So, this may not come as a particularly big shock to anyone, but I have something to confess: I am obsessed with mythology…and mainly, Greek mythology at that, and particularly as a writer, those darned Greeks are my main muses…even when I TRY specifically to write about other things, some goddess or other ends up wriggling her way into my script in one form or another. I just joined a playwriting group recently, and I just presented the script for Fate Demands It for the first time…they have no idea they are about to be absolutely inundated with ALL THINGS MYTHOLOGICAL every time I present. This is my apology in advance…SORRY. I can’t help it. I have tried to help it. It doesn't work. Well, unless maybe you throw in a couple ghosts, but that's a story for another time.
For one thing, those myths are universal. There’s always one aspect or another that speaks to our current, modern life. They deal with Love, Conflict and Dysfunction Families (yes, with capital letters). They deal with Courage and Loss and Magic…and who among us couldn’t use a little more MAGIC in our everyday lives?
Myths are also ripe fodder for interpretation and adaptation. When I write about a particular myth or character, I don’t need to be limited by what Homer, or Euripides or Edith Hamilton wrote before me – I can add my own two cents!
This is particularly awesome, since so many of the female characters in Greek drama are reactive rather than active protagonists, even of their own stories (Antigone is one of the only ones who actively takes a role in her own destiny). Not only can I make them more active, but I can also CHANGE THEIR FATES. If I want. I can make them hang out with people they never hung out with, and I can make them speak the way I want them to. I can even pull them out of their own time and bring them, kicking and screaming into the present…or the future.
I am lucky to have some amazing collaborators (Persephone Vandegrift, Machelle Allman, Rebecca Goldberg and Jen Smith Anderson) who are similarly obsessed, and we joined forces to put together a mini myth-based festival. We are in the midst of our last couple weeks of rehearsals, and I’ve been amazed & thrilled at how our characters have leapt off the pages in a most satisfying and visceral way. MythFest will debut in March, and we would love for you to come and experience the fruits of our labor. Here's the "official" blurb:
It's all just a myth, unless it's your own story! A bloodthirsty warrior leads her people to near extinction. A woman who has lost everything prepares to execute her final act of vengeance. The most beautiful woman in the world finally speaks her mind. This mini myth feast packs a Trojan wallop, exploring the bonds of friendship, the complexity of revenge and the universal nature of things we do when pushed to our limits. Three new plays based on Greek myth by local playwrights Machelle Allman, Persephone Vandegrift and Carolynne Wilcox, woven to gether in a ritual offering to gods long-forgotten. Be careful what you wish for...
And, if you are also similarly obsessed, please contact me. We are hoping to make MythFest an annual offering and invite more playwrights/artists, so…let’s have a conversation.
MythFest will be performed Friday evenings March 7, 14 and 21 at 7pm at the Seattle Creative Arts Center in Ballard at 2601 NW Market St. Tickets are $10 online or $14 at the door. For more information please visit www.thepocket.org. For tickets, click here.
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.