The story of Theseus, Ariadne and Minotaur
1. Main purposes
- We are staging four different performances, each referring to the same plot but in a different theatre convention (discussed during previous meetings ).
- We work on the same version of a myth, the same text written down in documentation and forwarded to all partners.
- Each team focuses on different elements of the plot, so that the chosen stage conventions can be explicitly shown (for instance – the team concentrating on the ancient convention creates a tragedy in which the main protagonist is Ariadne who has to choose between her brother (Minotaur) and the beloved (Theseus).
- In October each team prepares the script; details connected with the performance will be decided during the meeting in Italy.
2. The events that create the plot (common base for all groups working on the project)
2.1 It’s been three years since Athens were defeated by the King of Crete – Minos. Sadness prevails in the city. It is the third time that people have to perform a cruel draw and choose twelve young men and twelve girls to be given as tribute imposed on them. Those unfortunate young people will be devoured by Minotaur, locked in a secret labyrinth located in the royal palace in Knossos.
2.2. Theseus (who is not a citizen of Athens) volunteers to sail to Crete in order to defeat Minotaur. He promises all people of Athens that their children will return in good health and that in future there will be no need to offer any tributes.
2.3. Three ships full of victims to be given as tributes set off towards Crete. On reaching the island, they are awaited by king Minos who is counting the victims. The ruler fancies one of the Greek girls, but Theseus manages to defend her from possible kidnapping and unwanted advances by declaring that as the son of Poseidon his role is to protect virgins in his care. Minos does not believe in Poseidon’s divine origins so he throws his signet ring into the sea and orders the young man to recover it. In response, Theseus asks Minos for a proof that he is the son of Zeus.
2.4. Minos prays for a while and there comes a thunder from the sky (sign from Zeus). So, Theseus dives into the sea, and with the help of Nereid, he finds Minos’s signet ring. To prove his divine origins he also bring a crown which belongs to Tetida. (???)
2.5. Ariadne falls in love with Theseus and promises him help in murdering her stepbrother. On condition, though, that she will be able to leave the island together with him.
2.6. When Theseus promises to take Ariadne with him and to make her his wife, princess gives him a sword and magic thread (which she had been given by Daedal – the builder of the labyrinth) . The magic thread has to be tied up to the door leading to the labyrinth, it will be unrolling, leading to the Minotaur’s hiding place. On return, it will be rolling back, showing how to get to the exit of the labyrinth.
2.7. The sward and thread helped to kill Minotaur. Secretly, in the middle of the night, would-be victims of the beast take places on ships and escape. Theseus has to win a battle in the port, before leaving. Ariadne stays on his side.
2.8. But, for the reasons unknown, Theseus abandons Ariadne during the return journey – she is left asleep on the island of Naxos.
2.9. Our protagonist sails to Athens, the left behind Ariadne is found by Dionysus and he makes her his wife.
Based on Greek Myths by Robert Graves
Screenplays of our performances