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UW Theatre and Dance Presents Sarah Ruhl’s ‘Eurydice’ Next Week

February 6, 2020
three women rehearsing a play
UW Department of Theatre and Dance students, from left, Marlene Hall, from Castle Rock, Colo.; Jordan Clark, of Parker, Colo.; and Powell’s Lauren Asher rehearse a scene for “Eurydice.” The production opens the spring season Feb. 12-15 in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Studio Theatre. (Donald P. Turner Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance opens the spring season with playwright Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice” in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Studio Theatre.

The production will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 12-14, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. UW Department of Theatre and Dance Assistant Professor Patrick Konesko directs the production.

Tickets cost $14 for the public, $11 for senior citizens and $7 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or by going online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

“Eurydice” is a retelling of the ill-fated love story between Eurydice and Orpheus from the perspective of its heroine. Ruhl’s modern adaptation of the classic Orpheus story uses a mythic framework to explore the twin pulls of family long lost and love newly consecrated. Orpheus is a musician who affects all who hear him; he and Eurydice are passionately in love.

“One of the things that drew me to this play was Eurydice’s comment about loving Orpheus,” Konesko says. “She says, ‘I can’t help it,’ which not only reflects the power of love truly and deeply felt, but also the hold of fate on Eurydice’s life. She cannot help but love him, which leads her to oblivion.”

When Eurydice unexpectedly dies on her wedding day, she journeys to the underworld, reuniting with her father, but struggles to remember both her lost love and her former life. In Ruhl’s underworld, the dead are forbidden to remember their past or use human language. In the land of the living, Orpheus tries to connect with Eurydice through his music and by writing her letters. However, when Orpheus arrives in the underworld to claim Eurydice, she must decide whether to stay with her father or return with her husband.

“Instead of using Eurydice as a receptacle of loss and longing, this play offers an alternative way of understanding her story -- one which allows for the possibility of agency and of the ability to make a choice rather than being captive to fate,” Konesko says.

The play examines the power of love and loss, and the unmistakable pains and joys of memories reclaimed and forgotten.

“This play clearly shows the relationship between myth and our lives today,” Konesko says. “Despite the years in between, we still seek escape into myth in search of answers to the problems that face us now.”

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email kirisk@uwyo.edu.

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