The Maenads

Five modern-day men climb a mountain while roleplaying as drunken, Dionysus-worshipping women in order to break free of the prison of masculinity. Stewart, an emotionally hidden academic who is the initiator of the outing, puts the other men — who include his divorced uncle, a sensitive colleague, that colleague’s fratty best friend, and a strange younger man — through the paces of choral chant, invocations, and mock dismemberments. At first nothing but the wine seems to be having much effect. But when a role-play pushes the men to absurd lengths, they soon discover they have no idea how to get off the mountain. Desperate to survive but equally desperate not to leave the mountain unchanged, they are forced to confront the lies and fears that drove them to this performance of ecstatic femininity in the first place.

full-length play