“Eurydice,” offers an abstract take on Greek mythology

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Carly Fristoe

Photo by Carly Fristoe. Jamie Greco stars as the title character and Brad Walker stars as Orpehus in LU’s production of “Eurydice” in the Black Box Theater.

Photo by Carly Fristoe. Jamie Greco stars as the title character and Brad Walker stars as Orpehus in LU's production of "Eurydice" in the Black Box Theater.
Photo by Carly Fristoe.
Jamie Greco stars as the title character and Brad Walker stars as Orpehus in LU’s production of “Eurydice” in the Black Box Theater.

Essi Virtanen | Reporter
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016; 2:30 p.m.

The Lindenwood  Theatre Department is offering the chance to dive into the strange and abstract world of Greek mythology presented onstage with “Eurydice,” showing Jan. 21-23 in the Emerson Blackbox Theater.

Graduate student Jason Flannery directs the play written by Sarah Ruhl that retells the Greek myth of Orpheus (Brad Walker), the greatest musician in the world, from the point of view of his wife, the amnesia-ridden Eurydice, whom Orpheus attempts to revive with the power of his music after her death on her wedding day.

“In this play we stay with [the character] Eurydice the whole time to get her perspective of what it is like to be married to an artist and then we follow her around when she’s in the underworld,” Flannery said, “You get that perspective on the perks of being alive versus [the] perks of finding your own paradise and death.”

Flannery, whose most recent directing effort was last year’s ”Gruesome Playground Injuries”, remembers when he first read ”Eurydice” almost a year ago and felt it would be a good fit for his second-year project.

Photo by Carly Fristoe. From left, Ana Castillo, Jenah Bickel and Hannah Pauluhn play a trio of "Stones" of the underworld in "Eurydice".
Photo by Carly Fristoe.
From left, Ana Castillo, Jenah Bickel and Hannah Pauluhn play a trio of “Stones” of the underworld in “Eurydice”.

“I read it, and it struck me, and I couldn’t quite figure out why,” Flannery said. “It’s artistic and strange, and it’s got that ‘theatre of the absurd’ feel to it… It still felt like it it had heart, that it was grounded in something and seemed like something I wanted to explore.”

The play has many peculiar aspects, the first being that it is written in movements, like symphonies, and not in acts. Flannery said that the music, which has been adapted and composed by music student Antonio Griffin and faculty member Gary Miller for the production, is an essential metaphor throughout the play.

“Gary Miller, who is in sounds, he adapted, [for the production], “The Wicked Witch of the West” theme from ’The Wizard of Oz’,” Flannery said.

Water has a major role in the play too, but due to a restricted budget, the water is represented through sound and lighting effects.

“A lot of the dialogue is based around water, and it’s something we were definitely interested in showing,” Flannery said.

Jamie Greco, a musical theatre student, stars in her first leading role at LU as the title character, having previously starred in LU productions of “New Brain” and “A Christmas Carol” last year and in “Legally Blonde”. She said it has been an interesting and challenging experience to study the character and then let her change completely after her death, which causes her to forget who she is when sent to the Underworld.

“She’s lost [for] a good portion of the show and, at the very beginning, she’s definitely a character,” Greco said.  “She’s in love. She’s very, very happy, but then she completely loses herself. That was probably the hardest part for me, how to get her back because she’s gone so long.”

When it comes to the theme of the play, the audience can leave the theatre with various themes and thoughts, including love and loss, life and death and fate.

“Something, I think [the audience] can take away is, maybe, re-evaluating what [it] is they’re doing with their time,” Flannery said. “No matter how you try to stall, there’s gonna be a time where you lose someone or lose your own life, so [the play is about] valuing what you have, why you have it and knowing that eventually it’s not gonna be there.”