Eurydice was a huge success! Congratulations to the cast, crew and team that came together to present a sold out run of Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of Eurydice. Director Mitchell Hébert says, “I am proud of the student actors and designers. They're astounding! I would put this play up against any play, anywhere. People have no idea the how good these people are, how hard they work and the quality work that we are doing here.”
More from Director Mitchell Hébert:
What was your approach to interpreting and directing Eurydice?
"It's my job as the director is to figure out, “What's the story?" says Hébert.
In creating the framework, Hébert asked himself, "What if Eurydice was a woman on the verge of finding her voice and the Lord of the underworld was determined to stop that from happening? Why does he target Eurydice and have no concern with Orpheus?"
Hébert says, “Sarah Ruhl gives you just enough information to get you in the door but you have to decide where the door leads and what the world of the play will be." Mitchell sat down with the design team and had to wrestle with where the play existed as it was told from Eurydice's point of view.
Hébert who actually did this play as an actor in 2009 said, "As a director, I try to figure out what I can do to help the actors understand the world that they are living in so that they can give a truthful performance. As an actor, if I don't understand the rules of the world I am in, then I don't know how to be honest and truthful. I think that's true for all of us in everyday life.”
What makes this adaptation unique?
This version of Eurydice uniquely focuses on three characters: Loud Stone, Little Stone and Big Stone.
Hébert decided to cast the stones as women. In this version the Lord succeeds at wiping out the stones memories and identities and they are not happy that Eurydice is having a different experience in the under world. The stones are threatened when Eurydice's meets her father in the underworld and he helps remind her of who she was. Sarah Ruhl described them as three misbehaving children at a birthday party and Hébert says "That's exactly how we played them in this production."
"The three women playing the stones are fierce, powerful and ruthless...because of Eurydice their humanity is awakened and it’s quite beautiful" says Hébert.
“I am proud of the student actors and designers. They're astounding! I would put this play up against any play, anywhere. People have no idea the how good these people are, how hard they work and the quality work that we are doing here.” -Mitchell Hébert
Check out this great feature on the Eurydice from UMD Writer's Bloc.
Photos by Geoff Sheil
by Kenia Prophet