By Jacqueline Zegler

Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” directed by Mitchell Hébert, and a production of the School of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, is being brought to life this season at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. This classic myth takes audiences through Eurydice and Orpheus’s brief romance before her tragic death on their wedding day.  

Ruhl’s fresh take on this story is told from Eurydice’s perspective of the underworld.  What starts as a bright and colorful,’50s-style love story quickly becomes haunting and nightmarish as she finds herself in the land of the dead.

Alicia Grace expertly shows us the pain that comes with dying while maintaining the strength and dignity to attempt to find her way back to the living. Meanwhile, Orpheus (Montana Monardes) continually writes her letters and songs in an effort to bring her back to him. His swoon-worthy performance is matched with his musical talent.

However, the flashy, daring, and occasionally childish lord of the underworld, played by Ivan Carlo, is also vying for Eurydice’s attention. He is introduced to the audience through a carefully choreographed ‘80s-glam rock number, complete with backup dancers who double as the “chorus of stones.” (Grace M. Okpali, Noa Bass, Adrianna David). It is sure to entertain every night.

Carlo’s extravagant performance brings a light-hearted vibe back to a play that has very dark undertones.

Alex Beveridge gives a standout and heartfelt performance as Eurydice’s father who completes the trifecta of men competing for Eurydice.

“Eurydice’s” overarching themes of loss, love and the passion and obsession associated with both are beautifully translated on the stage.

“The projections and scenic-design work in tandem to support Sarah Ruhl’s whimsical world building throughout all three movements of the play,” said Maria De Barros, a freshman theatre, and sociology double major. “The lighting design also lends itself to many beautiful and striking moments during the most critical points in the story, heightening the emotional impact,”

“As an understudy, I didn’t get to receive the full experience from being a part of the cast, but it was a great experience nonetheless,” said Michael Weiss, a freshman theatre major who is the understudy for “nasty interesting man/lord of the underworld.“I learned so much from watching the over-studies rehearse and develop their characters, and from listening to our director’s observations and discussions pertaining to the scenes being run. The entire cast and production team were all incredibly supportive and kind, enveloping everyone parts of the show in a feeling of security and love. It was an amazing experience and I am so incredibly grateful that I got to be a part of it.” ”

Eurydice is playing at the Kogod Theatre at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center through Feb. 17. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online.   

Featured Photo Credit: Geoff Sheil (The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center)

Jacqueline Zegler is a freshman journalism major and can be reached atjzegler@terpmail.umd.edu. 

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