Hera is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea making her a sister to Zeus. She became his wife after he took the form of a cuckoo and pursued her. She took pity on him and held him to her breast. Their marriage solidified Hera as queen of Mount Olympus. They had four children including: Eilithyia (goddess of childbirth), Ares (god of war), Hebe (goddess of youth) and Hephaestus (god of metallurgy). However, some say Hera bore Hephaestus herself out of jealousy for Zeus’ birth of Athena. She is infamous for her raved jealousy towards Zeus’ many mistresses. She is the goddess of marriage and childbirth.

The aspect of Hera which Barbara Jwanouskos was most fascinated with was her extreme temper and tendency to act out of anger. Hera is put in a modern context and we see another side to the vengeful woman that has become the archetypal portrayal of the goddess. After centuries of dealing with Zeus’ infidelities, Hera has finally had enough. She quits Mount Olympus to “teach Zeus a lesson” by showing him just how it feels to have a mortal impregnated by your spouse. To Barbara, “studying Hera gives me a chance to re-look at what family and
marriage mean, especially in a modern context, and if that structure can be transformed or evolved.”

HERA by Barbara Jwanouskos
Directed by Amy Clare Tasker
staged reading on December 19, 2012 at 8 PM

Claire Slattery (Hera)

Nick Trengove (Terry)

Ben Grubb (Chad)

Eric Hannan (Ryan)

Arie Levine (Alicia)

Brian Martin (Zeus Puppet/Stage Directions)

Barbara Jwanouskos is a playwright who has had shows and readings in San Francisco, New York and Santa Barbara. Currently, she has projects in production with All Terrain Theater, Laney College’s Fusion Theater, and other local companies. In addition to writing for the stage, Barbara has worn a number of hats in the theater scene, including stage managing for Donald Lacy’s one-man show “Colorstruck”, sound designing and providing technical support for various Campo Santo productions and other local Bay Area companies. She studied playwriting with Naomi Iizuka at the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her BA in English. Barbara is also a DJ, a martial artist, and the Grants Manager for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. In the fall, she will begin studying for her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University. You can follow her on twitter @bjwany and her blog, The Dynamics of Groove at http://dynamicsofgroove.wordpress.com/. She’ll probably talk a lot about theater, plays she’s working on, Shao-lin kung fu and tai chi, and a lot of dope music you should start listening to, which will most likely consist of dirty, sometimes glitchy, funky, soulful love songs. Also, if Barbara looks incredibly familiar when you meet her, it’s probably because she was the Box Office Manager for the 2011 San Francisco Olympians Festival.

The beautiful print artwork of Hera was created by Emmalee Carole! Her work can be seen here!