‘Eurydice’ finds GRCC Players taking a new look at an ancient myth at Spectrum Theater

The GRCC Players will take a new look at an ancient myth in their production of “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl.

The play, which runs March 17 to 19, retells the myth of Orpheus’ journey to the underworld through the eyes of his young bride, Eurydice. Grand Rapids Community College students Emily Page, Jake Bieniewicz, Carlos Caracheo Trujillo, Jase Harris, Bryanna Lee, Gabi Salazar and Shannon Heldt comprise the cast, with instructor Jason Flannery directing.

This is Flannery’s second time directing a GRCC Players production.

“Working with college students can be very rewarding!” he said. “My approach as a director asks students to drop the pretense that often comes along with folks’ preconceived notions about ‘acting’ and find honest moments in their performances. This often clashes with what young performers are told about portraying an emotional story onstage, but my hope is always that the work that students find with this approach leaves them feeling a greater connection to their work, and feel more seen and real onstage.”

Flannery believes audiences will leave the theater impressed by both the play and the performers.

“I hope the audience walks away surprised and touched by this semi-autobiographical fairy tale that playwright Sarah Ruhl has given us,” he said. “I hope they’ll see the outstanding potential of Grand Rapids artists and GRCC’s student body – maybe invest some time into future productions, and maybe even audition!”

Trujillo, who portrays the father in the play, admits it took a little time to readjust to being busy again after the pandemic shutdown: He will be auditioning for Western Michigan University’s musical theater program on the same day as one of the “Eurydice” performances.

“I really hope that when people see ‘Eurydice,’ they gain an appreciation for those around them – be they family or friends,” he said. “I think family, especially, is something that my generation has taken for granted. I think the play gives a good perspective on how complicated yet beautiful those emotions can be.”

“Eurydice” runs at 8 p.m. March 17 to 19 at GRCC’s Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE. Tickets, which can be purchased online, are $5 for students, $8 for GRCC faculty and staff, and $12 for the public. For more information, call 616-234-3387. 

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