Modern Greek tragedy hits UNO’s stage

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October 5th, 2010

The story of a woman torn between the afterlife in the murky underworld and present time comes to life at the University of Nebraska at Omaha main stage Oct. 6-16.  Eurydice is a contemporary take on the story of Orpheus, the Greek mythological figure who traveled to the underworld to bring back his wife, Eurydice, after she was fatally bitten by a snake. Eurydice, the play, is written by playwright Sarah Ruhl, who sets the scene on the couple’s wedding night. Krystal Kelly is a graduate student at UNO, who’s making her directorial debut on the main stage. Kelly said Ruhl weaves pieces of her own life into the story. Her writing is poetic, she said, and the play is visually fantastical, with room to imagine and interpret.

“She’s very vague and also very specific in her direction,” Kelly said. She used one example in the script, where Ruhl describes “peaches, plums, fall from the sky” and “the sound of vertigo,” and added Ruhl “gives no clear direction as to how you would do these things.”

Kelly said the play is a “designer’s dream.” The author compares the underworld to the setting of Alice in Wonderland, a cue Kelly used to create a multi-dimensional set to draw the audience in.

“There’s a big wall of plexiglass which [depicts] squares that encompass the real world.” There’s also “a pool… a raining elevator, catwalks, ramps, lots of cool lights.” “It’s a very visual effects show.”

Preview performances of Eurydice were held Oct. 6, and the show continues with weekend performances through Oct. 16 at the UNO Theater in the Weber Fine Arts Building.

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