Urbana High School will be presenting Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, “a modern retelling of the ancient myth of Orpheus” this weekend, March 8th and 9th. The play is to be performed by students in the UHS Acting Class, which was offered for the first time this year, and directed by UHS senior Saskia Bakker, who describes the production as “dreamlike and ethereal.” Additionally, in an an effort to create a more intimate space, the audience will sit on the stage with the performance (which means tickets will be limited, so read below about securing them ahead of time). Sounds like an interesting production, and worth checking out!
Here’s the full press release:
Love and loss are themes explored in Eurydice, a modern retelling of the ancient myth of Orpheus, to be performed by Urbana High School students March 8 and 9.
“I was really drawn to the poetic language of this play,” said the director, Saskia Bakker, a UHS senior with plans to pursue a Theatre Direction major in college. “There’s also a suspension of disbelief involved, exploring ‘What is reality,’ and ‘How far can we push that edge for the audience?’”
Symbolic themes of water, string, and letters in envelopes are woven throughout the production, which features a set that Bakker said is more “dreamlike and ethereal” than what people typically associate with the underworld, or hell.
“The way death is presented in the play is different—the bad thing about death isn’t dying, it’s forgetting. The story looks at what you know, what you’ve forgotten, and how you can remember,” Bakker said.
The play is being performed and produced by students in the UHS Acting Class, which was offered for the first time this semester. Tim Broeker, the Director of Theatre and an English teacher at UHS, said the class offers an opportunity to do different types of theatre.
“We’re able to push the envelope and be more experimental in the acting class than we are during our regular theatre season,” Broeker said. “That means doing more experimental shows and also trying new things like the non-conventional staging we’re doing for Eurydice. I’ve always wanted to do that.” The audience will be seated on the stage itself for a more intimate theatre experience, similar to a “black box theatre” setting, he explained.
Both Broeker and Bakker said the 12 students in the class—some who didn’t have previous acting experience—have really responded to their roles in this unconventional play.
“These students really bring new life and ideas to this play,” Bakker said. “Because this is a class and some people are new to theatre, we’re having conversations and asking questions that we wouldn’t otherwise have.”
And the poster:
Eurydice will be performed on March 8th and 9th at 7 p.m. at the Urbana High School Cobb Auditorium (1002 S. Race Street). All tickets are $5 each. Because seating is limited, Broeker recommends that you reserve your seats by emailing him ([email protected]), and paying at the box office the night of. Tickets might also be available at the door if the shows haven’t sold out. The box office opens 30 minutes prior to each performance.