You need to know the setting, the story line, and the cast for each act.
The setting for Act One: Ruth’s home, a lovely mansion on a Maryland hillside, surrounded by autumn woods and full of light and grace. By light, I mean real light, sun pouring in through the windows and French doors; by grace, I mean Keurig coffeemakers tucked into corners upstairs and down so a fresh cup of java or chocolate is just seconds away.
The story line: Eight women will gather to talk with each other about what it’s like to be them. They’re nervous. Some of them are flat-out scared. But all of them are committed to trying to do this honestly.
The cast: We’ll let them introduce themselves and the sphere they’re representing (widow, single woman, etc.).
This is Carla, from Indiana. She started teaching in 1999, has worked with reading intervention, and began her present job as assistant principal in an elementary school in 2009, shortly after she and her husband returned from Ethiopia with their newly adopted son. She has three children: a six-year-old son, a four-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl.
“This job fell into my lap. God opened every door…I applied for the job two weeks before going to Ethiopia to pick our little boy up. I had an interview after I’d been home for three days . . . the superintendent called and said the job is yours if you want it. I told them, ‘I’m on adoptive leave, I’ll be there in a few weeks.’
“Six weeks after getting our child, I went back to work. I love my job — I think it’s the best ever. It’s a difficult place for me to be often times . . . I don’t know, I really struggled within the church, just feeling really different, feeling really misunderstood. I don’t love my kids any less than anybody else and I totally feel like I am where I’m supposed to be right now, and that feels really good.”
Here’s Sabrina. She’s 32 and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three young children: two sons (4 and 3) and a 10-month-old baby girl. She married at 26; before she had children, she worked in a job in accounts receivable. Now she stays home with her children and tries to be a support to her husband, who is an associate pastor.
“A desire of my heart has been to have connections [with women]. I have an incredible mom, but she lives in Canada . . . I have a desire to learn. How do I walk with my husband, how do I respect my husband, how do I raise my children?
“The other day, my son asked, ‘Mommy, what does holy mean?’ When I explained it to him, he looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, you’re not that.’ And I thought, okay, I’m going to go [to this weekend], because I’m going to learn.”