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Ryle High School's EURYDICE

Eurydice (Keyana Payne) meets An Interesting Man (Zach Petrie) outside of her wedding party.

Review by Katie Berich, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

Combining passionate performances and abrupt, chilling silence, Ryle High School's production of Eurydice explores love, life, and loss in a reimagined Greek myth, begging one question: "How does one remember to forget?"

Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice retells the classic tale of "Orpheus and Eurydice" from Eurydice's perspective, shifting focus to her motives, and adding characters, namely Eurydice's Father, to better frame her story. After her untimely death on her wedding night, Eurydice enters the underworld. Confused and seeking nothing more than a room and a hot bath, she is reunited with her father, who is more than willing to spend his time helping her. Meanwhile, Orpheus is stricken with grief and, in a great show of love, decides to venture to the underworld to retrieve his wife. The story reaches a climax when Eurydice decides not to follow him home.

Ryle's performance utilized multiple methods of symbolism and storytelling, including color: lighting the dead in cool tones and the living in warm. The show was full of stark contrast: black and white, silence and music, dead and alive. Time periods of costumes and props ranged from the twenties to the sixties in an effort to create conflicting time frames. Ryle included student-composed music to set the tone of the show.

Keyana Payne's portrayal of Eurydice was, above all, authentic, with nuanced reactions that never felt out of place. Andrew Pugh tackled the role of Eurydice's Father with ease and delivered his often heightened, poetic lines without struggle. Joseph Eversole gave an impactful performance as Orpheus.

In the enigmatic role of An Interesting Man , Zach Petrie demanded the attention of the audience with his every move. His physical acting, from sly gesturing to jumping up and down in rage, was impeccable. Wylie Grigsby, Olivia Morin, and Bradley Mcalister stunned the audience with their performances as The Stones. Bradley McAlister was a stand-out, using excellent comedic timing to lighten the mood of the otherwise tense show.

Stage Manager Reilly Little multitasked well, both running sound and calling lighting cues. Though there was some difficulty with microphones, lighting cues were consistently on time. Adding atmosphere and invoking strong feelings of nostalgia, Charleigh Cox's original music was an impressive addition to the show.

The cast and crew of Eurydice at Ryle High School handled dark themes with grace, providing much needed perspective into the other side of a well-known myth. Their hard work culminated in an appealing and visually interesting show worthy of a standing ovation.

The Stones (Wylie Grigsby, Bradley McAlister, and Olivia Morin) greet Eurydice (Keyana Payne) in the underworld.

Review by Karli Smith, Colerain High School Critic Team

An elevator straight to the underworld, a disenchanting river, and a musician with a head full of harmonies are only some of the compelling components of Larry A. Ryle High School's production of Eurydice.

Eurydice, written in 2003, is a modern take on an Ancient Greek mythological ale that inspects the untold perspective of Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus, a musician, and her journey while trapped in the land of the dead.

Larry A. Ryle High School's other-worldly production of Eurydice was truly a beautiful statement on both the tropes of Ancient Greek theatre and the many relationship dynamics a person can have.

Keyana Payne, who played Eurydice, had a great expression of anguish and portrayed such a dynamic version of feminine rage. She did a wonderful job depicting the inability to escape the loneliness of death with sleep. Eurydice's Father, played by Andrew Pugh, perfectly matched the unique idiosyncrasies of a father-figure. He had such an apparent feeling of undying love for his daughter and willingness to protect her. His final monologue was a beautiful culmination of the theme of the show.

Zach Petrie, who played An Interesting Man, created such an eerily compelling character. His strong vocal inflection coupled with his confident stature allowed the audience to eagerly follow his transformation throughout the story.

The Stones, Big Stone, Loud Stone, and Little Stone, acted as a triad of storytellers commonly utilized in Greek theatre. They did a great job propelling the story through both comedic and dramatic moments.

The technical aspects of this show were led by Charleigh Cox, creating an original composition specifically for Ryle's production. Cox's ability to incorporate unsettling, strange, disjointed, and elegant harmonies was impressive. Ryle's set crew dutifully utilized their given space and even took on the challenge of incorporating a fully-functional and student-run raining elevator.

Overall Ryle's production of Eurydice was beautifully intangible and intimate.

Andrew Pugh (as Father) charms the audience as he creates a make-shift home out of string for Eurydice (Keyana Payne).

Review by Emma Dalton, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

As the soft lights come up from the darkness, calming sounds of water are heard, and the audience is transported into an ethereal world, full of heartbreak, longing, and brief joy in Larry A. Ryle High School's production of Eurydice.

Eurydice, written by Sarah Ruhl, revisits the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. They were lovers in life, and after Eurydice died from a fall while running from a mysterious man, Orpheus comes to the underworld through his music and attempts to save her. To do this, he must walk straight ahead, back to the land of the living while Eurydice will be behind him; however, if he looks back at her, she dies a second death, and they cannot be together. In this play, it is told more from Eurydice's perspective, showing her troubles in the underworld and the intense fight between her consciences and her memory loss after dying.

Larry A. Ryle High School's production of Eurydice told a beautiful story full of love and tragic loss, performed extremely well by the small cast as well as accentuated through the impressive original music and great stage management.

Leading the intimate cast, Kayana Payne skillfully navigated the complex role of Eurydice, giving her the sweet innocent splendor at the beginning of the tragedy that makes her last few moments all the more unsettling and heartbreaking. In her last monologue, as she writes her last letter to Orpheus, she tells his future wife how to treat him well, which had the audience sniffling and holding back tears right along with her. Keeping her company in the underworld, Andrew Pugh as Eurydice's Father brought a sweet, loving presence back into Eurydice's life after she died, and comforted her through her memory loss and confusion. Their incredibly heartwarming bond allowed for his breakdown near the end before he died his second death to be so much more tragic.

Joeseph Eversole as Orpheus played the slightly distracted, but head-over-heels husband of Eurydice. He kept up with his senior counterparts extremely well, and gave great of range in his character. His stumbling letters to Eurydice and his confidence in his music, as well as his unrelenting determination, made for a compelling character.

The incredibly creative music, composed by Charleigh Cox, brought life to the famously beautiful music of Orpheus and supported the bursting emotions of the characters impressively. The song "Taunting" especially built up the emotions of Eurydice as she let out all of her built-up anger. The music perfectly accentuated each scene with thoughtful chord use in both progression and key, and brought a whole new life to the characters. Stage manager Reilly Little also expertly supported the cast. All cues were crisp and allowed the audience to stay fully invested in the story, perfectly calling water, elevator, light, and sound cues.

Larry A. Ryle High School's production of Eurydice brought the Greek tale to life, and death, with amazing skill, emotion, and unrelenting determination, creating a superb, heart-wrenching production.

Joseph Eversole masterfully captures the brooding spirit of Eurydice’s husband, Orpheus.

Excerpts From Other Top Reviews

"The young heroine of this tragedy was portrayed by Keyana Payne beautifully and poetically. Payne was able to display all the emotions that Eurydice was feeling throughout the play, from happiness and joy, to fear and anger, and most importantly, uncertainty. Payne's facial expressions and body language spoke volumes about her uncertainty and the grief she would again experience by leaving her father behind and following her love. Payne's averted gaze and side glances during the beginning of their courtship also provided the foreshadowing of how her uncertainty would affect things to come."

-Max Doyle, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"Something which really stuck out as a unique attribute of Ryle's production of Eurydice was the original music, created and recorded by Charleigh Cox. Although all of it was effective in setting the mood for scenes, the simple, yet beautiful finger-picked guitar in the very beginning of the show, as well as the music signify the music in Orpheus's head, represented the simple, yet beautiful love of Orpheus and Eurydice. The hard work of the stage management and crew, of Reilly Little, Livi Bruce, Anel Ceja, and Charlotte Bryan; should not go unrecognized either, as they attended each rehearsal and took detailed notes in the script to help get this show up and running smoothly."

-Zoe Nienaber, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"Joseph Eversole was perfect as Orpheus, delivering a great performance as the semi-self-absorbed musician. In addition, Zach Petrie as An Interesting Man had a great stage presence and brought a distinct and dynamic character to the stage."

-Gabby Fronk, Loveland High School Critic Team

"Keyana Payne, portraying Eurydice, was simply magnetic in her performance. Throughout the beginning of the show, she radiated a heart-warming energy to the very back row, which made Eurydice's predicament absolutely gut-wrenching. Accompanying her was Andrew Pugh, portraying Eurydice's Father. Pugh perfectly displayed fatherly love in every single scene and his storytelling was captivating. Payne and Pugh's on-stage chemistry created such a warm and cozy atmosphere."

-Wolf Singer, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

"Rounding out the intimate cast was the classic Greek chorus, the Three Stones. Wylie Grisby, Olivia Morin, and Bradley McAlister had sassy one-liners that added comedy to the story and did a wonderful job of working as a unit to narrate parts of the story, creating a contrast between the hopeful Payne and caring Pugh."

-Grace Hoffmann, Roger Bacon High School Critic Team

"When visualizing a mythological setting, creativity is extremely important in order to present an accurate mystical environment, and the technical crews of this production did a beautiful job when working to encapsulate the audience in their own Greek tragedy. Charleigh Cox, who took on the creative role of writing her own original music score for the production, spent countless hours on mesmerizing music that helped set the tone and emotion of the show overall."

-Sophie Christian, Walnut Hills High School Critic Team

"The production overall was magnificently done. Though the cast was small, every character and relationship felt meaningful and genuine. The crew did a wonderful job of making the show run smoothly. The cast and crew truly created a show to remember."

-Karis Pugh, Campbell County High School Critic Team


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