Summer frivolity

 

A Play.


The Clear Teaching of Scripture,

or

The Two Silent Virgins


This is the same scene, from 1 Corinthians 7. 36–38, acted out by four different companies of players.

The spoken words are slightly altered from the individual Biblical versions. The Virgins’ thoughts are fictitious.


1. King James’s Company. 


Time: 1611. Enter Ron, Tony, The Apostle Paul, and the two Virgins.


Ron: Methinketh I behave uncomely towards you.


1st Virgin (thinketh): Perchance.


Ron: Thou art past the flower of thine age.


1st Virgin (thinketh): That liketh me not!


Ron: Moreover, need so requireth! I shall do what I will. Let us marry.


The Apostle Paul: Thou sinnest not.


Tony: But I stand steadfast in my heart.


2 Virgin (thinketh): Aha!


Tony: I have no necessity: I have power over mine own will.


2 Virgin (thinketh): Oh.


Tony: I have thus decreed in my heart: I shall keep my virgin!


2 Virgin  (thinketh): What meaneth that?


The Apostle Paul: So then Ron, you that give her in marriage do well, but Tony, that giveth her not in marriage, doth better.



2. The New International Company. 


Time: the present. Enter Ron, Tony, The Apostle Paul, and the two Virgins.


Ron: I’m worried. I’m afraid I may not be acting honourably towards you. I mean, we are engaged, but — my passions are too strong!


1st Virgin (thinks):  Not as I’ve noticed.


Ron: I feel I ought to get married. I want to do so.


1st Virgin (thinks): So that’s settled then.


The Apostle Paul: He’s not sinning. They should get married!


Tony: Unlike Ron, I’ve settled the matter in my own mind! I’m under no compulsion! I’ve got control over my own will. I’ve made up my mind. I’m not going to marry you, my dear Virgin.


2nd Virgin (thinks): Maybe he isn’t the marrying sort.


The Apostle Paul: Ron, you’re doing right in marrying your virgin, but Tony, you’re doing better not marrying yours!


3. The NIV Margin Company. 


Time: the present. Enter Ron, Tony, The Apostle Paul, and the two Virgins.


Ron: I don’t think I’m treating my daughter properly.


1st Virgin (thinks): No, you’re not, not really.


Ron: She’s getting along in years…


1st Virgin (thinks): See what I mean?


Ron: And possibly her passions are too strong.


1st Virgin (thinks): Thanks a bunch!


Ron: I feel she ought to marry. I’ve the right to do as I want.


The Apostle Paul: You’re not sinning. You should let her get married.


Tony: Well, I’ve settled the matter in my own mind. I’m under no compulsion. 


2nd Virgin (thinks): oh?


Tony: No, I’ve got control over my own will, and I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to keep my virgin unmarried.


2nd Virgin (thinks): Have you considered my feelings?


The Apostle Paul: Ron, you’re doing the right thing in giving your virgin in marriage. Tony, you’re doing better not giving your one in marriage.



4. The Message Company.


Time: the present. Enter Ron, Tony, The Apostle Paul, and the two Virgins.


Ron: You know you’re my friend…


1st Virgin (thinks): Mhm...


Ron: And I’m loyal to you…


1st Virgin (thinks): Good to know…


Ron: And I never intended to marry you — or anyone else…


1st Virgin (thinks): Yes, that seemed to be the impression you were giving.


Ron: And I decided to serve God as a ‘single’…


1st Virgin (thinks): That’s what you’ve always said.


Ron: Well I’ve changed my mind! I’ve decided I should marry you!


1st Virgin (thinks): Suppose I don’t want to marry a lapsed celibate?


The Apostle Paul: Ron, it’s not a sin; it’s not even a ‘step down’ from celibacy, as some say.


Tony: Well, I’m comfortable in my decision for a single life in service to God. It’s entirely my own conviction. It’s not imposed on me by others, so I know I ought to stick with it.


2nd Virgin (thinks): In that case, I’m probably better off without you.


The Apostle Paul: Remember, all of you, marriage is spiritually and morally right and not inferior to singleness in any way.



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