Strosacker Theatre here at Alma College has hosted a plethora of plays. From Draculato to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the theatre program has done it all. To kick off the semester, guest director Stephen Harrick brought Eurydice to the table.
“Though this is the first production I’ve been involved in at Alma College, I am thrilled to have this opportunity and to work with such a terrific cast and crew,” said Dr. Stephen Harrick, guest director. Harrick brought a fresh, new perspective to Strosacker Theatre.
“The way [Dr. Harrick] does things, we’re not used to it and so it’s been a learning experience. It’s going really well, though. He asks us questions about our characters and doesn’t tell us what he wants, he lets us find it for ourselves,” said Lexy Mass (‘22), who played one of the three stones in Eurydice.
This play has more than just actors and a director, though. For each production hosted by Alma College comes with hard work from students and faculty. Costume design, crafting the set and lighting are all hidden aspects of the theatre.
Although a sad and somewhat quirky play, the cast members were able to relate to their characters.
“I’m playing a stone and they’re sort of like the overseers of the underworld. They help lead Eurydice into the afterlife. I think of leadership. It’s easier to think of them as helpers rather than thinking of them as being maniacal or mean,” said Rachel Blome (‘20), another of the three stones. Not every actor connects to their character in the same way, though.
“It’s really hard to connect to this character because my character is a stone. I try to think about when I’m angry and I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m myself but angry,” said Maas.
Be it on stage or off, the actors and crew members on this production worked hard all throughout production.
“For performers [production] hasn’t really been all that bad, the most challenging part is figuring out how people feel when they’re dead. Once the set came in, everything began to click a lot more,” said Jimmy Ewald (‘19), a senior actor who took on the role as Eurydice’s father.
Alma College’s theatre program means so much to many of those involved in it, especially those who are seniors reminiscing on their time here.
“It’s been a really wild ride. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of what Scott and Terry have both taught me, and I really hope it translates well into the professional world. On the other side of that, I realize just how much risk and stuff that they can’t even prepare us for here exists out there,” said Ewald.
A tragedy with a notso-happy ending, along with some allusions that may be lost on the audience, doesn’t seem like a play that would be very popular, especially near Valentine’s Day.
“Eurydice is a play that I have been passionate about ever since I first read it many years ago. It was serendipitous that this opportunity came along. I almost jumped out of my skin. I was so excited about the possibility of directing this play,” said Harrick.
Eurydice is a play that is meant to evoke emotions, particularly sadness. “It’s okay to feel sad. This show does not make you feel good, but there’s a certain goodness that comes with that,” Ewald said.
Be it whatever reason within an audience member, Eurydice is a play that brings forth powerful emotions.
“This is a play I was passionate about directing for several reasons. It took on a different tone when I accessed the mourning within myself after having lost my father a couple of years ago,” said Harrick.