This play is so beautiful and simple and sad. I am drawn to it from deep inside. I want to do this play, now. I keep saying that, but I really mean it this time.
While this play has classical characters, it is modern in tone. Eurydice and Orpheus are young and in love. They are idealistic and at the top we see them having the sort of deep conversations that those young and in love tend to have:
It can be interesting to see if other people - like dead people who wrote books - agree with what you think.Eurydice's father is dead and on the occasion of her wedding to Orpheus he sends her a letter from the Underworld with his advice for a happy life:
Cultivate the arts of dancing and small talk.
Everything in moderation.
Court the companionship and respect of dogs.
Grilling a fish or toasting bread without burning requires singleness of purpose, vigilance and steadfast watching.
Keep quiet about politics, but vote for the right man.
Take care to change the light bulbs.
Continue to give yourself to others because that's the ultimate satisfaction in life - to love, accept, honor and help others.
Knowing the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice allows us to see how Ruhl has expanded upon it - the changes she makes and the things that she elevates. It is a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, but what I like about Ruhl's version is the innocence that seems to permeate throughout.. When speaking of her love, Eurydice says:
This is what it is to love an artist: The moon is always rising above your house. The houses of your neighbors look dull and lacking in moonlight. But he is always going away from you. Inside his head there is always something more beautiful.There is a chorus in the play, in the form of stones. They act as guides, they give warnings, they speak truths. The little stone thinks:
Love is a big, funny word.I think love is a small word for something so big.
Tomorrow's Play: Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley