Puppet theater rehearsal for the celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Puppet theater rehearsal for the celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

Script adapted by Shirin from “The Twin Manifestations” study book and updated according to the Badi Calendar.

Puppet Theater Cast

Puppet Theater Cast

Cast:
Chinese puppet, May-Ling: Todd
Indian royal puppets: Adalia
Peruvian puppet, Luis: Juliet
Slavic puppet, Vladimir: Sofia
Native American puppet, Jackie: Ursula

Jackie: Welcome everyone to the celebration of the birthday of Baha’u’llah! My name is Jackie and I will be joined by some friends of mine. Here’s one already! Hello May-Ling!

May-Ling: Hi Jackie! I’m so glad you invited me. I wanted to learn more about who Baha’u’llah is and why celebrating His birthday is special. Can you tell me?

Jackie: Well, I could tell you, May-Ling, but I think my friend, Luis, could tell you also.

Luis: Hi Jackie. Hi May-Ling. It’s great to be here today. Baha’u’llah is the prophet-founder of the Bahai Faith. All the religions of the past promised that there would be a time when peace would be on earth and that mankind would be as one. Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah is that manifestation of God who will bring about this promised kingdom of God. He was born on the second day of Muharram in the Islamic Calendar in Tehran, the capital of Persia.
May-Ling: I see. Celebrating the birth of a manifestation of God is not new to humanity but celebrating the birth of the Promised One of all ages is something new.

Jackie: That’s right! And we even have a story about when Baha’u’llah was a little boy in Iran.

May-Ling: Does it involve puppets?

Jackie: Of course it does! Puppets are a vital part of humanity’s storytelling nature. I’ve asked my buddy, Vladimir, to tell us the story. He just finished taking a workshop study circle where they were studying a book that included this story in it.

Luis: Jackie, I’ve got to go set up refreshments, I’ll see you guys later.

Jackie and May-Ling: Bye Luis!

Vladimir: Hi Jackie! How have you been?

Jackie: Hi Vladimir! I’ve been well. This is my friend, May-Ling. She wants to hear the story of Baha’u’llah and the puppets from your study circle book.
Vladimir: Hi May-Ling, it’s nice to meet you. You mean this book, Jackie? (Holds up The Twin Manifestations)

Jackie: That’s it!

Vladimir: That’s a great story. It starts with a quote from Baha’u’llah’s son, ‘Abdu’l-Baha who described how Baha’u’llah belonged to a Persian noble family and how he was distinguished even as a child among his relatives and friends. People who knew him were always astonished at his superior knowledge and wisdom at such a young age. This story is an example of that wisdom.

May-Ling: What happens?

Vladimir: One of Baha’u’llah’s older brothers was getting married and the wedding celebration continued for seven days and seven nights.

May-Ling: Wow! They really knew how to celebrate!

Vladimir: Well, they sure saved the best for last because on the last day, a puppet show about a famous king was performed as an entertainment for the guests. Baha’u’llah sat in an upper room overlooking the courtyard where the performance took place. The play began with the entrance of a few small figures in human form announcing that the king was approaching.

Adalia: (holds up other puppets and announces “The king is approaching”)

Vladimir: Several more figures appeared. Some were sweeping, others sprinkled water in preparation for the king’s arrival. Soon the town crier entered the scene and told the people to assemble for an audience with the king.

Adalia: (holds up other puppets and announces “Prepare for an audience with the king!”)

Vladimir: Several groups of figures then made their appearance and took their proper places. Finally the king made his grand entrance and seated himself on a throne.

Adalia: (holds up the royal puppets)

Vladimir: Shots were fired; trumpets blasted, and the tent was filled with smoke (sound effects for shots and trumpets). The play continued and included the trying of a thief, discussions with state officials, ministers and princes, and an uprising in the town.

May-Ling: That sounds very entertaining!

Vladimir: It was. Baha’u’llah was greatly puzzled by the nature of the show. After it was over and the curtain was drawn, He saw a man come out from behind the tent carrying a box under his arm. “What is this box?” He asked. The puppeteer replied, “All these lavish trappings, the king, the princes, and the ministers, their pomp and glory, their might and power, everything you saw, are all now contained within this box”. This statement had a great impression on Baha’u’llah and He has declared that: “..ever since that day, all the trappings of the world have seemed in the eyes of this Youth akin to that same spectacle. They have never been, nor will ever be, possessed of any weight, though it be to the extent of a grain of mustard seed… Erelong these outward trappings, these heaped-up treasures, these earthly vanities, these amassed battalions, this gorgeous finery, these proud and overweening souls – all shall pass into the confines of the grave, as though into that box. In the eyes of those possessed of insight, all this conflict, dissension and vainglory hath been, and will ever be, like unto the sport of children.”

May-Ling: So, all the fighting, the consumerism, the fancy cars, the fame of a few, that’s all superficial?

Vladimir: Yes, only the spiritual things like love, friendship, unity, peace, only those things are real and will last.

May-Ling: Wow, what a great story!

Luis: The refreshments are ready. I hope you guys like what I brought.

May-Ling and Jackie: Sounds great! Thanks, Luis!

Jackie (to audience): I hope you all enjoyed this puppet show and if you’re lucky, the puppeteers will show you that we all came out of a box, too! Have a great evening and a beautiful celebration!

One Response to “Puppet theater rehearsal for the celebration of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

  • diann boone
    1 year ago

    Love the work in process of trying to set up a regular Baha’i’ puppet troupe to travel and do puppets to teach.

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