Hermes was the herald of the gods, delivering their messages to humans. He was the god of invention, commerce, and communication. He served as escort for the dead in the Underworld and also invented the lyre, the alphabet, numbers, astronomy, weights and measures, and the cultivation of the olive tree (and how productive have you been with your free time?) Hermes had a wide range of lovers – divine, mortal, and everywhere in between. With the aid of Zeus, Hermes seduced Aphrodite with a stolen sandal and they gave birth to Hermaphroditus, the eventual two-sexed minor deity who gives us the term hermaphrodite.

Kirk Shimano chose to write about Hermes because, “When I was reading over Hermes’s many powers of technology and information, I was struck by a revelation. Hermes had one trick that has been hidden for centuries…he was actually god of the Internet! But then that led me to speculate: what if he WAS the Internet? He could have used Wikipedia to learn about math and astronomy. Google Maps would have come in handy when navigating Hades. It’s all a little too suspicious to ignore… But while being a computer in ancient Greece had its advantages, it must have been a very lonely path. Caught between man and machine, Hermes must have had a very difficult time finding love. But who better to help us explore this quandary then Hermes’s own child, Hermaphroditus, another deity trapped between two worlds? Together, they’ll take us through the secret history of the ancient Greek Internet that has remained undiscovered for too long.”

HERMES or “The Computer That Wanted To Love” by Kirk Shimano
Directed by Amanda Ortmayer
staged reading December 8, 2012 at 2 PM

Matt Gunnison (Hermes)

Allison Page (Hermaphroditus)

John Lennon Harrison (Zues/Apollo/Perseus)

Mikka Bonel (Aphrodite/Demeter/Persephone)

Nikolas Strubbe (Krokus)

Melissa Clason (Stage Directions)

Kirk Shimano is proud to be returning for his second San Francisco Olympians festival. He wrote two ten minute plays for Heavenly Bodies and yet somehow managed to not write about a single god or goddess. Kirk was born and raised in Los Angeles county where he learned to love Philippe’s sandwiches, sunsets filtered through layers of smog, and The Jungle Cruise. He works as a technical director at Industrial Light and Magic – a profession that occasionally involves lighting robots and ninjas but always involves pretending to know things. Kirk is a member of the PlayGround Writers Pool and has worked with PianoFight, Wily West Productions, San Francisco Theater Pub, and the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco.

The image of Hermes was created by Chelsea Harper, whose wonderful work can be found behind this link!