Demeter was the goddess of the Harvest and Fertility, aka an Mother Earth. She was the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and a sister of the goddesses Hestia and Hera and the gods Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus. Her festival was a feast day that included role reversals, such as women electing female officials to preside over state-sponsored feasts, and Greek matrons took a break from their usually homebound lives to participate in the autumn sowing festival of Thesmophoria. Most of the practices remain a mystery, but we know that no men were allowed to participate. Demeter’s job was to feed the world, but when her daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and brought to the underworld, she became depressed and refused to do her job. Demeter caused a terrible drought, ultimately forcing Zeus to broker a resolution to her conflict with Hades over Persephone. Demeter now reunites with her daughter six months of the year, beginning each spring. Demeter has left the gift of agriculture to we humans so we can plant for ourselves.
In Patricia Milton’s play exploring Demeter, Win is a manic, virtually‐connected, seemingly-successful scent executive who finds herself unable to keep up the hectic pace she has set for herself. One day she suffers a nervous breakdown during a product pitch. Win is forced to abandon the land of men . . . but what lies in store for her in the land of women? Her journey back to her whole self is facilitated by a wise and earthy woman whose calm wisdom seems strangely familiar. In a quiet grove of lovely‐smelling trees, our working woman struggles to come to her senses.
DEMETER or “In The Silence of Tangerine Groves” by Patricia Milton
Directed by Michaela Goldhaber
staged reading on December 13, 2012 at 8 PM
Candace Brown (Win)
Louel Senores (Max)
Tavis Kammet (Hector/Stage Directions)
Jan Carty Marsh (Dee)
Patricia Milton’s plays have been produced around the country. Her economic comedy, Reduction in Force, a Central Works Method Play, premiered in July 2011 in Berkeley, CA, and was voted “Best Local Play” in the 2011 Broadway World SF Theatre Awards. Her post-apocalyptic romantic comedy Believers will premiere in August 2012 (Wily West Productions, San Francisco). Other full-lengths include The Only Virgin in Jubilee County (Prizewinner, 2007 Hill Country Playwriting Festival, Eldridge Publishing), Busybody (Bay Area One Acts 2008, Original Works Publishing), and Solving Sunflowers (Prizewinner, 2009 Eudora Welty New Play Series). Strange Bedfellows, a prize-winning gay screwball comedy co-authored with Andrew Black, will premiere in August 2012 in Santa Ana, CA (TheatreOut). Porn Yesterday and It’s Murder, Mary!, also co-authored with Black, have been produced widely, including in New York (Curan Repertory), and San Francisco (New Conservatory Theatre Center). She collaborated with Black and composer Caroline Altman on a new musical, Not Without Our Women. Patricia is an Associate Playwright with 3Girls Theatre Company, San Francisco, and is past president, Playwrights Center of San Francisco. She is a member of PCSF, Theatre Bay Area, Play Café, International Centre for Women Playwrights, Central Works Writing Group, and The Dramatists Guild. More at www.patricia-milton.com.