The gods on Mount Olympus look down upon a drab world devoid of joy and connectivity. Moved to correct this unbearable state of being, they send the mighty Aphrodite and her steadfast companion, Hermes, on a mission to reinstate love in the world.
Stephanie Moffett-Hugg and Sarah Tallman in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard. By Amanda Tipton.
As were the goddesses of old, Aphrodite is reborn upon the earth in a shower resplendent with doves and butterflies. Refreshed and ready to go, she and Hermes set out into the world to rekindle the humans’ passion.
The initial attempts by the two gods misfire, and they nearly give up, until Aphrodite spots Pygmalion, a human clearly deeply in love, winding his way through the rain-soaked streets. She follows him to his sculpting studio where she sees the object of his affections: a beautiful statue he calls Galatea, carved in a fit of despair at ever finding the perfect woman. So perfect is Galatea in every way that Aphrodite falls in love. Unable to resist her beauty, the goddess brings the statue to life, for just a moment, before returning her to her former state.
Morgan Sicklick and Damien Patterson in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard.
Back in the streets, Hermes has become exhausted by the love-spreading efforts and has fallen asleep on a park bench. When Aphrodite returns from her foray, he tells her that in order to truly be effective in this world, they will need to find jobs. She agrees, and off they go to the employment agency. At the agency, the two are assigned several trades before finally finding the perfect fit. Armed with their new occupations as switchboard operator and delivery boy, Aphrodite and Hermes set out once more to bring love to humanity.
As the switchboard fires up, the two gods start making connections. The first match pairs the hardworking Hero with swim coach Leander. The two lovers share a beautiful moment in the local swimming pool as he teaches her to swim. Back at the switchboard, Aphrodite and Hermes move on, kindling romance across the wires.
The next to answer the call is the statue Galatea, now permanently brought to life through the power of Aphrodite’s switchboard. Pygmalion is enraptured by Galatea’s now living form, and the two tumble into a euphoric ever-lasting love.
Momentarily satisfied with their efforts, Aphrodite and Hermes head to the park for some R&R. Both are surprised to feel a spark when two sailors, Crocus and Adonis wander into their paths. Hermes and Crocus share a lovely frolic, despite an overzealous tennis match, and Aphrodite and Adonis become entwined in a sensual excursion of desire.
Amy Giammarrusco and Conner Horak in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard.
Upon returning from the park, Aphrodite bears witness to a potential love connection between Eurydice and Orpheus, but Hades, an Underworld gangster has taken a liking to Eurydice, which creates a tense encounter. Luckily, Eurydice is able to escape his nefarious clutches – for the time being.
Stephanie Moffett-Hugg, Sarah Tallman, Nayomi Van Brunt and Keston Meyer in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard. By Martha Wirth.
Further tension is created as Persephone, Maven of the Underworld, impatiently waits for her lover, Adonis, who is late to meet her. Her irritation quickly turns to a burning anger when she realizes the reason for his tardiness is due to a tryst with Aphrodite.
Meanwhile, Aphrodite has decided to capitalize on the possible connection of Eurydice and Orpheus. While they have been neighbors, the two have not truly noticed each other. With the insurgence of passion from Aphrodite, Eurydice and Orpheus fall madly in love.
Morgan Sicklick and Conner Horak in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard. By Martha Wirth.
Nayomi Van Brunt and Ben Youngstone in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard. By Amanda Tipton.
Feeling confident in their endeavors, Aphrodite and Hermes make their way to a nightclub to continue their efforts. Little do they realize that Hades has become obsessed with Eurydice, and decides to snatch her away to the Underworld.
Orpheus is completely distraught, and Aphrodite, Hermes and Adonis come to his aid to rescue Eurydice from Hades and Persephone’s hideout. Upon arriving, an epic battle ensues that ends in tragedy.
Persephone and Hades agree to release Eurydice on one condition: on the journey out of the underworld, everyone will be blindfolded, and Orpheus may not look back at his beloved Eurydice. They begin their journey, but as the trek progresses, Orpheus becomes anxiety-ridden for Eurydice’s safety and panics – breaking the one condition to ensure their safe passage.
Sarah Tallman and Damien Patterson in rehearsal for Garrett Ammon’s Aphrodite’s Switchboard.
Deeply distraught by the events in the underworld, Aphrodite and Hermes decide that bringing love to the world is a lost cause, when an old married couple comes to their aid.
Though steeped in poverty, Baucis and Philemon invite Aphrodite and Hermes to their home where they provide them with the little trappings of hospitality that they possess.
This monumental generosity restores Aphrodite’s faith in humans’ capacity for true and ever-lasting love, and she grants Baucis and Philemon their one wish – to die together so that neither would be left without the other.