The Roman god Janus was the god of beginnings and endings, portals, war and peace. A two-faced god, with a young face looking towards the past and an elder face envisioning the future, Janus’ temple’s doors were kept open in times of conflict and closed in times of peace.
In Sam Bertken’s play, this mysterious god’s aspects are embodied in a door that shows those with a particular key visions of their future and allows them to relive their past. The play asks, “When the present is unbearable, what would prevent us from escaping forever into the past or dreaming of a brighter tomorrow? Where do we draw the strength to improve our present circumstances? What would we sacrifice to ensure our visions of tomorrow come true?”
JANUS, or DOUBLE-CROSSED by Sam Bertken
Directed by Casey Robbins
Staged Reading on October 18, 2017 at the EXIT Theatre
Eric J. Berglund (Walt)
Caitlin Evenson (Stage Directions)
Maria Heath (Lydia)
Ann Kendrick (Madge)
Carl Lucania (Father)
Alissa Magrill (Jane)
Kyle Merryman (Oscar)
Ana Nelson (Sunny)
Stacey Winn (Mother)
Sam Bertken is an actor, writer, director and illustrator from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has participated in the Olympians Festival as both an actor and writer in the past. Outside of the festival, he has worked with SF Theater Pub, Killing My Lobster, Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players, The Custom Made Theatre Co., Faultline Theater, and Dragon Theater. Recent credits include: Writer, Camp KML, (Killing My Lobster); Dean, Breeders, (Faultline Theater), Ensemble, Sex Battle, (Killing My Lobster), Director, King Lear, (SF Theater Pub). He is grateful for this theater community, which is committed to challenging itself, audiences and the national theater community with a variety of thoughtful, funny and impassioned voices and perspectives.
The image of Janus was created by Christopher Bauman and Iona Bauman.