Our Namesake

The Goddess Isis

The Theatre is filled with history, mysteries, and whispers of decades past, but it’s intrigue and magic come from the ruins of Ancient Egypt.

 

The Goddess Isis

Her Story

 

 

Osiris married Isis and, as the firstborn, assumed rule as Lord of the Earth, with Isis as his queen and consort. Osiris was killed by a wooden sarcophagus secretly made to his measurements by Set, his brother who was jealous of Osiris’ position as Pharaoh, who plotted to kill him and take his place. A party was to be held where the coffin was offered to whoever could fit inside. A few people tried to fit in - to no avail. Osiris was encouraged to try, but as soon as he lay back, the lid slammed on him and was locked. It was then sealed with lead and thrown into the Nile River.

Upon hearing that Osiris was gone, Isis set out to look for him. She later learned that the coffin had floated down the Nile river up to the coast of Byblos; Isis found that it embedded in the trunk of a cedar tree. When traveling back, along the Nile River, she left the coffin in an area of marshland. While hunting, Set found Osiris’ coffin and dismembered him into 14 parts, scattering them across the land of Egypt. Once again Isis set out to look for the pieces and she was able to find 13 of the 14 parts, with the help of Nephthys, Set’s wife. Isis then grew wings and hovered over Osiris. She breathed life into him in order to revive him and conceive Horus, their son. Being simultaneously alive and dead, Osiris became the god and king of the afterlife.

 

Theatre History

 

 

Egypt 1887 BCE, a time of ritualistic dancing, storytelling, Osirian deity worship and the first recorded production of theatre.

 

 

Most people assume that it was the Greeks who invented the theatre arts. Actually, the first recorded production of the theatre was the Egyptian Passion Play dedicated to the mythical divine Pharaoh Osiris and his goddess Queen Isis. Since the Osirian story contributed to the creation of the Afterlife and Underworld, these plays were meant to honor the gods as a form of religious ritual worship. The plays depicted the triumphs and struggles of Osiris and Isis. Especially the role of Isis, magical healer, and resurrectionist. These plays were so realistic that often, the actors would die from the severity of their wounds. For centuries, these passion plays were performed annually.

In the early 1900s, there was a renewed fascination with ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology. The Isis Theatre was named after the goddess Isis’ myth that started a theatrical movement.