For our 22nd Meetup, our group convened at Phoenix Theatre for No Nude Men Productions’ world premiere of Marissa Skudlarek’s PLEIADES, a modern retelling of the Greek myth of the seven Pleiades sisters.
PLEIADES is a play about sisterhood in the literal sense and the metaphorical sense. It re-imagines the Greek myth of the seven Pleiades sisters as a story about the Baby Boomers in their youth. In 1971, at the height of the second-wave feminist movement, the seven Attlee sisters are young women seeking to find their places within their family and within a changing world. Their rabble-rousing feminist cousin Diane and their charismatic Vietnam-veteran neighbor Bruce represent contrasting paths that they might choose. Over the course of an eventful Fourth of July weekend in the Hamptons, their consciousnesses are raised and they come to know the true meaning of sisterhood.
Lily Janiak chose PLEIADES as an “Editor’s Pick” in the July/August 2014 issue of Theatre Bay Area, describing the script as “the love child of Jane Austen and Wendy Wasserstein.” Previous drafts of the play have received staged readings at the San Francisco Olympians Festival (October 2011) and the Atlantic Stage New Voices Festival in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (April 2013). The script is also due to be published in HEAVENLY BODIES, an anthology of plays from the 2011 Olympians Festival, forthcoming from EXIT Press.
From SFWeekly: “In Pleiades — Marissa Skudlarek’s clever reinterpretation of the story of seven sisters who serve as companions to Artemis — Zeus is portrayed by a charismatic Vietnam vet, while the goddess is represented by a fiery cousin, aptly named for her Roman counterpart, Diane. Set in 1971, Pleiades transforms the seven nymphs into baby boomers, straddling a stodgy world of stereotypes (archetypes) and a promised world of sisterhood and freedom, which may also fall prey to rigidity.”
Women involved in this production –
CREATIVE TEAM: Marissa Skudlarek (Playwright, Producer, Costume Coordinator); Katja Rivera (Director); Jane Troja (Stage Manager); Emily C. Martin (Poster Artist); Serena Morelli (Photographer); Jennifer Varat (Scenic Designer); Liz Ryder (Original Music/Sound Designer).
CAST: Monica Ammerman (Teresa); Erika Bakse(Diane); Kailah Cayou (Meredith); Miranda Hanrahan(Kelly); Annabelle King (Alison); Susannah Lee (Moira); Emily Ludlow (Sarah); and Amy Nowak (Elaine).
If you saw the show with the WWSF group (or by yourself), share your thoughts with us!