Wadjet started out as the local goddess of the city of Dep in lower ancient Egypt. She wasn’t the god of anything, per se, but being the local goddess of an influential city does have its perks. She was a snake goddess, and the symbol of power and authority back then was the cobra, which is a snake. Coincidence? No. And when Northern and Southern Egypt unified, she was promoted to Patron Goddess of Egypt As A Whole. To write her name, you drew a little snake. To draw her, you chiseled some combination of a woman and snakes. Maybe a snake with a woman’s head. Maybe a woman’s body with two snake faces. Different regions represented her in different ways and claimed she was a protector of different things (such as kings or childbirth). She didn’t seem to mind.
In Dan Kurtz’s play, Wadjet is much higher on the ladder of power than other gods. She’s everywhere. And yet it’s an awkward middle ground where she’s being repurposed, reinterpreted, and appropriated into crackpot movements she never signed up for. She’s powerless to stop it despite her serpentine clout, and it’s starting to cost her credibility. Someone told her she needs to “manage her brand”, which sounded slimy (and vaguely criminal) when she heard it, but she can probably just hire someone to take care of all that, right?
WADJET by Dan Kurtz
Directed by Nicole Menez
Staged Reading on October 6, 2017 at the EXIT Theatre
Dan Kurtz has performed in 5 previous Olympians Festivals, and is pleased to participate this year as a writer. He has been a Bay Area actor for a long time and has worked with No Nude Men, Ragged Wing Ensemble, Dark Porch Theater, Killing My Lobster, Wily West, Thunderbird Theatre, Custom Made Theater, among others.