15+ characters; Flexible cast; 34 pages in length. Approximately 30-45 minutes running time. A Greek tragedy best suited for older students written by Sandy Barker.

This play is based on a fictitious myth in combination with traditional Greek mythology surrounding the Olympians, led by Zeus. It is written for performers aged 13 to 17, depending on ability and maturity of the cast. It plays well to peer group audiences, as well as parents/teachers.

The play explores mature themes, with the death of Calypsae and Heracles’ banishment requiring particular sensitivity from performers. Although there are comic moments, it is a tragedy and there is tension between many of the characters throughout the play.

Sandy Barker started writing plays for her students some time ago and is pleased to be able to share them with other Drama teachers across the world. As a playwright and Drama teacher, she strives to provide meaningful parts for a large cast of mixed abilities. Additionally, her one-act plays are simply-staged and draw on themes that are relevant to the performers and audiences. Sandy has a degree in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Curtin University in Australia, as well as a post-graduate degree in Education, and started teaching high school Drama in 1994. Before moving to the United States in 2008, she was Head of Drama at Brigidine College in Sydney. From 2001 to 2004 she taught an extra-curricular Drama program to children aged 4 to 16 through the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. From 2005 to 2008, she was an examiner for the high school Drama performance exams for New South Wales. Sandy has spent the past few years in the United States working in the tech industry and completing other writing projects. 2013 sees a return to Australia for Sandy and her family, where they will be based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Aphrodite Goddess of Beauty
Athena Goddess of Wisdom
Ares God of War
Zeus Supreme Ruler of Mount Olympus
Hera Queen of Olympus, Zeus’ wife and sister
Hesia Goddess of Family and Hearth, Zeus’ sister
Demeter Goddess of Harvest and Seasons, Zeus’ sister
Heracles A Demi-God, Zeus’ son
Hermes The Messenger, Zeus’ son
Calypsae A Demi-Goddess, Zeus’ daughter
CHORAGUS Chorus Leader
CHORUS A group of choral members

Choragus and Chorus are onstage throughout the play, commenting on the action, and interacting with the characters.  They often move and speak in unison.  Lines marked ‘Chorus’ should be divided amongst choral members.

Prologue

CHORAGUS
A long time ago, before any of us were even thought of, there lived a young woman whose very existence was considered a threat to the Goddesses Athena and Aphrodite, and to all the Olympian gods.

CHORUS
Never before had the goddesses seen eye to eye, as Athena thought Aphrodite frivolous and cruel, and Aphrodite thought Athena self-righteous and arrogant.

CHORUS
Neither could have anticipated forming an alliance with the other, but if they failed, a young woman could bring down all the gods with the might of her beauty and mind.

Scene One

ATHENA
You’ve looked better Aphrodite.  Been tumbling amongst the weeds with one of your lovers, or fending off the advances of your husband again?

APHRODITE
Oh do shut up Athena.  Don’t you have a war to win, somewhere?  Anywhere?  Honestly, the sight of you could make a grown goddess cry – so masculine, so, well, metallic.

ATHENA
I am on my way to see Zeus.  He has called for me – and you, apparently – but I don’t suppose that hapless fool, Hermes, stopped by to let you know?

APHRODITE
Oh yes, he delivered the message, thank you very much.

ATHENA
Are you coming?

APHRODITE
I would not even consider it – especially now that I know you are going.

ATHENA
You’d risk the wrath of Zeus?  You are more foolish than I thought.

APHRODITE
Well, just for that I will come.  I don’t want you gleaning all his favour.

ATHENA
Oh yes, and it has nothing to do with being cast off Mount Olympus by an angry god.

CHORUS
Side by side the goddesses climbed to the top of Olympus, where they would find their ruler and god, the most powerful Zeus, only moments before his fury was loosed.

Scene Two

ZEUS
Must I wait?  Must I?  When I send for you, come as soon as I call.

ATHENA
(Making peace) Forgive me, Zeus, it was me who caused the delay.

ZEUS
Unlike you, Athena.

APHRODITE
Nevertheless, it is tedious to wait on another.  I hate to wait.

Athena gives Aphrodite a pointed look

ZEUS
I have spoken with the Oracle and there is a disturbing prophecy concerning you both.

The two goddesses look at each other.

ATHENA
That is highly unusual, Zeus.  The Oracle does not usually prophesize about more than one Olympian.  This prophecy affects us both?

ZEUS
Must I repeat myself?  Must I?

APHRODITE
Apparently, yes. 

ZEUS
You are foolish to be so flippant, but I have come to expect that of you.

APHRODITE
The prophecy?

ZEUS
There is a young woman living amongst the mortals, a demi-goddess, who until now has been hidden from us by her mother.

APHRODITE
One of your many women?

ATHENA
You are one to talk.

ZEUS
Do not question me again.  But yes, I am the girl’s father.  Danae is her mother.

ATHENA
So Perseus is her brother?

ZEUS
Yes.

APHRODITE
What age is she?

ZEUS
She is coming of age.

ATHENA
And how does this affect us?

ZEUS
The prophecy says that as she becomes a woman, she will be more beautiful than even you Aphrodite, and more powerful and wise than you, Athena.

APHRODITE
That is impossible. The Oracle is wrong.

ATHENA
The Oracle in never wrong.

ZEUS
No, she is not.

ATHENA
And with your blood in her veins, she will have rightful claim on Mount Olympus.  She could usurp us all, including you Zeus.

ZEUS
Exactly.

They exit.

ALL CHORUS
Death to all Gods and Goddesses!

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