Home Greek Workshop

The Olympian Myths

 

Cast:    12 narrators, one for each god. Together they are the Chorus.

            Zeus

            Hera

            Athena

            Poseidon (and Hades)

            Dionysus

            Hephaestus

            Demeter (and Callisto)

            Hermes (and pirate)

            Apollo (and pirate)

            Ares

            Aphrodite (and Persephone)

            Artemis

         

 Chorus stands in two lines facing the audience at an angle at each side of the stage. Gods stand at the back of the stage

 

Chorus:

We welcome you to see our play

Of gods who never die

The greatest twelve of all did dwell

On Mount Olympus high

 

Narrator for Zeus: The king of all the gods is Zeus.

 

Enter Zeus

 

Zeus is the most powerful of all the gods, and he is master of the sky. With his thunderbolt he can destroy anything, and make any god do whatever he wants. Zeus is the father of many gods, including Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, and Dionysus.

 

Narrator for Hera: Zeusís wife is Hera, the queen of the gods.

 

Enter Hera, standing next to Zeus

 

Hera is the goddess of wives and marriage. Her husbandís many love affairs make her furious, and she has often punished his lovers and his children. She sent a snake to kill baby Heracles, but Heracles was so strong he strangled it.

 

Narrator for Athena: The wise goddess of war and crafts is Athena. She was born from Zeusís head already armed with helmet, shield and spear.

 

Enter Athena

 

Narrator for Poseidon: The god of the sea is Poseidon, brother of Zeus. He can start storms and earthquakes with a stroke of his trident.

 

Enter Poseidon next to Athena, strokes ground with trident. Everyone makes a storm noise.

 

Narrator for Athena: Poseidon and Athena both wanted to be the god of Athens. The other gods decided that the winner would be the one who gave the city the most useful gift.

 

Narrator for Poseidon:  Poseidon struck the rock of the Acropolis with his trident, and a stream of salty water sprang out. Athena stamped her foot, and there grew the first olive tree. Olives are good for eating and for oil, but no one can drink salt water. The gods made Athena the winner and the city was named after her.

 

Athena and Poseidon perform actions

 

Narrator for Dionysus: The god of wine and theatre is Dionysus.

 

Dionysus steps forward, pirates attack. Dionysus raises grapevine, turns pirates into dolphins

 

Dionysus taught people how to make wine. On one sea journey his ship was attacked by pirates. The god made the ship sprout all over with grapevines. The oars turned to snakes, and lions appeared from nowhere. The terrified pirates dived into the sea, but Dionysus turned them into dolphins.

 

Narrator for Hephaestus: The god of smiths, of fire and metalwork, is Hephaestus.

 

Enter Hephaestus limping, then Hera. She shoves him and he rolls onto the floor.

 

He was born with a bad leg, and his mother Hera threw him down from Olympus. [pause] In revenge he made her a magic throne. [pause]  When she sat on it her bottom stuck and she could not get up.

 

Hephaestus takes hammer and makes chair, then sends it to Hera, who sits and is stuck

 

Dionysos came to the rescue. He got Hephaestus drunk on wine and persuaded him to free his mother.

 

Dionysos gives Hephaestus wine in a bowl; he frees his mother

 

Narrator for Demeter: The goddess of farming and fruit is Demeter.

 

Enter Demeter, then Persephone and Hades; Hades takes Persephone away; Demeter wanders;

 

The god of the underworld, Hades, stole her daughter Persephone to be his wife. Demeter sadly wandered the world in search of her daughter. All this time the earth was cold and nothing would grow.

Everyone shivers. Zeus makes Hades give her back

 

At last Zeus forced Hades to allow Persephone to spend half the year with her mother and half with Hades. This is why the crops grow in spring and summer, when Persephone is with Demeter, but not in winter, when she is with Hades.

 

Narrator for Hermes: The messenger of the gods is Hermes. He can fly at great speeds with his winged feet.

 

Enter Hermes whizzing round, then Apollo reading

 

Narrator for Apollo:  The god of light and the sun is Apollo. He is also the god of music and poetry.

 

Narrator for Hermes: Hermes stole some of Apolloís cattle. He then invented the lyre, a musical instrument like a small harp.

 

Hermes leads off cows, gets lyre

 

Narrator for Apollo: Apollo was angry with Hermes. But then he heard the lovely sound of the lyre, and he accepted it in return for his cows. He soon became a master on the instrument, and is now the god of music.

 

Hermes gives Apollo lyre, he plays it

 

Narrator for Ares: The god of war is Ares. He enjoys bloodshed, and in wars often helps one side against the other.

 

Enter Ares swinging sword, then Aphrodite

 

Narrator for Aphrodite: The beautiful goddess of love is Aphrodite. She was born out of a giant shell, and had a magic belt that could make anyone fall in love with her. Her husband is Hephaestus.

 

Ares and Aphrodite put arms round each other

 

Narrator for Ares: Ares and Aphrodite had a love affair. Hephaestus was jealous. He made a magic net from bronze and trapped them in it.

 

Narrator for Aphrodite: The gods came round to laugh at the helpless lovers. Hephaestus only freed them when Ares paid him some money.

 

Hephaestus makes net, traps them. Gods laugh. Ares pays him; Hephaestus frees them

 

Narrator for Artemis: The goddess of hunting and the moon is Artemis, twin sister of Apollo.

 

Enter Artemis, firing bow, with dogs. Enter Callisto, pregnant. Artemis turns her into a bear

 

With her silver bow and her dogs she spends her time hunting. She has never had children, and expects her friends to do the same. One of these friends, Callisto, became pregnant. Artemis was furious and turned her into a bear. The dogs wanted to tear Callisto to pieces. Zeus saved her by turning her into a constellation of stars called the Great Bear.

 

Zeus puts stars round Callistoís neck, sends her off into the sky.

 

Chorus:

 

The gods of Greece will never die

We pray to them each day

And now our ancient tales are done

We hope you liked our play.

 

 Everyone bows

 

Poseidon

 

       Pronunciation:

Zeus                            Zoose

Hera                            HAIR-a

Athena                         A-THEE-na

Poseidon                     Puh-SYE-dun

Hephaestus                 Heh-FYE-stus

Demeter                      Duh-MEE-ter

Hermes                       HER-meez

Apollo                          A-POLL-oe

Aphrodite                     Afruh-DYE-tee

Persephone                 Per-SEF-uh-nee

Ares                             AIR-eez

Artemis                        AR-tuh-miss

Dionysus                     Dye-uh-NYE-sus

Hades                          HAY-deez

Callisto                        Cuh-LISS-toe

Acropolis                     Uh-CROP-uh-liss