It has come time for Theatre Fairfield to present their closing production of the 2022-2023 season, and they are ready to amaze audiences with their production of “Eurydice,” a feminist twist on the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
We have heard the Greek myth of Orpheus, seen it remade and remodeled into various retellings. But we have never seen Eurydice as more than a prop. Ruhl’s “Eurydice” and Theatre Fairfield’s productions of the show flip the narrative, centralizing Eurydice’s story; her love, her heartbreak, her tragedy. Throughout the play, we follow Eurydice as she searches for her identity, her truth, as a woman and a human being. Though she is still defined by her male relationships, both with her father and her husband, It is ultimately Eurydice who will make the decision as to how she will live, die and love.
Lillie Kortrey ‘23 plays the protagonist, Eurydice, as she navigates her relationships with both her husband and her father.
“Eurydice is a very complex character. She is exploring two relationships in two different realms: a romantic relationship with Orpheus and Earth and a familial relationship with her Father in the Underworld,” said Kortrey. “Having to constantly be aware of both relationships and finding the nuances in both has been one of the challenges I’ve encountered with this role.”
The relationship between Eurydice and Orpheus is loving but nothing close to perfect. The push and pull of the love and conflict between the two characters is portrayed with excellence by Kortrey and Anthony Lupercio ‘26. Eurydice’s relationship with her father was a complex one as well. Through the acting of Kortey and Ben Dressel ‘26 , the audience can feel the sweet and heartfelt moments along with the moments of sadness.
Kortrey continued in speaking to her experience playing the character, “Eurydice is relearning, both words, facts, memories, etc., but also making up for the time she lost with her father while they were in separate realms. Playing with that has really been something that’s progressed and blossomed over the rehearsal process.
Though a challenging and complex character indeed, Kortrey beautifully portrays the role of Eurydice, from the confusion she experiences when first entering the Underworld to the conflict that plagues her as she is made to choose between returning to the real world with her husband, Orpheus, or remaining with her father.
When Eurydice first enters the underworld, she is met by the Chorus of Stones, three creatures of stone that seem to resemble a Greek chorus, yet do not allow for the sound of song in the underworld. Played by Nora Jacobi ‘25, Alyssa Suarez ‘25 and Courtney Sobogal ‘26, the stones proved to be some of my favorite characters. Dressed immaculately in silver costumes they provided for great comedic relief amongst the tragedy and deep emotion of the play. I could not help but laugh at their snarky lines and hilarious delivery as they serve as accomplices to the Lord of the Underworld, brilliantly portrayed by Emily Sheridan ‘24.
Though captivating and emotional, it is not just the acting that made Theatre Fairfield’s production of Eurydice incredible to watch. With the hard work of the production’s artistic team including producer Lynne Porter, costume designer Julie Leavitt, movement choreographer
Brad Roth, set designer Karl Ruling, lighting designer Lynne Chase, technical director Anne Kendall, stage manager Margot Weiss, assistant stage managers Grace Galasso ‘26 and Cara Rommeney ’26, and intimacy director Jamie Monahan, this production comes together seamlessly.
The Wein Black Box is such an intimate space, one in which the audience is almost a part of the scene unfolding before their eyes. And it is the music that truly completes the atmosphere, It is the strategic pauses in the music, the moments of silence that speak volumes to the action happening onstage. Theatre Fairfield’s production of Eurydice features an original score composed and performed live by Michael Ciavaglia with violist Elisabeth Messier ‘26 and bass guitarist Andrew Margaritis of Fairfield University’s music department. It is wonderful to see all walks of Fairfield University talent come together to make this show possible, and seeing students and faculty from the music department compose and perform in this production is incredible.
Anticipation for this production is building up as opening night approaches on Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. It will be Dr. Martha LaMonaco’s final production as resident director for Theatre Fairfield as she concludes her work as a feminist theatre historian, activist and director. And after seeing it all come together on stage, I can confidently say that it is a production to be congratulated on.
“Besides our really cool technical elements, and our hilarious Chorus of Stones, I am excited for audiences to finally see Eurydice’s side of the classic Orpheus myth,” Kortrey said in anticipation of the play’s opening night. “There is next to nothing on her historically and in mythology, so I love that we are giving her a voice. I’m so excited for audiences to watch and enjoy.”
Students, faculty and the Fairfield community alike can see “Eurydice” in the Wein Black Box at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts Wednesday, April 19 through Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. with matinees on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. Tickets ($10 for general admission and $5 for students) are on sale at the Quick Center Box office and on the Quick Center’s website so be sure to score yourself a front row seat to the show before they are all gone!
I am truly in awe of the talent that Theatre Fairfield hosts and the cooperation of each moving part to come together and put on a fantastic show. From the meticulous attention to detail in the set design, to the breathtaking costumes and props to the awe-inspiring talent of each actor, Theatre Fairfield’s production of “Eurydice” is not one to be missed.