Aeschylus Daughters of the Sun at Año Nuevo

At 6:25 a.m. on April 24th, 2015 I performed a site responsive theatre production of Aeschylus Daughters of The Sun in the waves off Año Nuevo State Park

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)

Rhipae, the setting-place
of our father the Sun.
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.
Zeus is the aether, Zeus is earth, Zeus is heaven—yes,
Zeus is everything, and whatever there may be beyond that.

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

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

Aeschylus 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)


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

Aeschylus Daughters of the Sun

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

Aeschylus Daughters of the Sun

Aeschylus Daughters of the Sun