Known as the lame God of Smiths, the patron of craftsmen, Hephaestus was born deformed and weak to Zeus and Hera. An abomination, and some say conceived without male fertilization, Hephaestus was thrown from Mount Olympus to Earth. Raised by sea nymphs after falling for an entire day, he built a booby-trapped throne for his Mother. When she became ensnared in it, the Gods sent Dionysus to seduce Hephaestus with wine and carry him back to Mount Olympus. It worked. Eventually, Hephaestus freed his Mother after being offered the Goddess Aphrodite as a wife. He became a magnificent craftsmen, a self-made God — but still quite unattractive. His marriage to the philandering Aphrodite fell apart when he caught her in bed with his brother, Ares. He captured them and dragged them before the Olympian Gods, only to be laughed out of the room.

Of his play about Hephaestus, Colin Johnson says, “I wanted to dig into this character at his most vulnerable. He’s built an empire with his own bare hands, he disproved every doubt. Rags to riches. But the toll that such a hardscrabble life would inflict on such a tortured character, especially when you throw a hussy wife in the mix, brought to light some very interesting possibilities. The amoral, hard-boiled stories of Chandler and the early darkly comic atmosphere of the Coen Brothers work proved fertile thematic ground to witness such a fascinating character completely unravel at the doing of a cheating wife and dishonest brother — and all the shenanagins that ensue. Fun stuff.”

HEPHAESTUS or “Heffy” by Colin Johnson
Directed by Colin Johnson
staged reading December 8, 2012 at 8 PM

Scott Leonard (Heffy)

Laura Domingo (Euphony)

William Leschber (Aries)

Tonya Narvaez (Hera)

Charles Lewis III (Street Sweet)

Sam Tillis (Silencio)

Jessica Rudholm (Stage Directions)

Colin was born and raised in rural Washington State. After studying theatre and film production at Eastern Washington University, he pulled up stakes for the Bay. In the last three years, he founded a theatre/film studio in the East Bay called BattleStache Studios, wrote a comic book for Image Comics and has written/produced/performed in north of thirty shows on both sides of the bay for the likes of Pianofight, Bay Area One-Acts, Round Belly Theatre Company and Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley. Recent credits include a radio play produced at Chicago’s WildClaw Theatre and directing AEB’s Noises Off! at the Live Oak Theatre in Berkeley. He’s thrilled to be back at the Olympians in his new capacity as a writer. Last year he portrayed the title character in Bennett Fisher’s Chronus.

The artwork for Hephaestus was created by Emily C. Martin and her beautiful work can be seen here!