Dionysus Was Such A Nice Man

Written by Kate Tarker
Directed by Ben Yalom

Eat, Drink and be Merry, for tomorrow we self-destruct


Dates: September 20 - October 20, 2019
Location:  Joe Goode Annex - 401 Alabama St.

Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man is a comic and pungent take on the story of Oedipus from the perspective of the family of shepherds who raised him. It completely dismantles and reimagines Sophocles’ classic play, exploring the point of view of Alcinoe, Oedipus’s adoptive sister, while examining the ways in which bad behavior, particularly by powerful men, is excused, concealed, and exalted.

The text of the play seems almost custom built for foolsFURY. Our rendition will mix physical theater and traditions of clowning as a lens to tackle this veritable smorgasbord of disfunction, hedonism and absurdity.

“What if a play could both bellow from a hilltop and whiff a piñata? What if it could unearth a man’s future grave and let him lie in it — and also hurl a bunch of sheep into the air out of a wheelbarrow? What if it were both travesty and tragedy at once, creating some of the silliest horseplay you’ve ever seen onstage, then snapping back to the cold realities of those whom the horseplay leaves behind?”
—Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle

FoolsFURY is thrilled to be working with Kate Tarker at the outset of her career. We believe she will soon be an important voice in American Theater. This will be her West Coast debut, and only her second fully produced play.

Anything that can be laughed at should be taken seriously, and vice versa.” – Kate Tarker, playwright



Messenger - Joshua Waterstone
Polybus - Ryan Hill
Merope - Debórah Eliezer
Alcinoe - Jordan Maria Don
Jamie - Lorenz Angelo Gonzales
Oedipus - Federico Edwards

Production Team

Scenic Design - Noor Adabachi
Lighting Design - Grisel Torres
Sound Design - Patrick Kaliski
Dramaturg - Pamela Hollings
Costume Design - BJ Bandy

Assistant Director - Shannon Carrol
Stage Manager - Samantha Wong
Production Manager - Beth Hall
Public Relations - John Hill

Post Show Events

Sunday, September 21 - Playwright Kate Tarker & Director Ben Yalom
Hear from the writer and the director of Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man by Kate Tarker about the writing and directing process of the play.

Friday, October 4 - Actors Federico Edwards, Debórah Eliezer, Ryan Hill
Hear from cast members about the process of creating a west coast premiere. Get the inside scoop on foolsFURY’s ensemble creation process.

Friday, October 11 - La Casa de Las Madres
La Casa de las Madres acts boldly to create a community where violence against women and children is not tolerated. We envision a society in which all individuals and families have equal access to basic resources and asset-building opportunities. lacasa.org

Friday, October 18 - SF Trauma Recovery Center
The Trauma Recovery Center facilitates healing for adult survivors of trauma, violence and loss through an innovative, clinically-proven model of comprehensive care, advocacy, and outreach. We eliminate barriers to healing and inspire survivors to embrace hope. 415 437 3000

Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man was originally commissioned by The Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, PA, Blanka Zizka, Founding Artistic Director and was developed with support from the Playwrights’ Center Core Program.