Actspressions of Acts Church presented yet another poignant play called Esther, When Change is You, on 30th of September at Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC), to a fully-packed auditorium.
Brought to life through the lenses of Director Darren Yeoh with original concept by Jason Ding, Esther is a clever and thought-provoking play that illuminated the Bible in a modern light – comparing the struggle of palace politics to company politics.
The play was set at a metropolis called The City built by a character called the Chairman. The Chairman represents King Ahaseurus of Persia and Media in the Bible, while Esther represents a girl belonging to the Outsiders, a marginalised minority group in The City. In this case, the Outsiders represent the Israelites in the Bible.
Working in obscurity for the well-being of her people, Esther suddenly found herself catapulted to political stardom as a wife of the Chairman. She applied to be a wife upon the advice of her cousin Mordecai who wanted her to warn the Chairman of a possible assassination he discovered.
But lo and behold, the Chairman’s right-hand man, Hamaan, accused Mordecai for the crime. Together with Mordecai, Hamaan took this golden opportunity to evict all Outsiders from the city, in the name of protecting the Chairman’s life. Hamaan hated the Outsiders, seeing them as pests to be exterminated.
Faced with the violent uproar of Outsiders against the eviction and the dissappearance of Mordecai, Esther was left all alone to make a decision that would impact her people. Pleading for the Outsiders would involve uncovering her true identity as an Outsider herself.
It is understandable how Esther would face great difficulty in pleading the case before the Chairman. The chemistry between the Chairman and Esther was an odd one, intertwined with politics and romance. Although the Chairman appeared smitten in his first encounter with Esther, he was clear of his primary reason for marriage, which was to provide a succession plan for his company. This closely resembled how the King of Persia might put his kingdom before the queen.
But Esther was witty to play the game of politics, using ‘company policies’ to find a way to meet the Chairman, whose time was filled with board meetings with Hamaan. Citing a company policy, she successfully bypassed Hamaan by appealing to the Chairman’s driving taste buds, of chocolate cakes and juicy lobsters.
Yet, while the Chairman came for dinner, she failed to speak to him without Hamaan. When the Chairman left the room to make a phone call, Hamaan unexpectedly turned to strangle her out of his hatred. But the Chairman returned in time, charging Hamaan with his crime.
In the call, Mordecai found evidence of his innocence. Peace and order were returned to The City, and the affection of the Chairman for Esther, went beyond policies and procedures to one of a genuine spark of love.
In the end, the play showed how ordinary yet extraordinary Esther was. All she took were small steps, from applying to be the Chairman’s wife to inviting him for dinner. Yet it is in these ordinary things of life that God used to turn the tide of her people. She was made extraordinary for the purpose that God gave her.
“All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them.”
– Charles Spurgeon, British Particular Baptist Preacher
Also, in this play, we could see how Esther’s loyalty was tested for her people, especially in times of prosperity. She could have kept silent of her identity as an Outsider but she risked her life and spoke out for her people.
“Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man, but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.”
– Thomas Carlyle, Scottish philosopher, writer, historian and teacher
Lastly, this play shows that the trials in our life are merely stages to show God’s power and victory, because we have already won the war in Christ (John 16:33). If God can use Esther, an unassuming and ordinary girl, God can use you too to be the change in your family and workplace.
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
Note: All pictures are credited to Chester Kher Creations.
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