Pioneer Players presented Eurydice production


Desiree Roe

Sarah McCraw played Eurydice and Elliot Frieden played Eurydice’s father in the production that was described as ‘devastatingly lovely’.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts-Theatre and Pioneer Players presented Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice. The Feb. 17 performance was a Benefit. All the proceeds from the tickets sales went to the Platteville Food Pantry and Family Promise of Grant County.

Described by New York Times critic Charles Isherwood as “devastatingly lovely — and just plain devastating,” Ruhl’s play explores the nature of death and love and grief by putting a modern spin on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. On the day of her wedding, Eurydice falls victim to a tragic accident that sends her into the Underworld. Separated from her beloved Orpheus, the greatest musician in the world, Eurydice is reunited with her dead father in the Land of the Dead. Orpheus journeys to retrieve his bride, but Eurydice’s certainty waivers as she must choose between staying with her father and living her life with Orpheus.

“This play is a strange and hauntingly beautiful meditation on grief and loss,” said Ann Farrelly, associate professor of theater and director of Eurydice. “Sarah Ruhl combines her lyrical sensibilities with a well-known myth to illustrate the weirdness of death and sorrow. It is a heartbreaking play that speaks to the soul through poetry and music. The audience is invited to experience the play, not just to watch it.”

The cast included Sarah McCraw as Eurydice, Logan Eigenberger as Orpheus, Elliott Frieden as Eurydice’s father, Nicholas Varela as the Nasty Interesting Man/Lord of the Underworld and Emily Cooksey, Rachael Lester, and Dakota Vaassen as the chorus of stones. Taylor Tieman was the stage manager.  Resident costume designer Sarah Strange provided the costume design and assistant professor of theater, Jeffrey Strange, served as the lighting designer. The rest of the production and design team was made up of students: Viviana Pereyra (scenic design), Charles Gilbert (sound design), and Grayson Basina (technical director).

“This is truly a showcase of our students’ fine work” said Farrelly.

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*Clarification: An editing error that found its way into the Feb. 25 issue of the Exponent resulted in an accidental breach of journalistic ethics. Major sections of the Page 1 story, “Pioneer Players presented Eurydice production,” contained paragraphs that were copied verbatim from a Feb. 5 news release that was posted on the UW-Platteville website by University Information and Communications. Exponent policies prohibit such usage without attribution, and in fact, such usage – even with attribution – is discouraged. In this particular instance, a miscommunication occurred between writer and editor. The Exponent apologizes to UW-Platteville University Information and Communications and to the writer of the original posting, Jackelyn Johnson, for this inadvertent ethical lapse.