UIC Theatre presents new twist on Orpheus myth

UIC Theatre - Eurydice

Carly Carano (from left), Alex Rodriguez and Tanous El-Kareh in UIC Theatre’s “Eurydice.” Photo: Michael Brosilow (click on image for larger size)

The UIC Theatre’s first play of the season is based on the Orpheus myth, but not the version you may have read in high school.

“Eurydice,” by 39-year-old MacArthur fellow Sarah Ruhl, is the myth as told through the eyes of Orpheus’ wife, Eurydice.

As in previous versions, Eurydice has died and descended to the underworld, and Orpheus treks there to play his music to the gods and persuade them to let her return to life with him.

In a new twist, however, Eurydice isn’t so sure she wants to go. In other twists, this production has a puppet playing the Lord of the Underworld, as well as music by Peter Gabriel.

An essay on the original myth that appears in the play’s program states that many endings have been written for Orpheus.

Luigi Salerni, professor of theatre and director of this production, writes in his program notes that “myths tend to be variations on a theme.”

“There are cultural myths that are specific to a particular place and a particular people,” he writes. “But peoples, cultures and histories are more alike than they are different.”

“Eurydice” will be performed Oct. 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m.; and Oct. 6, 9 and 13 at 2 p.m. at the UIC Theatre, 1044 W. Harrison St.

Tickets to all productions are $16 for the general public, $14 for UIC faculty and staff, and $11 for UIC students.

To order, call 312-996-2939.

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