Fairfax High School EurydiceBy Cappies • Nov 16th, 2010 • Category: Cappies
Although the afterlife has always been perceived differently among writers and artists, it is universally portrayed as a tiring, unforgiving experience of nostalgia and discontent. With such a dismal world, it requires intricate details and consistently high energy to display such an afterlife in an interesting, engaging way.
The theatre department of Fairfax High School depicted the afterlife in an engrossing manner with a discreet yet clever metamorphosis of characters, an enthusiastic ensemble, and opulent technical effects, in their production of Eurydice, written by Sarah Ruhl.
This powerful story originated from Greek mythology, though this newer adaptation still stayed true to its pleasingly biting emotions. The tale of Eurydice presents a short-lived romance between Eurydice and Orpheus, which is instantly crushed when the bride Eurydice dies on the night of their wedding. The audience then travels to the underworld with Eurydice, where she meets the sardonic and gibing people of the underworld, known as the Stone people, and reunites with her comforting father. Orpheus, devastated without his love, later moves on to the underworld, only to find Eurydice and her father lifeless after dipping themselves in the river of the underworld due to a deprivation of freedom and happiness.
Dylan Halpern portrayed Eurydice’s father in a controversial yet clever way. He used deliberate motions of consolation and intense attention which intimated a subtle sexual energy. This unusual emotional drive reflected the queer tone of the underworld, and how the Stone people had abandoned their earthly conscience.
The Stone people created a sinister, foreign feeling and thoughtfully represented different human personalities by developing distinct characters. Each actor revealed precise postures and speech patterns which were gushing with identity. Though these prominent differences were distracting at times, they demonstrated a strong level of maturity among this vivacious ensemble. Along with their diverse interpretations, their flawlessly synchronized speech of restrictions and commands haunted the audience and brought a savory serving of energy to the stage.
A pool located downstage served as the river which consummated the fate of Eurydice and her father. Though it had the potential to be further utilized during the performance, its presence effectively increased the shock when Eurydice and her father dived into the river. Other technical features skillfully emphasized this monumental set piece as well; before many scenes, bright blue lights illuminated it, which foreshadowed the grave effects it would soon have on the father and daughter of the show.
Due to its calculating actors and high quality tech, Fairfax High School impressively retold the heartbreaking story of Eurydice. This portrayal of the afterlife beamed with a memorable flamboyance, engraved into the minds of its audience as heavily and finally as letters on a gravestone.
by Sydney Lo of McLean
Photos by Anne Norland.
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