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

     $1 USD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    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

     

about

The legend of the prophecy surrounding Mama Sid's conception springs to life as Mama Sid's students Derekh and Harmony tell the story to Raina.

lyrics

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!

credits

from The Fourth Messenger, featuring Vienna Teng, released November 10, 2015
Music by Vienna Teng
Lyrics by Tanya Shaffer and Vienna Teng
Directed by Matt August
Music Directed and Orchestrated by Ryan O'Connell

CLARA: Tanya Shaffer
SUNNY: David Rodwin
MAY: Noe Venable
HARMONY: Anna Ishida
DEREKH: Robert Brewer
VLADIMIR: Ashley Simms

Piano and keyboards: Ryan O'Connell
Violin: Anthony Blea
Cello: Freya Seeburger
Drums: Ken Bergmann

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