Lynn Maudlin's House of Bread
Origin
Over the course of several years I wrote a musical --a song cycle, really-- based upon the book of Ruth from the Bible.
 
It started in 2001 with Boaz' Song when I pondered the subtle love affair implied in Ruth, which begins when Boaz asks his steward, "Whose damsel is this?" (Ruth 2:5, KJV; I love the word "damsel").
 
One night after a worship team rehearsal I was asked what I'd written recently and I shared this song with Sally Heimann, one of St. Jude's worship leaders at the time. She said it sounded like a song from a musical; amazingly, that thought had never occurred to me. We laughed about it and she said, "Yeah, you could have Orpah sing, "Bye bye! So long! Farewell!" and I thought that was really amusing. But I warmed to the thought and gradually started writing other songs.
 
My goal was to tell the Naomi-Ruth-Boaz story and stay consistent with the account from the Bible. I don't have suitable recordings but lyrics can be found at Moonbird Music.
 
History
 
I have performed portions of the piece at Azusa Pacific University for several different classes but the whole work wasn't presented until June 23rd and June 24th, 2007, at St. Jude's in Burbank, California.
 
We presented it in a "reader's theatre" format (no costumes or special lighting) and it was enthusiastically received: the audiences were moved and delighted, lots of applause. The cast was wonderful; I am so proud of them and grateful for their support and hard work.

 

Buzz Ayers - Elimelech and the "Nearer Kinsman"
Kristy Collins - Orpah
Tanya Oldson - Ruth
Richard Paine - Boaz
Lynn Maudlin - Naomi
Wendy Widlus (our narrator)
 
Program Book
 
The program book contains some history of bible times that help a modern audience to understand the rather elaborate social dance which underpins the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. There's also an explanation of gleaning. Please do check it out.
 
Song Lyrics
 
Links to the lyrics can be found here.