Nanna-Sin is the Sumerian god of the moon and during different points of time and rule, he is seen as the head of the Sumerian pantheon of gods and the creator of all things. He represents wisdom through the contemplation of astronomy and observing the phases of the moon. His wife is Ningal, The Great Lady, and together their children are Utu or Shamash, The Sun, and Inanna/Ishtar, represented by the planet Venus. He rides a winged bull and is represented as an old man with a long beard and the crescent symbol. He also is associated with divination and reading omens to interpret the future as he illuminates the darkness. He was a prominent in the city of Ur, where the reigning king’s daughter was traditionally appointed as the high priestess of the moon god.
In Barbara Jwanouskos’ play about Nanna-Sin, a young woman who has lost everything experiences a profound change in her understanding of the world that leads her on a journey to find answers. She knows of the myth and legends of the gods and mortals who could stand in their divinity. She sets out to ask the High Priestess of Nanna-Sin to guide her to realize her aspiration – to become one with Nanna-Sin and leave this world forever. A childhood friend and priest help her on her quest as her entry into the city’s political web awakens a power none had originally perceived. Yet as her head turns towards the night sky, she struggles between retaining closeness with those she loves on the ground and leaving all behind to join the moon.
NANNA-SIN by Barbara Jwanouskos
Directed by Christine Keating
Staged Reading on October 14, 2017 at the EXIT Theatre
Teresita Brown (Priestess)
Elaine Gavin (Stage Directions)
Ittai Geiger (Priest)
Shannon Alane Harger (Girl)
Siddharth Kusuma (Friend)
Barbara Jwanouskos is a Bay Area based writer. Her work has been developed or produced by 31 Plays in 31 Days, All Terrain Theater, Custom Made Theatre, Just Theater, La MaMA E.T.C., the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, the Playwrights Foundation, and the San Francisco Olympians Festival. She holds a Master in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied with Rob Handel and Bachelor in English from University of California, Santa Barbara where she studied with Naomi Iizuka. She also practices martial artists and yoga. You can check out her poetry and other projects at https://dynamicsofgroove.wordpress.com/.
The image of Nanna-sin was created by Cody A. Rishell.