Chronus was the mightiest of the Titans – a race of ancient, more primordial gods that came a generation before the Olympains. Part noble reformer, part vicious reactionary, Chronus overthrew his tyrannical father, Uranus, to become the lord of Heaven. Paranoid that his offspring would also rise violently against their father, he devoured each of his children the moment they were born, with the exception of Zeus, his youngest son. Zeus was raised in secret, and later defeated Chronus, cutting his stomach open to release the devoured gods, then casting the Titan into Tartarus. Chronus’ relationship with his Greek and Roman worshippers was complicated: he is revered as the ancestor to the Olympians, and despised as their oppressor, represented sometimes as the patron of harvests and bounty, or as force of chaos and disorder.
The play Chronus explores our current changing political landscape with the rise of the conservative Tea Party, a divisive movement labeled as reformers by some and dangerous reactionaries by others. Frustrated at having narrowly lost in the 2008 general elections, a Republican congressional candidate in Tucson toys with allying himself with the Tea Party in the 2010 mid-terms. As the race progress, the candidate and members of the campaign staff struggle with the challenge of rebranding themselves to attract this new demographic, finding themselves at odds with former allies, unsure about some of the new ones they are courting, and uncomfortable with some of the Tea Party’s more extreme rhetoric.
CHRONUS by Bennett Fisher
staged reading October 14, 2011
directed by Jessica Holt
Myron Freedman (Arthur Petersen)
Colin Johnson (John Chronus)
Chris Quintos (Maria Chronus)
Leigh Shaw (Piper Clyde)
Bennett Fisher’s play Hermes was presented in the last Olympian Festival and given a full production this year by No Nude Men. His other plays, including Don’t Be Evil, Exchange, Query, Pure Baltic Avenue, Daedalus, Leviathan, Spark, and Pound It have been performed in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and New London. Also an actor, dramaturg, and director, Bennett has worked with the Cutting Ball Theater, Campo Santo, California Shakespeare Theatre, Adirondack Shakespeare Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, BRAVA, Threshold, the Element Festival, The Pear Avenue Theater, and many others. He is a founding director of both the San Francisco Theater Pub and The Flying Island Lab (in residence at the Palo Alto Art Center), and an associate artist with AtmosTheater.
The image for Chronus was created by Celeste Shulte. Her portfolio can be viewed, here.