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Location: Susquehanna Depot, Pennsylvania, United States

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, March 23, 2006

CRYSTAL STAR - segment 01 of eleven

Scene 1 – page 1


The audience sees a bare table, a chair, the back of a second, a small kitchen sink under a cupboard, small hot plate a little ways from the sink , and some bricks and cement in corner. The door opens, and a small, old man, warmly but shabbily dressed, enters. (The actor should portray this man as frail and very old, but at times, surprisingly spry.) A gentleman of the old school, he holds the door for a young girl, dressed bright and warm, for a crisp, autumn night.

Old Man: I can understand you young Americans only with a big deal of difficulty.

Young Girl What makes you say that?

Old Man: Outside, it is crisp autumn night, stars like little birthday candle flames.
***(Undoes his coat.)***

Young Girl: It is a pleasant evening. ***(Used to his manner, she turns her back to him and undoes her coat.)***

Old Man: Then, what is it that brings your mind to concern itself with grief, death and loss?

***(Starts helping her with her coat. A little shaky, he needs a little time to get her coat off.)***

Young Girl: I’ve already interviewed you on other matters, and I have asked around about you, so I’ve gotten to know you a little. ***(Starts slipping out of her coat.)***

Old Man: Mein Gott. You have asked around about me? As far as now, I had no suspicion that I had a gossip for company.

Young Girl: I was not in the least bit gossiping. I was doing research for my job as a reporter.

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With the dialogue above, my one-act play begins. Several people have already read it. And in their considered opinion, the play deals with matters of God, retribution, resignation, justice.

And here's some legality:


Albert A. M. Stella
Published by
Deinotation-7 Press
Main Street Station - 0204
Susquehanna Depot, Penna

Purchase of this book in no way confers permission or license to produce or perform the play within. And the same goes for access to the text via the internet.

I dedicate this stage play to my parents - -

an Erie trackman and his wife Maria.

Copyright 1978 by Albert A. M. Stella

“All rights reserved. Neither the whole nor portions of this play may
be reproduced in any form or by any means, except for brief
quotations in a review, without the express written permission of the

Library of Congress Catalog Card No: 78-72152
“ISBN: 0-9602044-1-5”

And now, back to the dialogue

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Scene 1- page 2

Old Man: ***(Has her coat off by now.)*** “Research” you call it. Eh?

Young Girl: It’s necessary that I do it. That way I can get to know you so I can write a really good article.

Old Man: ***(Starts getting out of his coat.)*** How well do you think you know me now?

Young Girl: Well, I feel it’s time I found out your feelings on those things.

Old Man: Mein Gott. Why should a young girl like you care to wade into such subjects?
***(His manner should convey: ain’t – you - just – a – little – young – for – this? Grunts a little, when he finally gets his coat off, and then his face brightens.)***

Were your young man, that is it, were your young man here, your thoughts would be on livelier matters. Nicht wahr?

Young Girl: Really ***(Exasperated.)*** You should not tease a girl like that,

***(She scolds.)*** Rabbi Gottesmann.

Rabbi Gottesmann: You are right. Old people should not tease young people.
***(He should sound like he really feels justly reprimanded.)***
It is unfortunate that old people are granted few other earthly pleasures. Bitte, Miss Cliothal, bitte. Are you kind enough to excuse an old man.
***(Hangs coats on wall hooks.)***

Miss Cliothal: ***(with some amusement in her voice, besides she’s got to get on with her work,)*** Well, I didn’t mean to sound- - - - - - -

Scene 1- page 3

Rabbi: ***(Raises his hand to cut her off,)*** This is enough, come and let us have coffee. ***(Starts over to cupboard.)*** You will ascertain that our European coffee tastes a little different from yours.

Cliothal: To me, it tastes a little bitter.

Rabbi: ***(A little self-deprecatingly.)*** You mean to tell me that you did not enter our little village to share coffee with me.

Cliothal: ***(Getting serious now.)*** I came here to do my job as a reporter and share you with my readers.

Rabbi: Why, Miss Volumna Cliothal, ***(Patiently)*** why would your readers care to share one threadbare, elderly Jew?

Cliothal: To answer that question, I’ll have to tell you a little about yourself.

Rabbi: ***(By now, has the cupboard open and is fumbling for the jar. There’s a small hint of sarcasm when he says.)*** Very interesting. Perhaps you will tell me something I don’t know.

Cliothal: Before the terrible things that happened so recently to you Jews, ah,
***(Catches herself.)*** to your people, you wrote three books.

Rabbi: They only prove that I am not illiterate.

Cliothal: And you wrote them seemingly in such a short space of time.

Scene 1 - page 4

Rabbi: In those days, ***(Smiles a little here.)*** I was such a blabbermouth, so eager to share my jewels of wisdom with the world.

Cliothal: Anyway, because of those three books, you were known as the “guide star to Zion.”

Rabbi: It is not uncommon for Jews to write about settling in Palestine.

Cliothal ***(Settles herself into the chair nearer the door.)*** I read those books - - the passionate way you wrote is uncommon. ***(Starting to work up steam here.)***

Rabbi: Thank you. I feel very flattered. I had no idea my books were still read.

Volumna: You know very well they’re still read. I am here because they are still read.

Rabbi: Why should you be here just because my books are still read.

Volumna: Because many people believe and continue to believe they’ve found meaning for their lives from what you’ve written. However, when they find out about you, they find themselves speculating about what you really meant to say in your books.

Rabbi: For the sake of other people’s speculation, you have come thousands of kilometers to interview me.

Volumna: I am a reporter. It’s my job to get to the bottom of things and find answers.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
One very important note: no, absolutely no German accents in any of the English dialogue unless native to the actors. In no case, should Miss Cliothal have a German accent.

Scene 1 – page 5

Rabbi: So, who has a need for answers?

Volumna: Obviously, your readers.

Rabbi: ***(Shrugs it off.)*** Ach.

Volumna: ***(Let’s try a different tack.)*** Tell me. Doesn’t it seem odd that you leave people who use your writing as a guide to their lives “perplexed”?

Rabbi: How quaint! All on your own, no doubt, you have acquired some familiarity with Jewish traditions of scholarship. As for those readers, maybe they can avoid being perplexed by avoiding my books. Ja, maybe they should. ***(She can certainly be pestiferous.)*** ***(Looks pointedly at her.)***

Volumna: But can’t you see? You are living a contradiction! ***(The charge has been lodged.)***

Rabbi: I have never heard of a law against living contradictions. ***(Nonchalant as all out hell.)*** ***(Has all the stuff needed to make coffee at hand.)***

Volumma: ***(Her goat’s been got.)*** Maybe there should be.

Rabbi: ***(He’s just smirking.)***

Volunma: Here you are - - a rabbi and the author of three books urging Jews to settle in Palestine. And you deliberately choose to live in, of all places, here in Germany. Just kilometers away from any other Jewish person. ***(She’s quite spirited.)***

Scene 1 – page 6

Rabbi: Who should say I have a choice? Maybe I feel welcome here. ***(Flicks two teaspoons of coffee into the strainer.)***

Volumna: ***(This is going to come fast by clear. Consonants Distinct.)*** You, Rabbi Gottesmann, stop talking to me as I were retarded. I know for dead certain you have a choice. And anyway, how could you feel welcome here? Little boys used to torment you, and they didn’t stop until the local Communist party leader read the riot act to the parents.

Rabbi: ***(With new respect.)*** Ach, you American reporters can be thorough. I had no idea you would speak that way with Elsa.

Volumna: And do you want to know what she told me? ***(Said off-handedly.)***

Rabbi: ***(Not really, but you’re going to tell me anyway.)*** Yes, I am . .
***(Searches for an American expression.)*** - - all ears.

Volumna: Elsa thinks you stay here because you don’t want to fly over water.

Rabbi: For a Communist municipal secretary and drop hammer operator, she was always so delicately perceptive.

Volumna: Well, I don’t buy that. I know why you stay home. ***(She’s leading up to something.)***

Rabbi: Also glauben Sie darauf, Fraulein?

Volumna: You resent your daughter. ***(She’s thinking now – I – got – you, but she’s too polite to say “hate”.)***

Scene 1 – page 7

Rabbi: ***(Hits the hot plate with pot as he sets it down.)*** You young girls, you naïve young girls everywhere. ***(Too polite to say “stupid”.)*** you read two psychology articles in some how to cook and rub your mate happy magazine, and you think you ***(mustn’t let her get under his skin.)*** you know.

Volumna: Well, I know the story about your daughter. It would only be natural and expected for you to resent her.

Rabbi: ***(Mocking her.)*** Only natural and expected. ***(Then bitterly.)*** So easy it is for you to say that.

Volumna: ***(Cautiously.)*** Could there be something out of the ordinary involved here?

Rabbi: ***(Thoughtfully.)*** Out of the ordinary…. ***(Talking more to himself rather Volumna.)*** We had been so long married without a child that I resigned myself and ceased my prayers for a child. ***(Pause.)*** The radiance in her eyes, my wife’s eyes, when she told me God had granted my prayer. Ach, the concern in the doctor’s eye, when he told us it was so late to bring a child into the world. ***(His eyes fixed on Volumna.)*** That child is precious to me. I paid dearly to have her on this earth.

Volumna: If she means so much to you, why don’t you go with her to her home? Which is where you urged your people to settle.

Rabbi: I do not have the strength to make such a journey.

Scene 1: page 8

Volumna: Why would you need to be strong to fly there with your own daughter. You could have done so, a year and a half ago, isn’t that right?

Rabbi: It is impossible for me to leave certain matters undone.

Volumna: ***(Sensing something, but just a little eager.)*** What kind of matters are so important that you can not leave them undone?

Rabbi: ***(Evasive.)*** Do you find it difficult to believe that a poor, old man may have important things to accomplish?

Volumna: What I find difficult to believe is that you would casually refuse to go with your daughter. Yes, casually—as casually as your would refuse lemon with your tea.

Rabbi: Mein Gott, Miss Volumna Cliothal, the thorough reporter, why this inquisition about a visit my daughter paid me.

Volumna: She was her with her husband for more than just a visit. They came to bring you back home with them.

Rabbi: Who says that?

Volumna: Your friendly, local Communist municipal secretary – Elsa.

Rabbi: That is just Elsa’s opinion.

Volumna: On, for Chrissakes, the East German Government let them in for just that reason.

Rabbi: So, who knows why any government does what it does?

Scene 1: page 9

Volumna: Here you are—talking political science. Don’t you feel enough love for your family, the little that’s left to you, to be with them: your daughter, her husband, their child, -- your grand-daughter.

Rabbi: She is a beautiful, little girl. Would you like to see my pictures of her.

Volumna: Pictures!! Wouldn’t you like to see her? To hold her hand during a walk in the park. To watch her grow up. ***(Now one of those stupid, mean things said.)*** Or does she mean even less than your daughter?

***(Breathing heavily, the old man gropes for support, finds it, and then crumples.)***

Volumna: ***(Getting out of chair.)*** Please, Rabbi, forgive me. I’m so SORRY. I didn’t mean to cause you so much hurt. ***(Realizing what she’s done, she’s quite contrite.)***

Rabbi: Little Amerika girl, your hurt is endurable, endurable.

Volumna: It is late, Rabbi Gooesmann, perhaps you’d like to go to sleep. ***(Figuring she’s way over-stayed her welcome.)***

Rabbi: You are so young. Once I was young and foolish enough to want to understand so much so quick.

Volumna: It’s late. I can come back tomorrow afternoon, if you’d like for a short, final interview. ***(It’s probably best to leave the old man to his memories, dreams, whatever.)***

Scene 1: page 10

Rabbi: Sehr wahr, Volumna, it is late. This night, however, is a special night. Please stay with me and share some coffee.

Volumna: Why should this night be so special? Is there some sort of Jewish holiday tomarrow?

Rabbi: ***(Has had more than enough of her questions and so chooses t ignore it, straightens up and gathers the pot and two cups.)*** Please allow an old Rabbi a few small indulgences. Share a cup of coffee with me and let me for a few moments enjoy… ***(Momentarily fades out, then comes back in.)*** Ah, some good talk.
***(Waving her back into the chair.)*** Sit down, sit down.

Volumna: ***(She does so.)*** ***(She knows she’s touched a few chords in the old rabbi’s heart, and now she’s taking a new measure of the man as he pours the coffee for himself and her.)*** Good talk, Rabbi Gottesmann. ***(Neutral tone of voice.)*** You must really feel the need for some sort of talk tonight.

Rabbi: ***(Turn-about is fair play.)*** And what leads you to say that?

Volumna: You are so insistant about having coffee with me.

Rabbi: Why not stop playing reporter for a little while? Drink your coffee.

Volumna: Isn’t coffee frightfully expensive here in East Germany?

Scene 1: page 11

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okay, my dear blog visitor, you've just come to the end of segment 01. Somewhere further down in this blog, segment 02 is located. And somewhere below that, segment 03 is located, et cetera, et cetera

.he who is known as sefton

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Blogger Chief RZ said...

Communism is and was revealed as evil after the wall came down. Much more was reavealed in the book, The Bridge at Andau.

Europeans are so honest and have difficulty in expressing otherwise.
I have been there many times. We may have a bit more in common.

5:35 AM  

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