them to another fine babe. But who shall be my new queen?
Servant: Let us make it known all around that the King is in search of a new queen. We will pick the fairest of maidens and send them to you so you might choose a new Queen.
King: Go forth and do this.
Narrator: So the King sent forth his people to find the most beautiful women in all the land to be brought before him.
Narrator: At this time Mordecai, a Jewish man, was living with his cousin Esther near the King’s palace. Esther was very beautiful, and she had a coveted sixth toe on each foot. In accordance with the command of the King, Esther went with the others to stand before the king.
The king was greatly pleased with Esther and her weird feet. He ordered her to go to the house of his wives. The king gave to Esther the best house and many servants to wait upon her. Esther found much favor in the king’s sight but kept her Jewish identity hidden.
King: Surely you are the most beautiful woman in all the land. What other man has a wife with twelve toes? I will make you the Queen and I will give unto you Vashti’s Crown and throw a feast in your honor. Ask of me anything you wish to have and I will assuredly give it to you!
Esther: Good King, I have everything I could ask for at the moment. What more could I ask for, considering my extra toes and all?
Narrator: At this time Mordecai sits at the gates of the king so as to be able to watch over Esther. Suddenly he overhears two of the king’s servants thus speaking:
Bigthana: The King is a huge idiot and not worthy to be King at all.
Teresh: True that. I could make a better King myself! Did you hear he couldn’t even summon his queen? He was like “Queen come here” and she was like “Nah.”
Bigthana: A man whose word is so weak ought not to be king. What if the king were to die? Surly whoever became the new king would reward us. And we would be powerful.
Teresh: That is a good plan. Let us kill the King tonight. It will be easy – I’ve heard all of his guards are on vacation and he takes powerful sleeping pills.
Narrator: Mordecai, being a huge snitch, went straight to the King’s guardsmen, who in fact weren’t on vacation. The guards took Bigthana and Teresh and threw them in prison. The deed which Mordecai had done for the king was written in the Book of Records.
Narrator: In the seventh year of King Ahasuerus he appointed a man named Haman to be his chief counselor.
King: Your father has served me well, but he is now old and smelly. If you will serve and advise me as well as he has, I will set you above all the princes of the land. So that all men will show reverence, bow before you, and allow you to “borrow” their wives whenever you get a hankering.
Haman: I shall serve you faithfully.
Narrator: And Haman went out of the gates, and indeed, all men bowed before him. All except Mordecai, who made Haman very angry.
Haman: Who is that man refusing to bow before me?
Servant: Mordecai is his name. You didn’t ask, but he’s Jewish. He says he only bows before his god.
Haman: Jewish you say? Pah! (Spits) I shall not stand for this insult.
Narrator: Haman became resentful of Mordecai and his faith, and like any normal person feeling insulted, conspired to kill all the Jews. He went before the king that very night to settle the matter.
Haman: Oh great and worthy King, there is a certain group of people scattered and dispersed all around the lands of your kingdom. The Jews believe in strange gods, control Hollywood, and do not respect the laws which you have laid down. Heed my advice and do not suffer them. Decree that they are to be banished or destroyed.
King: Sure, whatever. Take my ring. Do with these Jews as you please.
Narrator: Soon everybody hears the news that on the thirteenth day of the first month, a date Haman chose by lots aka purim, all Jews are to be hunted and destroyed. Word of this went out to every prince of the land, to their lieutenants, and governors, posted in every town square, and was sealed by the King’s ring.
When Mordecai perceived all this, he replaced his clothing with sackcloth and ashes and went out into the midst of town to cry out in protest. And likewise did all the Jews.
Servant: My lady, your cousin Mordecai lies in the street in sackcloth and ashes mourning we know not what.
Esther: Oh my poor cousin, go to him at once and take to him these clothes – he looks disgusting. Ask him what is wrong, what makes him weep.
Servant: Mordecai, my lady Queen Esther commands thee to weep no more, and to put on these new clothes she brings you.
Mordecai: Alas, for my people, I will not do so.
Servant: What is wrong? Why do you weep?
Mordecai: I weep for Haman has sentenced all Jews to death under the order of the king’s ring. Take this copy of the current news, I have one with me at all times, and give it to the queen. Tell her she must go before the king and plead for the Jews.
Narrator: Esther reads the news and cries.
Esther: What wickedness. If only I could go before the King. It is known that going up to him without being called is certain death, and I have not been called these thirty days.
Narrator: The servant goes to Mordechai to deliver the queen’s concerns.
Mordecai: Tell the queen her god and her people are with her. I will make sure all Jews know to fast and pray for her safety for the next three days. After that she should face the king. Hopefully all the praying and fasting will work out, but if not, RIP my cousin.
Narrator: So it came to pass that on the third night Esther put on her royal apparel and jewels which the king had given her and went into the inner court where the king sat upon his throne.
King: Queen Esther, how come you’re here? Weren’t you told it is a death sentence to appear unsummoned?
Esther: I am aware of that law, oh good King, but I could not wait to share the news of what I have prepared for thee.
King: Hm okay. I get the sense that people have been praying and fasting, so I guess I won’t kill you. Esther my queen, what is it you had to say? Any wish you ask for I will grant.
Esther: My king, I come before you to extend an invitation for you, and for your chief adviser Haman. I invite you to partake in a banquet that I have prepared. It is there that I will sound my request.
King: Esther, my delight. Rest assured we will both be there.
King: Now that was a great meal. These treasures you called “Bagel Bites” – magnificent! What were you going to ask for, Esther? Name it, and it will be yours. Even if you ask for half the kingdom!
Esther: My King, my request tonight will only be this: If I have found favor in your sight and if it pleases you, come again tomorrow night, again with your adviser, for another banquet I shall prepare. Then I shall I tell you what I desire.
Narrator: Haman left the party with a glad heart and a stomach full of Bagel Bites. However, when he saw Mordecai who would not bow before him he grew wrathful once more.
Haman: I am a man of much power, riches, and glory. I am promoted above all man save only the king. Esther has let no man come to her banquet except for the king and I, and tomorrow I am to go again. But all this means nothing to me while that Jew; Mordecai, sitting at the gate, still refuses to bow to me.
Haman’s wife: Let the gallows be made ready, my husband, and tomorrow hang Mordecai on them. That way he will bother you no longer. I love drama!
Haman: I know you do, dear. I’ll take care of Mordecai yet.
Narrator: The night after Esther’s first banquet the king could not sleep. He called on his guard to bring him his Book of Records.
King: What a well-timed moment for me to look at my Book of Records. I now recall that Mordecai saved my life only recently. What honor and dignity have been done to him for this service?
Guard: None has been done, my lord. You seemed to think adding the account to the Book of Records would be enough.
King: Bring to me Haman.
Narrator: Haman comes in.
King: Haman tell me, what shall be done for a man the king wishes to honor?
Haman (aside): Who could the king wish to honor but me, your boy Haman?
Haman: Dress the man in the king’s clothing and put on his head the royal crown. Give him the royal mount, and have a noble prince lead him about the city proclaiming “This man is super dope.”
King: Very good, make haste and do all that you said unto Mordecai the Jew who sits at the gates.
Narrator: So Haman was forced to do all that he had said for the man he hated. He led him around the city calling aloud “This man is super dope.” Later that day, Haman was summoned for Esther’s second feast.
King: Esther, these parties are fun, but what is your request? It shall be granted to you and then I can get back on my Keto diet.
Esther: Oh King! If I have found favor in your sight and if it pleases thee: I would ask that my life and the life of my people be spared. See, I’m Jewish, and all Jews have been sentenced to a horrible fate.
King: Who is he who caused you such sorrow? Who is the man that would harm your people like so?
Esther: It is Haman, oh King. Remember? He asked you if he could kill all of the Jews? And you were like, sounds good?
King: Uh…that rings a bell. Guards, take this man!
Guard: We have the gallows prepared as per Haman’s orders.
King: Good. Go ahead and use them to hang Haman. And as for Mordechai, bring the man to me.
Narrator: Mordecai enters.
Mordecai: You sent for me, my king?
King: I name you my right-hand man, counselor, and BFF. You may wear my ring and pass my laws. I give you Haman’s house and wealth.
Narrator: Mordecai and Esther fall down at the king’s feet.
King: And as for the laws Haman passed, I now decree that no Jew is to be harmed in my kingdom. And if anyone disobeys this – the Jews would have the full right to defend themselves, although famously Jews lack speed and strength.
Narrator: All this was done as the King had said. Mordecai grew great among men and started a successful bear fighting ring. The Jews defended themselves against all those who would seek them harm (at least they tried their best.)
As for Haman, his wife, and sons, they were hanged on the same gallows they had originally prepared for Mordecai, which doesn’t seem very fair to his sons. And so it came to be that the thirteenth day of the twelfth month of every year was marked as a day of celebration for the miracle that happened that day. Thousands of years later, little Jewish children still celebrate by attending carnivals where they often win goldfish destined to the same fate as Haman (early death).