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The classic tale of Orpheus has inspired multiple operas, movies, and a ballet, and it now has another offshoot in the form of a modern adaptation that promises to offer creative sets and a fantastical version of the traditional tale of Orpheus.
"Eurydice" is the creation of Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. A play about memory, love and grief, "Eurydice" is a modern reimagining of the myth of Orpheus. The play is told from the perspective of Eurydice, Orpheus' wife, as she "journeys to the underworld and struggles to retain memories of her lost love." The play features a shift in perspective to Eurydice's pilgrimage through the underworld, where she learns of love, loss and the pain of memories.
Brooke Kiener, '99, the play's director and instructor of theatre at Whitworth, says "Ruhl has taken this well-known moment from classical literature—a person giving into an overwhelming desire to look back while on a journey forward—and turned it into a metaphor about grief and memory that is the crux of the play."
"Eurydice" first premiered at the Madison Repertory Theatre, in Madison, Wisc. It has since been staged across the U.S.. The play had its well-received New York premier at the Second Stage Theater in 2007.
Ruhl first gained widespread recognition for her play "The Clean House," which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005. She was awarded the MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, reserved for those with exceptional merit in the creative fields.
"Sarah Ruhl is one of my favorite new playwrights, because her work is always inventive and poetic," Kiener says. "I hope the play allows people to consider their relationship to grief, allows them to see the way that we can be transformed by both sorrow and hope."
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Jennifer Toulouse-Lee, theatre department program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703, or email@example.com.