Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Contemporary Take on the Classic Myth is Eurydice at the Alliance Theatre

Young lovers Orpheus and Eurydice are separated from each other and must reside in the Underworld in a poignant and comic new take on the classic Greek myth. Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice is an emotionally moving and visually stunning play that takes the audience on a tragic journey of love and loss. Presented in partnership with Georgia Shakespeare and directed by Richard Garner (Georgia Shakespeare Producing Artistic Director), this exploration of love is staged on the intimate Hertz Stage. Powerful currents of emotion, humor and music combine in a fresh, new look at the timeless story of Orpheus from a female (Eurydice’s) perspective. Opening Night is Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2008 at 8 p.m. on the Hertz Stage. Tickets are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office by calling 404.733.5000 or online at

Eurydice tells the story of young Eurydice, who dies on her wedding day. Determined to be reunited with his beloved wife, Orpheus journeys through the Underworld intent on bringing Eurydice back to the land of the living. Eurydice, now reunited with her dearly loved late father, must choose between the love of her father and love for her husband. Emotions collide as she tries to hold on to love and life while discovering the harsh and tragic rules of death, memory and choices.

The partnership between two local theatres is an unusual detail surrounding the production. Susan V. Booth (Alliance Theatre Artistic Director) and Garner felt it would take the combined resources of both theatre companies, with additional help from the Charles Loridans Foundation, to do justice to this amazing play and make this collaboration possible.

Additionally, cast members Courtney Patterson and Chris Kayser and artistic team members Kat Conley and Clay Benning are all Associate Artists at Georgia Shakespeare. Kayser and Patterson performed in Metamorphoses in 2006 and 2007, which was also directed by Richard Garner.

Critically acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl has been acknowledged around the country as one of the most important theatrical voices of her generation. This play establishes her as
one of the foremost playwrights in America. She received her M.F.A. at Brown University and has been recognized for her play The Clean House, which won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2004. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006 for exceptional merit and promise as a playwright.

The seven-member cast includes five local actors – Andrew Benator, Neal A. Ghant (A Christmas Carol, Glengarry Glen Ross), Paul Hester (US Intimate Apparel), Chris Kayser (A Christmas Carol and Glengarry Glen Ross) and Courtney Patterson (Go Dog. Go! and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales) – in addition to other actors from New York. (Biographical information on the cast and creative team members may be found in the attached fact sheet.)

Members of the artistic team that will bring this tragic play to life on stage are Kat Conley, set designer; Miranda Hoffman, costume designer; Justin Townsend, lighting designer; Clay Benning, sound designer; and Celise Kalke, dramaturg.

Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Mar. 14 – Apr. 13, 2008 on the Hertz Stage. There will not be a matinee performance Saturday, Mar. 15 at 2:30 p.m.

The Apr. 6 show at 2:30 p.m. will be Audio Described for the visually impaired.

Tickets are $25 and $30 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office by calling 404.733.5000 or online at Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.

Eurydice is part of the Turner Series on the Hertz Stage.

Additional Sponsors: Eurydice is sponsored by Delta Air Lines – the Official Airline of the Alliance Theatre; The Granada Suite Hotel – the Official Hotel of the Alliance Theatre; and The Home Depot – the Set Construction Sponsor of the Alliance Theatre.

Production of Eurydice is made possible with grants from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Arts Council, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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