IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GETTY VILLA
SILICON VALLEY, CA-- The TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in partnership with Getty Village production of the play PANDORA, to be presented as a Virtual reading, by TheatreWorks on March 24-28, but is being presented by Getty Village as a Virtual play with actors playing, (not reading) their roles, dressed in costumes, holding props on their nands and even utilizing the natural environment as a backdrop, makes watching it, a fascinanting experience.
According to Greek mythology, PANDORA was the first woman ever created by the Greek god ZEUS. Her story first appeared written in lines 560-612 of HESIOD's epic poem Theogony written on the 8th Century B.C. In the poem, ZEUS, the God of the Sky, Greek's chief deity and protector of all gods and men, was infuriated when PROMETEUS, one of his sons, instead of bringing him the meat of sacrificed animals brought him only the bones as gifts from men, so, to punish the men, ZEUS took the fire back to Olympus (the home of the gods) but PROMETEUS, feeling sorry for the men, stole the Fire and returned it it back to men. This enraged ZEUS who tided PROMETEUS to a high hill and had an eagle eat his liver, which generated. And as a punishment to men, he create PANDORA, the first woman,
She was named PANDORA, because the name means all endowed, and she was to be created to be perfect. So, to create her, ZEUS took endowments from all the gods to blend them into her, in addition to wisdom, and beauty. The ONLY flaw she was allowed to have, was curiosity. Not wanting to create her, ZEUS's gave all the instructions to HEPHAESTUS, his other son and PROMETEUS brother, and ordered him to mold her. And because she had been created with the purpose to destroy men, ZEUS also gave her a jar, (which was later changed into "Pandora's Box") containing all what is evil and capable to killing men: wars, pandemics, earthquakes, tornados, fires to name a few calamities. And because she had been given curiosity she was told never to open the bottle to check what was in it. What ZEUS did not plan, however,was that after completing his creation, HEPHAESTUS, fell in love with her.
In his play PANDORA, written by playwright, actress and director Laurel Ollstein, what she does is a theatrical retelling of the original story, slightly changed, in other words, an adaptation of the original PANDORA,
In the GETTY VILLA's production of Ollstein's adaptation of PANDORA the play was represented online with the following cast of actors: KACIE ROGERS (pictured Left) playing the lead part of Pandora, BERNARDO CUBRIA (pictured right) playing the part of Zeus, called Z in Ollstein's play. Other characters are: EDEN MALYN (Dynah) NEIMAH DJOURABCHI (Epi, as Ephaestus is called) JONES (As the actor imitation Girl and dog calls himself/herself) MARY BETH FISHER (as Hes and as the Professor) and ROMI DIAS (as Phro). The play's Stage Director was KATHERINE HAMILTON, the Play was directed by GIOVANNA SARDELLI and TAYLOR McQUESTEN served as AEA Stage Manager,
PANDORA begins with Pandora (ROGERS) alone in her island. telling us that she is the first human woman ever created and that she is perfect. She is surprised by the visit of Phro (Dias) who may actually be Aphrodite, because in Greek Mytology, Venus (her Roman name) is the godess who emerged from the Ocean. When asked by Pandora "How did you get here?" she says that she came with the sea foam, because she is part of the ocean's water.
During their conversation, Pandora's tells her that she thought she was a guest, at her wedding, because she and Epi are going to get married later on and that she is excited because Z, Epi's father and his wife are going to come to the ceremony. Their dialogue hints that Phro, may also be Pandora's mother, because she knows a lot about the girl. Another hint my be that she knows exactly where Pandora's "mother" kept her bridal gown that she suggest that the girl looks for it, and wears it for her own wedding.
The action continues in a series of dialogues with people that Pandora kew, which includes a Blind woman who is going to officiate the ceremony, Epi, her future husgand, another man, and a cat, named Prometheus, which is killed by an eagle but revives.
The acting, on the part of each one of the actors is seamless. all play their roles realistically and convincingly enough in spite that each one of them was probably acting alone somewhere(maybe at home) when being filmed, and then put together, on the computer's screen, by projecting their faces from the waist up, on small rectangular pictures.
The play was well casted. Yet, one of the best performances on the opening night projection, was the acting of Pandora (ROGERS) who could portray, convincingly, her joy, her innocence, and her curiosity as the first woman, who even need to ask the women gods who visit her: what is a woman? Another role that needs mentioning was the role of the blind woman (FISHER). This two performances, were outstanding on that night.
As for the play itself. Most of the dialogue is good, and the story sticks to the original. Our only but in the play, was using the prop of a felp cat to represent the fire god Prometheus. For those who know that Prometheus in Greek Mythology, was ZEUS son, to represent him as a cat, did not make sense at all.
We also need to mention that in the production, the addition of filmed graphics showing a light house, and the Ocean's braking waves on the rocks, was magic, and the presentation of the individual actors. shown in rectangular small screens arranged on the online screen, to give us the feeling that they were talking in the same place, gave the effect.
PANDORA ends with the arrival of Z and his wife to the wedding and with him placing on the bride's hand a big box warning her not to open it.
To learn what happens next, the audience will have to watch PANDORA, which is being streamed at Getty Villa at:
from Friday February 26 at 5pm Pacific time to March 19 at 11:59pm Pacific time.Register for the program in advance at the getty website for the TheatreWorks/Getty partnership reading of PANDORA.