Finding hope amid trials: Play inspired by book of Ruth to be presented in Performance Hall


Jane Smith and Kim Bierman rehearse their roles for the upcoming production of Ruthie. Photo: Amy Roukes

As Christians, we often endure confusion and pain without understanding God’s reasons, but we can still find our future and our hope in God.

This hope is the message of an upcoming production in Performance Hall. Ruthie, a modern play inspired by the Old Testament narrative, will point audiences to examples of those who have gone before us.

Showings will take place in Performance Hall on March 13–16 at 7:30 p.m. as well as an additional matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on March 16.

As indicated by the title, the story is inspired by the book of Ruth. The play was written by Anthony Wright and entered into the Doris Fisher Harris Playwriting Contest at the University in 2007.

Although performed in other locations, this production marks the first performance of the play at BJU. Anna Brown, a senior, will direct the play in partial fulfillment of her degree in speech pedagogy.

The story takes place in 1946 after the close of World War II in the mountains of Asheville, N.C., and incorporates Southern elements to reflect the setting.

“The different time period and the cultural setting [do] change the original story of Ruth,” Brown said. “It’s not the book of Ruth, but it has familiar aspects, so you have a common ground that you can make connections with through the use of older foundations. I think that it’s a great setting for this story.”

The play centers on the theme of overcoming tragedy and loss. “Almost everyone in the story is affected by grief or loss in one way or another,” Brown said. “They have the choice: do I move on and accept a new chance at life, or do I decide to stay in my past and let that affect me and bind me? For me, this has really just shown me the hope that I have personally in Christ and how no matter what happens in my past, Christ always offers me a new future.”

The roles of Naomi and Ruthie will be played by Kim Bierman, who teaches German at Bob Jones Academy, and April Reed, a freshman dramatic production major, respectively. Andrew Ream, a sophomore communication major, will play the supporting role of Bo (the modern equivalent of Boaz).

Other cast members include Mr. Steve Skaggs, staff member at BJU Press; Nathan Young, a sophomore Christian ministries major; Dr. Dan Olinger, chair of the Division of Bible; Miss Jane Smith, faculty member in the School of Education; and Mr. Chuck Binns, facilities management.