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Blue Rhapsody Theater

Date: 05-10-09
Poster: Raul Valdez
Post # 1

Enchanted Evening

It was a balmy night, window open to let in the warm breeze. There was something unnatural in the air or perhaps it was the scene Raul was going over. They still needed a script lady, actress as well if they were lucky. So he was playing both parts, hitching his voice somewhat higher though he couldn't really get to sound feminine. No matter, maybe that was a blessing. Poet's shirt hung open down the front and half was untucked into the black pants. He was barefoot at the moment in relation to the scene he was rehearsing up on the stage. "Come, now a roundel and a fairy song; then, for the third part of a minute, hence; some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds. Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings, to make my small elves coats, and some keep back the clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders at our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep; then to your offices and let me rest." Emulating Titania to her fairies following her.

Rachel had been curious about the theater and hadn't seen Raul since that first night of her arrival in Heathfield. She made her way inside, stopping so that she was still in the shadows and smiled as she watched him on the stage.  An impish grin appeared and she sang out. "You spotted snakes with double tongue, thorny hedgehogs, be not seen. Newts and blindworms, do not wrong. Come not near our fairy queen." Her voice was clear and sweet and carried well
from the back of the theater to the stage.

Raul near stumbled a step, certainly not expecting to hear another voice in the quiet of the theater. One not really known to him but something trickled in familiar? He wasn't certain but her voice was good, he waggled his brows as he moved more into the light, lanterns strategically placed on the stage. "What thou seest when thou dost wake. Do it for thy true-love take, love and languish for his sake. Be it ounce, or cat, or bear, pard, or boar with bristled hair. In thy eye that shall appear when thou wakest, it is thy dear. Wake when some vile thing is near." Acting as if putting drops in the sleeping Titania's eyes, casting the spell on her. Raising up his hand before dipping away to the shadows before discovered.

She laughed as she finally emerged from the shadows. "I'm not certain if I should continue or not since you were doing both parts so well. How are you this night, Raul? I hope I haven't interrupted or startled you." She paused, tipping her head as she thought a moment. "And I hope you haven't forgotten me or I'll feel quite foolish." She was dressed for the warmer nights in a skirt of deep green and a lighter peasant style blouse. A white lace shawl was draped around her shoulders. Her dark hair was gathered at the crown of her head and fell in a cascade to her back.

He set the papers with the scenes on them aside to a chair before he was over to take up a seat on the edge of the stage. "Ah, it is you Rachel. It has been a while. I've been well, busy with the theater. We do different skits each week for the entertainment of those who come, many more come each time so we must be entertaining, si?" Smile was winsome that followed for he was proud in their work and in his siblings. "I have not forgotten you though I had wondered if you continued on. How are you doing?" Setting a hand to the space next to him in invitation she take a seat, relax, and they could talk if she had some time.

She had time and was over to the stage to join him. "I've been doing well. Exploring a little, taking care of some business that needed tying up. I think I'm going to stay for a while." She smiled as she tipped her head slightly so that she could look at him. "It sounds like you've been very busy with everything."

"This is good, si, that you stay. It is a special place that has called to many and most stayed!" Realizing that last was just so as with her taking up the seat next to him he got to see her up close. She was a beauty he realized, classic features that would do very well for an actress if one wished that calling. "You recited the scene very well. You have done acting before? Tell me about you if you no mind?" He was genuinely curious and interested in getting to know her better. One never knew what opportunity knocked or walked into the room any given time.

"So I've been told and I can see why." She smiled again at the compliment. "Only in school I'm afraid. Miss Cottan's finishing school for young ladies to be precise." She laughed softly. "We put on plays for our classmates, for our parents. And I enjoyed it but things changed and after school, I decided it was time to see the world. I went home for a time, and decided it wasn't the place I wanted to be. So, here I am." She gave him an impish look. "Not much of a story."

"You are of higher birth to have been sent to a finishing school? Your family, they are here or are you on your own?" Questions seemed to flow, "do you like performing or only a passing fancy? Si, you are out to see the world but you are traveling alone? This is no good for a young lady." His accent Spanish though his English had improved since moving to the lands a half decade ago with his family.

"No, they're not." She looked away, toward the back of the theater. "I've been estranged from my father for some time and his wife refuses to acknowledge me." She gave him a side glance to see his reaction. "My mother died when I was very small and he remarried rather quickly. So, here I am." So much more to the tale but it still stung to talk about it.

He noticed her look away while picking up on emotional pain. "Soy afligido, por favor perdonar me. Yo tenían no deseo ocasionar dolor." It came natural to speak in his native tongue and he had forgotten she would not understand him "You are in a good place, the people are kind and you can adopt a family, si? Do you need work?"

She looked at him again, slightly confused. "Is that what you said in Spanish?"  Asking that first before nodding. "Yes, I could use work. I don't like to sit around for too long though it was nice for a little while." The smile returned, a little brighter. "Are you offering?"

That's when he realized he had slipped into his native tongue, "What I said translates to: I am sorry, please forgive me. I had not wish to cause pain." Pausing a second before continuing, "I had a script lady a year or so ago," which he realized he no longer remembered exactly how long ago, nor did he look towards the back of the stage. Perhaps those weeks following the departure of the one he would have but the door was closed in his heart since. "We have need of a script lady and if you can play any of the parts, another actress would do well. It is hard for me to kiss one of my sisters on the lips." Adding some humor, or so he hoped she would find it so.

"The memory fades in time, so does the pain. Some day I may give thanks for what happened. I am glad things did before I was forced to marry." She wrinkled her nose. "I wasn't considered much of a prize because I can be stubborn so be warned." She did laugh at the last. "Yes, I could see where that would be a problem." She looked out over the theater again. "I think I could act in front of a large crowd without too much panic." Stage fright might be another matter.

"Si, I almost married one but it was not to be. The pain has gone and life goes on. It is best, though I realized the pain might have been more from setting my mind on having a love and a family one day. That can still be but it is not a criteria to life, to live. You would make a good Shrew in Taming of the Shrew?" Glancing out over the rows of empty seats, "it is no bad, you don't really see the faces unless you want to. You hear instead with the low lights out there and the brighter ones in your eyes. You can hear laughter, or a tear, the oh and the ah, you can feel the audience as a whole if they come with you to the land of acting, another world and time. Lives of people some know about before they walk in while others, it is their first time. Many come back to see certain plays over and over, to capture the moment again of a good writer."

She smiled as she listened, nodding. "You are a poet as well as an actor then." Standing, she took center stage, looking thoughtful. "Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow, and dart not scornful glances from those eyes." She moved about the stage as if addressing other women. "To wound they lord, thy king, thy governor: It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads, confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds, and in no sense is meet or amiable. A woman moved is like a fountain troubled. Muddled, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty; and while it is so, none so dry or thirsty will deign to sip or touch one drop of it." She walked over to Raul, looking at him with loving eyes. "Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee, and for thy maintenance commits his body ... to painful labor both by sea and land, to watch the night in storms, the day in cold, whilst though liest warm at home, secure and safe;" She paused and laid her hand over her heart.


"And craves no other tribute at thy hands  But love, fair looks, and true obedience--  Too little payment for so great a debt. Such duty as the subject owes the prince,  even such a woman oweth to her husband; and when she is forward, peevish, sullen, sour, and not obedient to his honest will, what is she but a foul contending rebel and graceless traitor to her loving lord? I am asham'd that women are so simple to offer war where they should kneel for peace; or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway, When they are bound to serve, love, and obey. Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,  unapt to toll and trouble in the world, but that our soft conditions and our hearts should well agree with our external parts? Come, come, you forward and unable worms! My mind hath been as big as one of yours, my heart as great, my reason haply more, to bandy word for word and frown for frown; but now I see our lances are but straws, our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,  that seeming to be most which we indeed least are. Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,  and place your hands below your husband's foot;  in token of which duty, if he please,  my hand is ready, may it do him ease.
" As she finished she turned away from him, as if to look at the other woman before offering her hand.

"Why, there's a wench!" He was up right after her as he caught up her hand, twirling her in close. He was very impressed with her rendering of Katherina, that was there in his eyes as they met hers so close, "come on, and kiss me, Kate." Though his part was small compare to the one she just recited, there was a devil's dare to light hazel green eyes coupled with the commanding words.

She was startled but didn't show it, as if they were truly before an audience. Leaning into him, she put her hand up to his cheek, and tipped her head up, eyes closing as she pressed her lips to his. Of course, there would be others here if it really were a show.

Raul easily got caught up in a scene, taking on the persona of Petruchio as his lips burned over hers in the passion of the moment. A kiss to remember, a kiss that had become famous for that passion. A passion that fueled the minds of many, especially women, since the play was written and acted out. Be there others in the audience or none at all as it was presently, the passion was in the acting.

Rachel was caught up in that now, returning the kiss before she pulled away, nearly breathless. She didn't move out of his arms, just looked up at him. "I believe this would be where we would exit?" Her voice was low, husky and she could see how well Raul became the character!

He broke from the character and back to the actor on the scene played out, "si, I should lift you in my arms and carry you away. It would not have been the same to kiss un de my hermanas." Catching himself, "one of my sisters." Reflecting back to the humorous comment and it was true. "You are hired if you accept. Script lady," though she might realized he had not moved from the embrace, finding it comfortable and maybe wistful in there too, "helps in picking out which actor or actress fits certain characters. Making sure all have their scenes and correcting them when rehearsing as needed and she is also actress if she wishes. I am actor and writer, my brother Demian is painter, prop man and actor, my sister Brigidia is singer and actress and so forth of my family." They should get another male who was not related for his sisters in certain scenes. To be fair he realized. Way over due in what was proper, he realized he still had her in his arms but she had swayed, or so he would give that excuse if one was needed. She would note his voice had dropped a few octaves also. Eyes intent on hers in searching, was she really a novice when she could play such a part so well? A treasured find in the least as he finally eased from the embrace.

She had acted in every play from the time she had been sent off to school, even before finishing school, and loved every minute of it. Perhaps even sneaked off to try out in a play or two though she hadn't mentioned that yet. There were parts of her life she was unwilling to share. While she spoke, she watched his face and when he finally released her, she felt heat rise into her cheeks. "I do accept. It sounds like something I would enjoy." She smiled again, the impish sparkle in her eyes returning. "And it will keep me from trouble, I believe." Though if there was some to be found, she would find it!

"Si, only trouble will be on stage?" Or would it? One never knew what Fate would play out and a far better director than human imitation. "There is a flat here you can use, it is near my sisters' rooms. All is proper and there is a living room all can share upstairs, like a house separate from the theater though all on one floor. Each room has its own privy and bath, hearth with couch and chairs, there is a large kitchen for all to use like the living room." They had all found the arrangements to their liking. "If you no like, prefer a place of your own, I can speak to Laird McDonough on a small cottage that is close."

"Perhaps." In answer to his question though she was smiling. She considered for a moment, then nodded. "I think the flat will be fine, providing your family doesn't mind. If so, then the cottage will do. I would rather have them comfortable with the idea then just move right on in, Raul." Being she was a stranger to them all.

"They will no mind, my sisters will fuss over you and tease." So she was prepared. "I will see you back to the Thistle as the time has gone late." Very late but it had been one of the most interesting nights here since his arrival. "Tomorrow I can help you move your things," and his siblings would be informed. He was the don of their family so he could use that but he knew they would be thrilled. Another, talented at that, to join them, meant more versatility. He used the steps instead of jumping down from the stage as his usual, way of invitation of the proposed escort.

She had made friends in school, so now she had something else to look forward to -- new friends. Following him down the steps, she found she was still smiling. "Thank you, Raul. I'm looking forward to this very much." And she was hoping she'd work out. Oh how scandalous! The theater! But she knew that it wasn't as bad as her parents believed. In fact, it was becoming more and more acceptable as a profession. She adjusted her shawl as they started for the door knowing it would be cooler than when she had come in.



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