Firefly in the Light

The Fourth Messenger

Book and Lyrics by Tanya Shaffer; Music and Additional Lyrics by Vienna Teng

What if Buddha were a woman, living in our times?

What if the Buddha were a woman, living in our times? Mama Sid is a modern-day “awakened one” with a worldwide following. But a determined young woman seeks to unearth Mama Sid’s mysterious past, exposing secrets that could change everything. Epic and intimate, comic and profound, THE FOURTH MESSENGER investigates what it means to be both enlightened and human. Directed by Broadway’s Matt August (Grinch) with a ravishing score by indie favorite Vienna Teng. “An absolute delight!” —San Francisco Chronicle

Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Tanya Shaffer

Tanya Shaffer (Book & Lyrics)

Tanya Shaffer's (Book and Lyrics) plays have been produced by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, TheatreWorks, and the Eureka Theatre, and have toured to more than 40 cities nationwide. She’s been awarded Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Awards and nominated for a National Theatre Critics’ Association Steinberg Award. Her play BABY TAJ is available from Samuel French, Inc. Tanya is also the author of the acclaimed travel memoir, Somebody's Heart Is Burning: A Woman Wanderer in Africa.

Vienna Teng

Vienna Teng (Music & Additional Lyrics)

Vienna Teng (Music and Additional Lyrics) is a Singer-Songwriter who has released five albums on the Virt and Rounder labels. Her 2013 album AIMS, debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Heartseekers Chart and received four Independent Music Awards – the most any artist has received in a single year. She has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, NPR’s Weekend Edition, CBS’s Early Show, and CNN’s News Night with Aaron Brown, and has toured with Duncan Sheik, Joan Baez, Brandi Carlile, the Indigo Girls, and others. 

Matt August (Director)

Theatre Credits: GRINCH on Broadway, MSG, Opry, 12 National Tours; Regional Premieres of KING CHARLES III, IN THE HEIGHTS; World Premieres of DISCORD (Geffen/ATC), TWO DOLLLAR BILL (Pioneer), LIBERTY SMITH (Ford’s- 6 Helen Hayes Noms) SIXTEEN WOUNDED (Cherry Lane/Long Wharf), TROUBLE WE COME FROM (Falcon), TIME FLIES and PIG FARM (Old Globe), BABY TAJ (TheatreWorks). Also, MUCH ADO, TEMPEST, TWO GENTLEMEN, MERRY WIVES, ROMEO AND JULIET. Assoc Director to Jack O’Brien 2000-04. Drama League, Killian (OSF), Watermill Fellowships; Mentor Director- Drama League, SDCF Observership Programs. MFA CalArts.

“Satisfying and remarkably entertaining…Takes on spiritual life with wit and emotional resonance…Funny and touching in all the right places.” 
 - KQED/NPR, February 2013 

“Hugely ambitious and refreshingly original...Has the audience emotionally involved and often on the edge of their seats...Highly recommended.” 
- Huffington Post, March 2013

“An absolute delight…Driven by Teng’s jazz, folk-rock and mantra-infused score, Shaffer’s inspired retelling of the Buddha story, and their punchy, provocative lyrics…” - San Francisco Chronicle, February 2013

“Beautiful, ambitious and with the kind of depth we’ve come not to expect from musicals, The Fourth Messenger is a triumph.” - Theater Dogs, February 2013

“Masterful and compelling…both timeless and contemporary” 
- Stage and Cinema, February 2013