Pleiades is a story about sisterhood in the literal sense and the metaphorical sense. Set in 1971, at the height of the second-wave feminist movement, it is a myth for our own time: the story of seven young women trying to find their places within their family and within a changing world.
Earlier drafts of Pleiades received staged readings at the San Francisco Olympians Festival (October 2011) and the Atlantic Stage New Voices Festival (April 2013).
Why “Pleiades”? This play was originally commissioned by the San Francisco Olympians Festival, so it’s inspired by Greek mythology. To the Greeks, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of the titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione. From oldest to youngest, they were named Maia, Elektra, Taygete, Alkyone, Kelaino, Sterope, and Merope. The eldest three sisters all were lovers of Zeus, and some of the other sisters were loved by Poseidon and Ares. Eventually, when Orion the Hunter started pursuing the sisters, Zeus transformed them all into stars in order to protect them.
A modernized retelling: In Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas are re-imagined as the seven Attlee sisters: Moira, Elaine, Teresa, Alison, Kelly, Sarah, and Meredith. Their companion, the goddess Artemis, becomes their rabble-rousing feminist cousin, Diane. And Zeus, the king of the gods, becomes their charismatic neighbor, Bruce. Mythology fans may find a few additional in-jokes and allusions in the script, but you don’t need to be a mythology expert in order to see or enjoy this play.
How do you pronounce it? If you’re American, “Plee-a-dees.” If you’re British, “Ply-a-dees.” If you’re a classics scholar, “Play-a-des.”