Aeschylus’ Daughters of the Sun (A.20) At Año Nuevo


adapted and directed by Jamie Lyons
performed by Jamie Lyons
location: Año Nuevo State Park

The Play…
the story of how Phaëthon meet his death
while attempting
to drive his father’s chariot
through the sky.

“his sisters through their grief were transformed into poplar trees, and how every year by the banks of the River Eridanus, which we call the Po, they shed tears of amber, known to the Greeks as ‘electrum,’ since they call the sun ‘Elector’ or ‘the Shining One’—this story has been told by numerous poets, the first of whom, I believe, were Aeschylus, Philoxenus, Euripides, Nicander and Satyrus.”  Pliny the Elder (Natural History 37.31–32)

FRAGMENT 68
Rhipae, the setting-place
of our father the Sun.
FRAGMENT 69
Where at my father’s setting is the cup fashioned by Hephaestus,
in which
he crosses the wide, swelling waters of Ocean, asleep,
escaping the darkness of holy Night with black horses.
FRAGMENT 70
Zeus is the aether, Zeus is earth, Zeus is heaven—yes,
Zeus is everything, and whatever there may be beyond that.
FRAGMENT 71

And the women of Adria
shall have this manner of lamentation.

FRAGMENT 72
It stirred up in you
a flow more abundant than a fountain.

Daughters_of_the_sun

The Location…

the first known inhabitants of the area
were the Quiroste Ohlone

on January 3, 1603
Sebastian Vizcaino sailed past the point
Father Antonio de la Ascensión
the diarist and chaplain of the expedition
named it Punta de Año Nuevo (New Year’s Point)

AN_aerial

the first European land exploration
was the Spanish Portolà expedition of 1760-70
the explorers camped at Año Nuevo Creek on November 19th
Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi noted:

“We…halted on a steep rock, in sight of the point which we judged to be Año Nuevo, on the bank of an arroyo which empties into the sea.”

after Mission Santa Cruz was founded in 1791
the Quiroste population plunged
on account of diseases brought by the Spanish

after the mid nineteenth century
came the development of Año Nuevo Island
and agriculture in the surrounding region

AN_island

once home to a large population of elephant seals
before hunters decimated the population
since the mid-20th century
the seals are protected
and the population has rebounded

elephantseal

The Iota’s site specific theatre production of Aeschylus’ Daughters of the Sun at Año Nuevo State Park.