Odessa College to present ‘Eurydice’

The Odessa College Theatre Performance program will dive into a modern retelling of the Greek myth of Eurydice.
The production is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Globe Theater at Odessa College, 201 W. University Blvd. Tickets are $7 for adults; $5 for senior and military; and free to OC faculty, staff and students with ID. For more information, call 335-6327.
The play is written by Sarah Ruhl. Kendall Kiker, assistant professor of drama, said he read it in graduate school.
“I’ve told lots of people this that when I read it I did not like the play because it’s written in a way that’s not the way a normal script is written. Music and poetry are kind of a big thing in this play and the playwright chose to write it sort of in a poetic style and so when I first read it, it was hard for me to sort of visualize what was happening. There are several scenes that are written in the play that have no dialogue whatsoever,” Kiker said.
Water also plays a large role as it makes people forget.
It wasn’t until Kiker saw it the first time that he realized how beautiful the story was and the relationships in it.
“Ultimately, that’s what appealed to me is finally being able to get a sense of what the relationships were and what they were about and why the journeys that the characters were going on are so important,” he said.
When he pitched it to technical director David Yates, he jumped at the chance. Kiker said they agreed that the play could be something that was good for the theater staff as well as the students.
“It’s a bit out of the norm for a regular play,” Kiker said. “It gives us an opportunity to do some fun things.”
The play, he said, is a modern retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Orpheus and Eurydice are a young couple in love. The playwright describes them as “a little too young and a little too in love,” Kiker said.
They also are naïve about love and about how the world works. All Orpheus thinks about is music and Eurydice spends a lot of time reading books, he said.
“But they end up getting married and almost immediately Eurydice dies and goes to the underworld, so Orpheus ends up spending the rest of the play figuring out how he’s going to get his wife back,” Kiker said.
“Where the play deviates from the original myth is that when Eurydice gets to the underworld she rekindles a relationship with her father who had passed away many years ago, so we get to see these different relationships be rekindled and reformed. And even though Eurydice is dead and Orpheus is still in the real world, we see their relationship grow and mature and we see the characters change so that by the time we reach the end of the play the characters just aren’t who they are at the beginning,” he added.
Kiker said he thinks it’s a story people can relate to on a lot of different levels.
“I think a lot of us have loved people and lost people, whether through death or sometimes people just move out of our lives for one reason or another. We still think about them and hope to see them again, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. And there’s always that hope, so I think people can identify with that and can see a part of their life story in the play,” Kiker added.
There are seven cast members. Of the original cast members, Kiker said, only two are original. Several had to drop out for various reasons.
He hired a former student of his to be an artist in residence and this way the cast can see how a professional actor close to their own age works.
Eurydice is played by Seneca Mick; Orpheus is Nick Oberheu; Nasty Interesting Man is Brett Hummel; father is Matt Moulton; Big Stone is Eilene Najera; Loud Stone is Daniella Rodriguez; and Little Stone is Gypsy Quimbo.
For him, Kiker said the most interesting characters are the Stones.
“They’re sort of the guardians of the underworld. My idea is that they used to be people that at one point in history died and went to the underworld and they were sort of mischievous in life, so the lord of the underworld saw a little bit of himself in them and they became his favorites. He bought them into his inner circle to say here’s how the underworld works. You need to make sure everyone’s following the rules,” Kiker said.
For the majority of the play, the Stones are silent. But when someone starts to step out of line, they let them know it.
He added that the cast has done some really great work.
“I think it’s going to be received well,” Kiker said. “It’s going to be one that’s going to make people talk and for a couple of reasons that I’ve said. It’s not presented in a way a normal play would be.”