Apollo and Artemis

Apollo and Artemis, the divine twins, were the children of Zeus and the goddess Leto. Zeus’s wife, Hera, laid a curse upon Leto that she could not give birth anywhere in Greece and so she fled to the islands, where Artemis was born on Ortygia, and Apollo was born nine days later on Delos. Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, animals, children and virginity, having sworn never to marry. She rarely lived at Olympus, spending most of her time ranging over the forests of Greece attended by nymphs and packs of dogs. Her brother, on the other hand, became the court musician of Olympus, leading the Muses in song, and fathering numerous children, including the famous Orpheus, with various lovers. His affairs also included a number of men, most notably the athlete Hyacinthus. In addition to being the god of music, Apollo was able to see the future and his oracle was established at Delphi. Both siblings were excellent archers and famously fought on the side of the Trojans during the Trojan War. Neither was a solar god, but Renaissance poets later identified Artemis as the goddess of the moon and Apollo as the god of the sun. Modern scholars now consider Artemis to be a watered down version of an even more ancient, pre-Greek death goddess, explaining her darker and often times more violent myth cycles. Apollo, in contrast, is considered an exclusively Greek god, often symbolizing the highest achievement of Greek reason, as his domains of healing, music, and prophecy came to represent the glory of the classical era. The conjoining of their two cults is often seen as a parable for the triumph of civilization over the primitive fears and impulses of man.

Stuart Bousel’s play explores the relationship of the twins as twins, an aspect of their myth cycles only hinted at in the few stories where they share the stage. He says, “Though very different, the sibilings appear to have cared deeply for one another, and their rivalries are interspersed with moments of mutual support that humanizes both of them, but particularly Artemis, who is so often a force of terror in Greek mythology.” Weaving together the legends of Niobe, a mortal woman whose children are killed by Apollo and Artemis after she insults their mother, along with the traditions surrounding the twins’ birth, their involvement in the war of the giants, and their various ill-fated lovers, Bousel seeks to create “a kind of family dramedy, all about why love-hate is such a common feeling when it comes to one’s siblings.”

ARTEMIS AND APOLLO or “Twins” by Stuart Eugene Bousel
Directed by Stuart Bousel
staged reading on December 15, 2012 at 8 PM

Helen Laroche (Artemis)

Dashiell Hillman (Apollo)

Jessica Rudholm (Rhea/Selene/Marpessa)

Paul Jennings (Nigel/Pan/Orpheus)

Allison Page (Leto/Hera/Niobe)

Tom Cokenias (Zeus/Asclepius/Orion)

Dana Goldberg (Iris/Coronis/Cassandra)

Alaric Toy (Eros/Actaeon/Troilus)

Lisa Darter (Stage Directions 1)

Jeffrey Fisher (Stage Directions 2)

Stuart Bousel graduated from Reed College with a degree in English/Creative Writing. He has served as the artistic director of three theater companies: Quicksilver Productions (1997-2000) and Horror Unspeakable Productions (2000-2002) in Tucson, and No Nude Men Productions in San Francisco (2003-2012). He has directed a number of classic plays, including Lysistrata, Orestia, Faust Part One, Salome, Edward II, Le Cid, Love’s Labors Lost, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Phaedra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, M. Butterfly and The Frogs, as well as the Arizona premiere of Derek Walcott’s Odyssey and the world premieres of David Duman’s Fishing, Alison Luterman’s Oasis, Morgan Ludlow’s Ruth and the Sea, Claire Rice’s Woman Come Down and Nirmala Nataraj’s The Monk and The Book of Genesis Remixed and Remastered. Additionally he writes plays, many of which have been produced, including Edenites, The Exiled, Speak to Me, Love Egos Alternative Rock, Troijka, Housebroken, Queen Mab In Drag, Killing Me Softly, Speak Roughly, Men and Woman, Attack of the Killer Space Zombiesand Polyxena In Orbit. His play Vincent of Gilgamesh was nominated for the MAC Award in 2001; Wild Blue Peaks was nominated for the Heideman Award in 2003; Mathew 33:6 was a finalist for the Sky Cooper Award in 2007. His play Giant Bones is an official stage adaption of work by internationally acclaimed novelist Peter S. Beagle. Places Mr. Bousel’s work has been performed include New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Melbourne, Dublin, Tucson, Portland and West Orange, New Jersey (go JCC!). He co-wrote the Cosgrove winning short film Insomnia with Chris McCaleb and Amanda Karam, and authored (and cameoed in) the Hostelling International mocu-drama Wish U Were Here. He executive produced the 2010 San Francisco Olympians Festival and where his play Juno En Victoria received its first staged reading. It was later produced by Wily West Productions. His 2011 contribution, Hyperion to a Saytr, is slated for production by Guerilla Rep in 2013. He occasionally acts as well and numbers among his credits the title role in Macbeth, Carl in The Baltimore Waltz, Matt in The Fantasticks, the Record Keeper in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, Ned Points in The Boar’s Head and the opera Tosca with the Arizona Opera Company, in addition to voicing a number of radio and television commercials. He is the Director of Events for Atmostheatre Inc. and a founding member of the San Francisco Theater Pub, where he frequently writes, directs and performs. His first novel, Dry Country, came out 2008 and can be bought through his website, www.horrorunspeakable.com.

The image of Apollo and Artemis was created by Brandon Witte.