Hestia was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. According to Hesiod, she ‘liked not the works of Aphrodite’, rejected Apollo and Poseidon’s passes, and took a vow of chastity. According to Homer, Zeus allowed her ‘to sit in the middle of the house, receive the fat of offerings, and be respected by all men’. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, ‘Hestia has little mythology, unable as she was to leave the house’.
In James Kierstead’s play about Hestia, Dean Nysus, a preppy freshman, answers an ad for a houseshare in Wellesley, he is not prepared for what he finds. Hestia, a radical feminist, wants to convert him to her cause. Though Dean is more than happy to spend time with his other housemate, Hestia is less happy with Dean’s fratboy friends, one of whom is keen to contest every scrap of territory. As one of Dean’s friends takes a shine to a third housemate, Hestia’s rules of chastity and independence begin to break down.
HESTIA or “The Rise of Dean Nysus” by James Kierstead
Directed by Anothony Miller
staged reading December 5, 2012 at 8 PM
Kat Bushnell (Hestia)
Anthony Pingera (Dionysus)
Shane Rhodes (Dalton)
Ben Grubb (Zeus)
Evangeline Reilly (Shatki)
Annika Bergman (Hera)
Mary Powelson (Stage Directions)
James Kierstead has appeared in Sophocles’ and Euripides’ Electras for Stanford Summer Theater, Euripides’ Cyclops and Aristophanes’ Congresswomen for San Francisco Theater Pub, and Euripides’ and Seneca’s Medeas for Cutting Ball Theater. A co-founder of Stanford Classics in Theater, he acted in their productions of Aristophanes’ Acharnians and Wasps and directed the same playwright’s Clouds; he also helped translate all three plays. A grad student specializing in Greek history by day, he is happy to have the chance of moonlighting in classical (or classically inspired) plays as part of the San Francisco theater scene.