6 Female Roles, 3 Male Roles
ARACHNE, a teenage artist. Female, any race, soprano. Though on the surface she is confident and even at times abrasive, Arachne is vulnerable and eager to please, sincerely wishing for recognition of her talents while pretending to disdain a need for approval. Passionate about her convictions and her art, she also has a playful, witty and charming side when she lets her guard down. She has star quality, with a powerful, charismatic presence.
MUSES (as a group, the Muses should consist of two altos or mezzo-sopranos, and two high sopranos):
CALLIOPE, Muse of epic poetry and eloquence. Female, any race. Serious-minded but compassionate, Calliope is intelligent and a well-spoken, crisply enunciated speaker.
MELPOMENE, Muse of tragedy. Female, any race. Melpomene, a comic character role, is a whining deadpan who sees the world as a gloomy place. For her, the glass is always half empty.
THALIA, Muse of comedy. Female, any race. Thalia, a comic character role, is a breezy cut-up with a smart mouth and an irreverent manner.
EUTERPE, Muse of music or lyric poetry. Female, any race. Euterpe, a comic character role, is a bit dim but very lovable and loving.
THEODORE, a teenage friend of Arachne since childhood. Male, any race, high baritone or tenor. Theodore is bursting with boyish energy and is always in motion. He is optimistic, sincere, and a true and loyal friend. In love with Arachne, he has a playful, flirtatious, and competitive relationship with her in which he tries to get under her skin to get her to pay attention to him.
IDMON, Arachne’s father and a shepherd. Male, any race, high baritone. An earthy and rugged man with a hard quality born of years of endurance, he is fearful of what others will think of him and his family, and this fear keeps him from being able to love his daughter unconditionally. Stern and impatient with the headstrong Arachne, there are nevertheless moments when he is able to appreciate her uniqueness and tease her affectionately.
ATHENA, Goddess of wisdom, a mother figure to Arachne. Female, any race, mezzo-soprano belt. Athena is a larger-than-life diva whose actions, like Idmon’s, are motivated by unconscious fears. A narcissistic mother figure in Arachne’s, life, the only way that Athena can cope with her feelings of jealousy about the girl’s beauty and talent is by attempting to take credit for fostering Arachne’s achievements. Yet Athena also symbolizes the unyielding nature of the universe, helping Arachne to learn that she cannot control the events that befall her, she can only control her response to those events. She is soulful and vibrant, with (like Arachne) a powerful presence.
COSMO, Athena’s servant. Male, any race, high baritone or tenor. A comic foil to the egotistical goddess, Cosmo is also sensitive and intelligent. Sarcastic when first seen, he grows into a warm and supportive presence in Arachne’s life until finally, through his gentle guidance, he helps Arachne reclaim her creativity. Cosmo is a butler type, bookish yet confident in his nerdiness.