News & Reviews
One Woman Show Inspires the Faithful
Severna Park Voice
January 22, 2004
By Maribel C. Ibrahim
In many cultures, women have been relegated to a lower position in society. The Bible, a timeless book written many years ago, reveals many women had important roles in their day. To that end, the United Methodist Women's group of Severna Park United Methodist Church (SPUMC) hosted a dramatic presentation, Women of the Bible, on December 8th.
Anita Gutschick, a local resident with experience in community theatre, presented a one-woman show featuring some of the Bible's notable women such as Rebekah, the Woman at the Well, and Ruth. With a few clay jars as props and colorful, flowing costumes, audience members were transported back to biblical times to relive the daily struggles and events in their lives. Gutschick related the stories of these women from their perspective as if retelling the events to a group of friends.
Taking events from Scripture, Gutschick's dialogue loosely translated and expanded on what each woman must have thought and felt. Revealing the angst of Rebekah's pregnancy and twin delivery, a humorous interpretation of how it must have been to water 10 camels, the exquisite joy the Woman the Well felt at knowing Jesus, and the bitter emotions felt by Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, Gutschick painted a beautiful palette colored with a wide range of emotions and experiences.
Each character had experienced challenges and thoughts that audience members could apply in their own modern lives. For example, Rebekah asked if we are too busy playing favorites or forcing our desires on others. The Woman at the Well challenged us to share the great news about Jesus – even when ostracized – and Ruth dared us to love again after enduring great loss. After each character’s story was presented, a musical interlude provided for costume changes, offering a quite time of contemplation.
Probably the most fascinating woman of the evening was Gutschick herself, as she relayed her personal testimony of finding Christ and developing this show. Ironically, the original concept was a half-hearted attempt to entertain a church group. Busy with secular projects, the Women of the Bible program usually took the back seat in Gutschick's life, even as she performed it more and more. After much prayer and the positive feedback from audience participants, Gutschick realized that, "God had given me the privilege of using drama to tell His story." With that, she continued to share the living wonder of the Bible, traveling the East Coast and the Midwest. For more information on Women of the Bible, visit www.womenofthebible.com.