The Fourth Messenger, featuring Vienna Teng

by Vienna Teng and Tanya Shaffer

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Your download of 31 Tracks from The Fourth Messenger is now available! Bonus items include PDFs with the track list, note from the authors, and full synopsis of the musical, to give context to your songs. Enjoy!
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This album of songs from the new musical "The Fourth Messenger" stars Vienna Teng as Mama Sid, a world-renowned spiritual teacher with a hidden past. Loosely inspired by the Buddha legend, this contemporary re-imagining poses the question of whether and how it's possible to be both enlightened and flawed.

    This pre-order package includes a physical CD and a digital download, to be released November 7, 2015.

    Music by Vienna Teng, lyrics by Tanya Shaffer and Vienna Teng, directed by Matt August, orchestrated/music directed by Ryan O'Connell.

    "An absolute delight." - SF Chronicle • "Profound and profane, combative and compassionate… Teng’s complex harmonies and inspired melodies stick with you long after the curtain goes down." - Art Animal • "Hugely ambitious and refreshingly original…Teng is a fresh and exciting new theatrical talent with a distinctive voice of her own…" - Huffington Post • "Masterful and compelling…both timeless and contemporary." - Stage and Cinema

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Fourth Messenger, featuring Vienna Teng via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    ships out within 7 days

      $15 USD or more 

     

  • What if the Buddha were a woman, living in our times? In this captivating new musical, Mama Sid is a modern-day “awakened one” with a worldwide following. But a determined young woman seeks to unearth Mama Sid’s mysterious past, exposing long-held secrets that could change everything. Epic and intimate, comic and profound, The Fourth Messenger investigates what it means to be both enlightened and human. Book and lyrics by Tanya Shaffer, music and additional lyrics by Vienna Teng. Script includes all lyrics and text, not musical score.

    This is a digital pre-order. The PDF will be released on November 7, in conjunction with The Fourth Messenger album featuring Viena Teng.

    “An exciting and ambitious project, driven by Teng's eclectic score, Shaffer's inspired rewrites of the Buddha story, and their punchy, provocative lyrics… An absolute delight.” - San Francisco Chronicle • “Intelligent and skillfully crafted…hugely ambitious and refreshingly original... Shaffer's musical has the audience emotionally involved and on the edge of their seats.” - The Huffington Post • “A satisfying and remarkably entertaining new musical that takes on spiritual life with wit and emotional resonance…” - KQED/NPR • “Beautiful...A triumph… Shaffer’s book brims with intelligence and wit… ” - Theater Dogs • “Masterful and compelling...both timeless and contemporary…” - Stage and Cinema
    ... more

      $5 USD or more 

     

  • What if the Buddha were a woman, living in our times? In this captivating new musical, Mama Sid is a modern-day “awakened one” with a worldwide following. But a determined young woman seeks to unearth Mama Sid’s mysterious past, exposing long-held secrets that could change everything. Epic and intimate, comic and profound, The Fourth Messenger investigates what it means to be both enlightened and human. Book and lyrics by Tanya Shaffer, music and additional lyrics by Vienna Teng. This script includes all spoken text and lyrics, but not the musical score.

    This is a pre-order. The script will be released on November 7, in conjunction with The Fourth Messenger album featuring Viena Teng.

    “An exciting and ambitious project, driven by Teng's eclectic score, Shaffer's inspired rewrites of the Buddha story, and their punchy, provocative lyrics… An absolute delight.” - San Francisco Chronicle • “Intelligent and skillfully crafted…hugely ambitious and refreshingly original... Shaffer's musical has the audience emotionally involved and on the edge of their seats.” - The Huffington Post • “A satisfying and remarkably entertaining new musical that takes on spiritual life with wit and emotional resonance…” - KQED/NPR • “Beautiful...A triumph… Shaffer’s book brims with intelligence and wit… ” - Theater Dogs • “Masterful and compelling...both timeless and contemporary…” - Stage and Cinema
    ... more
    ships out within 10 days

      $10 USD or more 

     

1.
2.
SID Every choice that we make is a pebble in a lake, spreading ripples beyond our sight. Every choice that we make impresses its shape on a galaxy of lives. ENSEMBLE (OFFSTAGE) Every choice that we make is a pebble in a lake, spreading ripples beyond our sight. With every step that we take let the choices we make bring us closer to the light. (Spot focuses sharply on RAINA.) RAINA Every false move she’s made, every trust that she’s betrayed, left a wound that will never heal. Though she may think she’s safe, got away without a trace, one day all will be revealed. The past isn't gone, its ghosts gather round, they live and they breathe, they hunger for answers. The moment has come to call you to account. And I will make my name; my breakout story will be your shame. For the truth will, the truth must come out
3.
REPORTERS The truth, the truth, the truth will come out The truth, the truth, the truth will come out The truth, the truth, the truth will come out The truth must come out JILL He said, she said BILL Fact check, follow up REPORTERS The truth must come out BEV I just have a few more questions KEV Your story doesn’t line up REPORTERS The truth must come out. (Overlapping groups) REPORTERS I just have a few more questions Your story doesn’t line up The report from your department Tells a different story A different story A different story SAM (Spoken) Staff meeting! REPORTERS The truth, the truth, the truth will come out The truth, the truth, the truth will come out The truth, the truth, the truth will come out The truth, the truth, the truth, the truth- (All move into place around a long table.) SAM The truth is we’re in deep shit. Subscriptions are shrinking Ad rates are sinking Our website’s a stinking mess Bloggers and tweeters Are poaching our readers In fifteen words or less! We’ve gotta break something viral To flip this downward spiral Revitalize our dying base We need a shock so volcanic It spreads like a panic From print to cyberspace We need... The next big story Pitch it to me The next big story ALL The next big story What’s it gonna be? The next big story SAM We need watergate, wikileaks, lewinsky scale The holy grail of reporters’ pay Or you'll be writing little league play-by-plays! What’s the next big story Pitch it to me SAM AND REPORTERS What’s the next big story? RAINA (Spoken) Mama Sid. SAM Raina! What are you doing back so soon? BILL Yeah, didn’t your dad just die? KEVIN Jesus, Bill! BEVERLY Ever hear of tact? SAM We’re glad you’re back, Raina. (Pointedly) All of us. And we’re sorry for your loss. (All murmur sympathy. They lack sincerity.) RAINA Thanks, Sam. SAM Sure. (Slight pause.) So...whatcha got? RAINA (Holds up book) An exposé of Mama Sid. SAM The guru? BILL The self-help lady? BEV The spiritual master? RAINA That’s the one. (Sings) This “spiritual master” Her name's grown faster Than a hot tech start-up stock You can’t help but notice The millions devoted To her touchy-feely new age schlock She's posing as the mother of the whole damn planet Handing out answers and cures One hundred percent pure She's our next big story… BEV Honey, that’s great, but if all you’ve got is a hunch... (Reporters grumble their agreeement with BEV.) RAINA Interviews are rare, no one dares to squeeze her She keeps a tight grip on how the public sees her Ask about her past, you get the mona lisa Her private life: off-limits, please! (All start tapping on their smartphones and computers) KEVIN She’s on Wikipedia but needs citations BEV Nothing on Google but urban legends BILL Her mother was an elephant like Dumbo JILL No, her mother’s lover was the jumbo SAM So her mythology’s outsized That’s hardly a lead on a pulitzer prize BILL It was really sweet of you to give it a try Ambitious intern BEVERLY Sam, this might fly RAINA Have you ever seen a brick wall with nothing behind it? No one puts a lock on an empty cabinet Now we’ve got this guru keeping her silence “nothing to see here, folks” I don’t buy it Someone’s gonna scoop us sooner than later Debunk nation ought to be the paper To spill her scandalous secret Just gotta find it, unwind it And write the big bright headline Of our next big story BEVERLY We’d better act now If we want the glory ALL The next big story SAM If we hunt it down RAINA We’re talkin’ big-time quarry ALL Nothing like a goddess falling down to earth To strike a nerve with the masses That's how we'll save our asses With the next big story The next big story The next big story The next big story The next big story The truth must come out
4.
RAINA This story It's got my name on it There's no one else can do it right I brought this I’ve got a claim on it I’m getting on that arctic flight Good yogi I'll be She'll gain trust in me Then I'll strike SAM You know something about this lady? RAINA I know something About hypocrisy I know a lot about denial I know something About committing crimes And never standing trial One glance in her eyes Unveils her disguise, and I know This story is mine I am all over it There's no one else can do it justice This story is mine Sometimes you feel it so deep You just have to trust it So give up, give in, give me the green light This is the story I was born to write. (SAM looks at her for a long moment. Something in her passion persuades him. He sighs.) SAM Okay. RAINA Yes! (Kisses him passionately.) SAM Just land it, okay? We wouldn’t want anyone to think I was playing favorites. (SAM exits.) RAINA Just like that In a single breath Your entire life can change A heartbeat stopped A tether dropped The whole world rearranged There’s truth to be told And nothing to hold Me back now 'Cause I know something About duplicity And something about loss I know something About blind ambition And a lot about its cost And oh, do I know anger It’s my old and trusty friend Now it's time for me to learn Something about revenge This story This story This story is mine
5.
Monkey Mind 06:54
YOGIS In, out, in, out In, out, in, out At last Relax No more clutter, no more clatter Time For mind Tangle and chatter fade Jungle is far away Only breath, body, snow, silence On this remote island Remembering how to rest Remembering how to breathe Remembering how to be Just be… At peace… Just me… RAINA It's quiet It is way too quiet It's insanely quiet I hear every little sound: Bellies grumbling Old pipes rumbling Snowflakes tumbling all around! Look at these nut cases. Sam would have a field day. Sam. He wouldn’t last ten sec- ALL Concentrate RAINA What will I say to her? My first question? Should I play the skeptic Or the worshipper? This is stupid. Sitting freezing on the ground. This is stupid. Why does she make us wait around? It’s Just a power trip. I’m getting out of here. But I just got here! What the hell is wrong with me? It’s like there’s Monkeys in my mind Monkey mind Monkeys in my mind Monkey mind Scolding and carping, my head’s in a vice Won’t you shut up monkeys, won’t you play nice? Monkeys in my mind Monkey mind Monkey mind Who is Mama Sid, Guru beloved by all? Will she look like her picture? Will she be larger than life or small Like the rest of us? MYRA I think I left the stove on. ALL Concentrate... MYRA Concentrate... I just know I left the stove on! Scrambled eggs, medium high My house will burn down My plants will all die My photos, my clothes, Everything I own Everything I’ve saved Damn it! ALL Concentrate... Concentrate... MIKE “Small man in a big man’s shoes” How could my own brother say that to me? “Small man in a big man’s shoes” In front of the entire family? DEREKH I’m not going to think about my major ‘Cause if I don’t think about my major the answer to what should be my major Will just...come to me HARMONY Twelve months, six days, seven hours Twelve months sober and clean Twelve months, six days, seven hours And five minutes MIKE Did he pass the bar on the first try? He’s just jealous, of course that’s why I should feel compassion, I know But I don’t feel compassion, oh no, I hate him! ALL Let go MIKE I hate him! ALL Let go And love... MIKE But I can’t! ALL But I can’t But I can’t It’s like there’s Monkeys in my mind Monkey mind Monkeys in my mind Monkey mind Running and swinging and screaming and singing and Laughing and talking and squeaking and squawking Like monkeys in my mind Monkey mind, monkey mind, monkey mind. (While RAINA sings the following section, YOGIS rhythmically chant “In, out, in, out, in, out, concentrate”) RAINA Help! I know cutthroat competition I know the merciless routine I know the headlong rush to deadline Fueled by sugar and caffeine But sitting so still Makes me want to kill I’m a city girl Take me back to the city Where the snow is black And the air is gritty Give me some familiar aggravation Like shoving my way through a crowded train station Give me noise and filth and degradation Anything but this total deprivation Of any stimulation at all! Dad would have kept me from doing this Oh Dad, I miss- Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut UP!! DEREKH Economics, my dad says that’s where the jobs are Or engineering, safe bet there HARMONY Can I trust myself? Can I love myself? MYRA If my house burns down, my homeowner’s policy Might be enough to cover my surgery DEREKH But all I want here is to be outside Like a park ranger or a river raft guide HARMONY Can I face myself? Embrace myself? DEREKH Don’t think about that! Don’t think about that! MYRA But I shouldn’t have to set my house on fire To pay for surgery to keep me alive MIKE “Small man in a big man’s shoes” Is that what everybody else thinks too? ALL That’s what everybody else thinks too! MYRA I’m gonna die! ALL I’m gonna die! MYRA I’m gonna die! ALL I’n gonna die! I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die! (All freeze. SID enters.) SID Kinda noisy in here, isn’t it? ALL Monkeys in my mind Monkey mind, monkey mind!
6.
SONG: THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE SID See the fear MYRA I see the fear SID What color is it? MYRA White. SID What shade? MYRA Blinding. SID Like sun on snow? MYRA Yes. SID Breathe through the fear MYRA Breathe through the fear I’m trying to breathe through the fear But how can I breathe through the fear? SID Feel the fear Name the fear It’s just another Texture here Feel your Heart rate rising The sweat appear Part of the human experience MYRA Part of the human experience SID Now see the fear The shape of the fear Focus till it’s crystal clear You’re outside of it now, peering in At all of this human experience MYRA All of this human experience SID Now you are a painter Noticing the light on the trees now you are a scientist Gazing through a microscope You are a detective gathering clues So keenly attuned To everything around and inside you. SID (GRADUALLY JOINED BY ENSEMBLE) Joy and doubt Fear and rage Feel them spark, ignite, and blaze Let them burn themselves clean And evaporate Like all of this human experience SID Now see the grief Name the grief MEN So tired of holding on so tight SID The act of naming brings relief WOMEN So tired of keeping up the fight SID Heavy, light, shallow, deep ALL EXCEPT SID AND RAINA Step outside your suffering ALL EXCEPT RAINA Part of the human experience (SID returns to Myra.) SID See the fear Feel the fear MYRA Hello, fear I know you, fear You’re part of the human SID Part of the human ALL Part of the human experience.
7.
SID Now close your eyes, and imagine, with each breath... You’re building a container Picture an enormous wooden bowl Building a container And there’s nothing it can’t hold A vessel deep and wide To hold all of your life You’re building a container called awareness So whatever you are feeling However subtle or intense A part of you is larger Than even the darkest circumstance The ocean holds the waves The fire holds the flames SID AND YOGIS And you can hold it all In your awareness... SID Welcome to the winter retreat. (SID watches RAINA for a moment. “The Human Experience” theme continues as the lights and scene shifts. SID exits.) RAINA (Softly) Hello, grief.
8.
RAINA Something about the way you work Really gets under the skin If I don’t cling tight to what I know Even I could be taken in I’d lay down my arms Fall for your charms And be lost... But that's not how this story goes 'Cause I'm not such easy prey The next time we come face to face I'll be prepared to play i’ll be your new best friend the one you can trust in until in the end you’ll confess to me This story This story This story is mine
9.
DEREKH While Mama Sid’s own mama lay sleeping in her bed, her husband sawing logs beside her, like he always did... Into her dream there burst a stranger An elephant as white as the foaming sea She tried to scream; no sound escaped her The elephant dropped gently onto its knee Then From its trunk it pulled out a flower She swooned to feel its heat and its power IT drew her close and they danced intimately! HARMONY Very intimately. DEREKH Then all at once, the elephant, It disappeared into her side! HARMONY Then came a knock upon the door Right In the middle of the night...
10.
CLARA The elephant came to you, is it true? MAY What? CLARA The white elephant came to you, is this true? MAY Well, yes, that is, I did dream of an elephant, but– CLARA I knew it! (VLADIMIR, DEREKH, and HARMONY cheer and embrace.) CLARA (CONT’D) The ancient prophets all foretold it DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Ha! CLARA The pachyderm now bears it out DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Ha! CLARA The long-awaited day is finally here DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Oompah, oompah, oompah, oompah Oompah, oompah, oompah, oompah MAY I'm sorry, I don’t follow you. CLARA With his immense well-formed proboscis DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Ha! CLARA The giant mammal plants the seed DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Ha! CLARA For a flower which has no earthly peer DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Oompah, oompah, oompah, oompah Oompah, oompah, oompah, oompah SUNNY Come again? CLARA Within your womb the seed is growing DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Ha! MAY What?! CLARA A couple months and she'll be showing DEREKH, HARMONY, VLADIMIR Ha! SUNNY AND MAY Huh? CLARA What part of “you’re knocked up” isn't crystal clear? MAY AND SUNNY We’re pregnant! (MAY and SUNNY embrace. VLADIMIR and DEREKH slap SUNNY on the back, congratulating him in their language.) CLARA And this is not just any baby, oh no. A being such as this comes but once in ten thousand years! A being so noble, so majestic, that even the birds and the beasts bow down to pay their respects! (VLADIMIR and DEREKH again slap SUNNY on the back, shouting further congratulations.) SUNNY Yeah? What's he gonna be? A captain of industry like his papa? CLARA The possibilities are boundless So many paths that fate could take But you can trust in a life beyond compare MAY How exciting! SUNNY a general... MAY commanding troops on land and water SUNNY A president... MAY Creating law with the wave of a hand A movie star... SUNNY Or the world’s first SUNNY & MAY Trillionaire MAY A super-athlete - top of the game SUNNY A power broker, a money machine MAY, SUNNY greater than the world’s ever seen... CLARA All of that is possible, yes. But there is another option: A noble teacher your child could be A kind of tour guide to the mysteries Renouncing the materialist class To pursue the spirit’s path Holy mendicant roaming the land Spreading wisdom and joy with the touch of a hand MAY Oh, my! SUNNY (Alarmed) Holy...mendicant?! A beggar, you mean? CLARA Only in the most trivial sense! SUNNY So my kid will either be rich and powerful or some kind of homeless wacko?! CLARA I never said- SUNNY What's gonna make the difference? What's gonna tilt the scales between option number one and option number two? CLARA Well, since you ask... (Closes her eyes, enters a trancelike state. VLADIMIR, DEREKH, and HARMONY join her.) CLARA, VLADIMIR, DEREKH, HARMONY Hmmmmmmmmmm.... CLARA If the child is to become the awakened one, the holy mendicant, the great wandering sage... (She opens her eyes.) CLARA (CONT’D) Four messengers Four messengers will be the storm that bursts the dam ALL Four messengers Four messengers SUNNY could do much harm I need a plan! So who are they? What do they look like? What are their names? CLARA Messengers number one, two and three Ambassadors of life's fragility Harbingers of every creature’s plight: Existence is both harsh and fleeting All that's strong shall one day weaken We are born to sicken, age and die SUNNY So these first three messengers who will transform my kid into a... spiritual peddler… will be icons of sickness, aging, and death? CLARA You could put it that way. SUNNY What about the fourth messenger? CLARA The fourth. Ah...the fourth. A grain of hope, a hint of light A spark of possibility… SUNNY So that's grain, hint or spark? CLARA A glimmer that this earth just might Hold more than what the eyes can see With a pure and shining presence This messenger inspires a dream Of a pathway to transcendence A path to set all creatures free Once your child has seen this vision No force on earth can stem the tide Compassion streaming into wisdom Spurring on your noble child CLARA, VLADIMIR, DEREKH, HARMONY Four messengers Four messengers Will point the way To what’s beyond Four messengers Four messengers Will spur this young soul to become VLADIMIR The teacher DEREKH The prophet HARMONY The seer CLARA The sage, The one who shines light on this desolate age The one whose compassion is vaster than earth ALL Who unlocks the secrets of death and rebirth- SUNNY No way in hell! CLARA You don’t have to yell. SUNNY Sickness, aging, death, and some holy freak These are the four my kid’s never gonna see Then he’ll grow up to be a tycoon like me! I will surround him with young, healthy people I’ll build a fortress, the walls will be stout And i will keep those four damn messengers out!
11.
Bois Riche 04:00
SUNNY It’s another lovely day in Bois Riche, Bois Riche! Bois Riche, Bois Riche! HARMONY Sun is shining, flowers blooming DEREKH Brooks are burbling, children singing, COMMUNITY MEMBERS The ice cream truck jingles down the street SUNNY (Confidentially) It’s actually nonfat yoghurt with Sucralean - the kids don’t know the difference! Childhood obesity is a problem you won’t find here. COMMUNITY MEMBERS Everything is ideally proportioned in Bois Riche, Bois Riche! Bois Riche, Bois Riche! Nothing unlovely troubles the eye From the soft green grass to the clear blue sky Bois Riche, Bois Riche! RAINA What does Bois Riche mean, anyway? DEREKH “Rich wood,” I think. RAINA And this town is where? DEREKH Search me. HARMONY You had to have money to live there MEN We say that without any shame DEREKH Dozens applied and got turned aside COMMUNITY MEMBERS Though we sympathize, we're not to blame WOMEN We're wealthy because we are worthy MEN We've all worked so very hard OLDER COMMUNITY MEMBERS Or our parents did for us YOUNGER COMMUNITY MEMBERS Or their parents did for them COMMUNITY MEMBERS Well let's not pursue the matter too far… HARMONY AND DEREKH Everyone is beautiful in Bois Riche, Bois Riche! Bois Riche, Bois Riche! MEN Our bodies toned, we’re Olympically fit WOMEN All that nature has denied us plastic surgeons can fix ALL Oh ugliness is something that we will not abide It starts skin deep but then it rots you inside If you’re looking for substance let style be your guide In Bois Riche! SUNNY Thinking of buying in? Come on out here, Sidney! This is my little girl. Shall we tell these good people about a few of the amenities we have to offer? SID You bet! SUNNY Botanical gardens SID Our own private zoo SUNNY Movies and concerts SID And theatre too! SUNNY Every type of cuisine you could possibly wish SUNNY AND SID Stables An ice rink SUNNY a pond stocked with fish Saunas and steam rooms, infinity pools State-of-the-art gyms and outstanding schools Synagogues, Churches, boutiques and a mall Professional golf course, oh we’ve got it all Would you like an application? (Pulls out a tome the size of a phone book.) It’s a little thick, for security reasons. For the sake of the children, you understand. Our children these precious creatures Full of innocence, purity, joy I can’t bear the mere thought of their Fragile little psyches destroyed by ALL Violence, hatred poverty crime SUNNY We’ll keep these far away from their minds. WOMAN 1 Children grow up someday ALL But ours won’t if we fulfill our design. SUNNY Here, children can be children, into adulthood and beyond! ALL So lock that gate and let the riffraff choke Inside paradise we’re full of hope And nothing unlovely troubles the eye From the soft green grass to the clear blue sky Bois Riche, Bois Riche Bois Riche, Bois Riche Bois Riche, Bois Riche Bois Riche!
12.
ANDY Take me with you. SID Why? ANDY You’ve got something. SID (Laughs) Like...the flu, maybe? ANDY I’m serious! SID I’m sorry. I’ll miss you too. ANDY I need you. SID Andy. ANDY You’ve got something I can’t name. SID We’ve been through this. It’s nothing personal. I’m just not interested in that kind of relationship. ANDY That’s not what I mean. You’ve got a glow You shine like the sun I want to be near you And I’m not the only one We’re drawn to your orbit Reflect back your light So let me come with you Don’t walk out alone into the night SID Andy, all of that is just what you’re projecting onto me. ANDY No. It’s more than that. You’ve got a glow You awaken my mind The moment you enter The room just comes alive It’s not infatuation It’s Deeper than desire So please take me with you Don’t walk out alone into the fire SID I’m just a pilgrim The glow that you see Is simply your own burning Need to arise and be free I’ve nothing to show you No magical spark So I can’t take you with me When I walk alone into the dark My hands are empty of gifts I’m still trying to learn how to live ANDY Let me follow you, Sid SID Andy I’ve nothing to teach There's no wisdom to in following me ANDY Then at least Let me walk beside you That's all that I ask Let me shoulder some weight In this daunting task We share the same dream A dream that will grow Sidney, dear Sidney You know more than you know... You've got a glow SID No more than your own ANDY You shine like the sun SID So does everyone ANDY I'm seeking the answers SID & ANDY And I'm not the only one I'm drawn into orbit Propelled into flight Compelled to keep searching Until I emerge into the light ANDY So please take me with you Don't walk out alone into the night
13.
ANDY The privilege to walk beside you Is all I've ever asked Just to shoulder some weight in your daunting task To share in the dream To bask in your glow Sidney, dear Sidney, it means more than you know...
14.
Knock Knock 03:06
RAINA Knock knock SID Who’s there? RAINA Someone who wants to know you The you when you were younger, still becoming Knock knock SID Who’s there? RAINA Someone who needs the whole truth Someone who wants to know the steps and stumbling Your students open up And reveal themselves to you If you would do the same, We could see you’re human too And start to feel we also can break through! SID Knock knock RAINA Who’s there? SID The welcome mat is empty The clamor in your ears is your soul calling Knock knock RAINA Who’s there? SID I know it can be tempting But focusing outside yourself, you're stalling The road map of our suffering leads right back to ourselves There’s nothing to be gained Imitating someone else I offer you a compass But my path isn’t yours You’ve got to open up your own doors RAINA I see. SID You see? RAINA Oh sure. Knock knock SID Who’s there? RAINA Now everything is clearer How carefully you craft these lessons for us Knock knock SID Who’s there? RAINA You’re holding up a mirror For us to understand ourselves—how generous! And how convenient that you’re standing Behind the one-way glass A teacher never shows Any weakness to her class Or if she ever screwed up Somewhere in her past... Now you are a guru Though of course you never use the name Now you are a hero Even as you seem to shun your fame Rise high above the rest No secrets to confess You're building the mystique of the Beautiful, flawless, untarnished And wise Mama Sid It's a brilliant story A brilliant story- SID Peace. RAINA Hm? SID Why are you here? What is it that you yearn for? I'd like to understand what drives your anger RAINA Knock knock SID Who’s there? RAINA I'm doing you a favor I'm giving you a chance to live with candor SID AND RAINA You're clinging tight to something That's bringing you to grief Until you can release it, You'll never find relief And don't you know the truth will set you free? RAINA Knock knock SID Who’s there? Knock knock RAINA Who’s there? SID AND RAINA Knock knock Knock knock.
15.
SID Knock knock ANDY Who’s there? SID Someone demanding answers Who’s gonna keep on knocking till she gets them ANDY Knock knock SID Who’s there? ANDY That girl is like a cancer Poisoning our peace with her resentment She stands in your glow Draws warmth from your sun So many flock to you for guidance But not that one I don’t trust her motives, Sidney SID She says that I am hiding Am I? There’s healing in confiding That is true Oh who is it that she reminds... ANDY Why won’t she Respect your boundaries? I don’t believe That she is what she seems Maybe I should just ask her to leave SID We cannot turn away one who comes to us in need ANDY But since you’ll never tell her your life story SID I didn’t say that. ANDY You mean... After all these years All these long and silent years Why? Why her?
16.
SONG: FORCE OF NATURE SID Noticing the light Filter through the blinds Something about her face Noticing the chill Creeping up my spine Another time and place Noticing the blood Pounding in my head An overwhelming draw Noticing the thrill Noticing the dread A frozen stream must thaw Deep within Warming Spidery cracks Forming Is it just the moon that turns the tides And the sun that melts the ice? There’s a force of nature in her eyes A mighty power After all these years Long and silent years An urge to speak arises Watch the feeling grow Ask it what it knows Open to life’s surprises Thoughts lead to words, and words lead to actions But silence too Can mean attachment Is it just the moon that turns the tides And the sun that melts the ice There’s a force of nature in your eyes A mighty power Sid, let go Oh, don’t resist the flow Now I’m noticing the air Noticing the fear Stop holding on now Be strong now Let it go (Raina appears upstage, in shadow) SID AND RAINA It isn’t just the moon that turns the tides And the sun that melts the ice There’s a force of nature in your eyes A mighty power SID After all these years Long and silent years Now it is time Now it is time
17.
SLEAZY MAN Hey lady, sweet lady, hey where you headed to? DRUNKEN MAN Hey kiddos, wait kiddos, I think I remember you RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED MAN Hey buddy wanna score some crystal? HOMELESS WOMAN I just need a place to squat SCARED WOMAN My man is raging and he’s got a pistol SLEAZY MAN Hey girl, you’re lookin’ hot! Can I have your number? RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED MAN Won’t you cut me a break? HOMELESS WOMAN I just need a hot meal SCARED WOMAN Oh please keep me safe RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED MAN Some money for train fare DRUNKEN MAN Money for beer SLEAZY MAN Can I have your number? MEN Just blow in my ear. ALL You wanted the real thing The real thing The sharp sting You’re craving the hard dark flavor Of what life is I’ll show you the real thing The real thing The real thing The harsh fling I’ll give you a wake-up smack And you’ll start to live Just look at me Just look at me (The crowd parts to reveal DELILAH, a drag queen, dressed in layers of ragged lace and beads. She looks emaciated and very sick, with sores in plain view. The others give her a wide berth. She is lit in a luminous way, to indicate that she is the first messenger.) DELILAH Just look at me In my face you will see Brutal reality (DELILAH coughs.) SID You're sick. DELILAH Yes. And you are? SID Sid. Sidney. Sidney Arthur. DELILAH Pleasure to meet you, Miss Sid Arthur. I’m Delilah. Back when I ran this city They called me “Empress D” Little girl you’re so pretty You remind me of me Back when I was a sweet thing The belle of the ball Boys and girls, queens, kings I dazzled them all. But now you see that my youth has Been nipped in the bud By this ruthless intruder Invading my blood Devouring my muscles Consuming my bones Leaving only the memories Of all that I’ve known SID Is there anything that I can do for you? DELILAH Are you God? If you are, there’s a thing or two. Startin’ out with a fat shot of morphine for the pain Then you can add a clean pair of lungs and Kindly vanquish the chills and the runs and While you’re at it, can you sharpen up my brain? (DELILAH collapses in a fit of coughing) DELILAH (CONT’D) So are you God? SID No, I am not. DELILAH Then you can’t help Me or anyone else, No, not even yourself. (SID stares. The crowd closes in around her.) ALL You wanted the real thing The real thing The sharp sting You’re craving the jagged edges of What life is Well this is the real thing The real thing The deep spring This is the moment when you Begin to live (HAG, an old woman, hobbles onto the stage, carrying bags of groceries.) HAG Hag coming through Hag coming through Out of my way Out of my way Or inhale the bouquet Of my new pepper spray! (Homeless people part to reveal SID and YASHA.) HAG (CONT’D) Well lookie here. A coupla freshly minted swells from Bois Riche, Bois Riche Bois Riche, Bois Riche SID How’d you know? HAG Sneaking out while daddy’s snoozing for hanky panky, smokes and boozing SID No! HAG Now don’t play the innocent with me. (Sid stares.) HAG (CONT’D) Just close up that gaping squeak-hole Don’t stare at me like i’m a freak Or do i divine this is the first time that you’ve ever seen an antique? SID Of course I’ve seen old people before. HAG Those face-lifted, botoxed fifty-year-olds in Bois Riche? SID Some of them are fifty-five, I think. HAG Ha! This jowly face and flabby belly Breath that reeks of rot and mold Veiny legs and tits like jelly This is what it means to be old. And believe me, it feels as bad as it looks. Aching back, swollen feet, and a frozen knee Failing eyes, failing ears, fading memory Hard to sleep, hard to pee, and libido is a joke Add to the pain and humiliation The booby prize for this drawn-out staycation: Is watching all your friends and family croak. See what you have to look forward to? (She exits. Homeless people close in.) ALL You ran from your mansion In search of the real For one night to slum it And learn how it feels To make eyes at danger To flirt with the knife To move to the muscular rhythms of life You came for the real thing And now that you've found it You want to escape but You find you're surrounded You're starting to feel like You're under attack But once you have gone there There's no turning back (Scene shifts to Bois Riche. SUNNY lies on the floor, a paramedic covering him with a sheet. SID and YASHA enter.) SID What...Dad?! What happened? PARAMEDIC Heart attack. I’m sorry, Miss. He’s dead. SID No! Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. (The people SID met in the city appear around the periphery, creating a psychological backdrop to the action.) ALL You wanted the real thing The real thing HAG AND DELILAH Four messengers ALL This is what life is The real thing The real thing HAG AND DELILAH Four messengers ALL This is what life is This is the path This is the path This is the path And there’s no turning back.
18.
YOGIS Every choice that we make Is a pebble in a lake Spreading ripples beyond our sight Every step that we take Impresses its shape On a galaxy of lives Every choice that we make Is a pebble in a lake Spreading ripples beyond our sight Every step that we take Impresses its shape On a galaxy of lives Every choice that we make Is a pebble in a lake Spreading ripples beyond our sight Every step that we take Impresses its shape On a galaxy of lives SID Everything that we feel Everything we think is real Is elusive as rising steam Everything that we build Is a promise unfulfilled No more solid than a dream What is the point of moving forward Our fate is set no matter which road we choose What is the point? YASHA I was beside you, I saw it all too I realize there's no easy answer Look in my eyes, I'll tell you what I know is true This much I'm certain of Maybe it's not enough But Sidney-I love you I always have And I always will SID Everything that we've known YASHA You don't have to feel alone When you think of what you saw that night SID Everything that we feel YASHA You can trust that this is real Come let me hold you tight SID When I feel your arms around me I can believe BOTH We'll be alright somehow YASHA Let my love shelter you SID Yasha, I love you too BOTH Maybe this is all we need for now.
19.
SID And put an end to all my wandering And put an end to striving to learn the truth I’ve had enough, I’ll go no farther And from this moment on I will not be moved I will sit calm and firm as a mountain Clear as empty air Open as sky Until I touch What doesn’t die I will not eat I will not sleep I will not rise
20.
BREAD Comin’ fresh from the oven I'm golden and hot Give your taste buds some lovin' Yeah I'll hit the spot The aroma's rising Rich and surprising Yum yum yum yum, aaaaaaah! CHORUS Yum yum yum yum, aaaaaaah! BREAD Slather me with butter, baby Spread me with a sweet red jam Ooh baby don't you know who I am? SID Bread… CHORUS Bread! SID I'm hungry… CHORUS So hungry SID And thirsty too... (A glass of WATER runs on.) WATER Oo, that's my cue! You're a scorching desert inside Every inch of you crumbled and dry I can heal you, I can provide This cool, cool water CHORUS Cool, cool water WATER It's easy, I'm here for you Pour this glorious river right into you WATER AND CHORUS Glug glug glug glug glug glug Glug glug glug glug glug glug aaaaah! SID Go away. Mine is a thirst you cannot soothe. (BREAD and WATER approach ominously.) WATER AND CHORUS Glug glug glug glug glug glug Glug glug glug glug glug glug BREAD AND CHORUS Yum yum yum yum yum yum Yum yum yum yum- SID I said shoo! I have a job to do.
21.
MAY AND ANGELS Sleep, sleep Sleep, sleep MAY Poor sweetheart. You’re exhausted. SID Mama? MAY Who else? SID Oh, Mama. I've missed you so. All my life. MAY Then join me. SID Right now? MAY Of course. SID (Rousing slightly) But...you're dead. MAY Exactly. It's so peaceful! Isn’t that what you want: to be at peace? SID But my work here’s not done. MAY You’ll finish it some other time. There are many lifetimes to be lived May and angels Maybe next time you’ll have more to give Now sleep, sleep What's one little lifetime, anyway? (As SID sings the following, the ensemble enters and stands behind May, a sea of faces stretching back.) SID Then suddenly I see Stretched out behind me The bodies I have occupied The people I have loved The tears I have cried The deaths I have died A hundred thousand lifetimes Searching, searching A hundred thousand lifetimes Is enough This time I'll see it through It's what I have to do MAY AND ENSEMBLE You break my heart. SID I know it. I break my own heart too.
22.
YASHA My Sidney, why'd you run away? I’ve been aching for you night and day, Day and night, with all my soul SID Oh, Yasha, I didn't mean to hurt you... YASHA Why won't you let me wrap my arms around you And feel your troubles melt into the ground I'll make everything right; I’ll make you whole SID Yasha, I miss you! YASHA Then come back to me (Ensemble joins in, singing “ah” and “mm” in the background.) YASHA (CONT’D) Come back to me I've learned so much, I'm no longer a boy – You'll see! I'll kiss you where you're sore Don't suffer anymore Come back to me, there's much to enjoy SID Oh, I would like that... Oh Yasha, how I miss the heat That electric tingle, sharp and sweet Pressed against you in the dark Delicious urgency in every move Maybe this is the only kind of truth Skin on skin SID & YASHA Heart to heart So come back to me ENSEMBLE It's not too late for SID & YASHA Come back to me ENSEMBLE What we're made for SID & YASHA I/You have wandered so long, now it's time to come home ENSEMBLE Sweet home YASHA All is forgiven ENSEMBLE And more SID The moment I walk in CHORUS That door YASHA So come back CHORUS Ah YASHA Come back SID & CHORUS Ah YASHA Come back SID & CHORUS Ah YASHA Come back to me... SID & CHORUS Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh– SID No! I can’t. Go away, Yasha.
23.
It Was You 00:50
SID I feel my world expand And now I understand You are every child on earth Every child is you i see we’re one now And somehow I must raise us all And that is when I know I know I have to go RAINA I don’t understand. SID The fourth messenger The fourth messenger It was you Oh, It was you.
24.
RAINA Every time I’d see your face Flash across a TV screen Every time your name appeared In another glossy magazine Every time I’d hear you quoted Every time I’d hear you praised By some student so devoted, Somebody whose life you saved, Every time I’d hear a stranger Rave about how much you give How you walk divine among us How you show us how to live I’d want to rage I’d want to cry I’d want to tell them it's all a lie I’d want to howl up to the sky: What about me? What about me? How can it be This miraculous “she" Could forget about me? SID (Tries to take her hand) Raina. RAINA No! Every time I’d see a woman Lift a baby to her breast Walk a toddler ‘cross the street Or Scold a teen on how she's dressed Every time I read about How every mother loves her child In my mouth the taste grows bitter In my chest my heart beats wild Every time I think of how You left me when I had no voice No words to tell you how I need you No power that could sway your choice I want to rage I want to cry I want to tell them it's all a lie I want to howl up to the sky: What about me? What about me? How can it be This miraculous “she” Could forget about me? To sit there in the room with you Hear your laughter, see your smile It’s not as I imagined it would be My heart’s a knot, a book shut tight Unreadable even to me Every time you meet my eyes I lose my tether, lose my drive Why do they love you? Why can’t I hate you? Oh why don’t you know that I’m alive How can it be This miraculous she The teacher, the prophet, the seer, the sage The one who shines light on this desolate age The one whose compassion is vaster than earth Who shows us the cycle of death and rebirth... Oh how is it true This miraculous you Could just walk away Stray till today From your own body's issue Your sinew, your tissue This stubborn but vulnerable Still, I hope, lovable Me?
25.
SID This is the part where I kiss your head You’re sleeping soundly; I don’t want to wake you This is the part where I pack my bag I pack light, I can’t afford to take too much... This is the part where I fold up the note That I wrote to Yasha, I prop it on the table, This is the part where I stop at the door, Drop my bag and run to kiss your head ONCE MORE... This is the part where tears come This is the part where I turn to run This is the part where I double over The pain is overwhelming as the day you were born This is the part where I split in two Strange as it sounds, there’s no other way to say it One of me turns, but the other scoops you up, And you’re so light, you don’t weigh a thing... That’s how I bring you with me And everywhere I go You are always there A thousand miles from home You are always there We gaze at the planets, Sleep on a park bench, Wake to a flashlight’s glare, You are there. You are always there. Scavenging to eat You are always there I sing you to sleep A lullaby prayer And you give me strength To keep on searching Year after wandering year A reason to care You are there RAINA Was I there? SID You were there RAINA Was I always there? SID You were always there SID AND RAINA In this life we share RAINA I am always there SID You are always... (SID positions herself beneath the freeway, exactly as she was during the temptations sequence.) SID (CONT’D) This is the part where I face the truth Admit to myself that I left you long ago RAINA No... SID The part where all illusions die RAINA Don’t leave me, Mama SID This is the moment I leave behind All that I knew RAINA Oh Mama, No SID All that I was RAINA Mama, no SID All that I held All that I loved Goodbye This is the moment I am no longer “I”... (An earth-shaking rumble starts, low at first, then building. As RAINA watches helplessly from the edge of the stage,SID’s breathing becomes louder. On the scrim her shadow grows larger and larger until it is enormous. The music rises and rises. SID reaches out her hand and touches the earth. She speaks in a voice unlike any she has used before.) SID (CONT’D) As the earth bears witness to the work I’ve done over a hundred thousand lifetimes, I have the right to be free.
26.
ANDY So many years I walked by your side In awe of the miracle That brought you to be my guide My unearthly angel My beacon of truth And as you depend on me I depended on you My life's direction and course I gave over in service to yours But there is so much you concealed That I no longer know what is real You taught me the pain of clinging And yet I held on To an image of you that is finally gone I'm empty inside But now I know Sidney, dear Sidney, I have to go.
27.
REPORTERS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, would you give us a statement? YOGIS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, are they telling the truth? REPORTERS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, does your own daughter hate you? YOGIS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, I am really confused. REPORTERS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, do you have other secrets? YOGIS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, is this some kind of test? REPORTERS Mama Sid, Mama Sid, do you prey on their weakness? (Indicating yogis) DEREKH, MYRA Mama Sid, Mama Sid, just don’t talk to the press! REPORTER 1 Mama Sid, will you quit teaching Now that your past has been exposed? MYRA AND DEREKH No! REPORTER 2 Mama Sid, how can you justify Being so hard, so brutal, so cold MYRA This is totally unfair! DEREKH If she were a man, nobody would care! REPORTER 3 She left her boyfriend alone with an infant REPORTERS Never told anyone that she had a kid MIKE We thought you'd achieved earthly perfection! (The following YOGIS’ and REPORTERS’ lines are sung simultaneously.) REPORTERS Aren't you ashamed of what you did? Aren't you ashamed of what you did? Aren't you ashamed of what you did, what you did? YOGIS Mama Sid, Mama Sid Mama Sid, Mama Sid What you did, what you did ALL Are you ashamed?
28.
RAINA This story was supposed to be A saga of revenge I'd sweep in on my righteous steed And that would be the end I'd ruin your name Witness your shame And then flee Finally free Now look at this spectacle: Hyenas swarming round They clamor for humiliation But still you stand your ground They hunger for blood But you give back... love This story This story This story Is not what I planned for... If my opponent isn't mortified, then where's my victory? And even if you were ashamed, What good would it do me? If I can't drag you back And make you the mother I always wanted The mother I thought I needed The mother you will never be... And yet you say SID Please stay RAINA You want me to stay SID I want you to stay RAINA But how can I stay When I still don't understand How your love for me And your love for all the world Go hand in hand What can I be to you? SID I want to find out too What kind of family RAINA AND SID We can be
29.
SID As long as I am living There are places yet to go As long as I am human I still have the chance to grow the river forks, each time it bends I am upended in the flow And I go on... I go on... SID AND RAINA As long as I am living RAINA I can always be surprised SID AND RAINA As long as I am human SID My ideas can be revised SID AND RAINA Our hearts can always break again No matter how we try to hide And we go on SID, RAINA, YOGIS As long as we are living The path will twist and wind As long as we are human We will stumble as we climb The more we live, the more we see How deeply we're entwined SID AND RAINA And we go on... YOGIS Feel the joy Feel the grief The act of naming brings relief SID AND RAINA And we go on YOGIS Heavy, light, shallow, deep SID AND RAINA And on And we go SID, RAINA, YOGIS On in the human experience REPORTERS This story SID, RAINA, YOGIS We go on in the human experience REPORTERS This story SID, RAINA As long as we are building YOGIS We are loving REPORTERS The truth... SID, RAINA As long as we are changing YOGIS We are laughing REPORTERS The truth... SID, RAINA As long as we are choosing YOGIS We are crying REPORTERS The truth... SID, RAINA As long as we are human YOGIS We are dying SID, RAINA As long as we are living YOGIS We are living REPORTERS The truth... SID, YOGIS We are ALL Living the human experience.
30.
SID So let us look to the thought ALL For thoughts lead to words SID AND RAINA Look to the word ALL For words lead to actions Look to the action For actions lead to habits Habits lead to character And character becomes destiny So may our thoughts be clear May our words be kind Our actions skillful Our habits wise Character be true Destinies joyful SID For from the tiny seed of thought The thicket of existence grows ALL From the tiny seed of thought All existence grows All existence, all existence, all existence All existence grows.
31.
Isn’t it Amazing? Oh Isn’t it amazing How at times you awaken Tangled up in a dream? But when you try to hold the moment close It streaks away from you like a moving train Leaving behind Nothing but steam Awaken To this waking dream Isn’t it amazing How urgent it seems? We fight our battles, pledge our sacred oaths Construct our fragile, towering spires Of hope and desire Awaken To this rushing stream Everything we’ve created Everything that we seem to be Is just as insecure and fleeting Mercurial as your own heart beating Pure and strange, this too will change Just like a dream Slipping past like a dream A miraculous dream Isn't it amazing…

about

This new musical by beloved singer/songwriter Vienna Teng and award-winning playwright Tanya Shaffer re-imagines the Buddha legend in a contemporary setting, involving a female “awakened one” with a hidden past. Epic and intimate, comic and profound, it explores what it means to be both enlightened and flawed. This album of songs from the ground-breaking musical stars Vienna Teng as spiritual teacher Mama Sid and Broadway vet Cailan Rose as Raina, the young reporter on a mission to discredit her, alongside a supporting cast of eighteen spectacular singers and a chamber band. Helmed by Broadway director Matt August, The Fourth Messenger is available for pre-order as a CD or digital download; you can also pre-order the complete script in PDF or book form. The album and script will be released on November 7. For more info, visit www.thefourthmessenger.com

Praise for THE FOURTH MESSENGER:

Intelligent and skillfully crafted…Hugely ambitious and refreshingly original. Highly recommended.
- Huffington Post

Masterful and compelling…both timeless and contemporary.
- Stage and Cinema

An absolute delight!
- San Francisco Chronicle

Beautiful…A triumph.
- Theatre Dogs

Profound and profane, combative and compassionate… Teng’s complex harmonies and inspired melodies stick with you long after the curtain goes down.
- Art Animal

Satisfying and remarkably entertaining… Funny and touching in all the right places….
– KQED-FM

credits

released November 10, 2015

Music by Vienna Teng
Lyrics by Tanya Shaffer
Additional Lyrics by Vienna Teng
Orchestrations by Ryan O'Connell
Directed by Matt August
Music Directed by Ryan O'Connell

Starring Vienna Teng as Mama Sid and Cailan Rose as Raina

FEATURING (in alphabetical order): Chris Aceves, Pierce Peter Brandt, Robert Brewer, Noel Anthony Escobar, Anna Ishida, Barnaby James, Maria Mikheyenko, Daniel Olson, Annemaria Rajala, Leandra Ramm, Cathleen Riddley, David Rodwin, Fred Ross, Tanya Shaffer, Ashley Simms, Noe Venable, Reggie White

With Ken Bergmann (drums), Anthony Blea (violin), Ryan O'Connell (piano, keyboard, bass), Freya Seeburger (cello)

Produced by Brad Dollar.
Production accelerated by Zoo Labs, Oakland, CA
Mastered by Ken Lee Mastering, Oakland, CA

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