“Eurydice” offers new twist on a Greek tale

A story full of Greek mythology and striking visual effects is soon to hit the Galvin stage in Allaert Auditorium.

But fear not—this new take on the story of Orpheus, from his wife Eurydice’s point of view, comes to us in contemporary language through Sarah Rule’s script, “Eurydice.”

Daniel-Rairdin Hale is leading the way on this production from the St. Ambrose University theatre department. He chose the “beautifully written” script for the way it illustrates the tale, lending the audience meaningful lessons on love and loss.

“There’s so much in this script that I think speaks to a lot of different people on a lot of different levels,” Rairdin-Hale said.

Delivering many of its messages through metaphor, time is an element that this script approaches differently than the average play. Rairdin-Hale said time is used more as a vehicle to set moods during the show than it is to establish its underworld setting.

“It’s kind of a timeless place,” Rairdin-Hale said. “You might see costumes from the ‘30s, and you might hear music from present-day.”

Among the present-day music will be an original composition from freshman student Jordan McGinnis. And complementing the music will be the intricate set and lighting designs, with some special effects that an audience seldom gets to see.

Like a wading pool. And a fully-functional water pump. And last, but not least, falling rain onstage.
Set designer Kris Eitrheim said the biggest issue with these water structures isn’t their creation, but controlling the water they use while it’s onstage.

“We need ways to channel all of the water,” Eitrheim said. “We don’t want to make the set too slippery for the actors.”

Another interesting point is that some of the lighting will be done from beneath the set, allowing more flexibility and variety in the lighting design.

“The floors are specially-made with a lot of built-in grates,” Eitrheim said. “That way, the water can drain through, but also light can come up.”

As safety of the cast and crew is always a top priority with set design, Eitrheim said they are making sure the water is carefully irrigated around the electrical from the lights.

And amid the challenges of the set, the production is working under a three-week time crunch. Rairdin-Hale said that the seven-member cast received scripts just before winter break. They were expected to have their parts memorized before rehearsals started full-time, on Jan. 28.

“It’s our shortest rehearsal period, but it’s a really good experience,” Rairdin-Hale said. “That’s how it is in the real world.”

Performances of “Eurydice” are Friday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 3:00 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit the Galvin Box Office, call them at 563-333-6251, or go online: http://www.sau.edu/galvin.

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