Eurydike + Orpheus (Production)

Original Concept and Direction by Priscilla Jackman
by Jane Montgomery Griffiths
Circus Direction by Zebastian Hunter
Set and Costume Design by Genevieve Graham
Assistant Director Alexander Berlage
Lighting Design by Matt Cox
Vision and Vision Systems Design by Ray Pittman
Sound Design and Systems by Dana Spence
Makeup Artist Charlotte Ravett
Production Photography by Phil Erbacher
Cast: Maryanne Foncece, Alexander Stylianou, Zelman Cressey-Gladwin, Jasmin Simmons, Mandela Mathia, Toby Blome, Ariadne Sgouros, Emily Edwards, Laila Rind, Brooke Duckworth, Liam Dummer, Lyndon Johnson, Adam Malone, Zoe Marshall, Elliee Nunn
Crew: NIDA Technical Production students Years 1, 2, 3
Co Production between the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and National Institute of Circus Art (NICA)
Date: Production June 2017

Director’s Program Notes

From the Ancient Greeks throughout all human history, we have continued to grapple, speculate and wrestle with two fundamental unknowns – what is the journey beyond life? And how do we hold onto those we love for all eternity?

I have long been captivated by the myth of Eurydike + Orpheus, the universal tale in which the Greeks teach us about love, loss, surrender and release.  In this production, with Jane Montgomery Griffith (collaborating on text), we interrogate what means for Eurydike to be positioned as an equal protagonist to her Orpheus. As the star-crossed lovers traverse the realms of human existence – from the land of mortals to the hallowed halls of Hades’ hell – they fight for their lives, in order to preserve their eternal love.

From its conception, we have been inspired, invested and invigorated by the theatrical scope and artistic possibilities that sit at the heart of this ancient story. The production activates a rich integration of expansive and imaginative theatrical traditions including heightened poetic language, physical theatre, circus aerial spectacle, operatic soundscapes and innovative projection and video art.

Zebastian Hunter (Circus Director) and I are privileged to have led the first co-production between two of Australia’s national institutions of excellence in the arts – National Institute of Dramatic Art (Sydney) and National Institute of Circus Art (Melbourne), to bring together a vision that is as much about the cohesion of multidisciplinary form as it is about innovative storytelling for 21st century audiences. The unequivocal commitment and passion of our students (including an interstate cast of nine NIDA third year actors and six NICA circus performers) rehearsed for just three days together in the same room in April, prior to reuniting in technical week. I speak for all creatives, cast, crew and students involved in extending our thanks for the unparalleled support and opportunity NIDA and NICA have offered us in bringing this vision to life. The students have defied the constraints of interstate distances and time to create this new Australian work of scale. With Eurydike + Orpheus we invite you on a journey which celebrates our shared lineage of epic storytelling through this historic and universal myth of everlasting love.