In a tale of love, loss and memory, Centralia College will put on its 204th production with the play “Eurydice.”
The story, written by Sarah Ruhl, is based on a Greek myth with a contemporary spin. It’s the story of two young lovers who are separated on their wedding day.
Eurydice falls to her death and ends up in the underworld, where she is reunited with her dead father.
After being dipped in the river of forgetfulness, Eurydice doesn’t recognize him and the father has to re-educate her. Later, Orpheus, her husband, travels to the underworld to save her, causing Eurydice to face a dilemma: She has to choose between her father and her husband.
Darragh Kennan is a guest director from Seattle, charged with overseeing the production, while Brian Tyrrell, professor of theater at the college, gets an opportunity to come out from behind the scenes and act in the play alongside his daughter, Megan Tyrrell. This is the first time Kennan has directed a play at Centralia College.
“I knew his body of work as an actor, and I knew he was the artistic director of probably the most successful theater company in Seattle,” Tyrrell said.
The seven-member cast list features everyone from a brand new actor who has never been on stage to veterans of the craft.
Tyrrell said the opportunity was unique and he decided on the play because it was on his list of must-dos. He has only acted in about 10 or 11 plays in his 25 years of teaching at the college.
Playing a role he knows well, Tyrrell will perform as the father to his daughter, making it a special occasion for both of them.
“Life imitates art and art imitates life … it’s happening every night on stage here,” Tyrrell said. “It’s not a huge stretch to believe she’s my daughter because she is, which I think allows us to bring a level of reality that other actors may not be able to have.”
Isaac Wulff, who plays the “nasty, interesting man,” said “Eurydice” is a unique performance because it’s much more expressive than other productions put on at the college, in turn making the actors stretch their abilities and step out of their comfort zones.
“I think expressive shows like this are potentially more impactful because things aren’t literal or realistic,” he said.
With a large portion of the performance taking place in the underworld, it provides a different setting when compared to other plays.
Josiah Crossfield, playing Little Stone, said his favorite part is the setting. As a first-time actor, Crossfield said he was drawn to the play because it is a classic.
Although based on a well-known Greek myth, Tyrrell said the play showed a different take on the original story.
“If theater is to continue to live, it needs to draw on the next generation of theater goers, and I think this will for any of a number of reasons,” Tyrrell said. “It’s not some 2,000-year-old Greek myth; it has a much more contemporary spin.”
The play also packs a large amount of humor into it, said Megan Tyrrell.