Revolutionary moments tend to occur from an unexpected source, and just when a community needs it most. These moments do not just ask for change—they demand it. ENC’s production of Bible Women’s Project is this campus’ revolution.
BWP is an original production created by a small group of actresses, all current or previous students from ENC. The show essentially began last November as an idea from director Tara Brooke Watkins, and it transformed into a group effort with the addition of thirteen female ENC students and graduates. Throughout the creation of this project, the mission was clear: to give a voice to the women of the Bible and to the women of today.
BWP varied between genres of art, but remained unified and consistently thematic throughout. The actresses utilized an impressive amount of styles: interpretive dance, musicals, lighthearted and dark skits, a cappella singing, monologue, rap and more. The production also made countless references, ranging from classic horror movies all the way to Pokémon. The thirteen actresses demanded full audience attention for over two and a half hours, by evoking laughter or pulling out empathetic tears.
The end result was a unique, diverse, and incredibly powerful presentation that was so well-received that the group added a second weekend of encore performances.
Some of the most impressive moments of the production were its outrageously funny moments. For instance, the entire story of Ruth and Naomi was portrayed as a Disney musical that recycled popular Disney sing-alongs and replaced them with witty lyrics relating to the story. Actress Sherryl Shively’s extravagant performance of Boaz had the audience falling out of their chairs in laughter.
Occasionally, the humorous moments of the performance also contained surprisingly crude instances, such as the slightly too illustrative representation of Tamar giving birth to Perez and Zerah.
While the comedy was extremely well-executed, BWP shined brightest in its most intense and honest moments. The women did not shy away from asking bold questions about the injustice and heartache women endured during the Biblical stories. One particularly unforgettable moment was actress Juanita Brown’s incredibly moving performance as Rizpah, facing the harsh wilderness to mourn over her dead sons.
Equally powerfully, the women staged open discussions about everything Christians are often afraid to discuss (or unaware that they need to): the Church’s expectation of women to have children, women’s feelings towards sex, and the treatment of gay people/people of different sexualities. These open, nonjudgmental talks painted a template for the true community the Church needs, reflecting respect and love, even when there was not agreement.
BWP raised the bar at ENC both artistically and spiritually. This production masterfully interweaved countless forms of expression into one unique presentation, and courageously gave a voice to those who were never truly heard.