By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Allison Narver
September 5 - October 5, 2008
Seattle, WA – August 12, 2008 – Cross the River of Forgetting on a one-way cruise to the Underworld in ACT – A Contemporary Theatre’s production of Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, a fantastic, highly original contemporary retelling of a classic story from one of the most distinct theatrical voices of a new generation of writers.
“Sarah Ruhl is the most exciting young playwright to emerge from the American theatre in more than a decade. Her funny, poetic mind moves through Eurydice like a benediction,” said ACT Artistic Director Kurt Beattie. “The great myth finds a new expressiveness in her heartbreaking interpretation, which is as beautifully momentary as the wind, and as eternal as anyone can imagine.”
In Eurydice, written in 2000 and inspired by the death of her father in 1994, Ruhl flips the classical myth of Orpheus to focus not on his descent to the underworld to rescue his young bride from death, but on Eurydice’s experience of her death and the journey taken. Reunited with her father in Hades, Ruhl’s Eurydice is confronted with the surprising and excruciating choice of leaving her father again to re-join her new husband. The play inventively expands on the themes of the myth to embrace not only the powerful force of romantic love, but also the deep bond shared between father and daughter. Ruhl’s playfulness and her characteristic light touch in the face of almost unbearable loss catapults the play into a gorgeous, surreal realm of wonder and enchantment.
At the age of 34, the gifted Ruhl has already been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize (in 2005 for The Clean House, produced last season at ACT), and in 2006 she was awarded a half-million dollar MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant to write more plays.
Continuing the synergy of playwright and director ACT began last year with The Clean House, Allison Narver will once again step into the director seat to direct Eurydice. Performed in the round, an all local cast will be featured in this production, including Renata Friedman [Vincent in Brixton, The K of D, The Importance of Being Earnest Off-Broadway] in the title role, Trick Danneker [The Sweetest Swing in Baseball at ArtsWest, American Buffalo at Theater Schmeater] as Orpheus and Mark Chamberlin [A Christmas Carol, Stuff Happens] as Eurydice’s father.
Additional presentations in conjunction with Eurydice include Project Orpheus by Seattle Dance Project (September 13-October 4, 8:00 p.m.) produced by The Central Heating Lab at ACT, as well as pre- and post-show discussions.