Victoria is the Roman goddess of Victory—like the Greek goddess Nike, without the shoe endorsement. In ancient Rome she had a lot of statues in her honor. Those cherubs you’re used to seeing in Christian imagery? Apparently they evolved from Roman iconography of winged figures representing victory, although not the victory goddess herself. There’s even a Pokémon named Victini who brings victory to the Pokémon Trainers it befriends! It seems many cultures have a need to personify victory or success in both battle and athletics. This got Annette Roman thinking…

“When I imagined writing a play related to the Goddess of Victory, I immediately thought of the beautiful winged golden statue of her in Berlin high atop a column. You see it seemingly floating above the trees as you travel around the city. It is both an iconic and ironic sight in a country that suffered a crushing defeat after trying to take over the world. The subject of war memorials and statues has been in the forefront of my mind since protests have finally led to the removal of some of the statues supposedly commemorating the American Civil War. In fact, these monuments were mostly erected during the years of Jim Crow, more than half a century after the Civil War, to intimidate and insult African-Americans. I started imagining what would happen if I personified various historical monuments that have fallen out of favor…and got them into conversation with each other. I’d like this play to address the role of public monuments in perpetuating historical and military propaganda.”

VICTORIA by Annette Roman
Directed by Jerome Josephe Gentes
Staged Reading October 13, 2018 at The EXIT Theatre

Juliana Egley (Victoria)

Spencer Evans (Statue of Robert E. Lee)

Pamela Ignacio (Easter Island Head/Mob Voices)

Gerardo Paz (Statue of Unknown Soldier/Pigeon/Mob Voices)

Ted Zoldan (Statue of Joseph Stalin)

Annette Roman is the creator/performer of three solo shows: Hitler’s Li’l Abomination, Animal Love, and Inauguration Vacation, performed at sixteen theater festivals in the U.S., U.K., and Canada since 2011. Her short and one-act plays have been produced at venues including San Francisco at Holidays With a Twist: Christmas Edition 2016, the Playwrights Center of San Francisco’s Playoffs 2016, 24-Hour Playfest 2016 and 2017, and Theater Pub in 2015. In cooperation with The World Bank and VIZ Media, she wrote 1 World Manga: Passages, a graphic novel about the developing world, which has been translated into various languages. She is currently a member of the Berkeley Playground Writers Pool. She is very excited to be writing for San Francisco Olympians for the third time!

The image of Victoria was created by Rachel Vanderpool.