Love and memory in Eurydice

by Kelly Gerdts

Theatre Simpson is gearing up to present their most recent production, Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” directed by Jennifer Ross Nostrala, professor of theatre arts.

Eurydice is a new look at the Greek myth of the musician Orpheus from Eurydice’s point of view. It begins with Orpheus and Eurydice meeting and soon falling in love. On their wedding day, Eurydice dies. In the Underworld, Eurydice connects with her father while Orpheus tries to rescue her using his music.

“I was attracted to this play because of its focus on love and memory,” Nostrala said. “In this play the characters desire to both remember and to be remembered. To remember allows them to maintain a connection with each other. To be remembered is to have mattered, to know that our existence meant something to someone. I find that idea fascinating.”

Another fascinating aspect of this production is that the cast is relatively inexperienced. Sophomore Clay Daggett, who plays Orpheus, is the only member to have acted in a Simpson production before this year.

“I take it much more seriously,” Daggett said. “I went out and bought a binder, I take notes, and I always have my script and I’m highlighting … just much more serious focus on the play itself, knowing the gravity essentially of how I actually have a larger role.”

Junior Sadie Ackerman has acted in student directed scenes in the past but is excited to be playing the Little Stone, one of the three stones that act as a Greek chorus.

“It’s such a different piece and different subject matter than what I’m usually comfortable with but it’s great because this piece is really taking me out of my comfort zone so I think I’ve really grown and stretched myself,” Ackerman said.

The cast has also had to deal with the problem of not having a consistent rehearsal space while the Opera was using Pote Theatre.

“Sometimes the different rehearsal spaces made it hard to find and hold on to my character,” freshman Jenny Wilkerson said. “I had to, in a way, adjust myself for each space.”

Wilkerson will play the title character of Eurydice, her first speaking role.

Ackerman referred to the experience as an adventure.

“It really makes me appreciate having the theatre space to rehearse in, especially now having the entire set done because it’s quite difficult to use your imagination at all times in all these different settings so just to have what physical elements that we do, it just makes the world real,” Ackerman said.

This show also has a guest lighting designer, Jason Amato, from Texas who will add a unique perspective to the production as he has worked with professional companies all over.

Eurydice will be performed on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 27 at 1 p.m. in Pote Theatre.

Daggett thinks that everyone can relate to Eurydice.

“I think that it deals with something that, at some point anyway, everyone deals with,” Daggett said. “I think that it’s really cool and can help soothe, help get over that kind of thing.”