NETC Aurand Harris Playwriting Award
Beverly Hlls Theatre Guild Award
Winner, Pittsburgh New Play Contest
Aesop was an African slave, born more than two thousand years ago, who became a servant in the family of a philosopher on the Greek island of Samos. There he quickly established himself as a clever and useful servant, saving his master from the disgrace of being defeated in a contest of wits by his main rival, another philosopher. But when the island was threatened by a bloodthirsty tyrant, Croesus, the jealous rival saw his chance for revenge. By now Aesop had proved himself the equal — if not the superior — of everyone in braininess and his master persuaded the citizens of Samos to authorize Aesop to bargain for their safety. Aesop foiled the attempts of the rival philosopher to betray his countrymen and succeeded in winning over the tyrant — and in the process won his own freedom as well.
Scenes weave together in a filmic way and are punctuated with some of Aesop’s most enduring fables — The Fox and the Crow, The Lion and the Mouse, The Log King, The House Dog and the Wolf, Belling the Cat, to name a few — bringing extra color to crucial turning points in the story. These moments are blended into the dramatic action and the animal characters are brought to life by the same actors, now wearing masks, who play the principal roles.