Myth Club Columbus presents “The Twelve Tasks of Lileci”

After an intense week reading Eric Baudelaire’s Anabases, for today’s post I want to share with you a fun project that is more tangentially related to the core themes of Minus Plato. Back in August 2015, I founded Myth Club Columbus, an informal Sunday morning class for my son, Eneko and some of his friends. A typical Myth Club session would include me telling the kids about an ancient Greek or Roman myth and then they would reflect on the myth through drawing. Now, since last Fall we have been working on a play called The Twelve Tasks of Lileci. This project started with the five members of Myth Club (with ages ranging between 7 and 10) learning about each of the tasks, drawing the tasks and then thinking about how we could update the tasks in a modern context. We change our hero to an 11 year-old girl called Lileci (we invented this name out of the two girls in the group, Lily and Ceci) who lived in Hawaii and experimented with how we wanted her to face the challenges of our world and how they differed from the mythic realm of Hercules. We quickly realized that we didn’t want Lileci to go around killing or stealing monsters, but instead to have a more caring and supportive role in her environment. So, when confronted with a strange species (e.g. the Flamingo Fish!) or a Snake owner overfeeding her pet or a scientist experimenting on a dog and a Komodo dragon, Lileci would save the day by saving the animal from human attacks and maltreatment. We also wanted Lileci to look out for her family and friends, even when they were not behaving well, stopping her friend Jenny daring her little brother to climb a termite-infested tree or saving her own little brother from an overcharged vacuum-cleaner! Finally, we were interested in experimenting with different framing devices for the action of the play and instead of each task being a different scene, we came up with the idea of having Lileci present a report on Hercules’ tasks using her own weird and wonderful experiences and asking her classmates to act them out as part of her presentation. All in all, the making of The Twelve Tasks of Lileci has been such an amazing journey and I am so grateful to Jack, Lily, Andre, Ceci and Eneko for all their hard work and imagination for making such a rich and thoughtful remake of a Classical myth. Now (drum-roll please) you can see The Twelve Tasks of Lileci for yourself. Below is a summary of the play and a video from the world premiere, performed today in our living room, for the Myth Club members’ parents. I hope you enjoy this light relief and perhaps use it as an opportunity to connect this modest intervention with the mythmaking of contemporary artists discussed elsewhere on Minus Plato.

Myth Club Columbus presents:

THE TWELVE TASKS OF LILECI

Starring Ceci, Lily, Jack, Eneko and Andre

Act 1

Setting: Somewhere in Hawaii, one Sunday afternoon

Prologue (Lileci is bored doing her homework memorizing the 12 tasks of Hercules for a class report and starts browsing the Internet…)

Scene 1: Flamingo Fish (Lileci reads a news story about a strange fish discovered off the coast of Hawaii and goes to investigate)

Scene 2: Skull Club (Lileci helps her friend uncover the true identity of the mysterious Skull Club)

Scene 3: Skwirtel Attack (While playing Pokemon, two of Lileci’s friends find a real Skwirtel!)

Scene 4: Stuffed Snake (Can Lileci save her little brother from her neighbor’s overfed pet snake?

Scene 5: Dare Brother (Lileci’s friend Jenny dares her brother to climb a termite-infested tree)

Scene 6: Volcano Puppies (After researching ancient Hawaiian rituals about Volcano-gods, Lileci saves some puppies) 

Act 2

Setting: Lileci’s school, Monday afternoon 

Prologue (Lileci is asked by her teacher to deliver a report about the 12 tasks of Hercules – instead she tells of her adventures the day before and previously that day)

Scene 1: Vacuum Demon (Lileci’s dad overcharges the vacuum-cleaner and it attacks her brother)

Scene 2: Lileci’s Mom (Following an argument, Lileci saves her Mom when she falls off a cliff)

Scene 3: Jealous Artist (In Art class, Lileci teaches a friend to be proud of her own work and not be jealous of that of others’)

Scene 4: Beaver Teacher (Mr Beaver the Drama teacher turns out to be an actual beaver!)

Scene 5: Dragon Scientist (In Science class, Lileci stops the science teacher from experimenting on two animals to create a fire-breathing dragon)

Scene 6: Segregation Talk (In History class, Lileci helps a friend understand that the evils of her family’s past are not her fault)

 

 

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