category: one act
genre: tragedy
running time: seventy minutes
setting: various points throughout time and history
period: ancient and contemporary

Artemis, the goddess of hunting
Apollo, her twin, the god of music
Leto, their mother
Zeus, their father, king of the gods
Hera, his wife, queen of the gods
Rhea, their mother
Orion, killed by Artemis
Actaeon, killed by Artemis
Coronis, killed by Artemis
Marpessa, died of old age
Pan, god of the countryside
Selene, goddess of the moon
Iris, goddess of the rainbow
Cassandra, prophetess of Troy
Eros, god of love
Orpheus, a son of Apollo
Troilus, a son of Apollo
Asclepius, a son of Apollo
Niobe, a mortal queen
Nigel, a classics professor

Through a series of interviews and flashbacks we get the story of the birth and life of Artemis and Apollo, beautiful young gods who begin their existence as promising forces for light and evolve into terrifying powers of destruction, ultimately killing all the children of the mortal queen, Niobe, after she insults their mother, the goddess Leto. Ostrasized by the other gods, unable to form lasting connections with others, the sibilings see themselves as against the world, but in their alienation form a deep and lasting bond with one another that ultimately proves to be their redemption.

author’s comments:
This dark little show, maybe the darkest thing I have ever written (but so many things are candidates for that distinction), was born out of my love for mythology, my fascination with this violent and grotesque myth that I first encountered in grade school, and an ongoing love of documentaries and accounts of real world crimes and massacres. Though I set out to write something harrowing, I realized the piece would never get written until I accepted it would probably also be a bit of a black comedy, and if there is something I’m really proud of here it is the slow and unsettling shift of the piece as it moves from being ridiculously funny, almost absurd, to somber, and then progressively devestating. The first public reading happened just a couple of days after the Newton Massacre and despite the timing I went through with it because I strongly believe art can be very therapeutic at times. Still, I expected walk outs and objections and was both relieved and deeply gratified that all who attended not only sat through the show, but embraced it and my very, very brave cast. People laughed, people cried, and people stuck around afterwards to talk about it all, and that was the best part of all.

Staged Readings:

No Nude Men Productions, December 15, 2012, Part of the San Francisco Olympians Festival III, at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco, California. Directed by Stuart Bousel. Cast: 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)

Custom Made Theatre Company, July 18, 2016, at Ryan’s Daughter in New York, New York. Directed by Leah Abrams. Cast: Giana DeGeiso (Artemis), Eli Diamond (Apollo), David Fierro (Orpheus/Pan/Nigel), Lisa-Marie Newton (Rhea/Marpessa/Selene), Leah Abrams (Stage Directions), Eric Rice (Zeus/Orion/Asclepius), Ben Mehl (Eros/Actaeon/Troilus), Jennifer Dean (Hera/Leto/Niobe), Katherine McDowell (Iris/Coronis/Cassandra)


Kyle Goldman, Tonya Narvaez, Kathleen MacHatton, and Ron Talbot in the PianoFight production.

PianoFight Productions, May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 & June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10, 2017, at PianoFight in San Francisco, California. Directed by Stuart Bousel; Stage Managed by Jacqualynn Metcalf; Costumes by Lindsey Eifert; Lighting by William Campbell; Sound by Ryan Lee Short; Scenery by Cole Ferraiuolo and Mark Weddle; Artwork by Cody Rishell; Photography by Andy Strong. Cast: Andrew Chung (Nigel/Pan/Orpheus), Laura Domingo Short (Iris/Coronis/Cassandra), Kyle Goldman (Apollo), Kathleen McHatton (Artemis), Kyle McReddie (Eros/Actaeon/Troilus), Tonya Narvaez (Leto/Hera/Niobe), Kim Saunders (Rhea/Marpessa/Selene), Ron Talbot (Zeus/Orion/Asclepius)

Kim Saunders in the PianoFight production.

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