Resuming In-Person Performances with Eurydice

After a year of virtual performances and live-streamed events, Lexington High School’s drama program will return to live performances with this year’s fall play, Eurydice

While the show is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, this play presents a modern take on the legend, set in a 1950s beachside motel. As opposed to focusing on Orpheus’ journey to find his wife, Eurydice, this adaptation deviates from the original to feature Eurydice herself.

 “It updates an ancient myth to a contemporary time period in a poetic way. It also highlights, or brings out a feminist viewpoint on the myth,” Jillian Singer-Wong, director of Eurydice, said. 

The play also introduces various elements of each character.

“The audience gets to see the very flawed side of Orpheus’s character,” Soren James, a junior at LHS playing Orpheus, said.

At the beginning of a typical rehearsal, actors spend some time doing physical and vocal warm-ups, as well as character-focused warm-ups. Earlier in the rehearsal process, the rest of the time in rehearsals would be spent on working on individual scenes. 

“We sit down, we read through the scene multiple times, talk about meanings and what we think is going on with characters, and then eventually we get up on our feet and we try it out, and we get closer to what we want the movement in the scene to be. Eventually, we put it all together and keep making tweaks for it,” Singer-Wong said. 

“Recently we started doing stumble throughs and run throughs where we try to just go through the show without stopping doing what we rehearsed,” James said.

DiPerna explained how on top of this newer vision of the show the playwright has written

“We really tried to find some new and interesting way to show our story, visually, and we decided how else to better portray a Greek tragedy than in a 1950s beachside motel. Without giving away spoilers, we are doing something on stage that I’ve never done before,” DiPerna said, who has over 45 shows of experience under his belt. 

“The crew has been working hard to put this set together, with many details and intricacies present,” Diperna said.

James explains, “We’re going to be masked…the biggest challenges are being heard and understood with a mask…we’re also trying to do social distancing on stage…and  

“We’ll be using microphones this year, which we don’t usually do for the play so that the volume issues created by masks shouldn’t be a problem.” In terms of how masks restrict facial expression, “We have focused on movement and what we can tell in terms of movement because we lose so much in terms of facial expression” Plus, “We’re doing digital ticketing instead of physical tickets…and we have tried to keep in mind keeping distance when possible on stage, which is definitely hard when you’re doing a love story,” Singer-Wong said.

Even through lingering frustrations of COVID, the cast and crew are still able to build a community. James said, “Theater kids are known for being open and friendly, so [the cast] easily has become a tight knit-group. We do warm-ups which are always a fun time, we talk in rehearsal, outside of rehearsal, we have group chat we talk in, and as we get closer and closer to the performance we’ll spend even more time together.” 

Sommers also feel the strong bond between everyone working on the show, “I think I knew most of the people before we started, but not at the level I know them now…It’s only 11 of us so we’re all really good friends. Going to rehearsal is like going to see people I can talk to and I can trust. And everyone in tech is the nicest person I have ever met.” Sommers said, whose first play at LHS will be Eurydice

“If you do theater, those are just your kind of people…you all want to make a good show together…and we all have this common love of being creative and performing,” Sommer said. 

“You put so much effort, emotion, blood, sweat, tears into the show, it’s hard not to get emotionally attached to not only the show you’re working on, but the people you’re working with,” Diperna said. 

“Theater is intended to be a live event…all of these people in this one room together will never have that same experience again,” Singer-Wong said. 

Ticket sales are open for Eurydice for three show dates at 7:30 pm on November 18, 19, and 20.