Aeneus was a Trojan Prince, the son of Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite, or Venus as the Romans called her, who escaped the destruction of Troy carrying his father on his back and leading his son, Ascanius, by the hand, though his wife, Creusa, died in the fires. Like Odysseus, Aeneus was persecuted by one of the gods, in this case the wife of Zeus, Hera (or Juno, to the Romans), and thus spent many years wandering, escaping a number of monsters and disasters. After having an affair with Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and burying his father in Sicily, he finally found rest on the Italian peninsula, where through marriage to Lavinia, the king of the Latins’ daughter, he would begin the line of rulers eventually to found and govern Rome. This mythological heritage would be used by Roman rulers to point to both divine heritage (through Venus) and a direct link to Troy, previously considered the great civilization of its time, and thus painting a tale of pre-destination both to rule and to rule supreme over the known world. Though Aeneus is a character in The Iliad and his story is told by a number of sources Greek and Latin, the best known version is by the Roman poet Virgil, and bears his name: The Aeneid.
In Stuart Bousel’s play, NO SINGLE THING, he seeks to create a follow up to his year 4 Olympians play, SEE ALSO ALL, a piece which explored the power of archetypes in Western mythology and narrative, and how those archetypes have formed our understanding of the world we find ourselves living in today. “While the first play showed us how the stories of the past can send us into exile,” he writes, “the second play will show us how these stories can bring us home again.”
AENEUS or NO SINGLE THING by Stuart Eugene Bousel
Directed by Alejandro Torres
Staged Reading on October 10, 2018 at the EXIT Theatre
Stuart Bousel is the Artistic Director of San Francisco indy theater company, No Nude Men Productions, the Executive Producer (and founder) of the San Francisco Olympians Festival (declared by the Guardian to be “Theater Festival Most Likely to Win A Gold Medal” in 2013), the Hospitality Coordinator for the San Francisco Fringe Festival/EXIT Theatre, and the Director of New Work Development for Custom Made Theatre Company. He was the Executive Director (and co-founder) of the San Francisco Theater Pub (winner of the Guardian’s “Best of Bay” in 2011), the Publicist for DIVAfest, and served as the chair of the Individual Services Committee for TBA. He has directed a number of plays for Custom Made, including M. Butterfly, The Merchant of Venice, Prelude to a Kiss, The Crucible, Grey Gardens, Six Degrees of Separation, The House of Yes, and The Lion in Winter. Other directing credits include Edward II, Phaedra, Love’s Labors Lost, Hamlet, and The Desk Set all with No Nude Men, Measure For Measure, Dick 3, and Taming of the Shrew with SF Theater Pub, the world premiere of Morgan Ludlow’s Ruth and The Sea with Wily West Productions, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Frogs for Atmostheatre/Theatre In the Woods, and Bag of Dickens at Killing My Lobster. He directed the world premieres of Nirmala Nataraj’s The Monk and The Book of Genesis: Re-mixed and Remastered, as well as Susan Sobeloff’s Merchants and Allison Luterman’s Oasis, all for No Nude Men. As a playwright, his work has been produced in New York, Dublin, Portland, Tucson, Melbourne, Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco. His play Vincent of Gilagmesh was a nominee for the 2001 MAC Award; his play Matthew 33:6 was a finalist for the Sky Cooper Award in 2007; and his play Wild Blue Peaks was a finalist at HUMANA in 2002. He co-wrote the John C. Cosgrove Award winning short film Insomnia in 2000, and his play Everybody Here Says Hello! (produced by Wily West Productions) received the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding World Premiere in 2014, and was nominated for Best Original Script by the Bay Area Critics Circle in 2015. He has three times had work featured in the Bay One Acts Festival: Housebroken in 2010, Speak Roughly in 2011, and Brainkill in 2012. He adapted the novel Giant Bones, by Peter S. Beagle, in 2010, and the memoir Rat Girl, by Kristin Hersh, in 2014 (also nominated for Outstanding World Premiere, TBA Awards). His play Pastorella was nominated for the 2015 Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding World Premiere and additional works, Adventures in Tech (With Pillow Talk On The Side) and Twins received premiere productions at PianoFight, and Gone Dark at Otherworld Theatre Company. He is the recipient of the SF Weekly’s “Ringmaster Award” in Best of the Bay 2013, and his other work includes penning the online short film Wish U Were Here for Hosteling International, the novel Dry Country, the libretto of the short opera Devil’s Deal for Opera Theatre Unlimited, and co-editing two collections of new work by Bay Area playwrights, Songs of Hestia (2012), and Heavenly Bodies (2014), both published by EXIT Press, each including a full-length play by him: Juno En Victoria and Hyperion To A Satyr, respectively. With Megan Cohen he co-founded the monthly Bay Area writer/actor meet up Saturday Write Fever. His Bay Area acting credits including the Actor’s Theatre of San Francisco (Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol), The EXIT Theatre (Confessions of a Catholic Child), The Bay One Acts Festival (Future of the Female) and The Custom Made Theatre Company (Chess). More information about his work can be found at http://www.stuartbousel.com