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Play based on Greek mythology premieres

The University's department of dance and theatre will be performing Sarah Ruhl's play, Eurydice starting Monday. CW | Amy Sullivan

Ellen Johnson

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The play, part of the University’s department of theatre and dance spring season, will open Monday.

The play is based on the original Greek myth of Orpheus entering the underworld to retrieve his wife, Eurydice. Matt Davis, a third-year MFA directing candidate, will direct the production, which is Orpheus’ tale told from Eurydice’s perspective.

The show offers stunning visual imagery and promises to be a spectacle, Davis said.

“Because the play is based in this expressionistic world, we get to play and create through the design elements something that is very otherworldly,” he said. “A lot of the set, props and costume design are very abstract.”

Davis said he is excited for audience members to see and gather their own thoughts and meanings from 
the production.

“I like working in this world that’s not based in realism, where audience members are taking their own meanings out of things through critical thinking,” he said. “I like to direct shows where the answers aren’t necessarily there for you.”

One of the actors working with Davis in this production is Naomi Prentice, a junior majoring in musical theater. Prentice, who will perform the title role of Eurydice, said the character is intelligent and jealous.

“Eurydice is a very smart girl, and she loves to read,” she said. “Orpheus never shares his music with her, and she is very jealous of his music. This frustrates her, but she doesn’t vocalize her feelings.”

Prentice said her favorite parts of working on this production have been the experience she has gained and the opportunity to work under Davis’ directing style.

“[Davis] forces us to think without giving us the answer and to look at characters in a more dynamic way,” she said.

Ross Birdsong, a freshman, auditioned thinking about the possibility of pursing a major in theater.

“I wanted to get involved with the theater department, and it’s really cool because they let anybody audition,” he said. “A lot of schools don’t do that. This show is also a gateway to maybe deciding on a theater major.”

Birdsong said he enjoyed the opportunity to work not only with professors, but also with fellow actors and 
graduate students.

“I have really enjoyed getting to work with the grad students and not just professors,” he said. “You have someone who’s older than you and more authoritative, but they really allow your creativity to flourish.”

“Eurydice” will be performed in the Allen Bales Theatre Feb. 16 through Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, at the box office in Rowand-Johnson Hall or online at ua.tix.com.

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Play based on Greek mythology premieres