Hathor, a sky goddess, was one of the most popular of the Ancient Egyptian gods; worshipped in Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Libya. Over time she was associated with things important to nearly every aspect of Egyptian life. Women, motherhood, childbirth, contraception. Beauty, cosmetics. Love, joy, romance. Turquoise, malachite, gold, and copper and therefore patroness of miners and goddess of trade. Dance and percussive music. Protectress of the dead on their final journey. Fortune telling. Destruction and defender of the Sun God Ra. Eventually absorbing associations with reading, writing, and architecture as she subsumed other goddesses. Her story is ancient even to the ancients. Her origin was as the personification of the Milky Way; considered the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow, which is why she’s depicted with a cow head and associated with cows. Before Isis was given the role, Hathor was the mother of Horus. Later she was said to be created by Re as Sekhmet the destroyer of men disloyal to him, but she fell into a bloodlust and was completely out of control until Re disguised beer as blood and she became drunk and fell asleep. When she sobered up she was transformed to the goddess of love.
In UNDER THE MILKY WAY IN THE LIGHT OF DAY, Laylah wants to explore the multifaceted aspects of Hathor’s role in ushering the dead to the next realm, in a world that increasingly feels like the sky is falling. While on a business trip to negotiate a critical deal, Hattie takes a side excursion to Bali to spread her father, Ray’s ashes and deal with his villa on the island. When her estranged aunt turns up unexpectedly, her entire world is turned upside down, and none of them expected Ray to walk through the door. The impossible events bring up conflicting emotions as she realizes her family history is more complicated than she thought and maybe miracles aren’t always good things.
HATHOR or UNDER THE MILKY WAY IN THE LIGHT OF DAY by Laylah Muran de Assereto
Directed by ShawnJ West
Staged Reading on October 7, 2017
Richard Robert Bunker (Ray)
Derek Jones (Todd)
Ben Ortega (Happy)
Belgica Rodriguez (Hattie)
Daniela Sirkin (Stage Directions)
Lisa Tateosian (Mutt)
Ivan Velazquez (Wayan)
Laylah Muran de Assereto has been involved in theatre and writing creative fiction since childhood. Raised in an extended urban family of poets, musicians, and performance artists Laylah got her start acting with her family’s avant-garde puppet theatre troupe, Handghost Theatre in the 1980s. She attended the School of the Arts at J. Eugene McAteer High School in San Francisco (now the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts) where she studied drama and theatre tech. She studied acting with Stephen Drewes from 1994 to 2006 and became heavily involved both as an actor, member, and board member with the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco (PCSF) in 2005. In 2009 Laylah joined Wily West Productions as their Executive Producer where she served until 2015. Laylah is the new Artistic Director for Spare Stage. Her playwriting credits include I SAW IT, a collaborative work with 8 contributing playwrights, produced by Wily West Productions in 2015. AS OF ONE, a short play for ReproRights! The Body Politic produced as a staged reading as part of 3Girls Theatre’s Women’s Work Festival in August 2016 and again at PianoFight in November 2016. ANONYMOUS ME, JAIN, and CASH FOR CAPES, three short pieces included in Wily West’s SUPERHEROES which received a 2014 TBA Nomination for Outstanding Anthology. CENSORED IN TEHRAN, a short play included in the 2010 PCSF production SHEHEREZADE 10: 2009 A Year in Review. She is a member of the 2016/2017 PlayGround Writer’s Pool and is returning to SF Olympians Festival as a playwright in October at the Exit. She also directs, edits video, and occasionally performs. For a full bio and credits https://laylahmuran.co/about/.
The image of Hathor was created by Christine Keating.