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May 14, 2013 > Season of Mystery & Romance continues with Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice"

Season of Mystery & Romance continues with Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice"

Submitted By Douglas Morrisson Theatre, Photo by Terry Sullivan

In the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, as it has come down to us from Virgil's Georgics and Ovid's Metamorphoses, Orpheus travels to the underworld to bring back his new bride Eurydice who has died tragically on her wedding day. There's only one condition: he must walk in front of her and not look back until they reach the surface. Just as he is about to reach daylight, he turns to gaze upon his love's face, and she is snatched away forever. The story has been explored in poetry, painting, sculpture, ballet and opera for over 2000 years.

Sarah Ruhl's "Eurydice" is a luminous reimagining of this myth through the eyes of Eurydice. We tumble with Eurydice like Alice down into an eerie Wonderland underworld where she is reunited with her father. He must teach her language, since she has been stripped of all her memories. Ruhl's Hades is also populated with a fantastical chorus of Stones and a tricycle-riding Lord of the Underworld.

Directed by the Douglas Morrisson Theatre's Artistic Director Susan E. Evans, the play features an ensemble of Bay Area performers including Alisha Ehrlich as Eurydice, Aby George as Orpheus, Tom Reilly as Her Father, Davern Wright as A Nasty Interesting Man/The Lord of the Underworld, Allison Fenner as Big Stone, Bessie Zolno as Little Stone and Pamela Drummer-Williams as Loud Stone.

Evans feels that "Eurydice" is as much about the power of love between a father and daughter as it is about the classic Orpheus and Eurydice love story. Ruhl wrote "Eurydice" after the death of her father from cancer when she was 20 years old, and she has said that in this play she was trying to have more conversations with him. Ruhl's father loved puns, reading, language, and jazz. Every Saturday from when she was five years old, he took her and her older sister to the Walker Bros. Original Pancake house for breakfast. Each visit he taught them a new word and its etymology. This personal memory is echoed in "Eurydice" when Eurydice's father re-teaches her her lost vocabulary.

"Eurydice" is a play filled with lyrical magic. Ruhl studied poetry before becoming a playwright and her dialogue is non-linear and not naturalistic. She sees her plays as three-dimensional poems. In "Eurydice" she manages a delicate balance of the sad and happy, of pain and pleasure, weirdness and the quotidian, melancholy and whimsical humor.

DMT is thrilled to have a top-notch design team on board for the production, with credits from many Bay Area theatres, including the Magic, Cutting Ball, Shotgun Players, and Word for Word, as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Michael J. Locher is the scenic designer, Allen Willner the lighting designer, and Valera Coble the costume designer. And in a different twist, composer and sound designer Don Tieck will be playing live at every performance, alongside the Stones who act as fellow Foley artists. Evans says, "DMT audiences have come to expect impressive design elements at our shows; I don't think 'Eurydice' will disappoint them!"

"Eurydice" previews on May 16, opens May 17, and runs through June 9 at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. The Saturday matinee on June 1 at 2 p.m. will be followed by a talkback session with the director and cast. Tickets are $10 for the preview and $29 for all other shows with discounts available for seniors, students, TBA, KQED members, and groups of 10 or more. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and can be reached at (510) 881-6777. Information is also available at

May 16 - June 9
8 p.m. (Sundays at 2 p.m.)
Saturday, June 1 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22311 N. Third St., Hayward
(510) 881-6777
Tickets: $10 - $29

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