Hardin-Simmons University theater students performed Eurydice Nov. 5 and 6 in the Down Centre Stage Lab Theater. The play was directed by Kathlyn Messer, a senior theater major from Abilene.
“To me, the play is all about acceptance,” Anthony DeLaGarza, a freshman musical theater major from Wichita Falls, said. “It’s about being okay with not being okay. Eurydice is not an okay situation and for me at least it was about dealing with things and accepting them.”
The play was written by Sarah Ruhl in order to continue conversations with her recently deceased father. Messer read the play last year and began looking for it to do as her director’s cut play.
“What really resonated with me about the play was Eurydice’s relationship with her father,” Messer said. “I have a very close relationship with my father. Rhul wrote the play beautifully while thinking about the process of recovering from grief and moving on. It really captured my heart and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”
Messer focused on the artistry of her director's cut play. She used the broad descriptions of stage directions in Ruhl’s writing to find a deeper meaning.
“Ruhl doesn’t have in her stage directions that they raise a bowl over their heads and pour the water onto themselves [like they did in our show],” Messer said. “She only wrote that they dip themselves into the river. I took it to be that they baptize themselves and remove all that was before when they went into the water. One of the images that just kept coming back to me was when a priest christens a young child by pouring a bowl of water onto them.”
Many of the students on the cast were freshmen and had only performed in one Hardin-Simmons play before Eurydice.
“I did not see it as a risk having so many freshmen in the cast,” Messer said. “I found, through working with them in Divine Kerfuffle, that they were all really talented and delightful to work with. They really brought my vision to life and I believe that their performance was perfect.”