Theatre UCF will present Sarah Ruhl’s contemporary drama Eurydice from Feb. 21-March 3.
Based on the Greek myth of the musician Orpheus, Ruhl’s Eurydice observes the story from the perspective of his wife, Eurydice. In the legend, Eurydice dies and Orpheus can save her by leading her out of the underworld, as long as he does not turn to look back at her following him. However, he cannot resist and she is destined to remain in the underworld forever. Ruhl’s script introduces an additional character, Eurydice’s deceased father, who is already in the underworld. The cast is rounded out with a man/child who tempts Eurydice into the underworld and a chorus of stones.
BFA Musical Theatre student Deirdre Manning, who plays the title role of Eurydice, describes the show as “imaginative.”
The production has many abstract elements, and director Julia Listengarten has created unconventional worlds for the characters and audience members to explore. Characters slip between the underworld and overworld with ease, using a fireman’s pole as a vehicle. Letters are written on the string of a violin, in glowing sand, or with a toss of confetti.
Even the movement and language is different in these new worlds. The chorus of stones has its own method of communication. Movement director Anna Carol (MFA Acting) worked with the chorus to create a unique personality for the stones. The stones echo each other, and speak with a popping staccato. Their movement is merely reactive; they only move when prompted by another character.
Listengarten “hopes audiences come with an open mind and interested in collaborating with us, trying to understand the worlds we are creating, not just on logical, rational level but on a visceral level.”
Manning connects more with the themes of the play. “This script is beautiful. Everyone can connect with a story about love and loss. It is universal.”
Production at a glance:
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Julia Listengarten
Feb. 21, 22, 23, 28, March 1, 2 at 8 p.m.
Feb. 24, March 3 at 2 p.m.
Theatre UCF Black Box
Price: Standard $20, Senior $18, Student $10; Group discounts available
Address: 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando
Box Office Phone: 407-823-1500
Box Office Hours: Monday through Friday: noon to 6 p.m. and 2 hours before performances
For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.