…….I made creative decisions about some of the characters in terms of gender, personality and role in their mythology. Since they’re basically archetypal, it was easy to do.
An example would be the character of Catamitus.
In Greek myth, Catamitus is male, one of Zeus’ many lovers and a cup-bearer to the gods.
In my play, I ultimately chose to change Catamitus’ gender to female and remove the lover aspect, but the character is still a cup-bearer to the gods. Sort of – she’s the manager of the hotel that caters to the gods and goddesses of all mythologies.
Which now leads to the name.
Catamitus is Latin, from the word catamite.  Although I had changed the character from male to female, I did not alter the name. The “-us” is for the masculine, while the “-a” is for the feminine. In a flash, I had fixed the problem of a running joke in my play.
Many of the characters never get Catamitus’ name right, often referring to her as ‘Cal’. It never really quite worked, even though I kept it in.
If I change it to Catamita? Oh, the possibilities!! The puns!! The gnashing of teeth!!
“Catamita done that” sounds close to “Cat might have done that”.
I can’t wait to dive back into my play and see how that works itself out.
Catamita, on the other hand, might just tender her resignation.
……where chaos reigns and ancient mythologies collide. And that’s on a good day.
Most of the characters are based on the Greek gods and goddesses, but as I revise the play, I’m paying more attention to other mythologies. I make reference to a number of them within the dialogue, but I actually want to have the other ancient mythologies represented. To do that, I’m looking to give them a voice and space.
Since the ancient gods and goddesses are archetypal (ex. Athena is an archetype of war and wisdom), I’ve tagged a couple of the speaking roles to change over to a different mythological god/dess. It’ll be interesting to see how that works out, especially among mythologies that aren’t as readily identifiable, like the Greeks or Romans. Archetypes are common throughout every culture and myth. One of the reasons the ancient mythologies and plays resonate today is because we can still see ourselves and circumstances in those archetypes thousands of years after they were first staged.
There is, naturally, a Chorus, because what ancient play – Greek, Roman, Egyptian, (fill in the blank) – doesn’t have a Chorus, the impartial conscience and voice of the play itself? Generally, the Chorus’s role in the ancient plays (particularly the Greek ones) served to comment on the action within the context of the play. My Chorus sings about the action, what the situation is and offers back-up to Hera and Juno when they discover that their philandering husbands are one and the same (for my purposes, Zeus is Zeus and created his Roman counter-part, Jupiter because his ego determined that he can).
And what ancient play is complete without music? This play was inspired by the music of the Eagles and music has always played a part in grounding my stories to a time and place and feeling. I even created mini-soundtracks for my screenplays, each song triggering a scene or a moment that demanded to be put down on paper.
But, while writing this play, I encountered a significant problem – I’m not a musician and I don’t know how to write song lyrics. How am I to incorporate music into this play, other than to use and pay royalty fees for previously recorded music?
Fortunately, I am blessed to know several local musicians who have become very dear friends over the last few years. During a conversation about my play, I mentioned my concern over how to incorporate music. Unanimously, they said, “We’ll do it, all you need to do is ask, and it’s done.”
So now I have music and possible lyrics. I promised to have my song ideas for them upon completion of this current revision. My goal now is to find the right places for the songs to go and carry the story forward.
I have the feeling, however, that Zeus will make every effort to make it all about him. Because that’s his nature.