Check out Art Director Cody Rishell’s amazing image for this year’s festival, WINE DARK SEA! And be sure to keep your eye on this page for further updates about all the exciting art, artists, new plays, and more coming this year!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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 :
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
CENTAURS by Megan Cohen, directed by Ellery Schaar
SATYRS by Annette Roman and Bryant Turnage, directed by Greg Young
PEGASUS by Kirk Shimano, directed by Sam Tillis
PAN by Stuart Bousel, directed by Stuart Bousel
HYDRA by Tonya Narvaez, directed by Tonya Narvaez
TYPHON by Colin Johnson, directed by Colin Johnson
ARGUS by Peter Hsieh, directed by Rory Strahan-Mauk
POLYPHEMUS by Vince Faso, directed by Rory Strahan-Mauk
CERBERUS by Allison Page, directed by Allison Page
CHIMERA by Annie Paladino, directed by Addie Ulrey
GERYON by Rachel Kessinger Bublitz, directed by Ariel Craft
MINOTAUR by Veronica Tjioe, directed by Veronica Tjioe
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
SPHINX by Jeremy Geist, directed by Christine Keating
MEDUSA by Andrew Saito, directed by Rem Myers
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 email@example.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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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
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.
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!
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.
Mary Ann Bell
Randall F Bublitz
Benjamin J. Calabrese
Michelle M. Carter
Lily Chih-Yuan Yang
Christie K. Chew
Shelly F Cohen
The Cutting Ball Theatre Company
Susan M. Dunn
M Colleen Egan
Juliana E Egley
The EXIT Theatre
Donna L. Fujita
James M Grady
Leah C. Halper
Barbara M. Jwanouskos
Heather S. Kellogg
Sylvia M. Kratins
Joyce C Lashof
Charles S. Lewis III
Max L. Meyers
Laylah Muran de Assereto
Tonya J. Narvaez
William T Newton
James D O’Connor
Alan L Olejniczak
Kathleen M Payne
Evelyn Jean Pine
Tracy L. Potter
Bridgette A. Portman
Kelly L. Rinehart
Hilda L. Roe
Kirk A. Shimano
Elizabeth Lilia Vega
Wine & Spirits Magazine
Frederick L. Yudin
The Monster Ball is Here!
This year we are excited to debut 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 from Greek mythology. The 2014 festival will play 12 nights, November 5-22, Wednesday through Saturday, at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco (156 Eddy Street). Tickets are $10.00 at the door, and can be purchased starting at 7:30 the night of the show. All shows begin at 8 PM. Audience members who attend more than four nights get the fifth free.
This year’s fine artists include: Molly Benson, Liz Conley, Maxon Crumb, Brett Grunig, Lacey C. Hawkins, Rusty Jackson, Emily C. Martin, Tonya Narvaez, Ashley Ramos, Cody Rishell, Aliana Rood, Michelle Talgarow, Brian Yee. The art will be on display at the EXIT Theatre the entire month of November!
This year’s lineup, all shows beginning at 8 PM.
November 5: Nymphs! Nymphs! Nymphs!
ASTERIAE or KING SISYPHUS by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Valerie Fachman
When you’re trying to cheat death, it helps to have an immortal star-nymph as a wife. Or does it? A play in verse about the trickster Sisyphus and his wife, the Pleiad Merope.
DRYADS or THE DRYAD OF SUBURBIA by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Valerie Fachman
In a suburban neighborhood blighted by both conformity and drought, Tom and Heidi’s daughter is convinced that she’s a tree spirit. Is this an innocent childhood game or a harmful delusion?
LAMPADES or LAMP RITUAL by Sam Bertken, Scott Baker
What is your greatest fear? Darkness? Madness? Losing a loved one? The reading of Lamp Ritual profiles an experiential piece that seeks to conquer your darkest nightmares.
NAIADS by Jennifer Roberts, directed by Valerie Fachman
When the CEO of Archon Energy, the world’s most powerful utility company, tries to greenwash away responsibility for dumping toxins into a dying river, a Naiad tries to inspire her to reconsider, but who will pay the ultimate price?
NEPHELE by Siyu Song, directed by Scott Baker
Watch Zeus take to the latest trend in online dating as he Catfishes an unsuspecting human – what happens at 6:34 of this play will ASTOUND you.
NEREIDS or THE WEAVERS by Sam Hurwitt, directed by Scott Baker
Odysseus is gone again, and Penelope isn’t waiting around anymore. Looking up all her husband’s old girlfriends, she finds the sea nymph Calypso spoiling for a fight.
OCEANIDS or THE DAUGHTERS OF OCEAN by Carol Lashof, directed by Valerie Fachman
In the war to restore Paganism, Prometheus has been taken captive by the ruling Christian Theocratic party. His wife, the sea nymph Hesione, is desperate to rescue him, but to reach his side she must cross a terrifying human city crowded with air-breathers, highways, and big box stores.
OREADS or POWER FORWARD by Leah Halper, directed by Scott Baker
Chelone, a mountain nymph and protector of tortoises, is the only immortal to stand up to Zeus on the matter of his coerced marriage to Hera–but her defiance may be contagious in this Silicon Valley re-conception of the myth that explained why tortoises have shells.
November 6: Half-Men
CENTAURS or THE HORSE’S ASS by Megan Cohen, directed by Ellery Schaar
A postmodern vaudeville comedy for two hilarious women, who spend a fleet forty minutes taking turns being the butt of the joke. Writer Megan Cohen (SF’s most-produced female playwright, Theatre Bay Area “Keep An Eye On” Emerging Artist Honoree, Neo-Futurist) saddles up history’s greatest half-human half-equine metaphor for a ride through power dynamics, carrots, and sticks.
SATYRS or SATYR NIGHT FEVER by Annette Roman and Bryant Turnage, directed by Greg Young
Since when did “horny as a goat” become a bad thing? A satyr who’s lost his mojo hires a modern-day pick-up artist as a dating coach in this bawdy romantic comedy exploring dating taboos past and present, real and mythic.
November 7: Winged Wonder
PEGASUS or PEGASUS: THE MOVIE (THE PLAY) by Kirk Shimano, directed by Sam Tillis
The story of the myth-makers of today, as a ragtag visual effect company scrambles to create an all-digital creature without destroying themselves in the process.
November 8: The Lord of The Beasts
PAN or PANDEMONIUM by Stuart Bousel, directed by Stuart Bousel
In a first for the festival, Stuart Bousel adapts six stories by E.M. Forster into a sprawling epic about a group of travelers whose lives are forever changed by a shared afternoon in the hills of Italy.
November 12: Deadly Dragons
TYPHON or THE BOOK OF TYPHON by Colin Johnson, directed by Colin Johnson
When a bizarre, withered text falls into the possession of one Malcolm Bodwin, it exposes him to the world’s oldest, most unspeakable evil.
HYDRA by Tonya Narvaez, directed by Tonya Narvaez
A family’s monsters come back to terrorize them. How far will they go to hide their past?
November 13: Evil Eyes
ARGUS by Peter Hsieh, directed by Rory Strahan-Mauk
After an embarrassing “Swan incident” scandal, Hera summons super surveillance drone Argus to spy on her husband Zeus. Trouble ensues when Hera discovers that Zeus had picked up a girl he met at a night club and turned her into a heifer in order to keep her hidden. Featuring sex, violence, blackmail, scandal, indestructible private jets, Ryan Gosling Mods, and Lars Von Trier’s entire filmography.
POLYPHEMUS by Vince Faso, directed by Rory Strahan-Mauk
Polyphemus, the hulking, savage, man-eating Cyclops, was outsmarted, blinded, and humiliated by the crafty Odysseus. Years later, when fate brings them together again, will there be room for forgiveness, or just dessert?
November 14: Three Heads Too Many
CERBERUS or HELLHOUND by Allison Page, directed by Allison Page
Six attractive 18 year olds fueled by teenage lust go camping in the woods and stumble across The River Styx, causing a three headed monster to pursue them with bloody fervor. It’s The Breakfast Club meets Cabin In The Woods meets a giant three-headed hellhound. Button up that letterman jacket – it’s going to be a bumpy night.
CHIMERA by Annie Paladino, directed by Addie Ulrey
A patchwork play for a patchwork monster, CHIMERA smashes together three stories–from the past, a dreamy version of the present, and an imagined future–of women who are not at ease in their own skin. Literary heroines, a woman whose body is literally coming apart at the seams, and a robotic superhero toy in need of a replacement head are spliced together to form the ugly, baffling monster that is this play.
November 15: Lone Hunters
GERYON or THE RED HOUSE MONSTER by Rachel Bublitz, directed by Ariel Craft
The largest house on the island sits high upon a hill, chains wrap around the doors and windows. No one can remember if these barricades were intended to keep the villagers out, or to keep the inhabitants within.
MINOTAUR by Veronica Tjioe, directed by Veronica Tjioe
A play for anyone who has ever felt lost and a profound sense of “in-betweeness” and would please like to know which way is out, thankyouverymuch. It is also good for lovers of cheap wine, close friends, and the merits of a nice ball of string.
November 19: Triple Threats
SIRENS or THE SISTERS SIRENE by Amelia Bethel and Christine Keating, directed by Libby Vega
The five Siren sisters have been maintaining chaos and bringing sexy back for millennia, but what happens when one sister longs for a new, less brutal, life? If you like sex and gore, with a sprinkle of mythological fervor, you’ll love The Sisters Sirene.
THE GRAEAE by Madeline Puccioni, directed by Libby Vega
The Three Graeae are the oldest goddesses in the world…so old they only have one eye and one tooth between them. Enyo’s the grumpiest, Deino is the best chef, and Pamphredo can still shape shift into a swan or a siren…sometimes both. Then she falls in love with Perseus, who will betray them all to find out where their sister Medusa lives…
HARPIES by Victoria Chong Der, directed by Libby Vega
Never mess with sisters.
November 20: Dangerous Brains
SPHINX by Jeremy Geist, directed by Christine Keating
After Oedipus guesses the Sphinx’s riddle, the Sphinx’s writing staff desperately tries to come up with a new one.
November 21, 2014: Dangerous Beauty
MEDUSA or BEAUTY SECRETS * by Andrew Saito, directed by Rem Myers
Medusa, a Kim Kardashian-esque celebrity, has an accident that severely scars her face and head while filming her first major movie, playing Helen of Troy. She retreats into seclusion. Years later, Medusa takes a blind sculptor as her live-in lover. His brother, Percy, an Air Force veteran, soon visits. He recognizes Medusa from her former life, and decides to share her face with the world.
* Beauty Secrets by Andrew Saito was co-commissioned by the Cutting Ball Theater where Saito is the current Andrew Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence.
November 22: Vagina Dentata
CHARYBDIS by Ashley Cowan, directed by Melinda Marks
It’s the night before Thanksgiving in an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Only, things aren’t that anonymous when you’re starving and you run into your old high school classmates. So grab a snack and learn the tale of the lady who turned a sea monster for having an appetite.
ECHIDNA by Neil Higgins, directed by Melinda Marks
A serial killer is terrorizing San Francisco. Can gritty, play-by-his-own-rules Detective Argus stop the killer in time? Or has he finally met his match?
SCYLLA or DEATH BY THE HALF-DOZEN by Christian Simonsen, directed by Melinda Marks
Scylla is about to devour six of Odysseus’ battle-weary sailors. But instead of hungry reptilian jaws, each victim will see a vision of the one person in his life that inflicted – or received – the most pain. Are a woman’s tears really sharper than a serpent’s tooth?
Our incredible acting company this year includes Vonn Scott Bair, Erika Bakse, Patrick Barresi, Stuart Bousel, Molly Benson, Megan Briggs, Xanadu Bruggers, Sarah Rose Butler, Andrew Calabrese, Andrew Chung, Tony Cirimele, Megan Cohen, George Coker, Michael Conner, Alan Coyne, Colleen Egan, Juliana Egley, Alisha Ehrlich, Fatima Zahra El Filali, Nkechi Emeruwa, Angela Entzminger, Caitlin Evenson, Vince Faso, Allison Fenner, Jean Forsman, Rose Marie Fox, Frankie G., Tim Garcia, Jan Gilbert, Lorenz Gonzalez, James Grady, Ben Grubb, Matt Gunnison, Audrey Hannah, Mary Cait Hogan, Monica Ho, J Jha, Shelley Lynn Johnson, Heather Kellogg, Gabriel Kenney, Sunee Kiernan, Annabelle King, Abni Kris, Katrina Kroetch, Dan Kurtz, Keith Larson, Maria Leigh, William Leschber, Charles Lewis III, Carl Lucania, Adam Magill, Brian Martin, Mary Matabor, Stacey Matthews-Winn, Carlos Mendoza, Kelvyn Mitchell, Tonya Narvaez, Trinity Nay, Eden Neuendorf, Michelle Owen, Allison Page, Sunil Patel, Danielle Perata, Genevieve Perdue, Laura Peterson, Gabrielle Poccia, Scott Ragle, Radhika Rao, Leer Relleum, Nickolas Rice, Paul Rodrigues, Hilda Roe, Tina Rutsch, Sharon Rylander, Sophia Santulli, Kim Saunders, Karl Schackne, Samantha Schmitt, Amber Sommerfeld, Elissa Beth Stebbins, Jacinta Sutphin, Carole Swann, Sango Tajima, Ron Talbot, Griffin Taylor, Nick Trengove, Kitty Torres, Aaron Tworek, Nicky Weinbach, Matthew Weinberg, Richard Wenzel, Steven Westdahl, Teri Whipple, Indiia Wilmot, Susannah Wood, Steffanos X, Alaska Yamada, Marlene Yarosh, Jessica Yeh, Maggie Ziomek
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 email@example.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
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!
by Bryce Duzan
And I’m alone again. No…Paris is nearby. My brother…how tortured does he feel? Afraid? Where is he, I wonder? Why is he not with the others? (Pause.) I hear something. Who is there?
(ACHILLES enters. Like the others, he is a spirit.)
I see. You help the others…but not me. Is it because they are your family, and I am not? Or is it because I am your enemy, even in death?
You are not my enemy, Achilles. You never were.
Ha. Even though I killed your brother? Killed your people? Don’t lie to me.
Greece never was my enemy. Troy was theirs. (ACHILLES scoffs.) I mean what I say. Why do you linger here, surrounded by your enemies?
I…am full of anger. My rage continues to burn.
You think the atrocities committed here happened only to your own people? What about mine? I lost friends too…and more.
Yes. A…good friend. Almost a brother. His name was Patroclus.
I have heard of him. He led your Myrmidons against my people in your stead. And…
And he was killed. By your brother.
I’m…sorry. But we were at war.
I did not even see him die. I had to hear about it afterward. I did not even know. I could only imagine how he suffered…
What did you expect to happen, Achilles? That he and his small cadre of men would take Troy themselves?
He wasn’t supposed to go! I forbade it! But…he did. He left…against my wishes…I should have known…should have gone after him…
We all wish we could change the past, Achilles. Trust me, I know. But-
You don’t understand! He wasn’t supposed to die! He…was…
He was what? Immortal? What made him so important that he could outlive death itself?
(CASSANDRA is taken aback.)
Oh. I…I see. I’m sorry, Achilles. I…didn’t know.
He wanted to prove something. Prove that he was as strong a warrior as I. That he was capable. That he was…worth my time.
Are those his words…or yours?
What? His. I would never say something like that to him. I respected him! For his strength…and his tenderness. But he never believed that he was good enough for me. It was childish. I treated him like an equal!
And yet he left. Perhaps he didn’t feel like you treated him as you say?
…perhaps not. There’s so many things I wish I could have done differently…treated him better. Supported him more. Followed him when he left that day.
I know, Achilles. But…that was his destiny.
To die. His death spurred you on to fight against Troy. Then your destiny was to die as well. Both of your futures changed when you came here.
How do you know this?
Because we all have our futures set out. Troy’s fate was to burn…and so it did. I saw that future and I was unable to stop it. I wish I could have…I wish I could have saved you as well, Achilles.
…thank you, Cassandra.
Don’t be. I am not angry at you. And I am not angry at your brother. No…I see now that I am only angry at myself. A foolish, stupid anger at not being able to see the future.
Even if you could see the future, Achilles, I believe you would find it quite difficult to understand it.
(ACHILLES looks hard at CASSANDRA for a moment. Then, he cracks a smile.)
I believe you are quite right.
Is Patroclus here as well?
No. He has departed already.
Then you should go as well. I am sure he is waiting for you.
Do you believe so?
…thank you, Cassandra. And…I am sorry. For your brother.
I forgive you, Achilles, if you forgive him. And me.
(ACHILLES smiles again. This time, it is warm.)
(ACHILLES fades away. CASSANDRA breathes a sigh of relief.)
Rest in peace, hero of the Greeks.
(PARIS enters slowly, looking around. He too is a ghost.)
Is he gone?
Paris? Oh, brother, it is you! Who is gone?
Yes, he has just departed. Why?
Because…I was the one who killed him. I did not wish to confront him if he bore a grudge.
He seemed to not even care about his own death. He was only concerned with the death of his…love.
(There is a pause.)
I am sure you are wondering why I am still here.
I think I have an idea…it’s Helen, isn’t it?
Yes. Have you seen her? Recently, I mean.
Indeed I have, Paris.
And? Did she…say anything? About me?
(PARIS immediately lightens. He seems relieved.)
She did? I’m…so glad.
She misses you. Terribly. She still mourns you, in fact.
I miss her as well. Terribly. Does her husband…treat her well?
He was planning to kill her. He decided against it. He treats her as you’d expect.
Gods…! That’s terrible! I…can’t believe such a thing.
I imagined you wanted the truth, Paris. Would you have preferred a lie?
No. (A long pause.) I’m…sorry.
For everything. This is all my fault.
Paris, it’s not-
Everything. Is my. Fault. This whole…gods-damned thing. My city…my people…gone. Because of me. Every day I look back into the past. Every day I count the things–the hundred of things–that I have done wrong. If I only had the sense to never listen to the gods…the sense not to take a married woman from her crazed husband. If I had just stopped and thought about what I was doing…I would realize how insane it all was!
It was not your fault, Paris.
How can you say that?
The gods tricked you! Aphrodite tricked you! Tricked Helen too! She hypnotized the poor woman! Made her leave her husband!
Well she didn’t make me do anything. I went of my own free will. I just wanted someone to love. Is that so wrong?
Of course not, brother. How could you know such a terrible thing would happen?
I should have expected consequences of some kind! But I was in love. Stupid, blind, and in love.
And nobody can fault you for that. You heard the others. Father, brother, nobody cursed your name. Not even the one you slew! Helen doesn’t hate you. She misses you. Deeply. You two were in love. Nobody can hate a man who loves with all his heart as you did.
You…you mean that?
Of course, Paris.
And…you don’t hate me?
No. I love you. As I always shall.
Thank you, sister. Thank you for bringing peace to this foolish soul.
(PARIS slowly begins to fade.)
Farewell, brother. Tell the others that I love you all and I will never forget you.
I shall, sister. We will always watch over you.
(PARIS disappears. For a moment, there is silence.)
And so I’m alone again. But I feel…happy. Fulfilled. I have done something right…strange. I don’t feel alone. Hello? Is there somebody there?
N…no. No, stay away!
More to come! Check back soon!
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
(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.)
Hey, Mom! I’ve been looking for you.
I’ve been waiting right here.
Well, I’m glad I finally found you. Are you hungry? Do you want to go get a sandwich?
Sure. I guess we could do that.
Let’s go. I’m starving.
Why haven’t you eaten?
I don’t have any money.
What happened to your money?
I spent it on other things.
What kind of things?
Oh, you know. The usual.
(looks away, then down at her feet; seems surprised and lifts her feet a little off the floor)
The water is rising.
What water? I don’t see anything.
My shoes are getting wet.
Don’t be an idiot. There isn’t any water! C’mon, let’s go get a sandwich. I’m starving to death!
(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!
Jesus. Not this again.
Not this big pile of bullshit.
(Sighs dramatically. Looks away, then takes a hand towel out of her purse and starts drying her shoes.)
(watches her skeptically for a moment before continuing)
There’s a reason.
I’m suffering because you never loved me enough.
(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!
That’s what you say.
I gave you everything–everything I could muster. I rack my brain every night about how to help you!
And then you don’t do it.
No you aren’t. You’re not even getting me a sandwich. You’re just sitting there giving me grief.
Forget about the fucking sandwich! Listen to me! The water is rising up inside me. It’s past my ankles!
I don’t see any water.
It’s almost up to my knees!
Whatever. I’m not really hungry anyway. After you go a day or two without eating, your stomach forgets.
A day or two? Jesus! Okay, you convinced me. Let’s go get that sandwich.
No. Forget about it. That’s not really the problem. I’m suffering because Joanna left me.
Joanna? That was 2 years ago! That’s not a good reason
to hurt yourself.
I think it is.
So you’re feeling lonesome? So am I. I miss you so much…
How can you miss me when I’m sitting right in front of you?
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?
I lost it.
Again?! I just bought that last month. How could you lose another phone?
The same way everyone else does! I put it down and forgot to pick it up!
(taps the top of her purse and looks away again)
Have you seen your doctor lately?
When is your next appointment?
I don’t know. Maybe next week.
Are you taking your medication?
You’re not allowed to talk to me about that, remember?
But are you?
What do you want me to say? Yes?
(Pauses. Sighs. Taps her purse.)
You smell like you need a shower.
I probably do.
Why didn’t you take one at the shelter?
They kicked me out.
What?! When did that happen? Why?
I don’t know why. It’s crazy. They said they couldn’t wake me up.
Why couldn’t they wake you? Were you on drugs?
Why wouldn’t you wake up, then?
I don’t know. I guess I was tired.
How can you be tired when you don’t do anything all day?
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!
Where are you going to sleep tonight?
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…
I don’t think I can let you do that…
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.
It’s Dad, isn’t it? You won’t let me sleep over because Dad says no.
He thinks it’s your only chance.
Why don’t you think for yourself for a change? It’s pathetic.
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?
(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.
The $50,000 government transparency loan I told you about. Damien is going to co-sign for me.
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.
(growing angry again)
What do you know about it!
I know you aren’t being realistic. I know you need help.
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!
But I WILL buy you a sandwich! Come on. Let’s go get one right now.
No. Let’s wait. That’s not really the problem. I’m suffering because I don’t understand what’s going on.
I’m sinking, Mom. I’m slipping under the surface.
Please don’t say that.
It’s scary, but I kind of like it. The water is warm. It protects me from falling. It cushions me from the blow.
No, it doesn’t.
I can see a grate at the bottom of the pool, creating a current. It’s pulling at me. It’s sucking me in.
Don’t go towards the grate. It’s a trap. Swim up! Swim up to the top!
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…
(takes a sharp breath)
Yes. And the water is rising. It’s covering my shoes. I’m looking around for a rope…
I want to throw it to you. I want to pull you in.
Do you have one?
I can’t find one. I’m looking.
Let’s go get a sandwich.
(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.
(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?
What do you care?
Don’t you want a sandwich?
(Looking around anxiously, perhaps for the rope)
But you said you were hungry.
I’d rather have a beer.
I’m not buying you any alcohol!
(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!
Don’t put that in your mouth! It’s dirty.
Stop pretending you care about me.
Stop running away from me!
Stop following me! Go find the fucking rope!
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)