Sophocles Sinon at The Emeryville Mudflats

At 8:01 p.m. on May 4th, 2015 we performed a site responsive theatre event of Sophocles’ Sinon (using the textual fragments that have survived) in the Emeryville Mudflats: adjacent to the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.

based on Sophocles’ fragments
adapted and directed by Jamie Lyons
performed by Todd Pivetti

The Play…
left behind by the departing Greeks
pretending to be a companion of Palamedes
whom the Greeks sacrificed
wins the confidence of the Trojans
convincing them the Wooden Horse
is merely an offering to Athena
yet – if the Trojans destroy it
the goddess will punish them
if they bring it within the city walls
Troy will one day invade Greece
and enjoy a great triumph

only four individual words remain from Sophocles‘ play

The Location…
The debris art on the Emeryville Mudflats
first appeared in the early 1960s
among the memorable sculptures:
Medfly Man waving from a giant chair.
Prima ballerinas
The Driftwood Five playing flotsam and jetsam
a full size train
the Red Baron frozen in flight
dogfighting with the Sopwith Camel,
a huge Viking,
and a boy mummy
steering an Egyptian canoe
with a gold casket strapped to the deck

Yet, this shoreline is home to 90 species of birds
such as the clapper rail
barn swallow
and black phoebe

In 1998 Caltrans used a helicopter
to haul about 80 Dumpsters full of art/trash
from the mudflats
plastic and glass bottles
rotting wood ties
utility poles treated with creosote
and the ubiquitous shopping carts.

the artwork is gone
maybe an occasional rogue piece appears
the driftwood and trash
continues to wash up on shore

Sophocles’ Sinon, Trojan Horse, Emeryville

Todd Pivetti performed the role of Sinon

Sophocles Sinon on the Emeryville Mudflats

2 thoughts on “Sophocles Sinon at The Emeryville Mudflats

  1. nice horse. the photos make it look bigger than it seems in the video.
    who is leaving the trojan horse? and whom is Sinon convincing to receive it out in those mudflats?
    acceptance of pollution by a shore… you have me thinking.

    • The Greeks built the horse
      and left it on the beach
      (of course all the heros are hiding inside of it)
      while their ships sailed off

      Sinon is the one greek who is left behind
      his job is to convince the tojans
      to bring it with their city walls
      so the heros (inside the horse)
      can sneak out and attack.

      the scene shows Sinon
      after the ships have sailed away
      and as the Trojans are approaching

      only four words of the orginal text remain
      “sinon”, “liar”, “horse”, and “trembling”

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