A MONSTROUS Thank You To Our 2014 Donors!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2014 by admin

We’re excited to publish the list of our 2014 Olympians Festival donors!

This list is only partial. Some donors choose to remain anonymous, and many people donate in ways other than cash: their time, their energy, their expertize, their network, etc. Behind every festival, every theater production, there is always a plethora of people coming together in a myriad of ways to make it happen. No donor list or program credits are ever truly comprehensive.

To all the people on this list, and all the people who aren’t on it, thank you for all you do to make this vision a reality. The festival couldn’t happen without you, and we hope you love all the great work that comes out of it, the result of all the love and support you put in.

Paul Anderson
Larissa Archer
Christina Augello
AJ Baker
Mary Ann Bell
Magan Biggs
Jane Bousel
Robin Bousel
Megan Briggs
Rachel Bublitz
Randall F Bublitz
Fred Burke
Madeline Butler
Benjamin J. Calabrese
Michelle M. Carter
Louise Castaldi
Christine Cathcart
Lily Chih-Yuan Yang
Christie K. Chew
Andrew Chung
Shelly F Cohen
Jeremy Cole
Cecilia Comparini
Roy Conboy
Benjamin Cooper
Ashley Cowan
The Cutting Ball Theatre Company
Roberta D’Alois
Gregory Dalesandre
Theresa Donahoe
Danielle Doyle
Susan M. Dunn
M Colleen Egan
Juliana E Egley
Robert Estes
The EXIT Theatre
Valerie Fachman
Donna L. Fujita
David Gamboa
Jeremy Geist
Jan Gilbert
Gene Gore
James M Grady
Kari Gray
Matt Gunnison
Maura Halloran
Leah C. Halper
George Heymont
Peter Hsieh
Colin Hussey
Colin Johnson
Angharad Jones
Barbara M. Jwanouskos
Brian Katz
Christine Keating
Maurya Keating
Heather S. Kellogg
Katherine Kessinger
Melissa Klepetar
Kathleen Kneisel
Sylvia M. Kratins
Dan Kurtz
Stephanie Lansberg
Joyce C Lashof
William Leschber
Charles S. Lewis III
Carl Lucania
Adam Magill
Max L. Meyers
Anthony Miller
Laylah Muran de Assereto
Tonya J. Narvaez
William T Newton
Helen Noakes
James D O’Connor
Alan L Olejniczak
Amanda Ortmeyer
Allison Page
Wesley Pan
Sunil Patel
Kathleen M Payne
Jacqueline Peters
Evelyn Jean Pine
Tracy L. Potter
Bridgette A. Portman
Madeline Puccioni
Claire Rice
Kelly L. Rinehart
Jennifer Roberts
Hilda L. Roe
Annette Roman
Carina Salazar
Kirk A. Shimano
Jeunee Simon
Marissa Skudlarek
Siyu Song
Elizabeth Spreen
Joseph Tally
Veronica Tjioe
Phillip Torretto
Nicholas Trengove
Kimberly Trout
Kevin Trowbridge
Meghan Trowbridge
Eileen Tull
Elizabeth Lilia Vega
Miguel Veloz
Mary Watkins
Richard Wenzel
Clinton Winder
Wine & Spirits Magazine
Shay Wisniewski
Pearl Wong
Frederick L. Yudin

Announcing The Subjects For SF Olympians 6!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1st, 2014 by admin

SAN FRANCISCO OLYMPIANS FESTIVAL VI: WINE DARK SEA

Want to write for the Olympians Festival?

Well, now is your chance!

We are now accepting submissions for the 2015 San Francisco Olympians Festival, a multi-discipline, nationally recognized new works theater festival based at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco!

Proposals due by midnight on September 30th, with the line-up for next year’s festival to be announced 11/1/2014. Our first meeting will be on December 12 of 2014.

The festival will take place in November of 2015, from November 4-November 21, Wedesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 PM.

Each night of the festival will consist of the staged reading of either a full-length play or a series of shorts, inspired by the mythical gods and heroes of Ancient Greece. The subjects, and the lengths of the plays we’re looking for, are specified below.

There are no submission fees. The Olympians Festival is non-exclusive and does not retain ownership of any play created for it, beyond the initial staged reading. Participating writers should be local (San Francisco and the greater Bay Area), and will be expected to help promote the festival and contribute a raffle prize of their choice to be raffled off to the audience on the night their play is read. Writers are also expected to attend 4-6 meetings over the course of the year, and our auditions, which happen in September.

Writers are encouraged to submit as many proposals as they want for as many topics as they like. Applications for a topic can be submitted by individuals or writers can work in pairs, or teams of three or more. Writers may be picked for more than one project, and should note that they’d like to be considered for more than one (or not). Each proposal should be 500 words or less and answer three questions:

1) Why you?
2) Why this figure?
3) What is your idea?

All proposals should be submitted electronically to Stuart at sfolympians@gmail.com.

2015′s subjects are as follows. Only one is currently claimed and submissions are encouraged for all of the rest:

Week One: THE DIVINE AQUATIC (11/4-11/7)

Wednesday, November 4: The Trumpeter

Full-Length: TRITON
Royal Prince of the sea, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, leader of the mer-folk, the sound of his trumpet was the roar of the waves.

Thursday, November 5: A Bevy of Beauties
Short: THETIS, goddess of the tides
Short: INO LEUCOTHEA, goddess of seagulls
Short: PSAMATHE, goddess of sandy beaches
Short: DORIS, goddess of fish
Short: BRIZO, protectoress of sailors
Short: GALENE, goddess of calm waters
Short: CYMOPLEIA, goddess of the waves
Short: EURYBIA, goddess of sailing

Friday, November 6: Old Men of the Sea
A pair of mysterious, prophetic sea gods who may actually be the same figure, and to this day echo with the mystery of secret cults.
Full-Length: NEREUS and PROTEUS

Saturday, November 7: The Ruling Couple
One-Act: POSEIDON, god of the sea
One-Act: AMPHITRITE, his queen

Week Two: ARGONAUTICA (11/11-11/14)

Wednesday, November 11: The Crew
Act One: Singles
Short: ATALANTA, the only female crew, greatest hunter on earth
Short: ORPHEUS, famed musician whose song defeated the sirens
Short: TELAMON, the helmsman
Short: ADMETUS, whose life would cross the paths of many heroes
Act Two: Pairs
Short: CASTOR/POLLUX, twin brothers, one mortal, one divine
Short: CALAIS/ZETES, twin brothers, winged, sons of the wind
Short: PELEUS/LAERTES, young kings who would one day father the two great heroes of the Trojan War- Achilles and Odysseus
Short: HERACLES/HYLAS, the greatest hero who ever lived and the cabin-boy he loved and lost

Thursday, November 12: The Captain
Full-Length: JASON
Orphaned at birth and sent on a quest to reclaim his rightful throne, Jason has been both honored and demonized throughout the years, but his quest remains second only to the Odyssey as the greatest sea voyage of western literature.

Friday, November 13: The Girl
Full-Length: MEDEA
Princess, sorceress, murderess, Medea is one of Greek mythology’s most complex female figures, both reviled and revered and one of the few mortals to achieve god-hood, but at a terrible cost.

Saturday, November 14: The Ship
Full-Length: THE ARGO
The greatest ship of the classical era, complete with a talking masthead in the likeness of the goddess Hera.

Week Three: FATHOMLESS BLUE (11/18-11/21) 

Wednesday, November 18: Masters of the Surf
One-Act: AKHEILOS, god of sharks (CLAIMED)
One-Act: DELPHIN, gold of dolphins

Thursday, November 19: Island Rulers
One-Act: AEOLUS, keeper of the winds and king of a floating island
One-Act: CIRCE, the original sea-witch, daughter of Helios, mistress of magic, lover of Odysseus and mentor to Medea

Friday, November 20:
One-Act: OCEANUS, the Titan who ruled the ocean that surrounded the world and which carried the Sun and Moon from set to rise
One-Act: TETHYS, his Titan bride, mistress of the deep seas and all that lived there.

Saturday, November 21: The Bottomless Deep
Full Length: PONTOS
The first water god, son of Ouranos and Gaea, Pontos is the primordial ocean, the bottomless deep, the Abyss, the mystery and miracle of water.

Definitions:

Short- Ten to Fifteen Minutes
One-Act- Twenty-five to Fifty Minutes
Full Length- Sixty Minutes to Two Hours

Happy Brainstorming! We look forward to your submissions!

Audition For the 2014 SF Olympians Festival!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10th, 2014 by admin

The San Francisco Olympians Festival is returning and will need dozens of actors for its 2014 festival which plays November 5-22!

In the month of November in 2014, No Nude Men Productions, one of San Francisco’s longest running indy theater troupes, will roll out 28 new plays written by 30 local writers, each one focusing on (or inspired by) a different monster from Greek mythology.

Each of these 28 plays will receive a dramatic reading at the EXIT Theatre, and for that we’ll need actors, so if you’re the kind of person who can act AND read (no, it’s not a given), we’d love to have you join us in continuing the saga of unrepentant creativity that is the San Francisco Olympians Festival!

Rehearsals will all be in October and November, and will involve 3-5 MAX for each show. The show schedule is as follows, with all shows happening on the mainstage of the EXIT Theater, at 8 PM :

November 5:
ASTERIAE by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Valerie Fachman

DRYADS by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Valerie Fachman

LAMPADES by Sam Bertken, directed by Scott Baker

NAIADS by Jennifer Roberts, directed by Valerie Fachman

NEPHELE by Siyu Song, directed by Scott Baker

NEREIDS by Sam Johansen Hurwitt, directed by Scott Baker

OCEANIDS by Carol Lashof, directed by Valerie Fachman

OREADS by Playwright Leah Halper, directed by Scott Baker

November 6
CENTAURS by Megan Cohen, directed by Ellery Schaar
SATYRS by Annette Roman and Bryant Turnage, directed by Greg Young

November 7
PEGASUS by Kirk Shimano, directed by Sam Tillis

November 8
PAN by Stuart Bousel, directed by Stuart Bousel

November 12
HYDRA by Tonya Narvaez, directed by Tonya Narvaez
TYPHON by Colin Johnson, directed by Colin Johnson

November 13
ARGUS by Peter Hsieh, directed by Rory Strahan-Mauk
POLYPHEMUS by Vince Faso, directed by Rory Strahan-Mauk

November 14
CERBERUS by Allison Page, directed by Allison Page
CHIMERA by Annie Paladino, directed by Addie Ulrey

November 15
GERYON by Rachel Kessinger Bublitz, directed by Ariel Craft
MINOTAUR by Veronica Tjioe, directed by Veronica Tjioe

November 19
SIRENS by Amelia Bethel and Christine Keating, directed by Libby Vega
HARPIES by Victoria Chong Der, directed by Libby Vega
GRAEAE by Madeline Puccioni, directed by Libby Vega

November 20
SPHINX by Jeremy Geist, directed by Christine Keating

November 21
MEDUSA by Andrew Saito, directed by Rem Myers

November 22
SCYLLA by Christian Simonsen, directed by Melinda Marks
ECHIDNA by Neil Higgins, directed by Melinda Marks
CHARYBDIS by Ashley Cowan Leschber, directed by Melinda Marks

Auditions are September 28, 2 PM to 10 PM, and September 29, 7-10 PM, at the Exit. Please e-mail sfolympians@gmail.com to schedule an audition slot.

Auditions will consist of reading aloud passages of text we choose ahead of time. Please bring a headshot and resume. Leave yourself at least half an hour to get through the audition process.

There is a small stipend, determined by attendance each night of the festival (i.e. you get a percentage of the box office, usually works out to approximately $25 an actor).

If scheduling permits (and you’re interested), all actors will be considered for multiple plays/nights of the festival.

For more information about the festival and the individual plays and authors, check out www.sfolympians.com

Please pass this on to any actors you may know!

Sorry, but we can not use AEA performers for this event (as much as we’d like to).

Please Support This Year’s Festival!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15th, 2014 by admin

Join over a hundred Bay Area writers, directors, actors, and fine artists to become a part of one of San Francisco’s most exciting new theater festivals!

DONATE HERE!

The San Francisco Olympians Festival is an annual event that lasts for twelve nights (thirteen, if you count our opening party!) with a focus on the creation of new scripts for the theater in addition to providing a showcase for Bay Area fine artists, actors and writers.

The Festival was started in 2010 by Stuart Bousel, and featured 12 new full length plays, each one based on one of the twelve Olympian gods of Ancient Greece. In 2011 the festival returned with 32 plays, ranging from five minute shorts to full lengths, each one based upon an Ancient Greek sky god or mythical figure who had become a constellation, moon, etc. In 2012 we debuted 25 one acts, each night pitting a play about an Olympian god against a play about a Titan, the race of gods who sired the Olympian gods, and were then overthrown by them. Last year we premiered 36 new plays about the Trojan War.

This year we are excited to premiere 28 new plays by 30 local writers- 13 of whom will be contributing written work to the festival for the first time! The plays range from shorts to one acts to full lengths, and each one explores a different monster. It will play 12 nights, November 5-22, at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco, and if previous years are indicative of a trend, (every year we’ve broken our own records), we expect this to be the largest festival yet in terms of participants and audience!

DONATE HERE!

Well, a bigger festival requires a bigger base of support, but we’re actually tightening our budget and asking for the same amount as last year- even though the cost of creating a theater festival has, like everything else in the world, gone up. We’re looking to raise $10,000- a really big number- because:

$3,600 of the money we raise goes to keeping the doors of the theater open, the lights turned on and the water running- all really necessary! The rest of the money we raise is split two ways…

The first half goes to marketing and materials: postcards, posters, programs, high quality printings of the work created by our fine artists, the catering for our opening night party, and of course, all the photocopies of these brand new scripts we need for the readings.

The second half goes towards maintaining last year’s lofty goal of paying everyone who works on the festival a stipend of some kind. In previous years actors and writers were paid, and we held raffles to raise some funds for the artists, but our entire production team and crew, including our box office manager and all of our directors, were volunteers. Last year we changed that by creating enough funds to offer everyone a small thank you for the hours, days and weeks they put into this project. If we meet our goal, we’ll be able to do this again, and maybe even have enough left over to put some money away for next year- something we’ve never been able to do!

Most importantly, if we manage to raise all of our funds, we’ll be able to keep our ticket price (which is only $10) low and our comp policy generous, ensuring that the wide variety of audiences looking to experience these new works can do so affordably.

DONATE HERE!

When you support this festival, you’re not just supporting the 30 writers whose work will be presented this year, but also the 80+ actors we predict this festival will use, a dozen directors, and a dozen fine artists, the staff of the festival, and the theater where we work, the theater itself, the neighborhood it is located in, and the cultural life of the city that is our home. Events like the San Francisco Olympians Festival are part of what make the Bay Area a unique and inspiring place to be, a leader in the arts nationally, and a center for intellectual experiment and advancement.

The San Francisco Olympians Festival has been gaining momentum since its first year, with eight plays that were first given a public reading in the festival having gone on to full productions: 2010’s Hermes (No Nude Men Productions, Dramaworks, Bread and Water Theatre), Juno En Victoria (Wily West Productions), and Salty Towers (Thunderbird Theater Company); 2011’s Cassiopeia (Eat Street Players), Chronus (Bread and Water Theatre), You’re Going To Bleed (DivaFest), and Pleiades (No Nude Men Productions); 2013′s Take Me Home: a One-woman Odyssey (Lucy Tafler Presents)- soon to make its international debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! Many others have received additional readings on local and national stages, including: 2011’s Joe Ryan (Impact Theatre), Pleiades (Atlantic Stage), Io (Eat Street Players), and Selene, or Someone Like The Moon (EXIT Theatre); 2012’s Caenis and Poseidon (Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco), and Twins (San Francisco State); 2013′s Under The Gods’ Golden Cleets (Dramatist Guild). 2013′s Walls Of Troy was a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award and the entire festival won “Playwriting Series Most Likely to Win a Gold Medal” from the SF Guardian. Additionally, EXIT Press has released a collection of five plays from year one of the festival, Songs of Hestia, and ten plays from year two, Heavenly Bodies, now available for purchase on Amazon.com and at bookstores across the country. So when you support our festival you’re also supporting American Theater, Literature and Art, and adding to the cultural heritage of generations of artists and audience yet to come!

Thank you for giving whatever you can give, for passing this campaign on to others you know who may want to support us, and for helping this festival continue to grow!

DONATE HERE!

Calling All Directors For the 2014 Festival!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3rd, 2014 by admin

The SF Olympians Festival is accepting letters of interest from directors between now and May 15, 2014. Please note that as a reading festival, SF Olympians is focused on the playwrights’ creation process and the development of new work. Ultimately, directors will be selected and contacted by the individual participating playwrights, coordinated by the Festival. To build our community of directors, we are offering potential directors two ways of engaging with our playwrights: submission of a letter of interest and an invitation to participate in our Directors/Playwrights Mixer on Tuesday, May 27th.

To be considered by the 2014 Olympians playwrights, please email the following information with the subject line “Olympians Director – [YOUR NAME]” to jereco@hotmail.com by midnight on May 15, 2014. You may also use snail mail: Jeremy Cole, Director Coordinator, 2201 West Street, Apt. B, Oakland CA 94612

Letter of Interest Guidelines:

1. Please provide your name, phone number, and email address.

2. What does new play development mean to you as a director?

3. Which is your favorite Greek monster? (just kidding, it’s obviously Medusa)

4. Have you ever participated in the Olympians Festival before? If yes, please list your involvement.

5. Availability for Important Dates (see below).

6. Your resume.

In your email, please include the line: “I understand that directing a reading in the festival is a volunteer project.”

Directors/Playwrights Mixer, Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The day after Memorial Day, we will be hosting a mixer to allow our playwrights to meet potential directors. This is a fun opportunity to get to know other members of the theater community. Participation in this event is not required, but highly recommended.

IMPORTANT DATES

Tuesday, May 15 @ midnight – Final date to submit Letter of Interest

Tuesday, May 27 – 7PM – Directors/Playwrights Mixer (Oakland)

Monday, June 9 – 7 PM – Directors Meeting (SF)

Sunday, September 21 – 6PM – Writers and Directors Meeting

Sunday, September 28 – AUDITIONS – 2 PM till 9 PM

Monday, September 29 – AUDITIONS – 7 PM till 10 PM

Saturday, November 1 – OPENING PARTY

Wednesdays-Saturdays, November 5 – 22 – THE FESTIVAL – All shows are at 8 PM

We hope to see you soon on Olympus!

San Francisco Olympians Festival V: An Overture

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12th, 2013 by admin

In anticipation of our fifth season of the Olympians Festival, which has its first writer’s meeting tonight, we thought we’d share this fun little appetizer by Patsy Fergusson, who joined us for last year with her short play “Hecuba”. Enjoy, and see you in 2014!

CHARYBDIS — A SHORT PLAY

by

Patsy Fergusson

(A woman is sitting on a bench in a park, staring out blankly at the audience. She’s clean and well
dressed, holding a purse on her lap. She is waiting for someone. She looks at her watch. A young
man enters and sits next to her. He’s dirty, unshaven, in shabby clothes.)

SON
Hey, Mom! I’ve been looking for you.

MOTHER
I’ve been waiting right here.

SON
Well, I’m glad I finally found you. Are you hungry? Do you want to go get a sandwich?

MOTHER
Sure. I guess we could do that.

SON
Let’s go. I’m starving.

MOTHER
Why haven’t you eaten?

SON
I don’t have any money.

MOTHER
What happened to your money?

SON
I spent it on other things.

MOTHER
What kind of things?

SON
Oh, you know. The usual.

MOTHER
(looks away, then down at her feet; seems surprised and lifts her feet a little off the floor)

The water is rising.

SON
What water? I don’t see anything.

MOTHER
My shoes are getting wet.

SON
Don’t be an idiot. There isn’t any water! C’mon, let’s go get a sandwich. I’m starving to death!

MOTHER
(gives him an appraising look)
Yes, you do look like you’re starving. You look like a skeleton. Why are you are ruining the good looks that God gave you? You got a great gift of beauty and you’re throwing it away for no reason!

SON
Jesus. Not this again.

MOTHER
Not what?

SON
Not this big pile of bullshit.

MOTHER
(Sighs dramatically. Looks away, then takes a hand towel out of her purse and starts drying her shoes.)

SON
(watches her skeptically for a moment before continuing)
There’s a reason.

MOTHER
What reason?

SON
I’m suffering.

MOTHER
Why?

SON
I’m suffering because you never loved me enough.

MOTHER
(Sits up straight and looks at him)
How can you say that? I’ve always loved you! I love you more than my own self!

SON
That’s what you say.

MOTHER
I gave you everything–everything I could muster. I rack my brain every night about how to help you!

SON
And then you don’t do it.

MOTHER
I’m trying!

SON
No you aren’t. You’re not even getting me a sandwich. You’re just sitting there giving me grief.

MOTHER
Forget about the fucking sandwich! Listen to me! The water is rising up inside me. It’s past my ankles!

SON
I don’t see any water.

MOTHER
It’s almost up to my knees!

SON
(nonchalant)
Whatever. I’m not really hungry anyway. After you go a day or two without eating, your stomach forgets.

MOM
A day or two? Jesus! Okay, you convinced me. Let’s go get that sandwich.

SON
No. Forget about it. That’s not really the problem. I’m suffering because Joanna left me.

MOTHER
Joanna? That was 2 years ago! That’s not a good reason
to hurt yourself.

SON
I think it is.

MOTHER
So you’re feeling lonesome? So am I. I miss you so much…

SON
(annoyed)
How can you miss me when I’m sitting right in front of you?

MOTHER
But I never see you! I never know where you are! Every night, I worry that you’re lying dead under some
freeway. Why don’t you ever answer your phone?

SON
I lost it.

MOTHER
Again?! I just bought that last month. How could you lose another phone?

SON
(Growing angry)
The same way everyone else does! I put it down and forgot to pick it up!

MOTHER
(taps the top of her purse and looks away again)
Have you seen your doctor lately?

SON
No.

MOTHER
When is your next appointment?

SON
I don’t know. Maybe next week.

MOTHER
Are you taking your medication?

SON
You’re not allowed to talk to me about that, remember?

MOTHER
But are you?

SON
What do you want me to say? Yes?

MOTHER
(Pauses. Sighs. Taps her purse.)

You smell like you need a shower.

SON
I probably do.

MOTHER
Why didn’t you take one at the shelter?

SON
They kicked me out.

MOTHER
What?! When did that happen? Why?

SON
I don’t know why. It’s crazy. They said they couldn’t wake me up.

MOTHER
Why couldn’t they wake you? Were you on drugs?

SON
No.

MOTHER
Why wouldn’t you wake up, then?

SON
I don’t know. I guess I was tired.

MOTHER
How can you be tired when you don’t do anything all day?

SON
(angry)
What do you know about it!? I spend all day walking from place to place, just looking for somewhere to sit down. It’s exhausting! It took me three hours just to get up here on the bus to see you!

MOTHER
(penitant)
Where are you going to sleep tonight?

SON
I don’t know. I was thinking maybe I could spend the night on your couch. What do you think? I just need a place to lie down for a few hours…

MOTHER
(guiltily)
I don’t think I can let you do that…

SON
Why not?

MOTHER
You need to check into a hospital, or a drug treatment program. Those are your choices. We don’t want to enable you to go on living like this.

SON
It’s Dad, isn’t it? You won’t let me sleep over because Dad says no.

MOTHER
He thinks it’s your only chance.

SON
Why don’t you think for yourself for a change? It’s pathetic.

MOTHER
I am thinking for myself. I agree with him. This isn’t working. It’s not right. You’re in danger.
(putting her hand out to touch his jaw)
Why is your mouth swollen? Did somebody hit you?

SON
(pulling away from her)
Yes. But it didn’t hurt. I was smiling the whole time.
(giving her a lurid smile)
Don’t worry about it! Everything will be fine as soon as my loan comes through.

MOTHER
Your loan?

SON
The $50,000 government transparency loan I told you about. Damien is going to co-sign for me.

MOTHER
(exasperated)
No one is going to loan you $50,000! And if someone said they would co-sign for you, they’re just trying to get their hands on your disability money–to rip you off.

SON
(growing angry again)
What do you know about it!

MOTHER
I know you aren’t being realistic. I know you need help.

SON
Then why don’t you help me?! I stink! My feet hurt! I’m cold! I’m hungry! You’re sitting there with a
purse full of money and you won’t even buy me a sandwich!

MOTHER
But I WILL buy you a sandwich! Come on. Let’s go get one right now.

SON
No. Let’s wait. That’s not really the problem. I’m suffering because I don’t understand what’s going on.

MOTHER
(suddenly alert)

What?

SON
I’m sinking, Mom. I’m slipping under the surface.

MOTHER
Please don’t say that.

SON
It’s scary, but I kind of like it. The water is warm. It protects me from falling. It cushions me from the blow.

MOTHER
No, it doesn’t.

SON
I can see a grate at the bottom of the pool, creating a current. It’s pulling at me. It’s sucking me in.

MOTHER
Don’t go towards the grate. It’s a trap. Swim up! Swim up to the top!

SON
I can see the sun penetrating the water, and little particles of dust floating beside me in the light; I can see your shape standing at the edge of the pool, peering in…

MOTHER
(takes a sharp breath)
Yes. And the water is rising. It’s covering my shoes. I’m looking around for a rope…

SON
A rope?

MOTHER
I want to throw it to you. I want to pull you in.

SON
Do you have one?

MOTHER
I can’t find one. I’m looking.

SON
Yeah?

MOM
Let’s go get a sandwich.

SON
(getting up and starting to walk around the bench in a widening spiral)
Forget it. I changed my mind. I don’t want anything from you.

MOTHER
(Following after him. The spiral getting wider and wider until she chases him off the stage; Each time she passes behind the bench, she emerges wetter and wetter.)
Where are you going?

SON
What do you care?

MOTHER
Don’t you want a sandwich?

SON
Not anymore.

MOTHER
(Looking around anxiously, perhaps for the rope)
But you said you were hungry.

SON
I’d rather have a beer.

MOTHER
I’m not buying you any alcohol!

SON
(stooping to pick up a cigarette butt off the sidewalk and holding it up to admire in the light)
Look at the size of that one!

MOTHER
Don’t put that in your mouth! It’s dirty.

SON
Stop pretending you care about me.

MOTHER
Stop running away from me!

SON
Stop following me! Go find the fucking rope!

(exits)

MOTHER
Wait up. Come back. Don’t leave me!
(stops at the edge of the stage, reaching after him; the next line is delivered quietly, in defeat)
I could buy you some cigarettes…
(walks back to the bench, carefully; sits down; looks down at the ground fearfully, then lifts her feet up on the bench to avoid the rising water)

END

The 2013 San Francisco Olympians Festival Is Here!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1st, 2013 by admin

The festival this year occurs November 6-23, and is the biggest incarnation of the festival yet, with over 92 actors, 30 writers, 25 artists and 12 directors- all local! The festival will return to its home at the Exit Theatre (156 Eddy Street in San Francisco). Tickets will remain a very low $10.00 per night and can only be purchased at the theater, starting half an hour before the show begins. More information about the festival, including artist statements and bios for this year’s participants, can be found at www.sfolympians.com.

Press inquiries or other questions can be directed to sfolympians@gmail.com.

The full schedule for the festival is as follows, ALL PERFORMANCES BEGIN AT 8 PM and occur at the Exit Theatre (156 Eddy Street, San Francisco).

November 6: Greeks Bearing Gifts

Ajax Major, or “Punchy” by Charles Lewis III, directed by James Nelson
Twenty years ago Ajax and Hector were the world’s greatest title fighters. That was then. Now one of them is fighting an internal battle that he will not win.”

AJAX MINOR by Barbara Jwanouskos, directed by James Nelson
Ajax is a super athlete and all around hero, that is, until rumors about his past begin to circulate…

NESTOR by Robert Estes, directed by James Nelson
You don’t need his advice, just follow your heart.

DIOMEDES by Joel Street, directed by Charles Lewis III
Produce is a battlefield.

TEUCER by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Charles Lewis III
After the death of his beloved older brother, a young man must learn to be the hero of his own story.

PATROCLUS by Daniel Hirsch, directed by James Nelson
Retired statesmen/political upstart. Mentor/protege. Lover/loved. User/used.

THERSITES or “Atreus Tonight” by Daniel Hirsch, directed by Charles Lewis III
Live on air tonight! A fair and balanced debate is anything but in the mounting escalation to all-out war!

NEOPTOLEMUS by Barbara Jwanouskos, directed by Charles Lewis III
The Greeks have high hopes now that they have found the young man who is guaranteed to win the war for them. It’s just that he’s a bit disturbed… whoops?

November 7: The Brothers (Part One)

MENELAUS by Annette Roman, directed by Elizabeth Vega
What if all of your problems could be solved by baring your breasts?

AGAMEMNON or “The House of Atreus Vol 3” by Anthony R. Miller, directed by Tunuviel Luv
A rybald and emotional examination of the choices we must make when we have no choice.

November 8: The Brains

ODYSSEUS or “Meg Cohen’s Totally Epic Odyssey” by Megan Cohen, directed via crowdsourcing
Homer’s classic tale of the world’s cleverest man, adapted and performed as a bardic solo in lively modern verse by one of SF Weekly’s “Bay Area Theater Artists to Watch in 2013.”

November 9: The Brawn

ACHILLES or “Under the Gods’ Golden Cleats” by Rachel Bublitz, directed by Claire Rice
The legend of Achilles mashed with Texas football. A world where cheerleaders are slaves and homosexuality is an offense punishable by death.

November 13: Trojan Women

BRISEIS or “A Goddess in Her Grief” by Carol Lashof, directed by Elizabeth Vega
Love in a time of human trafficking.

HECUBA by Patsy Fergusson, directed by Jacqueline Peters
She was the Queen. She would soon be a slave. In between, she was the mother of Troy’s greatest hero.

LAODIKE by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Jacqueline Peters
She was the most beautiful woman in Troy — until Helen came along!

ANDROMACHE or “The Whole of a Woman” by Sarah McKereghan, directed by Elizabeth Vega
A tragic dramedy about a war widow who has lost everything, including herself.

POLYXENA by Peter Hsieh, directed by Elizabeth Vega
The complicated story of love and sacrifice that ends the Trojan War.

CRUESA or “Dead & Lovely” by Tonya Narvaez, directed by Jacqueline Peters
100 years ago a woman vanishes into thin air. But is she really lost?

OENONE by Ashley Cowan, directed by Jacqueline Peters
Awkward bangs, a big breakup, and a war to end all wars. Middle school is just the worst.

CHRYSEIS or “The Girl With Sparkling Eyes” by Carol Lashof, directed by Elizabeth Vega
When Briseis met Chryseis …

November 14: The Brothers (Part Two)

PARIS or “The Judgement of Paris Is Burning” by Kirk Shimano, directed by Katja Rivera
A traditional retelling of the Judgment of Paris – except Olympus is a gay bar and the goddesses are drag queens.

HECTOR or “Prince of the City” by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Katja Rivera
They threw him to his death from the wall of Troy. Or so they thought.

November 15: The Seer

CASSANDRA by Claire Rice, directed by Claire Rice
Sex, love, revenge, war, blood, fire, insanity: Cassandra saw it all before it happened and no one believed her.

November 16: The Survivor

AENEAS or “Burden of the Witless” by Colin Johnson, directed by Colin Johnson
Protected by the Gods for a destiny he cannot understand, a young man goes out in search of purpose, love and shiny things.

November 20: The Tools

GOLDEN APPLES I or “Kalisti” by Helen Noakes, directed by Robert Estes
3 Vain Goddesses + 1 Golden Apple + 1 Lovesick Prince = 1,000 Ships

THE SHIELD- Meg O’Connor, directed by Charles Lewis III
In a world where gods can determine the victors of battle, one god will rise above the rest to ensure justice is served…with a side of spicy black bean dip.

THE HELMET- Meg O’Connor, directed by Robert Estes
Even the hearts of children can grow dark with the bloody rage of war.

THE SPEAR- Neil Higgins, directed by Robert Estes
A spear is a weapon, a tool in the hands of a soldier. But no more so than a mere mortal is a tool in the hands of the gods.

THE SWORD- Tracy Held Potter, directed by Robert Estes
Achilles’ love of battle blinds him from the love he feels for Penthesilea, the Amazon Queen, and her murder unleashes his madness.

THE SHIPS or “Alexis, the Bronze Age Warship” by Tracy Held Potter, directed by Charles Lewis III
A delightful romp through the Aegean Sea during the Trojan War.

THE BOW by Sunil Patel, directed by Charles Lewis III
A love story between a woman and her talking bow.

GOLDEN APPLES II by Allison Page, directed by Charles Lewis III
Paris must choose the fairest of them all in a high stakes game show he didn’t ask to be on – but does his choice really matter, or have the singing Fates aligned without him? Only the Wheel ‘O Fate knows the answer.

November 21: The Battlefield

THE WALLS by Madeline Puccioni, directed by Jonathan Carpenter
What’s a Stone Age Mother Goddess gotta do to change the world – sleep with an Olympian? Yeech.

THE PLAINS by Jeremy Cole, directed by Jonathan Carpenter
Everyone has heard of Helen, Achilles, Cassandra and the Trojan Horse, but who remembers Cycnus, Protesilaus, Aethra or the Memnonides? The plains remember. The plains of Ilium can never forget. Close your eyes. Open your heart. Listen.

November 22: The Problem

HELEN or “Ellen’s Undone” by Sam Hurwitt, directed by Mina Morita
When she left, it started a war. This time, she’s not going anywhere.

November 23: The Solution

THE HORSE or “See Also All” by Stuart Bousel, directed by Ariel Craft
Inside everything is something else.

This year’s festival includes the acting talents of:

Perry Aliado, Yael Aranoff, Erika Bakse, Molly Benson, Karlie Blair, Stuart Bousel, Megan Briggs, Ben Calabrese, Mariah Jane Castle, Melissa Clason, Megan Cohen, Jeremy Cole, Ashley Cowan, Jaime Lee Currier, Lisa Darter, Eli Diamond, Siobhan Doherty, Danielle Doyle, Mackenzie Drae, Colleen Egan, Juliana Egley, Caitlin Evenson, Valerie Fachman, Vince Faso, Allison Fenner, Catz Forsman, Jan Gilbert, Lara Gold, Dana Goldberg, James Grady, Benjamin Grubb, Matt Gunnison, Don Hardwick, John Lennon Harrison, Ryan Hayes, Neil Higgins, Colin Hussey, Paul Jennings, Heather Kellogg, Tavis Kammet, Jordan Kersten, Annabelle King, Ben Knoll, Katrina Kroetch, Dan Kurtz, Susannah Lee, Maria Leigh, Scott Leonard, Yasmine Love, John Lowell, Carl Lucania, Jan Carty Marsh, Brian Martin, Maggie Mason, Armando McClain, Theresa Miller, Mia Nadolski, Karen Offereins, Allison Page, Laura Peterson, Carlye Pollack, Brian Quakenbush, Adam Reese, Kelly Rinehart, Hilda Roe, Paul Rodrigues, Elena Ruggiero, Carina L. Salazar, Stacy Sanders Young, Karl Schackne, Louel Senores, Jeunee Simon, Richard Steel, Paul Stout, Nikolas Strubbe, David Suhl, Michelle Talgarow, Jess Thomas, Veronica Tjioe, Sam Tillis, Katherine Torres, Peter Townley, Alaric Toy, Nick Trengove, Aaron Tworek, Ramya Vijayan, Nicky Weinback, Richard Wenzel, Teri Whipple, Kevin Wisney-Leonard, Shay Wisniewsk

Our fine artists this year are:

Nathan Anderson, Emily Barber, Molly Benson, Lacery Canton, Emmalee Carroll, Liz Conley, Brett Grunig, Rafiq Gulamani, Brooke Harper, Kaitlin Jann, Ashley Kea, Jeffrey Klug, Kelly Lawrence, Karla Macedo, Emily C. Martin, Kelly Rose McClellan, Arielle McKee, Amy Pasos, Jessi Reed, Cody Rishell, Aliana Rood, Celeste Schulte, Caitlin VanArsdale, Brandon Witte, Brian Yee

All the artwork associated with the festival remains on display at the Exit Theatre in San Francisco (156 Eddy Street) for the month of November!

This year’s festival would not have been possible without the support of the following donors (and many more beyond):

Paul Anderson, Kendra Arimoto, Christina Augello, Mary Ann Bell, Jane Bousel, Robin Bousel, Megan Briggs, Rachel Bublitz, Randall Bublitz, John Caldon, Linda-Ruth Cardozo, Jonathan Carpenter, Nat Cassidy, Louise Castaldi, Christie Chew, Andrew Chung, Shelley F. Cohen, Nancy Cooper Frank, Ashley Cowan, Jan Cox, Lisa Darter, Layla Muran de Assereto, Norm DeVeyra, Laura Domingo, Danielle Doyle, Susan Dunn, Colleen Egan, Alisha Ehrlich, Robert Estes, Susan Fairbrook, Margery Fairchild, Sean Fenton, Josh Galyen, Dori Gillam, James Grady, Matt Gunnison, Donald Hardwick, Neil Higgins, Paul Jennings, Barbara Jwanouskos, Meghan Kane, Brian Katz, Katherine Kessinger, Melissa Kelepetar, Dan Kurtz, Carol Lashof, Joyce C. Lashof, Charles Lewis III, Carl Lucania, Morgan Ludlow, Cat Luedtke, Alison Luterman, Brian Martin, T Davina McClain, Jose Mosqueda, Anita Nallathamby, Tonya Narvaez, Scott Neilson, William Newton, Debra O’Connor, Meghan O’Connor, Hector Osorio, Allison Lynn Page, Seanan Palmero, Sunil Patel, Kate Payne, Jacqueline Peters, Bridgette Portman, Tracy Held Potter, Madeline Puccioni, Diane Regas, Martha Richards, Diana Rishell, Jessica Rudholm, Celeste Russi, Carina Salazar, Brian Salomaki, Barbara Selfridge, Kirk Shimano, Dave Sikula, Paul Stout, Marissa Skudlarek, Laura Thompson, Kevin Trowbridge, Eileen Tull, Miguel Veloz, Pete Warden, Wolfgang Weber, Matt Werner, Teri Whipple, Colin Williams, Jason Wong, Lily Yang, Jeffrey Yasskin

CASSANDRA: Part 12

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30th, 2013 by admin

The festival is almost here! Today we present the final installment of Bryce Duzan’s serialized version of his play, CASSANDRA. Thanks for reading and come check out the festival, starting November 6, through November 23rd, for more Trojan madness!

CASSANDRA

by Bryce Duzan

ACT TWO

Scene 6

(We are now back in modern day. APOLLO has just touched his fingers to CASSANDRA’s temples. She now snaps back into reality and pushes him away.)

CASSANDRA
You…Apollo…no! Why do you keep doing this? Why do you keep making me remember what has been?

APOLLO
Why do you keep running, Cassandra? Why do you keep forgetting what has been?

CASSANDRA
You know why, scum. I run…I forget…to stay away from you.

APOLLO
And I keep following. I will keep following you. Don’t you see? Don’t you see my love yet?

CASSANDRA
How blind are you that you think this is love? How unaware of humanity can you be? This is not love, Apollo. This is obsession.

APOLLO
A man who will never leave your side. Some women would die to have such a lover. Why not you?

CASSANDRA
I am not “some women.” I am Cassandra of Troy. You made me rise above when you scarred me with your “gift.”

APOLLO
You never think of it? Think of life with me? Love with me?

CASSANDRA
Of course I do.

APOLLO
Really?

CASSANDRA
Yes…oh Apollo, it would have been so good. If you had only…

APOLLO
Only what, Cassandra?

CASSANDRA
Only respected me. But you do not. Now I’ll ask that you leave.

APOLLO
I will not, Cassandra. I have a purpose for coming this time…more than usual, that is.

CASSANDRA
What kind of purpose is that?

(APOLLO ignores her question and begins to move around the room, inspecting the house.)

APOLLO
You have done well for yourself, Cassandra. What do you do now?

CASSANDRA
I work for a lawyer. I try to help people. It’s a simple home and a simple life…what I’ve always wanted.

APOLLO
And you live here by yourself?

CASSANDRA
No, with my daughters.

APOLLO
(Surprised.)
You have children?

CASSANDRA
Indeed I do, Apollo.

APOLLO
With whom?

CASSANDRA
Do I sense a twinge of jealousy?

APOLLO
I am…merely curious, of course.

(He is clearly lying.)

CASSANDRA
Of course. Well, you’ll be relieved to know that they are not mine. Biologically, anyway. I adopted them when they were both very young and raised them myself.

APOLLO
Yourself? Why?

CASSANDRA
Because I’ve always wanted children…and have never wanted a husband.

APOLLO
Hm, I see. What are their names?

CASSANDRA
Hecuba and Helen.

APOLLO
Your mother and…why Helen? Why not your blood sister?

CASSANDRA
My sister holds a place in my heart. Helen and my mother were influential to my life. I will never forget any of my family for as long as I live, but those two…I hear their words and advice in my mind always. Now they live with me. They are…both very good girls. I think I did pretty well.

APOLLO
I see. Congratulations.

CASSANDRA
Thank you.

(There is a heavy pause.)

APOLLO
Well, then…

CASSANDRA
Yes. Why are you here this time, Apollo?

APOLLO
I have come to give you a choice.

CASSANDRA
Let me guess. You’ve derived a scheme. Choose eternal life and love with you, or else something terrible will happen, yes?

APOLLO
Something like that, yes.

CASSANDRA
What makes you think this time will be any different?

APOLLO
Because this is something you want. Come with me, Cassandra…or I will let you go.

CASSANDRA
…what?

APOLLO
That’s what you want, isn’t it? You want death. Release from this prison called the earth. And I can give it to you.

CASSANDRA
No…why now? I finally have a life, a life I can be proud of. Why have you come to rip that away from me? Come back in fifty years, when I am supposed to retire and my children have lived long, happy lives. Come back then, when I should be ready to pass on, and then I will gladly take death then!

APOLLO
Don’t you see? That is precisely why I have come at this time in your long, long life. Because now is when you are at your peak. Think of it: if you die now, what will happen to your children? The people who depend on you? They will suffer because of your choice. And that is something you could not possibly bear, is it?

CASSANDRA
You bastard. You clever, cruel bastard. Why would you do this?

APOLLO
Because I know that this is my only chance to finally have you.

CASSANDRA
Please…Apollo, I beg you. Don’t make me do this!

APOLLO
I’m sorry, Cassandra, but now is the time.

CASSANDRA
Is it really so easy to cut these binds that have held me for so long?

APOLLO
Easier than you know.

(APOLLO extracts a dagger from a pocket. It is golden and shines with an unnatural light. He shows it to CASSANDRA, who recoils slightly.)

CASSANDRA
What…a knife?

APOLLO
One of the last artifacts from our time. It can free you…for good.

CASSANDRA
I…I don’t know, Apollo.

APOLLO
We have time, Cassandra. I can wait.

CASSANDRA
But…the girls! They’ll be back soon!

APOLLO
Then I suppose that you do not have any time left. How ironic. You are always the one making me chase you through time, and now you are the one who is out of it.

CASSANDRA
No, I can’t do this…not now!

APOLLO
Take it, Cassandra! Feel your freedom in your hands!

(APOLLO grabs CASSANDRA by the wrist. She struggles, trying to get away, as he puts the handle in her hand. Once she is holding it, she calms. She analyzes it.)

CASSANDRA
(With wonder.)
I can feel how powerful it is just by touch…

APOLLO
It is with great pain that I bring it here. Now the question is…will you use it?

CASSANDRA
What if I do?

(A long pause.)

APOLLO
I…do not know.

CASSANDRA
Are you that confidant that I will go with you? Or simply that desperate? Furthermore, what if I do go with you? I will be leaving my children behind all the same.

APOLLO
You can stay with them. Fifty years, as you say. Then you come with me.

CASSANDRA
I see… (Her eyes wander back to the blade.) And there is no other way?

APOLLO
There is no running this time, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
Why is that?

APOLLO
That would be worse than death for you and you know it. You would run and leave your children behind? No, I don’t believe you will.

CASSANDRA
(Sighing.) You are right. It is strange… Clytemnestra told me that someday I may have to resort to violence. I did not believe her until now.

APOLLO
We all have lessons to learn, Cassandra. I hope you have learned-

(CASSANDRA stabs APOLLO in the stomach with the dagger. Shocked, he gasps, falling to his knees. She lets go of the dagger, leaving it in him.)

APOLLO
What…what are you doing, Cassandra?!

CASSANDRA
We must all make our own path, Apollo. I am making mine. The children will be home soon. Once they are… I’m taking them far away from here.

APOLLO
This is murder, Cassandra!

CASSANDRA
It would seem so.

APOLLO
I…I only loved you, Cassandra. Is that a crime?

CASSANDRA
You know everything wrong with that statement, Apollo.

APOLLO
What will you do when I’m gone? My curse will remain…and the dagger is spent. You will be immortal forevermore!

CASSANDRA
You’re right. Though it gives me grief to do so, I must…

(CASSANDRA kneels next to APOLLO. She wrenches the dagger out of him. He grunts in pain. The dagger already has lost its luster and is rusted. She tosses it aside and puts her hands on APOLLO’s wounds.)

APOLLO
What are you-

CASSANDRA
Shut up. Look me in the eyes, Apollo. (He does.) I am taking this wound from you. It will not manifest now, but in fifty years, it will appear on me. I will die. In pain or in peace, it does not matter. I will die. You will not. That is my gift…to you.

(CASSANDRA takes her hands off of APOLLO. His wound is gone.)

APOLLO
What…but how?

CASSANDRA
It seems you gave me a bit more of yourself than you’d intended.

APOLLO
I’m healed.

CASSANDRA
Yes. And your hold over me is broken.

APOLLO
Cassandra…

CASSANDRA
You can leave now.

APOLLO
This…this can’t be! This isn’t over, Cassandra!

CASSANDRA
No, it most certainly is over. For good.

(APOLLO tries to work up his anger, but he cannot. He is utterly defeated.)

APOLLO
I…am sorry, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
I know. There is nothing left to say. Please go.

APOLLO
(Looks out the door, then at CASSANDRA.)
As you wish.

(APOLLO walks to the door. He gives one final look at CASSANDRA, then departs. She breathes, a heavy, healthy breath, and exhales. She smiles. It is bright and lit with true happiness. The smile of a prisoner freed.)

CASSANDRA
It…is over. By everything good, it is over.

(HELEN and HECUBA enter.)

HECUBA
Mom? Is everything okay? Why is the door open?

CASSANDRA
Oh, girls, you’re home! The cable man just left. Said he needed some tools from work and would be back in a little bit.

HECUBA
Oh, okay.

HELEN
Are you alright, Mom? You look…different?

CASSANDRA
What do you mean?

HELEN
I dunno. You just look…really happy, I guess!

CASSANDRA
(Smiling.) I am, dear. I am. (She hugs them both.) I love you both so much. More than you can ever know.

(BLACKOUT)

(END OF SHOW)

CASSANDRA: Part 11

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28th, 2013 by admin

Here’s another installment of Bryce Duzan’s CASSANDRA play, which we’re serializing this year to help build your appetite for the festival in November. Enjoy!

CASSANDRA

by Bryce Duzan

ACT TWO

Scene 5

(It is now 1918, just after the end of the first World War. The scene opens on an abandoned and mostly destroyed European village. CASSANDRA is sitting, leaning against a bombed-out building. She is weeping, her head in her hands. There is a pall of stillness in the air. Eventually, the silence is broken by APOLLO, trudging through the mist. He has a look of shock and bewilderment. CASSANDRA quickly looks up at his entrance. She sees him, and in a flash is on her feet, charging him. She pushes him to the ground and stands over him.)

CASSANDRA
You! Why are you here?

APOLLO
Cassandra…! I felt you were here.

CASSANDRA
Yes, I am here. Now why are you here?

APOLLO
I…what has happened? The last four years…how gripped in madness the world was! The horrors…they called it a World War. The world…gripped in flames. This is what you saw, isn’t it?

CASSANDRA
Yes. This is what I tried to prevent. I failed, clearly. Every move stymied. Every truth turned aside. How could this happen? How could I let this happen?

APOLLO
At least…it is over now.

CASSANDRA
No, you stupid fool! Fifteen more years and it will happen again! This time longer and even more bloody! The millions put to death…oh gods, it is terrible!

(APOLLO finally stands back up and composes himself.)

APOLLO
Then will you try to prevent it as well?

CASSANDRA
Why? Why should I bother trying just to fail again? Why am I forced to be the one to try to save an unwitting world? Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you try to save them?

APOLLO
I…can’t.

CASSANDRA
What?

APOLLO
I lack the power now.

CASSANDRA
You lost it? How?

APOLLO
There is no faith in the gods of yore now. They believe their one, or they place belief in their own capabilities. I do not blame them. What have we done? What…have I done to help them? Now I cannot. I can do nothing but stand by in mute terror. For eternity, I assume.

CASSANDRA
And I…?

APOLLO
You are the only one keeping me here, Cassandra. Please, go with me. The others have left this world already. They wait for me in Olympus.

CASSANDRA
No.

APOLLO
Why not?

CASSANDRA
Do you not understand, Apollo? I do not want to live anymore! I am but a mortal! I am not fit to live forever. Please, end this torment!

APOLLO
If you die, Cassandra, then surely I will follow.

CASSANDRA
Idiot! You claim love. You claim devotion. Yet where are you when I try to fulfill my hopes and dreams? Nowhere! Or worse, stymying me at every turn! Taunting me for trying to help this blasted earth. If you truly love me…then help me. Help me do what I can to prevent this from happening again.

APOLLO
You…mean this?

CASSANDRA
Yes. If you love me so, then prove it.

APOLLO
…I can’t.

CASSANDRA
What?

APOLLO
I cannot submit myself to these horrors again.

CASSANDRA
You…refuse? I can’t believe it.

APOLLO
Cassandra, listen to me. If you succeed, who is to say that this won’t just happen again? You can’t prevent every war that will be waged. That is madness!

CASSANDRA
You…coward! I should have known it. From the day you cursed me the first time, back in the days of Troy, I should have known that you were nothing but a coward. Only have the strength to toy with girls who don’t know what love is, is that it? You can taunt me with every waking moment, but you can’t stand up to other mortals?

APOLLO
Cassandra, it is impossible this thing you ask of me! You want to end war as a concept! That is not a doable thing for two to do, even if both are immortal.

CASSANDRA
It is my path. It is what I choose to do. It may be madness but it provides the only solace I have in life.

APOLLO
…I can’t walk that path with you, Cassandra. I…I am sorry.

CASSANDRA
I see. You disappoint me, Apollo. I had hoped that you were more than words, but I see that is simply not true. Then…I have nothing to do with you. Except…I do have a request.

APOLLO
You do? Name it.

CASSANDRA
Kill me.

APOLLO
What?

CASSANDRA
If you will not help me, then I want you to end my curse. It is the least you can do, and I will accept it as penance for the tragedy you have inflicted upon my life.

APOLLO
I…no! I will not do such a thing!

CASSANDRA
You cannot even do this for me?!

APOLLO
Cassandra, the tragedies I just witnessed…you want me to contribute to that? I will not do it.

CASSANDRA
Do not think of yourself as above those actions, Apollo. You are not. In fact, do not think of it as violence at all. Think of it as a kindness.

APOLLO
I am sorry once again, Cassandra. I cannot—will not—do it.

CASSANDRA
So you will not help me and you will not end me. Apparently, all you can do is torment me and nothing else!

APOLLO
Cassandra, if you’d just let me, I can make sure-

CASSANDRA
Enough, Apollo. Please. I will not go with you.

APOLLO
(Getting angry.) Do not act as if my presence has been a burden, Cassandra! I have only wanted to make you happy, yet you insist on trying to pursue your foolish desires! What fault is it of mine not to help you in a mad and futile task?

CASSANDRA
And you don’t act as if you didn’t curse me in the first place as a punishment! It has always been your intent to cause me pain, no matter what your silver tongue would have you say!

APOLLO
(Scoffing.) Believe what you would like, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
I would say the same, Apollo.

APOLLO
It seems that we are at an impasse, then.

CASSANDRA
If you will not join me, and you will not kill me, then I will have nothing to do with you.

APOLLO
I will not leave you, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
Then I will be rid of you.

APOLLO
And how do you propose that?

CASSANDRA
I haven’t figured it out yet. How do you always know where I am?

APOLLO
Why should I tell you?

CASSANDRA
Aren’t I your one and only love? The one that you bare your soul to? Is it my curse? When I tell the future you can sense it somehow?

APOLLO
No…

CASSANDRA
Then what? It must be something. You can’t simply know where I am at all times. Especially now that you have lost most of your power.

APOLLO
I could tell you, but…

CASSANDRA
But?

APOLLO
You wouldn’t like it.

CASSANDRA
I doubt that has stopped you before. (Silence.) Fine. At least tell me if I guess correctly, then?

APOLLO
Fine.

CASSANDRA
So…if it’s not when I see the future…(She looks to him for confirmation. He shakes his head “no.”)…then what could it be? You are always showing up the most inopportune times. Every time I need to air out my plans to someone, or when I least need someone there to tell me I’m wrong. You always show right when I want to try to do something dramatic. It’s almost as if… (She stops.) No.

APOLLO
Like I said. You wouldn’t like it.

CASSANDRA
You can’t tell when I’m going to see the future. You can tell when I’m going to change it. Please tell me I’m wrong.

APOLLO
I’m afraid you have it exactly.

CASSANDRA
Then…if I am to be rid of you…

APOLLO
Then you have to give up on your mad quest.

CASSANDRA
Even when you don’t mean to, you punish me. You rend me in two with your very existence, Apollo. You are truly a cruel and unforgiving god.

APOLLO
Cassandra, listen to reason-

CASSANDRA
I’ll do it.

APOLLO
What?

CASSANDRA
I’ll stop.

APOLLO
Then…you’ll come with me?

CASSANDRA
Oh, no. I will never do that. I’m going to stop, but on my own terms. If I cannot change the world, then I will do the only thing I can think of.

APOLLO
Which is…?

CASSANDRA
I’ll forget. I will make myself forget. There is no point in what I’m doing anyway, is there? I do nothing but fail. So I will make myself forget everything. My past will be erased, and I will start a new life.

APOLLO
You’ll forget everything?

CASSANDRA
Yes. Maybe, if I can forget the horrors I’ve experienced…maybe, for once…I can be happy.

APOLLO
I’ll find you, Cassandra. You will slip up eventually. You cannot repress your gift forever. And when you make a mistake…I will be there. Eventually…you will be mine. I swear it!

CASSANDRA
We shall see, Apollo.

(APOLLO leaves. For a moment, all is still, then CASSANDRA leaves in the opposite direction.)

(BLACKOUT)

Only one more installment to go! Check back soon!

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CASSANDRA: Part 10

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25th, 2013 by admin

Here’s another installment of Bryce Duzan’s CASSANDRA play, which we’re serializing this year to help build your appetite for the festival in November. Enjoy!

CASSANDRA

by Bryce Duzan

Act Two

Scene Four

(It is now the mid-1800s, in the lobby of the Ford Theater, the day of Abraham Lincoln’s death. CASSANDRA paces in the lobby. She is dressed for the times, wearing a fine gown. However, she looks tired. Eternally tired.)

CASSANDRA
Why am I here? On another fool’s errand? Trying to stop a future hurtling towards me with impossible speed? Towards this…gods-forsaken world? Why do I keep trying? All I do is fail. It seems insurmountable. Even more aggravating is the fact that every time I try to change the future…I always feel him.

(As she says this, APOLLO enters the theater, dressed in a fine suit.)

APOLLO
Thinking of me, love?

CASSANDRA
Apollo! What are you doing here?

APOLLO
I could ask the same of you! It doesn’t seem like you’re here to take in a night of theater. Though, if you are, I do have a spare ticket…

CASSANDRA
You’re right, I’m not here for the show. I’m here to save the president. He is going to be assassinated after the show.

APOLLO
By one of the actors, yes, a Mr. John Wilkes Booth. And, let me guess, you want to stop him?

CASSANDRA
Of course. President Lincoln’s assassination would send the country into turmoil, so shortly after it has settled into peace.

APOLLO
Let them tear themselves apart! This young country was founded on the wrong ideals anyhow.

CASSANDRA
Wrong ideals? The United States of America was founded on the principles of freedom, justice, liberty-

APOLLO
And in the same breath was built on the back of slavery and oppression!

CASSANDRA
They are young. They will learn.

APOLLO
You are…ever the optimist, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
Perhaps I am. I prefer wide-eyed optimism to harsh pessimism, at least.

(There is a pause.)

APOLLO
So where have you been for so long? I’d lost track of you in the seas of time.

CASSANDRA
That can’t be. I always felt your presence at times like these.

APOLLO
You must have been imagining things. “Times like these?” So you’ve tried to influence time before? After our little Caesar incident, that is.

CASSANDRA
Tried, yes. But rarely succeeded.

APOLLO
Do tell.

CASSANDRA
I don’t have time for this, Apollo.

APOLLO
Nonsense. You’re quite early. Booth won’t be here for some time, and the audience won’t be arriving until long after that.

CASSANDRA
(Sighs.) Fine. Where do I start…I hid myself from the world after Caesar’s death. I was ashamed that I had failed. For a long time I hid and lost myself in thought. When I emerged…the world had changed. The proud Roman people with their gladiators, their stolen gods, and their Senate had gone. In their place were knights clad in iron, monarchs ruling strips of land, and a strict system of honor. I saw an emperor rise to power, uniting the kingdoms. All of this and I stood by and watched. In Rome, the popes rose and fell, one after another, a line of religious leaders. Then, one of them sounded a call for action. He called them the Crusades. It was to be a massacre.

APOLLO
And so you acted?

CASSANDRA
I tried, yes. But my words could not convince the pope, and I feared if I said too much, I would be accused of blasphemy. The tenants of this religion called Christianity were much more strict when it came to…the old ways.

APOLLO
Yes, I’ve noticed.

CASSANDRA
…what is your life like now?

APOLLO
What?

CASSANDRA
Well, at least in Rome, they still knew you, though you were called by a different name.

APOLLO
They still know the name of Apollo here!

CASSANDRA
Hardly. They speak of you like a fairy tale. It’s just a word to them. They do not truly know you like the Greeks did. I’m surprised you haven’t…

APOLLO
Haven’t what?

CASSANDRA
No, nothing, don’t pay me any attention.

APOLLO
Well…it’s true. They do not worship me as the Greeks did. They do not tell my stories like the Romans did. They hardly acknowledge my existence except in some scattered writings. It is…infuriating. I was…I am a god! I deserve respect!

CASSANDRA
So…why do you not make them respect you?

APOLLO
I…I will. (For a moment, his composure is gone. He is lost. Then, it’s back, and he is all charm again.) But anyhow, this isn’t about me, is it? It’s about you. Please continue.

CASSANDRA
Alright…the next event I met a French girl named Jeanne. I saw her future, a future where her country was crushed, leading to England becoming too strong and crushing the world in a tyrannical grip. However, I saw that Jeanne was special, and that she could help me change fate.

APOLLO
How was she special?

CASSANDRA
Well, I do not know how, but when I spoke frankly and told her the future…she believed me. Immediately.

APOLLO
What? That isn’t possible!

CASSANDRA
Trust me, I know, Apollo. (Pause.) I told her what I had seen, and she said…she called me an angel sent by God to lead her people to victory. I…was just so happy that someone believed me for once.

APOLLO
So what went wrong?

CASSANDRA
What?

APOLLO
We both know how this story ends, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
She…was too eager. After she won battle after battle, I saw the future change. She would be captured and executed for heresy. Somehow, she knew I was hiding something. She demanded the full story.

APOLLO
Which was?

CASSANDRA
That her death would be a symbol for the French people. That years afterwards she would provide strength to them in times of need. She sacrificed herself, even when I begged her not to. I…let her die.

APOLLO
And what if you had protected her? Then your original vision would have come true! Would you protect one girl in exchange for a country?

CASSANDRA
No, but…I was close to her. I felt like a sister to her. I had…not been that close to someone in a long time.

APOLLO
Cassandra…

CASSANDRA
I am not like you, Apollo. I do not have godhood to keep me busy. I am merely a mortal who cannot age. Why…why make friends when they just die in a matter of time? Why try to get close to someone? All it ends with…is pain. Pain at the loss. By now, I have seen babies born, age, die, and decay to dust. I have seen empires rise and fall. But her death…I was there, Apollo.

APOLLO
I’m sorry, Cassandra.

CASSANDRA
You wouldn’t understand, Apollo. You and your kind are much too alien to understand true grief.

APOLLO
I…did not intend to hurt you, Cassandra. I merely meant-

CASSANDRA
To punish me.

APOLLO
No! I was just trying-

CASSANDRA
Do not try to twist your words, Apollo! I know why you have cursed me. Cursed me twice, even. If you wanted to apologize for your actions, you have had plenty of time. I have wandered the world waiting for the end to come, and it still has not.

APOLLO
Is that what you want, Cassandra? The end to come?

CASSANDRA
I do not want to be timeless, Apollo. I do not want to see everyone I meet crumble into dust in front of me. I do not want to see this world crumble and rebuild itself anymore. I…I just can’t.

APOLLO
Then join me and give up this pain at last! You will never feel pain again by my side, I swear it.

CASSANDRA
Never. I would rather rot here and be free than be a slave to you.

APOLLO
You would not be a slave, Cassandra. I would treat you-

CASSANDRA
Hush! He’s coming.

(JOHN WILKES BOOTH enters. He is a proud Southern man. He is dressed well and seems to be in a hurry.)

APOLLO
That is him?

CASSANDRA
Yes. Excuse me, sir, Mr. Booth?

BOOTH
Yes? Can I help you, miss?

CASSANDRA
(Curtsies slightly.) Cassie Sanders, Mr. Booth. I wanted to speak with you before the play.

BOOTH
Well aren’t you a pretty face? (Glances at APOLLO.) This your husband?

CASSANDRA
(Chuckles.) God, no.

BOOTH
Well then, what can I do for you? Need an autograph signed?

CASSANDRA
Not exactly, no.

BOOTH
What is it then?

CASSANDRA
You need to not kill Lincoln today.

BOOTH
…I’m sorry, what?

CASSANDRA
You’re planning on assassinating President Lincoln today at the show. You can’t do it.

BOOTH
I’m sorry, lass, but you’re not making any sense! Why would I kill the president of the United States?

CASSANDRA
You’re an accomplished actor, Mr. Booth, but I know what you will do. You hate President Lincoln, and you think assassinating him is the only way to fix things. I’m here to tell you that you are very wrong.

BOOTH
So what, are you going to arrest me?

CASSANDRA
No, I’m here to simply ask you. Don’t do it.

BOOTH
How do you know I’m going to kill him?

CASSANDRA
I have my ways, Mr. Booth.

BOOTH
Look, why not? He smothered the South, that son of a bitch, he deserves to pay for what he did to my people!

CASSANDRA
John, you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know the implications of your actions! If you kill him then the South will suffer even more.

BOOTH
How do you know what will happen to the South?

CASSANDRA
Because…I’ve seen it.

BOOTH
…right. And I’m the queen of England. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a show to perform.

CASSANDRA
Mr. Booth, please see reason! (He turns to leave.) They’ll catch you within the month. (He stops.) In that month, you will despair as you learn that the entire country, North and South, mourns. It will happen at a farm. You refuse to leave, so they set it on fire. An officer, full of rage, shoots you. You die in a puddle of your own blood. And you are vilified for the rest of history. Is that how you want this to happen?

BOOTH
You…who are you?

CASSANDRA
More than you can comprehend, Mr. Booth.

(Suddenly, audience members begin to trickle in.)

BOOTH
He’s coming…!

(He turns to leave.)

CASSANDRA
Booth, wait! (He leaves.) DAMN IT!

APOLLO
He seemed shaken by your words. Perhaps that was enough?

CASSANDRA
No. It hasn’t changed…nothing has changed! (She stares hard at APOLLO.) This isn’t over. It won’t happen. I won’t let it!

APOLLO
Let what happen, Cassandra? (She exits.) Cassandra, wait!

(BLACKOUT)

Check back next week for the last installment!

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