Love, adventure, comedy. Everything needed in a great play right? Well, if you were to combine all of those things plus a fiery lord of the underworld and some cat-like stones, you would have Eurydice.
Written by Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice tells the Greek myth of Orpheus (John Boulanger) through the perspective of his wife Eurydice (Ariel Jimison) with a few changes here and there. The story begins on a beach where Orpheus proposes to Eurydice with a string. It moves back and forth from their wedding to the beach in the first quarter where a man (Thomas Duncan) lures Eurydice to his home. It is in her escape from the man that Eurydice dies by tripping and falling and she is transported to the underworld. From then on it is set mostly in the underworld except for the scenes that Orpheus writes to Eurydice.
There were a few changes to the play. The stones (normally only three) were now ten and very cat-like in nature. They were somewhat distracting in scenes with Eurydice and her father (Nate Vilardo) with their near constant movement. Hades who is normally played by a little boy was replaced with a teenage girl (Emma Hatfield) who is somewhat short and has fiery red hair, making her perfect to play the part. The audience was captivated by the acting of these students and gave their full attention to the story.
The set was simple but fitting. The structures included large painted panels, blue fabrics for water, a platform with stairs to serve as the living world and the creepy mans’ home, and a painted backdrop. The play was very minimalistic with props using what seemed to be only necessities like letters, a pen, some Christmas lights, some strings/cords, a suitcase, a book, and an umbrella for the dead that enter the underworld. A light blue piece of fabric was used as the River during the “dipping” scenes where people would be drowned before going to the underworld to forget Earthly things.
As a play from the perspective of Eurydice the writing of Sarah Ruhl seemed to simplify her character and missed opportunities to go more in depth with the development of some other characters. Although, it was simple the ending made for a dramatic and amazing, emotional moment that had many in the audience tearing up. The acting was amazing in the 90 minutes that it ran and it is definitely an opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss if given the chance.