During this blackout some excessive hanging packs are unhooked from BASH and SORA to be tossed off stage.
has been moved so the left corner is set about two feet back from its place in the previous scene.
only directly overhead lights.
The morning of May 18th, 1689
At Lights Up:
(BASHO and SORA are at the far leftt corner of the curtain. They seem rested and acclimated to being on their trip. BASHO is leaning on his staff, staring off stage-right. SORA reads to him from a small paperback guide book.)
Moo-row-no-yash-ee-ma. The shrine is dedicated to the goddess (ahem) called "The Lady of the Flower-bearing Trees." Another shrine to her is at the foot of Mount Fuji. This goddess is said to have locked herself up in a burning cell to prove the nature of her divinely conceived son when her husband doubted her fidelity. As a result, her son was named "Born out of Fire" and the shrine name means "burning cell."
(SORA stops reading, looks down the page as if searching for more -- wanting more information. Finding none, he stares rather dumbly in the direction BASHO is gazing.)
(Without changing his stance seems as if he is talking to himself.)
What does it mean? The first shrine we find on our journey is dedicated to a woman.
A hard-headed one, that's for sure. Didn't she die as a result?
She died after giving birth.
Well, she got herself in that fix.
Was the father really a god?
Aren't we all?
Too bad we can't ask her.
Why do the locals worship her?
(after a long silence)
Maybe because all births are holy and mysterious.
As are all beginnings.
(He reaches over and puts his arm on BASHO's shoulder.)
Let's take it as a blessing on the start of our journey.
(taking a step away from the intimate moment)
It's the custom that poets here write of rising smoke.
(raising an eyebrow)
(continuing as if not interrupted)
and ORDINARLY (the word is stressed) people DO NOT eat fish.
(gives him a knowing look)
...because they smell bad when burnt.
(The two seem to share and inside joke as they proceed. As they leave the left corner of the curtain, it is slowly moved back about two-three feet. The two proceed to the right corner of the curtain, turn as if making a switch back.)
Continue on to Scene Three .