SF Olympians Festival VIII: Mediterranean Cruise

SF Olympians Festival VIII: Mediterranean Cruise
EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy St, SF

Come take a cruise around the ancient civilizations that inspired or were inspired by the myths of Ancient Greece!

The San Francisco Olympians Festival is a new works reading festival that has been gaining momentum since its first year, with sixteen plays that were commissioned by the festival having gone on to full productions: 2010’s Hermes (No Nude Men Productions, Dramaworks, Bread and Water Theatre), Juno En Victoria (Wily West Productions), and Salty Towers (Thunderbird Theater Company); 2011’s Cassiopeia (Eat Street Players), Chronus (Bread and Water Theatre), You’re Going To Bleed (DIVAFest), Io (Off The Cliff Theatre), and Pleiades (No Nude Men Productions); 2012’s Caeneus and Poseidon (Dragon Theatre) and Twins (PianoFight Productions); 2013’s Take Me Home: a One-woman Odyssey (Salon San Carlos, Lucy Tafler Presents, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival); 2014’s Satyr Night Fever (San Francisco Theater Pub), Centaur or The Horse’s Ass (Repurposed Theatre), and The Dryad of Suburbia (PianoFight); 2015’s Cymopoleia or Wave Walker (Pear Avenue Theatre), and Brizo (EXIT Theatre). Many have also received additional readings on local and national stages, or other development or workshop opportunities, including: 2010’s Juno En Victoria (Pacific Play Company); 2011’s Joe Ryan (Impact Theatre), Pleiades (Atlantic Stage), Io (Chameleon Theatre Circle), and Selene, or Someone Like The Moon (EXIT Theatre); 2012’s Caeneus and Poseidon (Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco, City Lights Theater), and Twins (San Francisco State, Custom Made Theatre Company); 2013’s Under The Gods’ Golden Cleats (Dramatist Guild); 2014’s Beauty Secrets (Cutting Ball Theatre Company); 2015’s You’ll Not Feel The Drowning and Oceanus (Custom Made Theatre Company) and Ino Leucothea (Red Bull Theatre); 2016’s Ceres En Victoria (The Swedish American Hall), Lethe (Artists at Albatross Reach), Drumming With Anubis (Left Edge Theater Company), and Erinyes/Eumenides (Custom Made Theatre Company). Additionally, 2015’s You’ll Not Feel The Drowning was the recipient of the Custom Made Theatre Company’s New Development Program Workshop in 2017. 2013’s Walls Of Troy was a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award and the entire festival won “Playwriting Series Most Likely to Win a Gold Medal” from the SF Bay Guardian in 2013. Additionally, EXIT Press has released a collection of five plays from Year One of the festival, Songs of Hestia, and ten plays from Year Two, Heavenly Bodies, both available for purchase on Amazon.com and at bookstores across the country. Find out more at http://sfolympiansfestival.com/

Since 2010 the festival has featured the work of 97 Writers, 74 Directors, 388 Actors, and 39 Fine Artists!

This year we are excited to debut 36 new plays by 30 local writers, 13 of whom will be contributing written work to the festival for the first time! The plays range from shorts to one-acts to full-lengths, and each one explores a different legend or god from Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Latin mythology.

The 2017 festival will play 12 nights, October 4-21, Wednesday through Saturday, at the EXIT Stage Left Theatre in San Francisco (156 Eddy Street). Tickets are $10.00 at the door, and can be purchased starting at 7:30 the night of the show, or for $12 in advance at Brown Paper Tickets. All shows begin at 8 PM. Audience members who attend more than four nights get the fifth free.

This year’s fine artists include:
Nathan Anderson, Molly Benson, Liz Conley, Brett Grunig, Rogernald “Rusty” Jackson, Emily C. Martin, Cody Rishell, Brian Yee
The art will be on display at the EXIT Theatre the entire month of October!

This year’s lineup, all shows beginning at 8 PM:


Week One: EGYPT (10/4-10/7)

Wednesday, October 4: Divine Prince
HORUS written by Jason Mendez, directed by Sara Judge
You can be a grad student and find out you’re a god, but you still have to pass your exam.

Thursday, October 5: Courtiers
THOTH, written and directed by Michelle Elaine Ianiro
I always thought my life should be a sitcom. Seriously, you just can’t make this sh*t up!

BASTET, written by Alan Coyne, directed by Alejandro Torres
Exactly one hundred years ago, the Dutch dancer / performance artist Mata Hari was executed by the French army for espionage. She went down in legend as the world’s most famous spy, but as BASTET shows, the facts are more complicated than the fiction.

Friday, October 6: River Protectors/Desert Dwellers
HEKET written by Vanessa Flores, directed by Nikki Menez
The goddess of rebirth has been reincarnated as an awkward, frog-headed teen and she’s gone missing. Her recent internet search history leads her worried parents to believe she’s on a quest for true love—in the depths of an ancient Egyptian tomb.

HATMEHIT written by Patsy Fergusson, directed by Nikki Menez
That beggar in the BART station could be more than she seems.

SOBEK written by Nicole Jost, directed by Nikki Menez
On the banks of the River Nile, you might meet a beautiful stranger with a winning smile… A play about appetites.

TAWAWERT written by Erin Marie Panttaja, directed by Nikki Menez
Some days it’s enough to have the hippopotamus midwife on your side. But isn’t going to be one.

WADJET written by Dan Kurtz, directed by Nikki Menez
Just because she’s successful, she’s expected to just roll over while some kook (who used to be her husband) turns her into an unwilling symbol for his kooky ideas? Heck no.

HEDETET written by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Nikki Menez
Scorpions and babies generally don’t mix, unless you’re Hedetet. And sometimes not even then.

BABI written by Lori Chapman, directed by Nikki Menez
That awkward moment when you die, and you find out that your god is kind of a dick.

WEPWAWET, written by Patricia Morin, directed by Nikki Menez
A small-time talent scout hits it big. How can he keep the big-time scouts from stealing his hopefuls?

Saturday, October 7: Dual Divinity
HATHOR written by Laylah Muran de Assereto, directed by ShawnJ West
It’s hard to let go of the dead, if they won’t stay dead.

SEKHMET written by Daphne Dorman, directed by Monique Pomales
Victories are claimed, defeats are blamed, but checkmates are forever.

Week Two: MESOPOTAMIA (10/11-10/14)

Wednesday, October 11: Earth
ERESHKIGAL, written and directed by Cynthia Hussey
Two sisters torn by grief, united by a horrible secret.

MUMMU, written and directed by Kirk Shimano
The story of how a stick, a bird, and a pile of cow intestines tried to save the world and failed.

Thursday, October 12: Water
ABZU written by Megan Cohen, directed by Megan Cohen
When a woman dying of thirst discovers an entire family living in her bucket of water, she must choose who will be sacrificed and what yearnings will be quenched. In this comic parable, solo performer Megan Cohen (Edinburgh Fringe, Theater Bay Area “Eye On” Emerging Artist Honoree) investigates desire, privilege, and transformation.

TIAMAT, written by Stuart Bousel, directed by Genevieve Perdue
Five heads are not always better than one. Or two. Or three. Or four.

Friday, October 13: Fire
ISHTAR, written by Barry Eitel, directed by Sara Razavi
A bloody civil war in ancient Mesopotamia metastasizes into an international quagmire, and war goddess Ishtar must navigate the hallways of hell as she faces the deadly drawbacks of intervention.

Saturday, October 14: Air
SHAMASH, written by Jake Rosenberg, directed by Jeremy Cole
In ancient Babylon, Shemash the Sun, brought light and the law. Now, in the evening of Man, where has he gone to?

HADAD, written by Jeanie Ngo, directed by Christine Keating
A modern Vietnamese fairy tale takes on a life of its own through the lens of magical realism.

ENLIL, written by Nic Sommerfeld, directed by Christine Keating
Have care of the wind you choose, she can take you anywhere.

NANNA-SIN, written by Barbara Jwanouskos, directed by Christine Keating
A young woman gifted in connecting to the spiritual realm journeys to meet the priestess of Nanna-Sin, in order to learn how to join him. When others discover her power, however, she must weave her way through corruption in order to keep from being exploited as a means to reshape the government.

Week Three: LATIUM (10/18-10/21)

Wednesday, October 18: The Secret Keeper
JANUS, written by Sam Bertken, directed by Casey Robbins
Lemony Snicket meets Narnia in this comedic and tragic tale. A mysterious door appears in the lives of three seemingly disconnected people- and what lies beyond it will change their lives forever.

Thursday, October 19: Attendants of Grove And Field
FLORA, written by Meg Trowbridge, directed by Allison Page
Soft petals, delicious aromas, beautiful to gaze upon. Geogria O’Keefe wasn’t the only person to think of sex when she saw a flower…

FERONIA, written by Meg Trowbridge, directed by Allison Page
When modern-day Feronia worshippers accidentally conjure the goddess into their Berkeley kitchen, Feronia gets a glimpse of today’s modern conveniences and is ready to throw the wilderness to the wolves.

PORTUNES, written by Tonya Narvaez, directed by Allison Page
A lighthouse beam has been dark for several days as a storm rages on. What’s going on out there?

PALES, written by Christian Simonsen, directed by Allison Page
Can a minor god in the Roman Empire hang on to his career – and his dignity – by taking a gig as the opening act for the Child of Bethlehem?

VOLTURNUS, written by Tonya Narvaez, directed by Allison Page
A ring lost long ago resurfaces, ending up in the hands of someone quite unlikely.

POMANA, written by Stacey Matthews-Winn, directed by Allison Page
Train up a child in the way he should go? So says the proverb, but all that binding and pruning can have unintended consequences.

VERTUMNUS, written by Stacey Matthews-Winn, directed by Allison Page
Should becoming Mr. Right be an iterative process?

FONTUS, written by Christian Simonsen, directed by Allison Page
While Fontus, the god of wells and springs, tries desperately to stop authorities in Ancient Rome from poisoning their own people with lead filled water, he finds himself transported to another city in a dying empire: Flint, Michigan.

Friday, October 20: Queens of Temple And Hall
FORTUNA I, written by Neil Higgins, directed by Megan Briggs
What does the theological philosopher Saint Augustine do when he is met by the very goddess he has renounced in one of his treatises? Debate her existence, of course.

CARMENTA written by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Megan Briggs
Carmen’s music helped Evie through adolescence. Her wisdom will help Evie through childbirth.

FORTUNA II, written by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Megan Briggs
Join Fortuna, host of the Ancient Roman world’s favorite game of chance! She’s omniscient! She’s clairvoyant! And she’s bored as hell.

SALUS, written by Elizabeth Flannagan, directed by Megan Briggs
When the end of the world isn’t enough.

Saturday, October 21: The Proto-Savior
ADONIS, written by Stuart Bousel, directed by Juliana Lustenader
A man returns from the dead- or does he? As his family and loved ones try to solve the puzzle, he finds himself faced with the greatest puzzle of all: the reason we exist.