Poseidon, known as the “Earth-Shaker” and called Neptune by the Romans, was the brother of Zeus and the god of the sea and earthquakes. He created the horse as a gift to his sister Demeter, who he unsuccessfully wooed for marriage. He ended up marrying Amphitrite, a mermaid, by whom he fathered the god Triton, but like his brother he had numerous affairs and fathered a number of notable children, perhaps most famously the hero Theseus and the flying horse Pegasus, the later via the mortal woman Medusa, later transformed into a hideous monster by Athena. He built the walls of Troy as punishment for attempting to overthrow Zeus and as a result harbored an intense hatred for the city that didn’t cease until it was defeated by the Greeks vis the Trojan Horse, a ruse he is often credited with inspiring the hero Odysseus to create. As changeable as the tides, he later developed a vendetta towards Odysseus after the hapless captain maimed Polyphemus, a cycloptic son of Poseidon. His symbol was the trident, a three-pronged fishing spear, and his sacred animal was the stallion.

The Life Poseidon, follows in the fine ancient theatre tradition of the tragicomic satyr play, which featured a chorus of satyrs that were based in Greek mythology and contained themes of, among other things, drinking, overt sexuality, pranks and general merriment. These plays were most often performed at the end of a festival as spirited entertainment to lighten the atmosphere after many hours of tragedy. The Life Poseidon examines the God of the Sea for what he really was, an unappreciated, bromidic, garden-variety immortal who’s ego never really did recover from being defeated and out-thought by a woman (Athena) in the Battle of Athens. Using the vibe of mid-20th Century British comedy, we now find Poseidon ineptly running a 2-star underwater resort for the gods with an undertrained staff of bumbling sea creatures such as Man O’ War and Dolly Dolphin. Forced by Zeus into a contest of hospitality where appeasing a selection of melodramatic Olympians on holiday will gain him riches and prestige, Poseidon also sees a chance to resurrect his sullied reputation. Does the god with a trident and a short temper have the adroitness to pull it off or will he just end up pining for the fjords? For centuries the Gods have laughed at us “mere mortals” but, on July 10th, we turn the tables on them!

POSEIDON by Bryce Alleman, Kathy Hicks, Dana Constance

staged reading July 10, 2010

Diected by Claire Rice

Neil Higgins (Poseidon)

Kirsten Broadbear (Medusa)

Maggie McCally (Dolly Dolphin)

Elvira Belle Borovik (Dionysus)

Tom Darter (Zeus)

Tea Toplak (Athena)

Sara Breindel (Hestia)

Monte Tom (Hermes)

Stewart Kramar (Prometheus)

Richard Wenzel (Fillet O’Fish)

Katrina Bushnell (Chorus)

Scott Baker (Chorus)

Carla Pauli (Chorus)

Bryce Allemann is a co-founder of the 12-year old Thunderbird Theatre Company of SF. When not behind the scenes, or co-writing plays, he occasionally acts. To occupy most all non-theatre moments, he obsesses (and blogs) about cheese: canyonofcheese.com, or thinks about dADaIsm (as seen in accompanying photo).

Dana Constance is a modern day (read: mediocre) Renaissance Man. He writes silly plays; obsesses on abstract photography; loves to make a terrible pun or two just to annoy certain people and entertain the rest; plays sports with a passion; and  made it his life’s job to change the paradigm of “Garbage in, garbage out” via the art of designing graphically. Dana has been on the board of the Thunderbird Theatre Company for six years now though he has had not one second of formal theatre training. He quite suddenly moved to California from New England in 1992 on a lark and somehow managed to make it work. He’s also been married for almost fifteen years to the same woman even though he has no idea how to make a marriage work. The one thing Dana does know is that he read The Iliad and The Odyssey at age 14 and has since had a great and deep appreciation for the Gods and Greek Mythology. In 2006 he co-wrote with Bryce Allemann the acclaimed Greek Myth remixed comedy Release the Kraken and is honored that No Nude Men has given him chance to expand his satyr play repertoire with Poseidon.

Kathy Hicks is a co-founder of the Thunderbird Theatre Company.  She enjoys the company of her calico cat, Mariachis, and Greek yogurt with honey.