Featured Image: Laila Jones|Marlin Chronicle
Eurydice, played by Annie O’Shea, takes center stage during a dress rehearsal.
As a poignant retelling of the classic Orpheus and Eurydice myth from a modern perspective, “Eurydice” is coming to Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 26 and running until Sunday, Oct. 29. With a beautiful soundtrack, amazing actors and an elevator that pours rain from the inside, “Eurydice” promises to be a spectacular theatrical performance.
As the visionary force behind this remarkable endeavor, Professor of Theater and Chair of the Department of Political Science Dr. Sally Shedd provided a compelling glimpse into the upcoming production of “Eurydice” written by Sarah Ruhl.
“What sets this production apart is that Eurydice takes center stage, her voice finally resonating with the depth and complexity it deserves,” Shedd said. While other renditions often relegate her to a peripheral character, Ruhl’s adaptation places Eurydice’s character at the forefront of her own story. It introduces a creative, artistic approach to storytelling, revolving around the relationship between a daughter who has lost her father and her journey through the underworld.
Ruhl infuses the production with her poetic prowess. Her personal connection to the play, stemming from the profound loss of her father to cancer, adds an emotional authenticity that resonates deeply.
“This show is Sarah Ruhl’s love letter to her father,” Shedd said. “Eurydice” serves as a medium for the conversations Ruhl yearned to continue with her late father, exploring themes of loss, love and enduring connections beyond the constraints of time and space.
Kaela Townes, a rising talent in the VWU theater department, is excited to make her debut as Big Stone, one of three stones that serve as a Greek chorus in the play.
“We are the inanimate objects that are supposed to have no feelings in a show that is all about feelings,” Townes said. “The names, Big Stone, Loud Stone and Little Stone, are all ironic, challenging our perception of what a stone can be.”
“Eurydice” provides an opportunity for audiences to see these emotions portrayed in a larger-than-life manner, allowing them to connect with the characters and find healing in the emotional journey the play offers.
“Everyone will relate to love and loss at some point in life,” Townes said.
This play is also a tapestry of lyrical language, filled with imagery that touches the soul. Still, it reaches audiences’ hearts in a powerful way.
“It is not dense or pretentious but rather elegantly simple,” Shedd said. This allows the audience to immerse themselves in the beauty of the words. Ruhl’s remarkable storytelling has the power to transport you into a world that is both familiar and entirely new.
Sophomore John M. Post plays the Nasty Interesting Man and the Lord of the Underworld.
“In the first movement, I play the Nasty Interesting Man who interacts with Eurydice, setting the stage for their unique connection. As the Lord of the Underworld, I take on a villainous and comedic role, offering a fresh perspective on the classic story,” Post said.
Post encourages audiences to experience the production, highlighting the exceptional talent and commitment of the cast and crew.
“You’ll never see anything like it again. The experienced cast handles themselves
with grace and class,” Post said. “I’ve never been part of anything like it and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
This production has a unique quality that distinguishes it from previous interpretations of
“Eurydice.” One of the innovative additions is a captivating soundtrack that plays throughout the
“When I read the play this spring, I heard music. I heard some of these songs in my head, or music that I was familiar with, so we’re using that to heighten the narrative,” Shedd said.
Sophomore Jordan Cralle plays the character of Orpheus.
“Orpheus is Eurydice’s husband, part of the story shows his journey to the underworld to retrieve his wife after her passing. He is a musician, while she leans toward reading and philosophy,” Cralle said.
One cannot overlook the visual and auditory splendor of the production. The set design
seamlessly blends classical elements with modern sensibilities, culminating in a truly exquisite
masterpiece. A standout moment involves Eurydice’s descent into the underworld inside an
elevator, while rain pours from the inside. Cralle shares their excitement about this unique
element, which adds to the allure of the show.
“It is going to be cool. The door is something we open ourselves, and there’s a big shower head in the middle that rains on us,” Cralle said.
With her extensive experience and unwavering passion, Shedd has meticulously crafted a production that is set to be a remarkable exploration of love, loss and the enduring connections that link us to our past. “Eurydice” offers an immersive journey through the depths of human emotion in a captivating experience that will leave audiences spellbound and enriched.
Tickets for “Eurydice” are available for purchase at www.vwu.edu/the-arts-at-virginia-
wesleyan/theater-productions.php and free for Virginia Wesleyan faculty and students.
By Daniela Angeles Galvan