Bahá'í Library Online
. . . .
>>   Scripts and screenplays
TAGS: Arts; Drama; Tahirih
> add tags
Written for performance in 1984, published 2015.

Tahirih (1816 - 1852)

by Terre Ouwehand

published in Voices from the Well, vol. 2
Old Hand Press, 1984/2015
Background: Wishing to participate in the second “Wildfire Conference of the Arts,” which was to be held in Indiana in 1984, Jaine Toth commissioned author/playwright Terre Ouwehand to write a monologue about Táhirih.

Ms. Ouwehand had previously written Voices from the Well: Extraordinary Women of History, Myth, Literature and Art (1986), a series of monologues about extraordinary women in history, myth and literature. It was turned into a theatrical production with the various individual performances tied together by a kind of Greek chorus.

Jaine pointed out that Ms. Ouwehand had written the Narrator’s opening before she’d ever heard of Táhirih, yet the words hearkened to her story. These are the words to which Jaine referred, most of which are repeated by the chorus:

    bubbles rose
    from deep within
    the water’s well,

    trailing up as incense
    spirals to the sky,
    chanting resurrection, redirection—
    incandescent, phoenix-winged—

    They rise, they rise
    like butterflies
    up from the source,
    the source
    deep in granite
    tapping white-blind
    rooting underground,
    the sound of beating breath
    flowing like blood
    in the veins of the world—

    The voices surge and swell
    and rise to tell
    the stories in the well...

Ms. Ouwehand understood the connection and said if she ever reprises the show, she’ll rewrite the chorus a bit and include the Táhirih monologue. When she issued a new version of the book, Voices from the Well 2 (2015, see, Táhirih was included.

Jaine notes, “There were only two dramatic offerings at the conference: the Táhirih monologue being one of them. The feedback was encouraging. People appreciated seeing Bahá’í history come to life on the stage. One gentleman said that now Táhirih wasn’t just someone in a history book, she was for him a living, breathing being and he felt a connection that hadn’t been there before.” [-J.T. 2021-04]

Back to:   Scripts and screenplays
Home Site Map Links Copyright About Contact
. .