Character Descriptions

The Present:

PHAEDRA
Married to Theseus, but desired by her step-son, Hippolytus. She is haunted by the spectres of her dead family: her brother, the Minotaur; sister, Ariadne; mother, Pasiphae; and father, Minos.

THESEUS
Phaedra’s philandering husband. Father to Hippolytus. When he was a young warrior, he killed the Minotaur with Ariadne’s help.

HIPPOLYTUS
Theseus’ son; Phaedra’s step-son. He is in love with Phaedra, but half-heartedly dating Aricia.

ARICIA
Girlfriend of Hippolytus. Educated and modern. She suspects that Hippolytus is not fully interested in her.

GIRL
Young daughter of Phaedra and Theseus. She is beginning to become aware of the presence of her dead ancestors, though she doesn’t know who they are.

Characters who straddle past and present:

MINOTAUR
Half man, half bull, born of the union between Pasiphae and the white bull. Half brother to Phaedra and Ariadne. Though dead, he appears to Phaedra in the present as both his adult and child self. He was killed by Theseus.

NANNY
A servant who cared for Phaedra, Ariadne, and the Minotaur when they were children. Still part of the household, she now cares for Phaedra’s daughter.

The Past:

PASIPHAE
Mother of Phaedra, Ariadne, and the Minotaur. Wife to Minos. Infatuated with a white bull, and grieving for a son who died when the white bull trampled him.

 MINOS
Father of Phaedra, Ariadne, and a deceased son who was trampled by the white bull.  After discovering that his wife, Pasiphae, gave birth to the Minotaur, he killed her and imprisoned the Minotaur in the labyrinth.

ARIADNE
Sister to Phaedra. Half-sister to the Minotaur. She fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of string to lead him through the labyrinth so he could kill the Minotaur. She killed herself when Theseus abandoned her.

THE INVENTOR
A servant of Pasiphae and Minos. He built the cow that helped Pasiphae fulfil her lust for the white bull.

Though never seen on stage, the mysterious WHITE BULL is heard and referenced throughout the play. The white bull appeared from the sea, killed Minos and Pasiphae’s young son, then became the object of Pasiphae’s lust. The Minotaur is the result of the union between Pasiphae and the white bull.