Canathus


 ”Hand in hand go secrets and lies:
Though one’s the truth, they’re both despised.”
                       — the Chorus of Nymphs

The Play:

Synopsis:

Two priestesses of Hera hide a pair of travelling men under the chaste and deadly boughs of Canathus, the original fountain of youth.

Characters:

Seven characters: 4 men, 3 women and a Chorus of Nymphs.

Vitals:

 Approxomately 2 hr. run time. 

 

Writer’s Notes:

I wrote this play shortly after graduating from college and moving to Chicago.  I’d been reading Greek tragedies almost exclusively for about a year and thought I’d try my hand at epic prosody.  The results are definitely mixed.  While the situation still strikes me at quite dire (two sworn-chaste priestesses of Hera fall in love with two travelling men and hide them against their better judgement, culminating in death-by-angry-goddess), several of the scenes lack… well… dramatic narrative.  I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of active protagonists yet, so much of the play rests upon the rhythm of the poetry, which, let’s face it… isn’t all that great. 

I still like parts of this play: the songs, the love scene between Nimea and Eredeus, Pleonas’s attempted seduction of Nimea, and a handful of couplets and speaches.  All in all though, reading the entire play gives me that pang of embarassment reserved only for one’s most epic failures.

This play was originally slated to be produced with Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan and Death and Harry Houdini as part of The House Theatre of Chicago’s first season.  The decision not to do it was tacit, simple, and in hindsight, a relief.

I had originally planned this to be the first in a trilogy of Greek tragedies (I told you I’d been reading them exclusively), and while drafts of the sequels exist in some digital file somewhere, I’ll never tell you where.

Productions:

None

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