Hymn to the Goddess Resource Guide
This audience guide is intended to be a tool to use as a means to enrich your experience at The BiTSY Stage. Here you will find activities that will prepare you for our show as well as fun things to do and talk about once you’ve seen our production.
We hope this will deepen your understanding and enjoyment of theater in general.
Preparing for your visit:
1. Have you ever been to a theater before? What can you expect? How is being at a theater different than watching a movie or a TV show? How does having live actors change the experience?
2. Do you watch a TV show the same way you would sit at a theater? How is it different? How is it the similar?
3. What do you think it means to be a good audience member? What are some ways we can show our appreciation for the performers? How can we ensure that our behavior doesn’t disrupt anyone else’s enjoyment of the show?
4. What do you think a play is? How would you define it? What things do you think you need to know/have in order to put on a play?
1. Hymn to the Goddess is an adaptation of an Egyptian myth. What is an adaptation? Can you name an adaptation of something you’ve seen? Did you know that many Disney cartoons are adaptations of very old stories? Why do you think people would adapt stories? If you could adapt a story you already know, what story would you choose? How would you adapt it? Play? Movie? TV Show? Book? Describe how you would tell the story in your own way.
2. Our story is a myth. Myths often explain why certain things are the way that they are in nature. Each culture has its own myths. See if you can find one to explain something such as why the sun and moon share the sky or why giraffes have such long legs. Read one with someone and then try making up a myth of your own. Perhaps you can explain why the leopard has spots, why the days are longer in the summer, or why rain comes from the clouds.
3. We have chosen to set part of our story at an archeological dig at the Temple of Karnak where the Egyptologists are digging up artifacts from an ancient culture. Pretend it is thousands of years from now and someone is digging up objects that you use in your everyday life. What would they find? Do you think they would know what each object is used for? What would scientists in the year 4018 think of your iPhone or a bicycle? Do you think technology would have changed enough that these objects would be obsolete?
1. Dr. Habib and Set talk about how the story of Isis and Osiris teaches that the world needs balance. What do you think this means? Do you agree? At one point Dr. Habib says, “Can you know the absence of without the desire for?” In other words - can you miss something you don’t know you care about? Can you think of an example from your own life where you realized how much you cared about something because you were without it for some amount of time? A friend? A prized possession? A place you like to be?
2. Thoth tricks Khons, the moon god, into giving up some of his moonlight so that extra days can be made and added to the year. This part of our myth explains two things: why we have 365 days in the year and why the moon has phases. Do you know why the moon doesn’t shine fully each night? If you don’t, look it up with someone. Why do you think the ancient Egyptians made up this story about the moon? Did they gather information in a different way than we do today? How does technology change the way we understand the world around us?
3. “The Secret of Secrets” was the idea that each of the gods had a secret name known only to themselves. If they shared that name with another, the hearer would gain power over them. What kind of power do you think names hold? What does it mean to you if someone knows your name? What about the idea that they all had many names? Do you have more than one? Who calls you by each of your nicknames? How did you get them? What about other people? Do you call everyone in your life by the same names others do?
4. Set does awful things to his brother Osiris. He plots to take the throne from him and even takes his life to get what he wants. Do you think Set is pure evil? Dr. Habib says at one point, “we all justify our actions.” How do you think Set justified his actions? How could he have thought his desires were more important than Osiris’ life? There is more to the myths of these gods than we were able to put into one story. Read a little more about Set and see if you can find any good in him.