J.S. Puller

J.S. Puller

J. S. Puller is a playwright and author from the Windy City, Chicago. She has a master's degree in elementary education and a bachelor's degree in theatre from Northwestern University. She is an award-winning member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and has written about the social-emotional benefits of arts education with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. When...
J. S. Puller is a playwright and author from the Windy City, Chicago. She has a master's degree in elementary education and a bachelor's degree in theatre from Northwestern University. She is an award-winning member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and has written about the social-emotional benefits of arts education with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. When not writing, she can usually be found in the theatre. She is the author of two novels, CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE and THE LOST THINGS CLUB, both published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She also has several published plays, including: WOMEN WHO WEAVE (Playscripts, Inc.), PERSEUS AND MEDUSA - IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME! (Lazybee Scripts), and THE DEATH OF ROBIN HOOD (Stage Rights).

Website: pullerwrites.wordpress.com
Twitter: twitter.com/pullerwrites
Facebook: facebook.com/puller.writes
Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/pullerwrites

Plays

  • 1994: STEALING THE SCREAM (10-minute play)
    In 1994, soccer player Pål Enger stole The Scream by Edvard Munch. But why? Perhaps it had something to do with the mysterious Carmen.
  • THE ABSOLUTELY (ALMOST) TRUE STORY OF THE TROJAN WAR
    Trapped for all eternity for their role in causing the Trojan War, Eris, Aphrodite, Helen, and Paris battle to decide whose fault it really was, replaying and reenacting the many mistakes that led to death and destruction.
  • ARTHUR AND GUINEVERE
    Enjoy this classic story, told as a holiday panto! Arthur is a shy, reluctant king who must marry a total stranger. Guinevere is an outspoken princess who doesn't want to be traded like a commodity. Together, they must defend Camelot from the clutches of Arthur's evil half-sister, Morgana, who has her eye on the throne. But with a broken Excalibur, an out-of-practice Merlin, and a horrible case of...
    Enjoy this classic story, told as a holiday panto! Arthur is a shy, reluctant king who must marry a total stranger. Guinevere is an outspoken princess who doesn't want to be traded like a commodity. Together, they must defend Camelot from the clutches of Arthur's evil half-sister, Morgana, who has her eye on the throne. But with a broken Excalibur, an out-of-practice Merlin, and a horrible case of mistaken identity...will they ever manage to get their act together? Perhaps the audience can guide them!
  • THE BELT OF ARES (Large-Cast Version)
    Hippolyta dreams of taking her place as the queen of the Amazons. Sadly, her mother says that she's not ready to be a leader yet. Hippolyta knows she's worthy, and sets out to prove it. Along the way, she must deal with the squire of Herakles, an awkward princess, and an infamous king whose very touch turns everything to gold.

    (A small-cast version for six performers is also available upon request!)
  • THE BOX OF STORIES
    Storytelling is the native language of all human beings. But what would the world have become without stories? Visiting college student Jenna relates the story to her little sister Imra in THE BOX OF STORIES. When the trickster gods Coyote, Loki, and Anansi steal the art of storytelling from mankind, sealing away stories into a magical box, it is a young girl without a name that rises to become a hero....
    Storytelling is the native language of all human beings. But what would the world have become without stories? Visiting college student Jenna relates the story to her little sister Imra in THE BOX OF STORIES. When the trickster gods Coyote, Loki, and Anansi steal the art of storytelling from mankind, sealing away stories into a magical box, it is a young girl without a name that rises to become a hero. Upon finding the box, she uses the stories inside to reintroduce mankind to civilization. Spanning the realms of Native American, Norse, African, Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, Celtic, and Middle Eastern mythology, THE BOX OF STORIES demonstrates the power of the spoken word and the ability of mankind to grow, learn, and survive.
  • CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE
    "Have no fear, citizens! Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!"

    Red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, torn tights, high top sneakers and . . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why?

    Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the...
    "Have no fear, citizens! Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!"

    Red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, torn tights, high top sneakers and . . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why?

    Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the mask. The answer pulls invisible Janey into the spotlight and leads her to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. Fearless even in the face of school bully extraordinaire, Dagmar Hagen, no good deed is too small for the incomparable Captain Superlative and her new sidekick, Janey.

    But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what's truly at stake, she's forced to face her own dark secrets and discover what it truly means to be a hero . . . and a friend.

    (Based on the novel, CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE, also by J.S. Puller)
  • CASTING CLARA
    CASTING CLARA is a series of vignettes about the dangers of arts education gone wrong. It features high school students falling into the many pitfalls of internalized bias, sexism, favoritism, ableism, and competition that can occur when teachers do not promote a safe and inclusive environment.
  • CLARA & THE NUTCRACKER
    It's the Nutcracker, like never before! Meet Clara. She's not much of a dancer, but she knows how to throw a mean right hook. And as it turns out, she's an exact doppelganger of Marie, a princess kidnapped by the evil Rat King, who's also turned the Prince of the Land of Sweets into a nutcracker. To regain his throne, the Nutcracker asks Clara to stand in for Marie, but her princess...
    It's the Nutcracker, like never before! Meet Clara. She's not much of a dancer, but she knows how to throw a mean right hook. And as it turns out, she's an exact doppelganger of Marie, a princess kidnapped by the evil Rat King, who's also turned the Prince of the Land of Sweets into a nutcracker. To regain his throne, the Nutcracker asks Clara to stand in for Marie, but her princess credentials are put to the test. Now, time is running out to save the kingdom.
  • THE CLUMSY PRINCESS
    Prince Stephan has everything a prince could want: Youth, looks, riches, and a beautiful palace he never leaves. There's one thing the fairy tales tell him he's missing, however...a princess! Despite his many attempts to find the perfect bride, he's disappointed to wind up in the company of Princess Tilly, the clumsiest princess to ever live. He dismisses her out of hand, but on her way, she...
    Prince Stephan has everything a prince could want: Youth, looks, riches, and a beautiful palace he never leaves. There's one thing the fairy tales tell him he's missing, however...a princess! Despite his many attempts to find the perfect bride, he's disappointed to wind up in the company of Princess Tilly, the clumsiest princess to ever live. He dismisses her out of hand, but on her way, she trips and sends the two of them out the window and into the moat. There, Prince Stephan is washed up among his people for the first time ever and discovers that the kingdom is being plagued by a monster known only as...The Beast! He knows it's his job to slay this beast, but can he really do it?
  • THE COSPLAYERS
    Twelve-year-old Daphne Cygnus is the leader of a team of superheroes, the Saviors of the Solar System. Well, actually, they’re just a group of middle school cosplayers. All the same, after years of research, sewing, and dreaming, Daphne and her best friends, Rosa and Belle, are sure that they’re going to win this year’s “under thirteen” cosplay contest at a local comic book convention. But dreams fly out the...
    Twelve-year-old Daphne Cygnus is the leader of a team of superheroes, the Saviors of the Solar System. Well, actually, they’re just a group of middle school cosplayers. All the same, after years of research, sewing, and dreaming, Daphne and her best friends, Rosa and Belle, are sure that they’re going to win this year’s “under thirteen” cosplay contest at a local comic book convention. But dreams fly out the window when Daphne catches a couple of convention-goers on video, telling Rosa—who is Black—that she’s not allowed to cosplay as a white character and that she should “stick to her own kind.”

    The descendant of Holocaust survivors and bearing the bruises of playground bullying, Daphne has always gone out of her way to be the best possible friend and to protect innocent people from hate. The problem is, Rosa doesn’t seem to want Daphne’s help. In fact, the more Daphne tries to help—from reporting the incident to convention security to confronting the racists to trying to pull together a brand-new costume of a Black superhero—the more she drives a wedge between herself and Rosa. Terrified of losing a friend she loves deeply, Daphne must confront her own privilege and the generational trauma that keeps trying to force her to play the role of white savior.

    Ultimately, there are many different kinds of heroes. Daphne must learn to be a considerate ally. And understand that Rosa must choose her own path.
  • COUSIN TODD (10-minute play)
    Crabs? Skunks? Platypuses? Who was responsible for all of this weirdness? Blame it all on Cousin Todd.
  • CRAYONS
    In this time of civil unrest and critical conversations about race in the country, CRAYONS takes a soft-touch approach to #BlackLivesMatter, explaining it through the story of a Flesh, a crayon who the other crayons are considering voting out of the box. It explores the historical roots of racism, including fear, greed, and misplaced nostalgia. Ultimately, the decision comes down to Red, but Red is firmly in the camp of #AllCrayonsMatter.
  • THE CREATOR
    Sara and Zabrina swore that they would be friends forever. So it comes as quite a shock, when Sara returns from school one day and announces that she no longer wants Zabrina in her life. Afraid, Zabrina asks what will become of her, but Sara doesn’t answer. Who really knows what happens when someone dies? Let alone when an imaginary friend dies. Suddenly, Zabrina finds herself dropped into a strange, misty...
    Sara and Zabrina swore that they would be friends forever. So it comes as quite a shock, when Sara returns from school one day and announces that she no longer wants Zabrina in her life. Afraid, Zabrina asks what will become of her, but Sara doesn’t answer. Who really knows what happens when someone dies? Let alone when an imaginary friend dies. Suddenly, Zabrina finds herself dropped into a strange, misty world, being forced to fill out all kinds of paperwork, answering questions about her friendship with Sara. Under the direction of Thalia, the Greek muse, Zabrina navigates the five stages of grief, represented by five other imaginary friends who have all met their end at the hands of “ungrateful children.” As she travels through denial, anger, depression, and bargaining, Zabrina reflects on her life with Sara—as protector, confidant, sister, and Amazon warrior—and the ways in which she helped Sara to deal with her rough and unforgiving father. But what happens when she finally finishes answering her questions? Will she be dead and gone forever? Will her life have been for nothing? And what will become of her beloved Sara, without her guidance and protection?
  • THE DEATH OF ROBIN HOOD
    When the life of Will Scatheloke is in danger, the minstrel Alan-a-Dale invents a character, Robin Hood, to take the fall for his friend’s crimes. But when the Sheriff and his wife Lady Marian become convinced that their lies are reality, Alan realizes that the only way to escape the story is by making it into a legend. And there’s only one way a legend can end.
  • EMILY: THE BRAVE
    Emily and her family have had a rough year, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing them all to stay inside, away from school, work, and other people. But Emily’s still found the chance for adventure, traveling to the imaginary world of The Crystal Realm, an online MMORPG where she can be Esme—the brave warrior—rather than just a boring, twelve-year-old girl. Now, the pandemic is finally coming to an end and it’s...
    Emily and her family have had a rough year, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing them all to stay inside, away from school, work, and other people. But Emily’s still found the chance for adventure, traveling to the imaginary world of The Crystal Realm, an online MMORPG where she can be Esme—the brave warrior—rather than just a boring, twelve-year-old girl. Now, the pandemic is finally coming to an end and it’s time to start going back to school, but Emily finds herself paralyzed by fear. After a year of sheltering in place, the idea of going back to the outside world terrifies her. Emily doesn’t have the words to understand her fear, but when her twin sister Sam is hurt in an accident, she must draw on the strength of her computer gaming, she must find courage the courage of Esme, in order to walk out the front door.
  • THE FIGHTING ONIONS (10-minute play)
    AP student Dan and basketball star Madison may not agree on everything, but there's one point that's bringing them together: Their school mascot--the Fighting Onions--is the absolute worst!
  • A GHOST'S STORY (10-minute play)
    After decades of haunting old misers, the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Be has begun to question the work. Is there even such a thing as the future? Maybe it's time to call it quits.
  • THE GODDESS OF BRAN MUFFINS (10-minute play)
    Extra, extra! This just in, the Greek gods are real. And while her male colleagues are lining up big-time interviews with Zeus, Apollo, and Poseidon, Joanne Michelson is stuck interviewing the goddess Demeter, or, as she prefers to call her, the "goddess of bran muffins." But Joanne might be getting more than her low, low expectations would suggest.
  • HOSTAGE
    What do you do if you only have a few hours left to live? Such a philosophical question is the furthest thing from nerdy Sam's mind on the night he goes to propose to his girlfriend Cecilia. Unfortunately, it turns out that Cecilia is being held at gunpoint by a low-level mobster who really doesn't know what he's doing. Soon Sam and Cecilia, joined by Cecilia's roommate Gina, pizza...
    What do you do if you only have a few hours left to live? Such a philosophical question is the furthest thing from nerdy Sam's mind on the night he goes to propose to his girlfriend Cecilia. Unfortunately, it turns out that Cecilia is being held at gunpoint by a low-level mobster who really doesn't know what he's doing. Soon Sam and Cecilia, joined by Cecilia's roommate Gina, pizza delivery boy Shawn, and landlady Lilah are forced to face the very real possibility of their own mortality. In what may be the last few hours of their lives, they begin to realize their long lost dreams, all within the confines of a cramped city apartment.
  • HOW THE BATES (ALMOST) STOLE CHRISTMAS (10-minute play)
    What if the 1960s had been a more tolerant and understanding time? This rhyming satire of Hitchcock's PSYCHO reimagines how the story might have gone, if a simple act of kindness was able to make a would-be killer's heart grow three sizes.
  • MASK
    High school reunions are tough, especially when you work as an HR representative for MASK, the Municipal Association of Superheroes of Kansas, like Janice. Even though she doesn't feel she's accomplished much in life, Janice decides to attend her reunion with Brandon from IT, unaware of the fact that he's secretly Super Steel, MASK's latest superhero. It's bad enough, having to deal...
    High school reunions are tough, especially when you work as an HR representative for MASK, the Municipal Association of Superheroes of Kansas, like Janice. Even though she doesn't feel she's accomplished much in life, Janice decides to attend her reunion with Brandon from IT, unaware of the fact that he's secretly Super Steel, MASK's latest superhero. It's bad enough, having to deal with former high school mean girl Aubrey, but when Janice's old high school friend Peggy turns out to be the evil Doctor Destructo, who takes the whole reunion hostage, it's Janice who finds herself using the power of HR to save everyone's life.
  • MERCY
    A fanciful retelling of the Mercy Brown Vampire incident. In 1892, Mercy Brown, her sister, and mother all died of consumption. Believing the family to be plagued by a vampire, the town had all three dug up and discovered that Mercy's body had not decayed. Believing she was a vampire--soon to take the life of her ailing brother--her body was mutilated and destroyed. This adaptation retells the story...
    A fanciful retelling of the Mercy Brown Vampire incident. In 1892, Mercy Brown, her sister, and mother all died of consumption. Believing the family to be plagued by a vampire, the town had all three dug up and discovered that Mercy's body had not decayed. Believing she was a vampire--soon to take the life of her ailing brother--her body was mutilated and destroyed. This adaptation retells the story from the point of view of Mercy's father, George, as he struggles with guilt, grief, and the balance between the rights of the living and the rights of the dead.
  • THE NEWEST STATE OF MATTER (10-minute play)
    Doctor Linus, a self-proclaimed brilliant scientist, divulges new scientific research. There's a new state of matter, far more interesting than your basic solid, liquid, or gas. What's the newest state of matter? It's a cat!
  • PASSIVE SHOOTER
    The petty squabbles and day-to-day bullying of a high school ought to be put on hold when there’s an active shooter on campus. But when Samantha, Chad, Danny, Grace, Iris, and janitor Leo are forced together under the worst possible circumstances, their inability to show empathy for one another puts all of them at risk. The struggle to stay calm, stay cool, and stay quiet brings out the ugliness in each of...
    The petty squabbles and day-to-day bullying of a high school ought to be put on hold when there’s an active shooter on campus. But when Samantha, Chad, Danny, Grace, Iris, and janitor Leo are forced together under the worst possible circumstances, their inability to show empathy for one another puts all of them at risk. The struggle to stay calm, stay cool, and stay quiet brings out the ugliness in each of them, but as they record goodbye messages for their families, and Leo calls the kids out on their cruelty, Samantha comes to understand that passive shooters become active shooters. And perhaps if they all learned to be kinder to one another, they would not be in their current situation.
  • PERSEUS AND MEDUSA; IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME
    The classic tale of Greek Hero Perseus and his quest to bring back the Gorgon's head so he can marry the princess Andromeda, retold in a panto style.
  • PYGMALION & GALATEA: A COMEDY OF EROS
    When grieving widower Pygmalion carved a sculpture of his late wife, Galatea, he never anticipated that his clumsy and blustering kid sister, Phoebe, would accidentally bring it to life with a prayer to the goddess Aphrodite. But once the suddenly-living statue is unleashed on the world, kings and commoners alike are convinced that Pygmalion is a miracle-worker who can bring back the dead. Suddenly, he's...
    When grieving widower Pygmalion carved a sculpture of his late wife, Galatea, he never anticipated that his clumsy and blustering kid sister, Phoebe, would accidentally bring it to life with a prayer to the goddess Aphrodite. But once the suddenly-living statue is unleashed on the world, kings and commoners alike are convinced that Pygmalion is a miracle-worker who can bring back the dead. Suddenly, he's charged with the task of restoring the King's dead wife. Pygmalion lacks the power to fulfill the role expected of him, and between falling for a princess, struggling against a jealous rival, and repairing his damaged relationship with Phoebe--who he blames for his wife's death--he's in over his head.
  • THE ROYAL TOYS
    Meg is the shy, new princess, come to a foreign kingdom to marry Prince Henri, a man who loves to dance. Awkward and uncertain, Meg finds comfort in her collection of toys, including a Bell Jar Ballerina named Ana. Ana, who’s been watching Meg for some time, offers to trade places with her at a three-night royal ball, in order to trick Henri into believing that Meg is graceful. The plan works well each night...
    Meg is the shy, new princess, come to a foreign kingdom to marry Prince Henri, a man who loves to dance. Awkward and uncertain, Meg finds comfort in her collection of toys, including a Bell Jar Ballerina named Ana. Ana, who’s been watching Meg for some time, offers to trade places with her at a three-night royal ball, in order to trick Henri into believing that Meg is graceful. The plan works well each night of the ball. During the day, meanwhile, Meg and Henri grow closer to one another, each realizing that they share a lot in common, including hidden insecurities. Despite all the fact, Meg continually trades places with Ana, ignoring the warnings of the other toys. But when she visits the ball and sees Ana kissing Henri, Meg decides to end their deception. Unfortunately, Ana won’t cooperate. Ana tries to permanently take Meg’s place, both in the royal court and in Henri’s heart. Trapped in a bell jar, Meg must rely on her new friends—the toys—and her wits to find a way to escape and reveal the truth to Henri, or risk spending the rest of her life on a shelf.
  • THE SECRET MEDUSA (Large-Cast Version)
    Although prophecy declares that Princess Andromeda will be the most beautiful woman in the world, Andromeda herself is far more interested in exploring. She has a gentle disposition and a deep love of animals, which Aphrodite rewards by granting Andromeda the power to communicate with them. So when a sea monster plagues her kingdom, Andromeda convinces the creature to carry her away, off to a life of...
    Although prophecy declares that Princess Andromeda will be the most beautiful woman in the world, Andromeda herself is far more interested in exploring. She has a gentle disposition and a deep love of animals, which Aphrodite rewards by granting Andromeda the power to communicate with them. So when a sea monster plagues her kingdom, Andromeda convinces the creature to carry her away, off to a life of adventure. One day, she meets a young boy named Perseus, searching for a creature known as a Gorgon. Andromeda joins Perseus in his quest, only to learn that there's no such thing as a Gorgon at all. It seems that an evil king made up the monster in order to get rid of Perseus, so he could marry Perseus's mother. Now, Andromeda and Perseus must join forces to stop the wedding. The only problem? Some of Andromeda's secrets may make it a lot harder than they thought it would be!

    (Small cast version also available for a cast of six! Contact me directly for more information.)
  • THE TROJAN WAR; OR, HOW ONE BAD APPLE SPOILED THE WORLD
    Utilizing four performers, THE TROJAN WAR condenses the complicated history of the world's most famous war into a one-act debate: Who started it? Was it Eris, whose apple began a feud after she was slighted by the gods? Was it Aphrodite, who made promises she couldn't keep out of her own vanity? Helen, the beautiful princess of Sparta, who became an emblem and excuse? Or Paris, the vain prince of...
    Utilizing four performers, THE TROJAN WAR condenses the complicated history of the world's most famous war into a one-act debate: Who started it? Was it Eris, whose apple began a feud after she was slighted by the gods? Was it Aphrodite, who made promises she couldn't keep out of her own vanity? Helen, the beautiful princess of Sparta, who became an emblem and excuse? Or Paris, the vain prince of Troy who demanded to have the best of the best? The argument could be made that it was any of their faults. Ultimately, does it matter? Especially to the dead?
  • THE TROUBLE WITH DAD DATING, AND OTHER GHOST STORIES
    Under ordinary circumstances, Alli Gilbert's father announcing that he wanted to start dating again would be perfectly normal. The problem is, Alli's father, Grant, has been dead for over twenty years. His ghost, however, has declared his intentions to marry Miriam, the mother of Alli's quirky co-worker, Fatima Malik. Wrestling with her sense of abandonment, Alli must decide if she can give...
    Under ordinary circumstances, Alli Gilbert's father announcing that he wanted to start dating again would be perfectly normal. The problem is, Alli's father, Grant, has been dead for over twenty years. His ghost, however, has declared his intentions to marry Miriam, the mother of Alli's quirky co-worker, Fatima Malik. Wrestling with her sense of abandonment, Alli must decide if she can give her blessing to the union. Death, as it turns out, is a bureaucracy, and the fates of Grant and Miriam's ghosts rest entirely with a forgotten daughter.
  • TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
    Mikey Mouse believes in Santa with his whole heart, in spite of the way he gets teased for it. But when Santa gets kidnapped by the evil Tooth Fairy and her wicked henchman, Krampus, Mikey must journey through classic Christmas tales, in order to find a way to save the day. Along for the ride are his overprotective mother Dora, the elves Galdor and Bungo, and the extremely diligent commando Mrs. Claus.
  • WINTER'S END
    WINTER'S END is an absurdist retelling of the Persephone myth from Greek legend, examining and questioning the fact that in most tellings of the story, Persephone has no voice and makes no active choices of her own. Paralleling Persephone's helplessness is the current debate raging over reproductive rights. Cassie, a young college student, runs away from anti-abortion activists to find herself in...
    WINTER'S END is an absurdist retelling of the Persephone myth from Greek legend, examining and questioning the fact that in most tellings of the story, Persephone has no voice and makes no active choices of her own. Paralleling Persephone's helplessness is the current debate raging over reproductive rights. Cassie, a young college student, runs away from anti-abortion activists to find herself in the house of the underworld where she must navigate the absurdities of "the way things have always been done" to try to help Persephone make a choice of her own.
  • WINTER'S END (One-Act Version)
    WINTER'S END is an absurdist retelling of the Persephone myth from Greek legend, examining and questioning the fact that in most tellings of the story, Persephone has no voice and makes no active choices of her own. Paralleling Persephone's helplessness is the current debate raging over reproductive rights. Cassie, a young college student, runs away from anti-abortion activists to find herself in the...
    WINTER'S END is an absurdist retelling of the Persephone myth from Greek legend, examining and questioning the fact that in most tellings of the story, Persephone has no voice and makes no active choices of her own. Paralleling Persephone's helplessness is the current debate raging over reproductive rights. Cassie, a young college student, runs away from anti-abortion activists to find herself in the house of the underworld where she must navigate the absurdities of "the way things have always been done" to try to help Persephone make a choice of her own.
  • WOMEN WHO WEAVE
    When the plucky, ambitious twelve-year-old Atalanta is excluded from the men's boar hunt, she is convinced that being female means giving up any chance at being heroic. But her mother comforts her with the stories of the Fates, the three goddesses who weave the destiny of all human beings. A skeptical Atalanta dozes off and drifts into a bizarre dream that carries her to the loom of the Fates, where she...
    When the plucky, ambitious twelve-year-old Atalanta is excluded from the men's boar hunt, she is convinced that being female means giving up any chance at being heroic. But her mother comforts her with the stories of the Fates, the three goddesses who weave the destiny of all human beings. A skeptical Atalanta dozes off and drifts into a bizarre dream that carries her to the loom of the Fates, where she lives the stories of three great Greek heroines and discovers that heroism has more to do with the decisions we make than the fate we're born into.