In the collection of stories on which this play for family audiences is based, Nathaniel Hawthorne took some liberties with legends of ancient Greece and retold them in his own way. Hawthorne says that his narrator, Eustace Bright, "has a free way of handling them" and in this dramatization with music Cavander and composer Richard Peaslee have done the same.
As in Hawthorne's version, the stories come out of the young people's conflicts, questions, characters. They all deal, in one way or another, with youthful rebellion, the testing of limits, and the lure and danger of taking risks as you mature and make your own way in the world.
In PANDORA, the tale that frames the whole action, the issue is curiosity about the forbidden, the different ways in which the sexes deal with their urge to explore the world, even when authority tells them they're not ready.
In CERES AND PROSERPINA, the theme is the bond between mother and daughter, the lure of growing up battling with the desire to stay a child.
In the third story, GORGONS, a youth has to take on the role of an adult man while still at heart an innocent boy, and in so doing redefines the notion of what it means to be a hero.
Between each story, the action returns to a contemporary setting, where the young people can hash out the implications of these stories from their different points of view - and these sections, though written, could be amplified through improvisation.
The catalyst in all these tales is a character called Quicksilver — hip, fast-talking, street-smart, the messenger of the Olympian gods, a spirit with plenty of attitude, the irreverent energizer of the young people's quests.
NOTE on Production Requirements: The age range of the young actors can be anywhere from teenagers/young adults all the way down to eight-year-olds. But for the most part, the preferable age would be 14 and up.