BRIDE TAKES CENTER STAGE IN AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT SARAH RUHLS REINVENTION
OF A TRAGIC GREEK TALE OF LOVE AND LOSS, EURYDICE
BERKELEY CA, SEPTEMBER 16, 2004
Berkeley Repertory Theatre continues its 2004/05 Season with Eurydice, written by up-and-coming playwright Sarah Ruhl and directed by Berkeley Rep Associate Artistic Director Les Waters. Eurydice is an astonishing, fresh take on the classic Greek Orpheus myth, here reexamined through the eyes of the storys oft-overlooked heroine, Eurydice. Eurydice begins previews at Berkeley Rep on October 15, 2004, opens on October 20 and closes November 14. Production sponsors for Eurydice are Citigroup, Contra Costa Times and Season Sponsor BART.
The tragic story of Orpheus and Eurydice is a cornerstone of western mythology: shortly after her marriage to the musician Orpheus, Eurydice is fatally bitten by a snake and sent to the underworld, leaving her young husband behind to grieve. Seducing Hades, the lord of the underworld, with his beautiful music, Orpheus strikes a deal that will allow him to bring Eurydice back to lifeas long as Orpheus does not look back until they have left the underworld. Reimagining this classic text from Eurydices point of view, with contemporary characters, ingenious twists and breathtaking visual effects, Sarah Ruhls award-winning play is a truly original tale. Ruhls lyrical writing and poetic imagery have marked her as a young playwright on the rise, talents confirmed by Eurydice, in which the age-old theme of love and loss takes on a whole new meaning.
One of the characters Ruhl incorporates into her version of Ovids myth is that of Eurydices father, exploring the relationship between the young womans two loves. I was interested in the triangulation between Orpheus, who shes about to marry, and the father, commented Ruhl, and in the tumultuous feelings a young woman goes through to choose her husband over her father. I wrote it very much with my father in mind, who died when I was 20; so I wrote it, in a way, to imagine being able to talk to himto have more conversations.
Eurydice had its premiere at the Madison Repertory Theatre in Wisconsin in September 2003, where it was directed by Rick Corley. The play has also been produced at Chicagos Piven Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre and The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachussetts. A staged reading of the play was held at Arena Stage during its 2002/03 Season.
Playwright Sarah Ruhl won a 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play, The Clean House, and was the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award and a Whiting Writers Award in 2003. In addition to Eurydice, Ruhls body of work includes Melancholy Play, Late: A Cowboy Song, Orlando, Chekhov: Shorts and Passion Play. Her plays have been represented at the Sundance Theatre Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, The McCarter Theatre Center, The Flea, The Ohio Theater, New Georges, The Childrens Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Annex Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Victory Gardens, as well as at theatres in London and Germany. Upcoming productions of Ruhls work will take place at Yale Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre and Woolly Mammoth, and will be available in an anthology published by TCG in 2005. She is a member of New Dramatists. Ruhl is a Chicago native and received her M.F.A. from Brown University.
Berkeley Rep Associate Artistic Director Les Waters previously directed The Mystery of Irma Vep, Yellowman, Suddenly Last Summer and Big Love for Berkeley Rep. He recently directed Naomi Iizukas At the Vanishing Point for the Humana Festival. He also directed Big Love at the Humana Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Goodman Theatre and the Next Wave Festival at BAM. Additional local credits include Buried Child and Glengarry Glen Ross at A.C.T. Other directing credits include Wintertime, Nebraska, Life During Wartime, The Importance of Being Earnest and Nora for La Jolla Playhouse; Ghost on Fire and Spinning Into Butter for The Goodman; The Designated Mourner and The Memory of Water for Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Life During Wartime at Manhattan Theatre Club; Fen, Ice Cream with Hot Fudge, Rum and Coke and Romeo and Juliet for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater. Les has also directed at theatres across the U.K and is an associate artist of The Civilians, the New York-based theatre group.
The design team for Eurydice includes many designers who have previously worked at Berkeley Rep: scenic designer Scott Bradley, who designed sets for last seasons The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and Journey to the West in 1996; costume designer Meg Neville, who designed costumes for last seasons Ghosts, in addition to The Life of Galileo, Closer and Dinner With Friends; lighting designer Russell Champa has designed extensively on and off-Broadway in New York and around the country; and sound designer Bray Poor, who last worked at Berkeley Rep as an actor and has designed sound for theatres in New York and at the Humana Festival. The stage manager is Michael Suenkel, Berkeley Reps resident production stage manager.
The cast of Eurydice includes: Maria Dizzia, an artistic associate of The Civilians and graduate of the M.F.A. program at U.C. San Diego; Aimée Guillot, who has previously appeared at Berkeley Rep in Big Love, directed by Les Waters, and is also an artistic associate of The Civilians holding an M.F.A. from U.C. San Diego; Ramiz Monsef making his Berkeley Rep debut after appearing around the Bay Area and in Oregon and Seattle, where he graduated from Cornish College of the Arts; Charles Shaw Robinson, whose work for Berkeley Rep includes roles in Homebody/Kabul and The Magic Fire; Daniel Talbott, who previously appeared at Berkeley Rep in Skylight, for which he received a BATCC Award nomination, and is a graduate of Juilliard; T. Edward Webster, who has appeared around the Bay Area as a graduate of A.C.T.s M.F.A. program and last worked at Berkeley Rep with Les Waters on Suddenly Last Summer; and Mark Zeisler, who appeared at Berkeley Rep in Big Love with Ms. Guillot.
On Friday, October 15 at 6:30PM, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre presents Teen Night at the Rep, a special opportunity for teens from around the Bay Area to attend the first preview performance of Eurydice, have dinner and participate in a behind-the-scenes discussion with a member of the artistic team prior to the performance. Teen Night is held at the Nevo Education Center, 2071 Addison Street, Berkeley. Tickets are $5.00 for Teen Council members, $20.00 for all other teens. For reservations or more information, call 510.647.2973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be three moderated post-play discussions held following the evening performances on Thursday, October 21; Friday, October 29 and Tuesday, November 2.
Single tickets for Eurydice are priced between $20.00 and $55.00, depending on the day of the week. Group discounts are also available (for 15 or more), as well as student and senior half-price Rush tickets. Twenty half-price HotTix go on sale at noon at the Berkeley Rep Box Office Tuesday through Friday for that evenings performance (cash only). Berkeley Rep also offers $20.00 tickets for anyone under the age of 30 (with valid ID). This discount is subject to availability and is not offered for Saturday night performances.
Berkeley Reps Thrust Stage is located at 2025 Addison Street, one-half block from Berkeleys downtown BART station and close to AC Transit bus lines. The theatre is accessible to the handicapped, offering wheelchair seating and special services for the visually and hearing impaired.
For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard or American Express, call the Berkeley Rep Box Office at 510.647.2949 or toll free at 888.4BRTTix. Additional information and on-line ticketing is available at www.berkeleyrep.org.
ABOUT BERKELEY REPERTORY THEATRE
Now in its 37th year, the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre, founded in 1968, has established a national reputation for its ambitious programming and dynamic productions. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tony Taccone and Managing Director Susan Medak, Berkeley Rep seeks to engage its audience in an ongoing dialogue of ideas. Through its choice of material and bold, vivid style of production, Berkeley Rep reflects a commitment to diversity, excitement and quality. The company is especially well known for presentations of important new dramatic voices and its fresh adaptations of seldom-seen classics. In December 2001, Berkeley Rep opened The Roda Theatre, a 600-seat proscenium theatre that complements the existing 400-seat Thrust Stage. In December 2001, the company opened the Nevo Education Center, home of the new Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. The addition of these two buildings has transformed what was once a single stage into a vital and versatile performing arts complex.
written by Sarah Ruhl
directed by Les Waters
cast: Maria Dizzia, Aimée Guillot, Ramiz Monsef, Charles Shaw Robinson, Daniel Talbott, T. Edward Webster and Mark Zeisler
designers: Scott Bradley (scenic design); Meg Neville (costume design); Russell Champa (lighting design); Bray Poor (sound design)
20 half-price HotTix go on sale at noon TuesdayFriday
Student/Senior half-price RUSH one-half hour before curtain
Groups of 15+ contact 510.647.2918 or email@example.com
$20.00 for anyone Under 30 with valid ID, some restrictions apply
510.647.2949 or 1.888.4BRTTix (toll free) or www.berkeleyrep.org
Single tickets and subscriptions on sale now.
Berkeley Reps Thrust Stage / 2025 Addison Street / Berkeley
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