by Sarah Ruhl
In her retelling of the classic Greek tale Orpheus, Sarah Ruhl takes the perspective of the musician’s wife, Eurydice. Upon her death she descends into the underworld passing through the river Lethe and losing her memories. She is greeted there by her father, who has somehow managed to keep his memory intact, and thereby, maintains the ability to communicate. He gradually reactivates her human language and her past memories.
Meanwhile, the bereft Orpheus schemes for the return of his wife from the land of the dead. He finally descends, still living, into the underworld to retrieve his bride. As her father convinces Eurydice to go back to the land of the living, Orpheus strikes a deal with the Lord of the Underworld to lead her out of the underworld with one condition; he cannot look back to gaze upon Eurydice again until they have left the underworld. He then sets off for the surface with his wife following behind.
This is the tale of a woman and the relationships she has with the men in her life. As we travel along with her, we hear the water acting as the rhythmic background for the song of Orpheus. It rains and flows, nurturing the memory of what is now a part of the past. It is a tale of love, and loss, with tears as souvenirs of those remembrances.
6th, 7th, 13th, 14th of September 2019