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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

At the offices of the magazine Debunk Nation, young journalist Raina pitches an exposé of spiritual teacher Mama Sid.

lyrics

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

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

SAM: Noel Anthony Escobar
RAINA: Cailan Rose
ENSEMBLE: Chris Aceves, Barnaby James, Maria Mikheyenko, Annemaria Rajala, Leandra Ramm, Ashley Simms

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

Produced by Brad Dollar

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