RBHS students to perform ‘Eurydice’ this weekend
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
A contemporary take on mythological Greek figures is playing on the Rancho Bernardo stage starting Thursday and continuing through Saturday.
“Eurydice” by Sara Ruhl tells the story of Orpheus from the perspective of his bride, Eurydice, who dies on their wedding day. In an attempt to bring her back to life, Orpheus goes to the underworld where Eurydice has been reunited with her late father. While the myth has Eurydice dying from a viper bite, in Ruhl’s version Eurydice dies by falling down the stairs.
Director Marie Morris said RB High’s version is set in the late 1940s or early 1950s era. As for the underworld, it appears as a circus tent.
Senior Matt Abosamra, who plays Orpheus, called the story “timeless.”
The play can be seen at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 with a 2 p.m. performance also on Saturday. It will be in the RB High Performing Arts Center, 13010 Paseo Lucido. Tickets are $10 for general public and $5 for PUSD students, sold at the door. The ideal audience is middle school through adult.
Abosamra said because Orpheus is supposed to be the world’s greatest musician he had to learn to play the guitar, the instrument that replaces the lyre mentioned in mythology.
“It was a challenging experience because I am not a musical person,” said Abosamra, cast in his third RB High production. “I particularly like (Orpheus’) drive to not take no for an answer to get what he wants.”
Sophomore Dorian Parker said she was surprised to be cast as the title character. “It was a bit overwhelming at first, but this (drama) department is so welcoming and … everybody believes in you and supports you.
“It’s pretty cool and very unexpected,” said Parker, who has acted since age 8 but never been the lead.
Parker said her biggest challenge was finding a balance in portraying Eurydice because “she’s a young girl who is not the brightest, but not dumb either.”
Senior Alex Schlientz, who plays Eurydice’s father, said playing a father figure — even one who died young — was difficult for him as a teenager.
“I like his motivation to re-teach his daughter, who is the only one who can talk to him in the underworld,” Schlientz said. “Figuratively and literally he is definitely in hell.”
Senior Christine Heyne said in her portrayal of the Lord of the Underworld she has to alternate between coming across as a very spoiled and demanding child and an adult because of comments made by others in the script. In the circus atmosphere, her character is the circus ringmaster.
Early in rehearsals it was decided those in the underworld would speak with British accents, so she has been watching a lot of movies and conversing with British students at RB High to perfect her accent, Heyne said.
Morris said she chose this play because of a performance of “Eurydice” San Diego State University put on a few years ago.
“I studied the playwright and find her really accessible,” Morris said. “It’s a play my students could really sink their teeth into and get good acting work done (because) it’s a very simple play … that feels very concise (due to dialogue).”
Morris said it also lends itself to being “visually very beautiful.” It was a design challenge because of specific elements required, such as an elevator with rain inside. Real water will be pumped onto the stage, she said.
The “Eurydice” cast members are Matt Abosamra, Shantel Cowell, Caitlin Cranford, Christine Heyne, Carla Nicholson, Jill Onorato, Dorian Parker, Morgan Parpart, Sara Pugsley, Alex Schlientz, Quinne Tolentino and Emily Weinberg.
Short URL: http://www.pomeradonews.com/?p=29954