The Stories of 3 Marys
by David Quah
I wanted to write a musical about famous women from the bible. Of course, Mother Mary would be the first choice. Her story is one that has captivated people for centuries. Her strength, compassion, and unwavering faith have always inspired me. But then where do I go from there? The idea of the famous “Mary” came up, and I started to look into the stories of famous Marys. I ended up choosing 3, Mother Mary; Mary Magdalene, who was the leading women’s disciple; and Mary of Bethany, together with her sister Martha were like family to Jesus. These women were all instrumental in Jesus’ life and ministry, but their contributions are often overlooked. As I delved deeper into their stories, I was struck by their courage and devotion. I knew that I had to write about them.
What could I write about them? I didn’t want to just follow what’s written in the bible, I wanted to explore, from the angles of women, how they would react to the miracles that were done to them. For example, the song ‘A Baby In Me’ is an exploration of the moment when Mary learns that she is pregnant with Jesus. I wanted to capture the mix of fear, wonder, and joy that she must have felt at that moment. ‘Prison Of My Mind’ is an emotional release, after Mary Magdalene realized that Jesus has both rescued and freed her from her illnesses. ‘A Gift’ depicts how Mary of Bethany gathered enough courage to give Jesus the most precious gift she could afford after Jesus resurrected her brother Lazarus.
Although Jesus is not present physically in the musical, his presence is felt throughout. Act 1 ended after the reconciliation between Joseph and Mary, as I am sure that everyone knows the story of the birth of Christ. Then there is a 30-year gap and we start Act 2 with the story of Mary Magdalene. From that moment on, the musical is all about the story of Jesus, told from the eyes of Mary Magdalene, Martha and Mary of Bethany, Judas, and other guests, the people of Jerusalem…. All the way to the greatest miracle of all, the resurrection.
While I have tried to remain faithful to the Bible wherever possible, I felt that it was important to explore the emotional lives of these women in a more nuanced way than the Bible allows. By taking some creative liberties with the story, I hope to give the audience a deeper understanding of these powerful women and their experiences.
I am very grateful to UCCKE for giving me the opportunity to bring this musical to life. And to the teachers and students who have worked tirelessly to make it a reality, I cannot thank you enough. Your passion and dedication have inspired me every step of the way, and I am honored to have had the chance to work with such talented and committed individuals.