Indiana Daily Student

Ivy Tech plays retelling of 'Eurydice'

The Rose Firebay black box theater was simply designed. Eight dim light bulbs hung over a red water pump. Rusty-looking pipes stretched over the stage and audience while the sound of dripping water droned on.

Three actresses in schoolgirl uniforms and geisha-like face paint held oversized lollipops and stared directly in front of themselves.

The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center staged their final performance of Sarah Ruhl’s play, “Eurydice,” Saturday night. First performed in 2003 by the Madison Repertory Theatre, the play is a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

The props used throughout the play were kept to a bare minimum. The actors didn’t need much more than some string, a collection of Shakespeare’s plays and a tricycle.

IU freshman Max Thompson said he really enjoyed the performance and thought the actors “did a fantastic job” with the small, bare space they had.

“I think the lack of props made it really cool,” he said.

Just as setting and props were used sparingly in the performance, only eight people made up the cast.

Eurydice, played by Chelsea Jean Sherman, and Orpheus, played by Taran Snodgrass, opened the play with a loving proposal scene at the beach. After the opening, a “Nasty Interesting Man,” played by Zach Trinkle, attempts to seduce Eurydice on her wedding night.

True to the myth, Eurydice dies in fleeing from her pursuer, although in Ruhl’s version she dies by tripping down the stairs of a high-rise instead of by snakebite.

When Eurydice enters the Underworld by way of an elevator in which it is always raining, she is joined onstage by the schoolgirls, played by Megan Phillips, Callie Rekas and Melissa Roach, who call themselves a “Chorus of Stones.”

The heroine is also joined by her father, played by former Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor John Whikehart, who has secretly remembered how to read, write and speak the language of the living despite ?being dead.

The play ranged between moments of lightheartedness, such as when Eurydice’s father attempted to reteach his daughter the language of the living, to moments of intensity, when Eurydice physically attacked one of the Stones who had sat back down among the ?audience.

Though several small children sat in the audience, the play proved to be too much for one child, who started crying after the attack. Corri Davis, a freshman at Ivy Tech, said she came to the play to watch her friend perform. She said she was impressed by all of the actors’ ?performances.

Davis also said she enjoyed the lack of a distinction between where the play’s action took place and where the audience sat.

“I thought it was really creative and abstract,” ?Davis said.

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