The constellation Gemini depicts the identical twins Castor and Pollux. They had the same (human) mother, Leda, but different fathers: Castor was fathered by the human Tyndareus, while Pollux was fathered by Zeus, King of the Gods, who visited and seduced Leda disguised as a swan. Therefore, Castor was mortal, and Pollux was immortal. When Castor died, his brother Pollux asked Zeus to let his brother share in his immortality, so that they could remain together. Zeus granted the request, and transformed them into the constellation Gemini.

The play Gemini is about three sets of identical twins: the Celestial Olympian twins of the title (and the constellation), who are very close; two male twins who hate the idea of being twins; and two female twins who are unaware of each other’s existence. Zeus gives the Celestial twins (Castor and Pollux) the task of reconciling/reuniting the two other sets of twins. There will be cases of mistaken identity – some humorous, some not so much – throughout. The full title of the play is Gemini, or Jim and I, or The Comedy of Veras. Author Tom Darter states, “I was drawn to this mythological pair, and this story, because I am myself a twin. We were born almost two months premature, and my twin lived only one day. As a teenager, I discovered that my name (“Thomas” – I was named after my father) actually means “twin.” I have thought about what it means to be a twin for most of my life, and in this play I take the opportunity to explore the subject from many angles.”

GEMINI or Jim and I, or The Comedy of Veras by Tom Darter
staged reading October 20, 2011

directed by Karen Hogan

J. D. Blair (Zeus)

Sara Breindel (Vera 1)

Nick Brunner (Pollux)

Lisa Darter (Vera 2)

Jeff Fisher (Bill)

Matt Gunnison (Castor)

Anne Hallinan (Hera)

Travis Howse (Jim)

Dan Kurtz (Tom)

Meg O’Connor (Stage Directions)

Sarah Savage (Angela)

Tom Darter had his first experience as a playwright many moons ago, starting at age 17: As one of the founders of an all-student theater troupe called the Auxiliary Players (based in Livermore, California), he wrote, acted in, or directed a number of their summer productions, over a period of four years. In recent years, he has focused more on poetry and monologues; Gemini marks his return to playwriting. Tom is also an actor, a composer, and a pianist. As an actor, he appeared most recently as John in Ruth and the Sea (Wily West Productions), Zeus in Poseidon (No Nude Men’s Olympians Festival), D.H. Lawrence in two short plays by Tennessee Williams (Boxcar Theater’s Williams Festival), and Elihu in The Shunned House (SF Theater Pub). Other recent roles include Sir Peter in The School for Scandal, Gayev in The Cherry Orchard (both at Las Positas College), Marc in Art (Livermore Shakespeare), and LaFew in All’s Well That Ends Well (Valley Shakespeare). As a musician, Tom has won several composition awards, arranged two albums for the Kronos Quartet, and played keyboards on numerous Jerry Goldsmith film scores. He has taught music theory and composition at Roosevelt University (in Chicago), and electronic studio techniques at USC. He was also the founding Editor of Keyboard magazine. Last year, he composed incidental music for a production of Metamorphoses, and a score for the award-winning short horror film The Duty of Living. He holds a Doctorate in music composition from Cornell University.

The image of Gemini was created by Kelly McClellan. You can view her portfolio, here.