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 With an empathetic and engaging original work, TurnkKey Theatre premiers their second audio play with PASSION: A KETUVIM PLAY. Written and directed by Eliana Payne, this work uses letters to explore the life of Vashti, a Persian queen who discovers strength and self-confidence through love, and the power in the word “no.”


PASSION: A KETUVIM PLAY unfolds as a series of letters from a queen named Vashti, to her sister. The letter topics vary in the way of those who are close and talk about everything from ordinary daily life; like describing her favorite herbs in her bath, to the more intimate as she questions her connection to her husband.

The Ketuvim writings are one of three parts of Jewish writings known as the Tanakh. This play takes inspiration from the Book of Esther, which is found in the Megillot (or scrolls).

Vashti is in an arranged marriage with the King, and while they both take their duties seriously they have nothing truly in common. Besides doing her duty to provide him with an heir, they have little time together or any actual connection to one another. As Vashti contemplates her life, and if this truly is all that it is, she meets a young servant with who she finds a connection that shifts her entire perception of her life, her love, and her value in the world.

To explain more would give too much away, and would ruin the experience of listening to Vashti’s journey unfold like a blooming flower. Written and directed by Eliana Payne, Vashti is a rounded character; one who is trying to do her duty as she was raised, while also struggling to process these feelings that feel true and right to her. As she contemplates the life laid out before her she finds herself in a position that could change her fate forever. The growth the character makes by the end feels well-paced and believable to the character created by Payne.

The letters are read by Becca Meyers, who has a lovely and winning performance. It can be difficult in audio performance to find the right balance without tipping over into melodrama, but Meyers brings Vashti and her emotional journey to life in a lovely way.


This performance also includes a box with scrolls that contain the letters so the audience finds themselves as the other side of the conversation with Vashti. There are also pieces of a letter that has been torn apart that the listener puts back together by the end of the play to read the final letter themselves.

At their website they have also provided extra information including a glossary of terms, additional background on the religious and historical aspects, and also a link ot the source text in the Book of Esther.

PASSION: A KETUVIM PLAY is an engaging and entraining piece of audio theatre. TurnKey Theatre has multiple listening events for those who would like to listen as a community experience. Those dates are June 11, 12, 17, and 18th at 7pm.

For ticketing and access go to

The ticket types include the following:

Deluxe Event Ticket: $35/household + shipping; the deluxe box filled with interactive items will be shipped for participants to engage with during the event (and after if they choose)

This ticket is only available up to 5 days before an event, to ensure the adequate delivery time

Listen Along with Event Tickets: $10/household. Includes access to the streamed play during the event.


Written and Directed by Eliana Payne

Vashti, played by Becca Meyers

Produced by Katie Turner, PhD

Sound Design: Neha Pearce

Original compositions by Nuno Silva

Letter Font Design: Beau Gavin

Production Manager: Maya Aizenman

Logo Design: J’Arrian Wade

Social Media Campaign Design: J’Arrian Wade ​

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