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Lord of the Underworld, played by Mark Cook, pushes Eurydice, played by Emily Williams, against the wall during a rehersal of Eurydice in the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theater at Kantner Hall. Eurydice will run October 12-15 and 19-22. (Sam Owens | Staff Photographer)

OU School of Theater puts fresh spin on Greek classic


Eurydice, the Ohio University School of Theater’s first production of the year, gives a modern take on the classic Greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus on their wedding day. Eurydice falls to the underworld where she finds her father and loses her memory. 

The director of the show, Dennis Delaney, says the show is “about two people in love, loss and separation … about the concept of human memory.” 

Delaney said the school was looking for a smaller, more contemporary play to open the season. Modern playwright Sarah Ruhl wrote the show. 

This modern influence gives a new feel to the Greek myth. While Delaney said there is no particular era in mind, the show takes on a ‘50s feel. Orpheus was modeled after Buddy Holly, complete with thick-rimmed glasses. 

While the storytelling is contemporary, the set still hints at classic Greek tragedies. David Russell, scenic designer of the show, crafted images of not only the real world but also the underworld where Eurydice spends most of her time. 

Eurydice meets three stones in the underworld, meant to represent a Greek chorus. Anna Grossman, a senior studying theater performance, plays the Loud Stone. 

“There is no description of the stones as characters. We went through like five different character choices,” Grossman said. “It was frustrating when you would do something that wouldn’t mesh.” 

Despite the stints of frustration, Delaney praised the actors for their comedic chops. The show is not all laughs, however. The overall message of the show is more serious, Delaney said. 

“Don’t look back. Take advantage of life as you’re living it.”

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