Crazy Jane (Pt. II)

(Editor’s note: in Part II of David Crandall’s “Crazy Jane” the shite (Jane) makes her entrance and confronts the Young Man who has been given shelter at the church.)

JANE
The church bell tolls with sweet clarity
Set like the evenstar in a sky clouded
With confused voices
The harsh cry of seabirds ragged in the wind

I stand, and watch
The darkening sea

Waves, like pale hands
Rising, falling and rising again
Clutching at the sky
Sending shivered bones of solitude
Clattering into the hollow places
Hands that beckon in crippled mockery
Of light on water–listen to the sea…

Voices whisper their soft seduction
A promise of darkness to ease the soul
Let the darkness come

CHORUS (WITH ABOVE)
Let the waves swirl around me
As once his arms held me
Let me feel that embrace
Unforgiving and cold
For even the darkness
Whispers too clearly
He is gone, he is gone…


JANE
The church bell tolls on the edge of dream
Solemn sentinel calling me home
To a cold bed
The gathering dusk
Conceals more emptiness
Than this heart can hold
I know this wind, these waves
This hill I climb
And know these church walls give no shelter
God’s breath has grown cold
And leaves before my ruined eyes
A random heap of stone

Who is there, in the shadows? I do not know you, your hands and face are strange. Who are you, and why have you come? You are not from the village, you have no business here.

WARDEN
I let him in, Jane. He is tired, and needs a place to sleep. I opened the door to him as to you.


JANE
Let the stranger speak for himself, if he has a tongue. Tell me, then. Why have you come?

YOUNG MAN
My reasons are my own, and need no explanation. And as for my tongue, it hardly has a use; it seems yours amply serves us both.

JANE
That is something Tom might have said…Something in your voice…Why do you stay there in the dark? Come closer, that I may see you more clearly…Something in your voice…and in your eyes as well. I know that look. Tom had that look, the day we danced together–the day he disappeared. Do you know him? Do you know where he has gone?

YOUNG MAN
I have known many Toms, but none with my voice or eyes. Such as they are, they are mine alone. I share them with no one.

JANE
Ah, and now it is gone again. But a glimmer was there, just as you spoke. And you are wrong to think you share your voice with no one, for you are but the echo of another’s grief.

CHORUS
So the sound gathers, echo upon echo, and so Tom’s voice lies hidden in you.

YOUNG MAN
And Tom? Where is he hidden?

JANE
I do not know. He is gone, though every shadow suggests his face, and his words are murmured by the sea.

(Continued in Part III)

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About Theatre Nohgaku

Noh, one of the oldest continuing stage arts, combines highly stylized dance, chant, music, mask and costume with intense inner concentration and physical discipline, creating a uniquely powerful theatrical experience. Theatre Nohgaku’s mission is to share noh’s beauty and power with English speaking audiences and performers. We have found that this traditional form retains its dramatic effectiveness in languages other than Japanese. We believe noh techniques hold a powerful means of expression in the context of contemporary English language theatre.
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