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SMC Theatre Dept. performs adaptation of Greek myth

Rebecca O'Neil and Madeline Miles | Thursday, November 10, 2011

By MADELINE MILES and REBECCA O’NEIL

News Writers

Saint Mary’s Theatre Department offered audience members a new twist on an ancient myth with its rendition of Sarah Ruhl’sEurydice,” which opened Thursday night at the College’s Little Theatre.

The play is based on the classic Greek tale of lyrist Orpheus’ attempt to rescue his lover from Hades. Ruhl’s adaptation turns the story around and presents it from the perspective of the fallen lover.

Theatre professor Katie Sullivan, who directed the play, said Ruhl’s adaptation gives theatre goers a unique experience of the story.

“I am fascinated by her technique of sketching the story in broad, poetic strokes,” Sullivan said. “Ruhl leaves it to music, sound, movement and visual imagery to fill in the nuances and to make us feel the experience of the play.”

The reimagining, Sullivan said, refreshes the story while staying true to its original message.

“Primarily, though, the play resonates with the age-old message that love will always be what we must hold onto and that loss is, indeed, life’s most exquisite pain,” she said.

The play’s ensemble was drawn from Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s students.

Senior theatre major Eva Cavadini led the cast as Eurydice; history professor Bill Svelmoe plays her father; Orpheus is played by

Notre Dame freshman Kincaid Schmitz and the Lord of the Underworld is played by Holy Cross junior Nick DeDario.

Kincaid said his first play at the Little Theatre was worthwhile.

“It was difficult to get emotionally ready for it,” he said. “[The best part] is the wonderful cast I’ve gotten to work with. I think I’ll do another [play] here.”

Sullivan said the play elicits a variety of reactions from different viewers.

“You may find yourself laughing, crying or being caught up in the strange and beautiful visual imagery we have created for our Underworld,” she said.

The effects that went into the Underworld and other scenes made the tech day during which rehearsals are done with full costume, props, sets and effects especially difficult, Svelmoe said.

“It was the most technically complicated show I’ve ever been in,” he said. “We had four tech days and probably put in a total of 25 hours into coordinating our movements with special effects.”

First year Tessa Mitchell, part of the play’s “chorus of stones,” said the fulfillment of the final product outweighed the demands of the stage.

“It was hard work and stressful, but definitely worth it,” she said. “It’s so great to see it come to fruition on stage.”

Junior Dilan Yuksel said she appreciated the play’s altered point of view.

“It was definitely cool to see the other side of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice,” she said. “It was a really interesting play. I really enjoyed it.”

The play will be performed tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Little Theatre.