Directed by Teddy Spencer

Featuring Leon Goertzen & Melissa Ortiz

(PLAYWRIGHT’S NOTE: This play is to be performed with two rather large books in the hands of, or at the reach of the actors—THETIS and PELEUS. Both actors have pencils in which they, from time to time, write in their own books to either progress, further or retell their stories, or versions of their stories. Erasing, as stage business, is allowed in this ritual. While both books are big, PELEUS’S book is noticeably larger than THETIS’S. At rise, THETIS—in haute couture gown. PELEUS—in golden armor, Ralph Lauren or Armani. This can be achieved by spray painting (gold paint in a can). Both actors are reading from their books. During the show and tell, the books are abandoned by the actors but often re-visited with the pencil. Have fun. Be physical. Look like you’re an awardee at the Oscars—not the Grammies.)

PELEUS: Zeus and Poseidon. Drinking beer on the beach. Arguing about which one of them will bang the sea nymph Thetis first. Nereus, her dad, comes up from the sea—whoosh– and says “Zeus! Poseidon! What’s this about the two of you pedophiles trying to hump my daughter? She wants to remain a virgin and devote her life to the sea. Warning. Prophecy. Thetis, my daughter, the girl you are both trying to bang—Her son will become greater than his father.” Nereus goes back into the sea. Splash.

Zeus says “I don’t want to make a baby with Thetis anymore.”

Poseidon says “Me either.”

Zeus says, “ We need to escape fate. We’ll marry her off. We’ll pick somebody. Somebody dumb. A mortal.”

Poseidon asks “Who?”

Zeus says, “Peleus.”

Peleus was advised by Zeus and Poseidon to find the sea nymph when she was asleep and bind her tightly to keep her from escaping ‘cause she changes form.

THETIS: Really?


“I, Thetis, swore upon my chastity, no man will ever rule me. I’ll save my pearl and prepare a prank to fool this kidnapper. I’ll transform and disguise myself and confuse him and send him on his way.” Thetis transforms herself into a wall of darkness and awaits the mortal.

(Black shawl around her body, standing against the black wall.)

PELEUS: Enter, Peleus.

THETIS: You there. Trespasser. What’s your business?

PELEUS: This is the cave of Thetis, the water nymph?

THETIS: Who are you?

PELEUS: Peleus, prince of… I can hear you but I can’t see you. Who are you?

THETIS: Guardian of this cave.

PELEUS: What are you?

THETIS: The darkness.

PELEUS: Where are you?

THETIS: Beside you. You’re not expecting to meet a woman, are you?

PELEUS: Yes, the beautiful Thetis. Where is she?

THETIS: She expecting you?

PELEUS: I don’t want her to know I’m here. I’ve come to claim her as my bride.


PELEUS: I heard she was all that.

THETIS: You’re going to take this nymph without her consent, and you—a mere mortal, are going to steal her heart?

PELEUS: That’s the plan.

THETIS: This isn’t a fairytale.

PELEUS: Glad I brought some light.


PELEUS: (Lights a lantern and raises it.) So long, Darkness.

THETIS: Shift. Thetis transforms into a serpent.

PELEUS: Who are you?

THETIS: You can’t stuff a goddess in a sack or tie her with rope. It’s humanly impossible, sweetheart. You’ll never find her.

(Begins to sing Turkish snake charming melody.)

PELEUS: Stop trying to hypnotize me to make me fall asleep. It won’t work, snaky. I’ve got my bow and arrow. Get outta my way.

(Shoots THETIS with bow and arrow.)

THETIS: Ouch. Shift. Transform into a wounded deer.

PELEUS: Where’d the snake go?

THETIS: She ran away. You scared her, you bastard.

PELEUS: A talking golden deer. Your fur is golden like the Golden Fleece.

THETIS: Don’t touch me. I’ll ram my horns through your belly if you come close.

PELEUS: I must have you.

THETIS: Stay where you are. I belong to God and God alone.

PELEUS: If I can’t have Thetis, I’ll have you.

THETIS: Touch me, you die. My coat is made of poison. Transform into a big thing of wind. Blow out his light.

PELEUS: Darkness again.

THETIS: Now transform into a pool of cool quiet water.

PELEUS: Where are you?

THETIS: Here. Over here.

PELEUS: Who are you?

THETIS: The water. Drink me and I’ll give you understanding.

PELEUS: (Reaches into the water and drinks.)

THETIS: Is there more to you than the rope and sack? I don’t need you to control me and change my world.

PELEUS: Thetis?

THETIS: Transform into a nymph. –I’m disappointed in you. You’re skinny. I expected you to be—bigger.

PELEUS: Bigger? How?

THETIS: Like—bigger.

PELEUS: You knew I was coming here tonight.

THETIS: Oh, so now you’re little feelings are hurt?

PELEUS: You tricked me. Witch.

THETIS: Zeus tricks millions of young girls to copulate with him by transforming himself into all kinds of beasts all year round —Did you call him a witch? No, you think it’s cool ‘cause he knocks up another one. Why the double standard?


THETIS: You’re an asshole. And that’s why I’m not going with you.

PELEUS: But you have to. My reputation depends on it. In order to get the inheritance of the throne, I have to bring home an exceptional woman who will give me an exceptional son. Then and only then will I receive the throne and the inheritance of the kingdom. I must prove I can win the heart of a true queen.

THETIS: Men have to play the game that men created on earth.

PELEUS: Please.

THETIS: That’s better (Pause.) Ok.


THETIS: Ok. I’ll go with you.

PELEUS: Just like that.

THETIS: Just like that. I’ll go with you.

PELEUS: What? Are you serious? Sike! It’s all a joke, Thetis. Zeus and the heroes of renown sent me to test you. You were the last independent woman standing on earth. The last independent kick ass, power pussy, wonder woman, queen of “to-the-left, to-the-left.” And you just traded all that in and proved that women cave in to us men every-time. The inevitability of patriarchy is piercing the entire universe. So climb aboard, Thetis, and stop resisting fate.

THETIS: Just as I was beginning to like you. Transform. Into an angry wind.

(THETIS transforms. Tears the pages out of PELEUS’S book. Destroys it.)

PELEUS: What was that?

THETIS: A windfall.

PELEUS: Nuh, that was a dues ex machina.

THETIS: In my book, it’s called a windfall. Tell Zeus his inevitability of patriarchy has had it’s run. (It’s over.)

PELEUS: Are you still gonna come with me? And marry me? And have my son? Show up with me in this sack to the palace and say, I do. We’ll make a baby, then you can run off far away with the child and live your own lives. I’ll say the baby died. I’ll pay you. A lot of money.

THETIS: How much?

PELEUS: Whatever you want.

THETIS: You think I trust you? Kiss me.


THETIS: Kiss me. What’s the matter?

PELEUS: I don’t like girls.

THETIS: This is getting interesting.

PELEUS: We’ll fake it.

THETIS: Men have to play the game that men created on earth.

PELEUS: I need the money.

THETIS: How is this going to work?

PELEUS: Easy. On our honeymoon night–just transform. Into a boy.

THETIS: Ok but if I do that then we won’t be able to make a baby.

PELEUS: I’ll dress you in men’s clothing. Put this cap on. Put on this jacket. Uh, stick your chest out. Put a little bass in your voice. Hot.

THETIS: And I get to keep the baby, come back here to the sea and live my own life?

PELEUS: Mommy and daddy gives me the kingdom, I break off you and the baby a little something-something, and I get to be with my boyfriend Steve.

THETIS: And live happily ever after.

PELEUS: That’s the plan.

(THETIS considers her book.  She picks up a pencil, erases the page, rewrites as Peleus peers over her shoulder, staring at the page. Smiling.)