Play Critique




Eurydiceis adramaticplay by Sarah Ruhl which has distinctfeatures, mythicalthemes of love, life,and death as well as the various quotidian aspects of thedaily lives.The play producedin 2003, provides a detailed recount of Orpheus through the eyes andunderstanding of his wife,Eurydice. In addressing the concept of death, love,and life, the writer usesthe architectural myth of Orpheus to provide a clear framework of thestory from the contemporary perspective of his lost love.Importantly, the play which is directed by Renee van Nifterik wasfirst held at the Pearl Theater and is due for performance onNovember 1st,2016. The video’ssettings arein two worlds the natural world and the underworld(Chirico,2007).The two scenariosquestionwhat happens when one dies (eternal life). Somescenes within the play are in the context of an underworld. Given themythical overview of the dramaticplay by Sarah Ruhl, this essay seeks to focus on three key elementswithin the play lighting, costume,and acting.

Thelighting design in the show is created using the amber color to helpprovide a naturalistic feel of the beach where Eurydice and Orpheuswere. The set consists of raining elevator, rusty exposed pipes, awater pump, an abstracted river of poor memory and an older fashionedglow-in-the-dark globe(Chirico,2007).The set ispaintedin different colors such as red, blue and yellow with a mixture ofblack and silver that provide a beautiful and imaginative landscapefor both the actors and the targeted audience. The costumes used inthe videoareintothree distinct areas, the one employedby Eurydice’s family, her father and that usedby Orpheus. Although the clothesappear to be very conservative, it fulfills the fashion demand of themodern era. For example,atthe beginning of the set, Eurydice and Orpheus looknear the beach dressed in a 1950’s swimwear which helps to bridgethe gap between ancient and modern fashion wear. While Eurydice is inpink, the husband is in white and blue tones and the father in a pairof graysuit and a hat.

Sincethe story follows in on the Greek myth, the general acting within theplay isbasedon areal-lifestory of Sarah Ruhl and the relationship with her father who died ofcancer(Chirico,2007).Through the use of a natural lighting design and modern era costumes,it can bearguedthat the acting within the set offers the audience with a clear senseof belonging. That is because the costumes and lighting used withinthe play createa large scale scenery changes that allowthe characters toblend with the changing faces of the game.Because of this, it can benotedthat the acting within the playis objective, balanced and educative as well as entertaining. Theplaycontains no sense of confusion as it isfilledwith unique and a personal stage direction that reflects the writer’sintent and perspective. In the film,the authoruses the concept of scenery to build and enhance the audience’sunderstanding and perception of the systematic arrangement andoccurrence of the events within the play.

Insummary, Ruhl’s writing in Eurydice is overly poetic and emotionalviability that gives liberty to Eurydice’s staging and technicalaspects. Through all this, it is evident that the play is adramaticsuccess.


Chirico,M. M. (2007). Eurydice (review). TheatreJournal,59(2),315-317.