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  • Writer's pictureSam Baldwin

Josie, Jeffy, Herakles!

Dear readers, followers, friends, I hope that you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I know that I did. But my true joy stems from the beginning of this year's project.

As I teased late last week, we're bringing on two writers this time, to adapt the same ancient play, in shorter form than we've done in the past.

And those two writers are...

Josie Seid!

Josie is a member of the LineStorm Playwrights collective and in has produced several works in partnership. For their Portland in Play 2016 and 2017 productions, she wrote the short plays Jordan’s Wisdom and The Portland Colored School: A Lesson in Reading Between the Lines. She also wrote the short play, Overdue, for the Short and Sweet short play festival in 2017. Her short plays This is Message, 13, and Stand By Me have also been featured in Profile Theater’s 24 hour short play festivals in 2017 and 2018.

Her full length play Petite Dames was highlighted by both the Reading Parlor and 2017 Fertile Ground and was a Kilroy List nominee. Her newest play, The Great God of the Dark Storm Cloud, was featured in this years Fertile Ground at Artists Rep. in February.


Jeffy Denight!

Jeffrey "Jeffy" Denight (they/them) is a playwright & educator. They are a core member of Playwrights West through which they wrote L O S T_F O R_W O R D S | 失われた言葉 (2018) and Curtain Call is What Follows Act V (2019). They are a two-time Waukegan Theatre Festival fellow with Three Bros. Theatre, where they developed Pictorial Anatomy of an M----- (2014) and Daddy Daughter Dance (2015). Jeffy lives in Portland, OR. Jeffy received their BA in theatre and BFA in creative writing at Truman State University.

Both Josie and Jeffy were finalists for the commission in past years. It was hard to turn them away then, but Orphic is thrilled to now have them on board.

And they will be adapting Herakles, by Euripides. It's an upsetting play, even as Greek tragedy goes, as it treats on how this iconic hero murders his family. We're all interested in exploring that event, and comparing it to other stories that are a part of the character's life. He is at times a rash, drunken brute. He is at times resourceful. He is an adventurer, whose feats of strength are legendary. And he is also a murder.

And usually, in just about every telling, he is a heterosexual white male.

But with this commission, that last bit will be reimagined. Who is this new Herakles? How will Jeffy's Herakles differ from Josie's? We'll find out!

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