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Well, if you got here via the bi-chromatic Universe and "Dez", thanks. Their being available means they can be rented out, so to say, to vendors. For example, they'd be great in promoting pastries. Kids love cookies, so do adults. As for that ascending numeral three, it came about by way of ignorance. More than once, I'd see that same numeral with wings or a halo or both even on this or that pickup truck. And, dumb me, I'd think they were like golden horse shoes or four-leaf clovers ... good luck charms. It wasn't until later, I found out those threes are meant to commemorate one posthumously charismatic NASCAR driver. To inspire all those signs of grief, that guy might've had the makings for ... well, that's likely better left to the intuition of NASCAR votaries.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

CRYSTAL STAR - segment 03

In this segment, I'm publishing pages 21 through 30 in Scene 2, along with specific suggestions, regarding how the play should be staged, and performed. As readers encounter the following segments, they shall be reminded about how the text is being published. In the following segment, a few succeeding pages in the original are published. And in the segment after that, a few pages that succeed those are published, and so forth for the rest.

Copyright (c) 1978 by Albert A.M. Stella

Scene 2 - page 21

Rabbi: No, I could not endure it. I had to do something to drown my mind. To that end, I occupied myself life a fanatic with religious study to deaden the agony.

Volumna: Couldn’t you have had your doctor prescribe something like a tranquilizer?

Rabbi: How could a physician, no matter how astute, scribble a prescription for loss and emptiness?

Volumna: Well, isn’t time supposed to heal such pain?

Rabbi: Perhaps, I am weaker than other men. Time brought me no such relief. Each time my daughter looked into my eyes, I would once again experience my loss. And love for her, my wife’s gift for me, would deepen.

Joachim: How was that possible? Doch, you must thrill to the crack of the whip.

Rabbl: A man like you would know about whips. ***(A little bravado.)*** But how could you guess? I endured lashes that would have cut you into ribbons.

Volumna: How could you have live through something like that?

Rabbi: I lived through it because I had given my whole soul, my whole heart, my entire will over to the Study of Our Holy Literature.

Joachim: What is it that you want to tell us? You survived miraculously a beating because you read so much Hebrew theology?

Volumna: You are a brute. Stop teasing the rabbi.

Scene 2 - page 22

Joachim: This rabbi is an old fool. No fools deserve to be teased more than old fools.

Rabbi: God may have a special regard for fools, young as well as old. On occasion, he even teases his fools.

Joachim: Old Jew, let us cease this senseless talk. Tonight, you get seven hundred West German marks.

Rabbi: Doch, you must feel the hoc breath of the hounds on your neck.

Joachim: How would you like to feel the cold steel of my blade on your neck.

Rabbi Joachim, are you fool enough to believe you can frighten me?

Volumna: Please, Rabbi Gottesmann, don’t challenge him to try.

Rabbi: ***(Gently Chiding.)***Fraulein Volumna X Cliothal, you must learn to remain cool and collected in the presence of unearthly evil.

Joachim: Tell me, old man, how did you learn that? Did you take a correspondence course from your Polish educational extension service?

Rabbi: I learned after a few years of my intense concentration on those Holy Words. Every so often, I would receive a vision.

Joachim: Stale chicken soup!

Volumna: Why the hell won’t you shut up?

Scene 2 - page 23

Rabbi: Late at night, after I had found a passage that interested me, sometimes a vision would come to me. My body would melt like wax, my blood would boil my brain, and my heart would freeze.

Volumna: You poor, old dear.

Joachim: ***(Traces a small circle near his right temple. This old Jew’s nuts.)***

Rabbi: In the morning, I would find myself on the floor and my little daughter in sleep huddled against me. Her little night dress would be moist with my perspiration.

Volumna: Oh, ***(Comes the dawn.)*** When you were talking about those lashes, you were ALLUDING to your visions. ***(She just learned a new word today.)***

Joachim: You must be very good to riddles.

Volumna: But, Rabbi Gottesmann, wouldn’t it have been more sensible, if you had cut down on your studying?

Rabbi: To the world at large, that is the sensible thing to do.

Volumna: And yet you continue. For how long?

Rabbi: Longer than I care to remember.

Volumna: Do you still have visions?

Rabbi: Do you know any old men who have visions?

Volumna: Then when did you stop having these visions?

Scene 2 - page 24

Rabbi: I remember, ***(Dreamy monologue.)*** I remember the very first day I met Helushka. She seemed like such an ordinary girl. Her family sent her over to watch my daughter while I handled some other affairs. ***(Drifts into silence.)***

Volumna: ***(Fifteen second wait.)*** What did she have to do with these visions?

Rabbi: That night, after I had sent Helushka home and saw to my little daughter in her bed, I plunged myself deep into study once more. That night, I had a vision once more, and never another since. ***(Still in the dream.)***

Volumn: What did you see in your visions?

Rabbi: ***(Still in the dream.)*** Look at this man. Look at his life. There you will have to find your answer.

Volumna: That is one weird answer. What did that girl have to do with your visions? Did she do anything to make them stop coming to you?

Rabbi: ***(Quick wake-up.)*** What she did? Not what she did, Volumna, but what she had.

Joachim: Old man, what did she have? ***(Quick to pounce, if there’s a wrong answer.)***

Rabbi: An inner spirit radiant with the truth of Our Faith. The sanctity of her struck me with awe. So much so, that except for letters to individuals, I never wrote ever after.

Scene 2 - page 24

Volumna: Obviously, you loved her spiritually.

Rabbi: What do you think?

Joachim: I think you are a pitiful, old man, deluded by halucinations.

Rabbi: For a man such as you that would be the only thing to think. But, if what I experienced had happened to you, yes, even a Calihula such as you, you would … you would…

Joachim: I would do what, old man? I would cease to be a heartless monster automaton that revels in torture and bloodshed.

Rabbi: Did you enjoy the murder of that girl? You shed her blood twice.

Volumna: ***(Shocked.)*** Twice?

Joachim: ***(Quick to reply.)*** I did not kill that girl.


Rabbi: You shed her blood.

*********(MORE SILENCE)************

Volumna: Did you really and truly shed her blood?

Joachim: ***(Stage whisper.)*** Ja.

Volumna: Do you remember the circumstances? Do you recall the day?

Joachim: ***(Softly)*** Ja.

Volumna: What kind of day was it?

Scene 2 - page 26

Joachim: ***(More Volumne.)*** A crisp, autumn day.

To the director and producer, see next section for special instructions.

Just as a reminder—absolutely no German accents in the English dialogue, unless native to the actors.

Before you take a look at the way the stage should be set up, you should know this. This play was written around the distinction of two conceptual worlds. In one world, the vast majority of us live the best years of our lives. To be pseudo-erudite, one may use this term “dream/memory/fantasy” to describe it. A better and more judicious term is “the fog”.

Poets describe the other world as that composed of underarm deordorants, job applications and yield signs.

All who live exist in this world. How many of us, however, care to live in it?

Later on in the play, you may get the idea there’s an attempt to save on actors. That is not so. The intent is, rather, to show the audience that the fog can seep into the other world. Sometimes, the results aren’t always pleasant.


First off, you’ll have to get your ideas for lighting, from the body of the script and the lay-out of the theatre.

As for the stage, it should be split into a third and two/thirds. The one third (see drawing #1, which is located at the bottom of this post) will be the kitchen where the good rabbi holds court. The two/thirds will be for the weeds, where the fog pervades.

The woods surface is elevated about a foot (30 cms.) above the of the kitchen. Some thin, gauze curtain, if feasible, should separate the kitchen from the woods. You should have some red lighting for the woods so that the audience can understand this. What happens in the kitchen is “actual”, in the woods, “memory time”.

Here are the basics on Joachim’s hide-away drape. When the rabbi opens the door to let the two cops in, Joachim will go behind the drape. And, when the cops open the door to go out, Joachim will come out from behind. The door should be open wide and long enough so that Joachim can do it, without being seen by the audience.

Incidentally, his formal name is pronounced YO-AH_Kim; and his pet name, YA-chin.

Scene 2 - page 29

(See Drawing #2, which is found at the top of this post.)

Here is pretty much how the drape should look. That writing is Greek for “Know Thyself!”

Colors are optional.

The drape should not hang all the way to the floor. Rather than functioning as the wall, it covers a hole in the wall.

With the third scene, singing begins. The song Poem lyrics are contained in the appendix at the back of the script.

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