Gale Theatre Company’s Salomé—The VORTEX—Austin, Texas—Fri, Aug 12, 2016


(audience murmurs) (water drips) (water drips) (water drips) (haunting horn music) (woman gasps) (water splashes) (snaps) (laughs) (laughter echoes) The weight and sin of the
devil shall be lifted. ECHO: The weight and sin of
the devil shall be lifted. Follow his path out
from the wilderness end. ECHO: The weight and sin of the devil shall be lifted. Follow his path out
from the wilderness end. God grant me. ECHO: Follow his path out
from the wilderness end. God grant me! Tell me what to do. ECHO: Follow his path out
from the wilderness end. What do you want from me? ECHO: God grant me. What can I do to make
him speak to me again? ECHO: Follow the path. What do you want from me? God grant me! What can I do to make
him speak to me again? What can I do to make
him speak to me again? SOLDIER ONE: Look at the moon. How strange the moon seems. (snaps) ECHO: Look at the moon. How strange the moon seems! How beautiful is the
Princess Salome tonight? She is like a woman rising from a tomb. She is like a dead woman! She has a strange look. She is like a little princess
who wears a yellow veil, and whose feet are of silver. She is like a princess who has
little white doves for feet. one I’d fancy she is dancing. She is like a dead woman,
she moves very slowly. ECHO: She is like a princess who has little white doves for feet. One might fancy she was dancing. ECHO: She is like a dead
woman, she moves very slowly. She is very beautiful tonight. You are always looking at her. You look at her too much, it
is dangerous to look at her. Something terrible may happen. She is so beautiful. You look too much at her. Why must I ask this again? Listen to me. Cast your gaze elsewhere. The Tetrarch, he has a somber look. He’s always looking at something, or perhaps he’s looking at someone. To whom is he looking? I can’t tell. It is safe to look at him. Look how pale the princess is. Never have I seen her so pale, she’s like the shadow of a
rose in a mirror of silver! You must not look at her! Look to the Tetrarch and his new bride. See what they are doing. Looking towards them
could bring you riches. Is that the queen
Herodias, Salome’s mother? Yes, that is the Tetrarch’s new bride. Herodias has spilled
the cup of the Tetrarch. Go on. The Tetrarch is very fond of wine. He has a wine of three sorts, one which is brought from
the Island of Samothrace and is purple like the cloak of Caesar. I’ve never seen Caesar. Another that comes from
a town called Cyprus, and is as yellow as gold. (chuckles) I love gold. The third is a wine of Sicily. The wine is as red as blood. The gods of this country
are very fond of blood. Twice in the year we sacrifice to them young men and maidens, fifty young men and a hundred maidens. In my country there are no gods left. The war with the Tetrarch drove them out. There are some who say
they have hidden themselves behind the mountains, but I do not believe it. The Jews worship a god
that you cannot see. That I cannot understand. In fact, they only believe in
things that you cannot see. That to me seems all together ridiculous. When she heard about the Messiah, she came behind him and touched his cloak. She thought, if I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. Immediately her 12 years
of bleeding stopped. Her years of suffering
that none could cure ended in a moment. She was filled with light. The Messiah turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched me?” When they all denied
it his disciples said, “Master the people are crowding
and pressing against you.” “Someone touched me. “I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman came and fell at his feet. And trembling with fear,
told him the truth. “Forgive me, I only
wished to end this pain. “Your faith will rebuild the old ruins “and raise a city out of the wreckage. “Take the rubble left
behind and make it new.” Silence. SECOND SOLDIER: He’s always
saying ridiculous things. FIRST SOLDIER: Who is he? SECOND SOLDIER: A prophet,
a holy man, so they say. FIRST SOLDIER: What is his name? SECOND SOLDIER: They call
him John the Baptist. Where does he come from? From the desert, where he fed
on locusts and wild honey. He was clothed in camel’s
hair and around his loins he had leather belt. That is very terrible to look upon. He had a great many that would follow him. He even had disciples. What is he speaking of? We can never tell. Well, sometimes he says things
that might frighten you, but is impossible to
understand what he says. Look, at her little
hands, they’re fluttering like the wings of doves. They’re like butterflies. They’re just like butterflies. What is that to you? Why must you look at her? You must not look at her,
something terrible may happen. Listen to me. After me shall come
another, mightier than I. With his power, the heartbroken
shall blossom like the rose. The dead shall wake to new life. The bleeding woman shall be healed. Silence. What a strange prison. It’s an old cistern. An old cistern! That must be a poisonous
place in which to dwell. Oh no, for instance, the Tetrarch’s brothers
was imprisoned here for 12 years and it did not kill him. After the 12 years he had to be strangled. It is a terrible thing to strangle a king. Why? Kings have but one neck like other men. She is like a dove that has strayed. My friend, you must not look at her. She’s like a Narcissus
trembling in the wind. This will only cause trouble. She is like a silver flower. (scrapes sand) (spits sand) (water splashes) The weight and sin of the
devil shall be lifted. And your souls have freed
to soar like a dove. To soar high in the sky
in the name of the Lord. Follow His path out from the wilderness and love and hear the
voice of he who loves you. Listen to him for he is forgiving. He is full of forgiveness. He loves you. God loves you. I love you. What do I do? Blessed be they who mourn. What do you mean? Lovest thou me. Of course. Keep my words. (somber guitar music) I don’t understand. Why am I alone? For thy eternal good. It hurts. Blessed be they who mourn. Lovest thou me. Of course! Keep my words. I have. Why should I mourn? For thy eternal good. (giggles) Now talk is some mystery. Unfold thyself. Blessed be they who mourn. Lovest thou me. Thou knowest that I love thee. Keep my words. They are enshrined in me. Lovest thou me. As I say again that I love thee. Lovest thou me. Must I swear to thee what thou not seest? Lovest thou me. Lovest thou me. I heard someday that someone would come so when she did I just listened. The veins pumped alongside her footsteps, the hairs on my arms stood up and follow her around
the room as she paced outside my cell. I can still feel her in the floor. God never felt so near. Death never felt so warm. I will speak no more. Thou shall not hear my voice. Nay, speak! The weight and sin of
the devil shall be lifted and your soul set free
to soar like a dove, to soar high in the sky
in the name of the Lord, follow His path out from the wilderness and love and hear the
voice of he who loves you. Listen to him for he is forgiving, he is full of forgiveness. Forgive me. Please forgive me. I stole her jewels, I
lied to leave the banquet. I drank his wine. I danced for him, I asked for… I washed his blood off my hands. I made them open the cistern. I made them open the cistern. (scratches sand) Why won’t you look at me? Look at me. I command you to look at me. We’ve known each other for a long time. Let me in the cistern. Please let me in the cistern. I command you to open the cistern. I’ve been told not to. By who? Your mother’s orders. You remember when you spilled wine on my mother’s favorite gown and she demanded your name and all you could say was “Page.” You were trembling, mother was enraged. Look at me. Do you remember how hard I laughed? How even after she sent you
away beaten and starving, I brought you bread. I made you bandages from old cloth, do you remember? Look at me! Open the cistern. You told me someday someone would come. His words are ridiculous,
do not listen to him. Would it not be better to
return to the banquet, princess? Please, princess, he speaks lies. Let us return you to the Tetrarch. Speak again. Do not stay here princess, I beseech you. Please princess, do not stay here. He will come to me and he will speak. Open the cistern now. (mutters softly) Let the prophet come forth. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I will not have her look at me. I know not who she is, I do
not desire to know who she is. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. Come not near me. Your mother has filled
this world with sin. Back. Speak again, John the Baptist. Your voice is as music to my ears. Speak again and tell me what I must do. Come not near me. Leave this place, it is
filled with abominations. Your body is beautiful
like the snows that lie in the mountains of Judea and
come down into the valleys. Your body is more beautiful than the stars in the heavens, it sings to me. Bathes me in awesome light. There is nothing in the universe
so beautiful as your body. Suffer me to touch your body. By woman came evil into this world. I listen only to the voice of him who has come and will come. TETRARCH: Salome, Salome, where are you? Your body is hideous. Hideous like the dry earth of the desert. It is like a plaster wall
where vipers have crawled. It is horrible. Your body is horrible. The weight and sin of
the devil shall be lifted and your soul set free
to soar like a dove. (chants) Your eyes, John, your
eyes are like blood stone, your eyes are like long black nights when the moon hides her face
and the stars are afraid. The silence that dwells in
the forest is not so black. There is nothing in the world
that is so black as your eyes. Suffer me a look from your eyes. The temple of God. HERODIAS: Salome. Your eyes are horrible. They are like the backs of dung beetles. They are like the sting of thorns. I love not your eyes. It is your mouth that I desire, John. Your mouth is like a band of scarlet. It is like pomegranate flowers in bloom. It is redder than the
blood of a slain lion. Your mouth is like a branch of
coral that fishers have found in the twilight of the sea. There is nothing in the
world that is so red as your mouth. Suffer me to kiss your mouth. Do not touch me. Salome, Salome. Be afraid and repent. I will kiss your mouth, John the Baptist. Did you not hear the beating – I will kiss your mouth. Suffer me to kiss your mouth. You bring this angel of death. Suffer me to kiss your mouth, John. But he is coming, he is the son of God. He is a light, go out and seek him. Salome, come to your father. Suffer me to kiss your mouth. Go out and seek him… Kneel on the shore and
call his name from the sea when he calls to you. Bow at his feet and beg his forgiveness. Suffer me to kiss your mouth, suffer me to kiss your mouth. Why do you not listen? Cursed be thou, daughter
of incestuous mother. I will not hold thee,
I will not love thee. Suffer me to kiss thy mouth,
suffer me to kiss thy mouth. Back! Suffer me to kiss your mouth, John. I will kiss your mouth. (gasps) (laughs) Where is Salome, where is the princess? What, did she not return to the banquet? I commanded her. You must not look at her. You’re always looking at her. The moon has a strange look tonight. Has she not a strange look,
she looks like a madwoman, seeking everywhere for lovers. She is naked, too, clouds are seeking to clothe her nakedness but she will not let them,
she shows herself freely to the skies. She reels through the
clouds like a drunken woman. I am sure she is looking for lovers. No, the moon is like
the moon, that is all. Leave her alone. I will stay here. Lay carpets here, light torches, bring forth the ivory tables. The air here is sweet. I will drink more wine, we will celebrate and behold the beautiful Salome. We will be glad, family. Why do you remain? I know why: you are foul. Is this not what you
prayed for, my kingdom? Salome, come, sit close to us. Why will you not sit with us? It’s cold here. Is there a wind blowing? No, there is no wind. I say there is a wind that blows and I hear in the air
the beating of wings. Do you not hear it? I hear nothing. How can you not hear it? I tell you there is nothing, you are ill. I am not ill, it is your
daughter who is sick. Never have I seen her so pale. I have told you not to look at her. (laughs) Bring me more wine. Salome, oh Salome, come celebrate with me. Time for us to be happy, oh yes. Salome, come drink a little wine with me. Caesar himself has sent me
a wine that is exquisite. Come taste it with thy little red lips. I am not thirsty, Tetrarch. Bring me my fruit Salome. Come eat with me. I love to see the marks
of thy little teeth. Bite a little of this fruit
so I may eat what is left. I am not hungry Tetrarch. You see how you have brought
up this daughter of yours. She does right. Salome, come and rest next to me, I will give thee the throne of thy mother. I am not tired, Tetrarch. You’ve seen what regards she holds you. Bring me, what is it that I desire? Behold, the time is come. That which I foretold is come to pass. I have tried to baptize you with water. Behind me follows one
more powerful than I. He will baptize you with flames. Bid him be silent, I will
not listen to his voice. He is forever hurling insults at me. He is a very great prophet. I do not believe in prophets. There is no man who knows
what will come to pass. You suffer him to live
because you are afraid of him. I am not afraid of him,
I am afraid of no man. Then deliver him to the Jews. Enough. I will not deliver him to anyone. He is a holy man, he is
a man who has seen God. That cannot be. There is no man who has seen God. God does not show himself. You are truly a a plague on this world. Behold, the day is at
hand, the day of the Lord. I hear upon the mountains the feet of him who shall be the savior of the world. What does that mean, savior of the world? He must speak of Caesar. It was not concerning Caesar that the prophet spoke these words, sir. He speaks of another man,
a Messiah who hath come. No Messiah hath come. They say he works miracles. Miracles? I do not believe in miracles. He was seen by a great
multitude of people speaking with the angels. Angels do not exist. It is true my queen. It would serve you close
your mouth and listen to these men. You’re all ridiculous. Men with a dreamer’s look. Only beautiful dreamers
believe in angels in heaven. And how do you know? I am she, I know who I am. You are a wicked woman and the moon shall not
cast her light on you. You have looked too long on the moon. It is only sick men who dream. It is thus he will wipe out all wickedness from the Earth. All shall learn not to imitate
this queen’s abominations. Do you hear what he says. You suffer through a vial your own wife. John. Ahem. Ahem. Ahem. You’ve impressed the king
greatly to be sent here. There are very few street prophets who are so revered. I mean that as a compliment. I am sure. I am more than a street prophet. Of course, I did not mean to offend. It is not me whom you have offended. I came here to give you an offer. You do have King Herod’s ear. I know that you have a message
that you want to spread. I think that I can help you do that. Spread my message? Yes, I will give you
avenues to the greatest ears in this land, get you out of this cistern, get you into the court. What makes you think I don’t like it here? (chuckles) I believe you, but do you believe? Do you believe in more than this palace? Do you believe in more than yourself? Do I believe in – in – You can say it. In what, in goodness, in? No I do not believe in any of your gods. Or God, as it were. I do not put any stock
in that sort of thing. But I can help you. I need you to talk to the
king about our marriage. I’m aware of the things you said about us but we are still married under the law. Your laws have no worth. I can offer you the
company of my daughter. On this day the sun shall
become black like smoke and the moon shall become like blood and the stars of the heavens shall fall and all kings of the
earth shall be afraid. This prophet talks like a drunken man. I cannot suffer the sounds of his voice. Command him to be silent. I will not. You are the cause of the terrible
words the prophet speaks, maybe an omen. It cannot be. You are looking again at my daughter. You must not look at her. You say nothing else. Do not listen. Dance for me Salome. I will not have her dance. Salome, daughter of
Herodias, dance for me. Low beast, you are her father. I am not, I command thee to dance, Salome. (solemn music) Stop. Fine, what is it to me
whether she dances or not? Tonight I am happy, I
am exceedingly happy. Never have I been so happy. The Tetrarch has a somber look. Yes, he has a somber look. (coins clanging) He shall be seated on his throne. He shall be clothed in scarlet and ermine. In his hand he shall
bear a golden cup full of his blasphemies, he
shall be eaten by worms. Do you hear what he says about you? It is not of me who he speaks, never has he spoken a word
against me, this prophet, save that I have sinned
in taking you as my wife. You are unclean and you are sterile. I am sterile? You say that as you look at
my child and bid her dance. You speak as a fool, it is
you who are sterile, not I. Woman, I say you are sterile. And the prophet says that our
marriage will bring evils. I am sure he is right but
now is not the hour to speak of these things. I would be happy at this moment. Salome. Salome. Salome, dance for me. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am sad tonight. When I came hither I heard
the beating of giant wings, I cannot tell what they mean. I would suffer thee to dance for me. Yes, dance for me, Salome,
whatever thy shall ask of me, I shall give, even under half my kingdom. Do not dance, my daughter. Whither thou ask, I swear it, Salome. Do not dance, my daughter. I swear by my gods, by
my crown, by my life, whatever thou desire, I will give thee, even under half my kingdom
if thou will dance for me. Oh Salome, Salome, dance for me. Do not dance, my daughter. If thou ask for half my kingdom, thou will be lovest and made a queen. Will she not be fair as queen? It’s cold here. There is an icy wind and I hear in the air this beating of wings. Is there a huge black bird that hovers over the terrace? Why did I not see it? It blows a chill wind. Nay, it is hot. I’m choking. Pour water on my hands,
give me snow to eat. My garland hurts me, my garland of roses. The flowers are like fire,
they burn my forehead. How red the petals are,
they’re like blood stains. Look at the moon, she
is red as the petals. She has become red as blood. (snaps) His story was true. Your daughter will dance for me. Salome, thou hast
promised to dance for me. Daughter, do not dance, not for this man. What prove yourself like your sex? Too strong for weakness,
too weak for strength. Dance for me Salome, dance for me Salome, dance for me Salome, dance for me Salome, dance for me Salome, dance for me Salome, dance for me Salome. (pants) The weight and sin of
the devil shall be lifted and your soul shall be
free to soar like a dove, to soar high in the sky. The weight and sin of
the devil shall be lifted and your soul set free
to soar like a dove, to soar high in the sky
in the name of the Lord. Follow his path out from the wilderness and love and hear the
voice of he who loves you. Listen to him for he is forgiving, he is full of forgiveness. He loves you, God loves you. I love you, I love you, I love you. I will dance for you Tetrarch. (somber music) (snaps) (snaps) (water splashes) (grunts) (yells) (coins clanging) He loves you, God loves you, I love you. (gasps) (laughs) Wonderful, wonderful. You see that she has danced for me? Come near Salome, come near. I will pay you royally, I will give you whatever your soul desires. What would you have? Speak. I would you bring me on a silver platter. (laughs) TETRARCH: On a silver platter, surely yes, on a silver platter. She is charming. What would you have us
bring on a silver platter? Oh sweet and fair Salome, thou art lovelier than
all the queens of Judea. What would you have me
bring on a silver platter? Whatever it may be you will receive it. My treasures belong to you. What is it you would have, Salome? The head of John the Baptist. HERODIAS: Well said, my daughter. I do not think I heard what you spoke. Tell me again. What is it you will have Salome? Give me the head of John the Baptist! (yells) (whimpers) (snaps) (snaps) (gasps) (hums) I am… Salome. I am… Salome. Daughter of Herodias. Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I am Salome, daughter of
Herodias, Princess of Judea. I stole her jewels. I lied to leave the banquet. I drank his wine. I danced for him. I made them open the cistern. I asked for his head. I wash his blood off my hands. (draws breath) (water splashes) (gasps) (water splashes) (draws breath) (water splashes) I don’t want this. I want to – I want. What do I want? I don’t want to be trapped. I don’t want my hands to be heavy. I don’t want my stomach to burst. I don’t want to give you anything else. I don’t want to stay here. I want – I want quiet. I want to be dry. (laughs) (water splashes) I am not she. I am not who I am. (applause)

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