EURYDICE’S DREAM is an apt title for the show by Blessed Unrest currently playing at The Interart Theatre. It signals the sort of reality that will be experienced if you immerse yourself in the play, but is never used as an excuse for incoherence or obscurantism. This collectively developed piece has a recognizable theme that unites its several strands, along with our own experience watching it – namely sight, vision, the eye, the image, and the psychology of it, both personally and politically.
In the lobby before the show, we see the actors making up their faces in the mirror, and it is implied that we too are being watched as we hear periodic announcements on the subject of our mood over the public address system. Eurydice’s dream includes her own myth, in which she is sent back to the underworld when Orpheus looks upon her during their ascent; and that of Narcissus, who sees his own reflection and perishes in a state of self-admiration; and a tale of a glass eye that is removed and secreted in the intimate orifices of the body; and the modern mythology of Amerika and the Foreigner, each with a different perspective, viewing each other from skewed angles. Theatrically, it is as if we and the players are engaged in a multi-directional visual game, creating a panopticon of the inner and the outer worlds of the human psyche.
The director Jessica Burr employs a dramaturgy and a stagecraft that catches the eye with its athleticism, imagistic dialogue, and choreographic variety, including a couple of elegantly abstracted tangos from Sonia Villani as Eurydice (Villani is a tanguera as well as an actor). She and the others in the ensemble (Andrew Dahl, Marco De Ornella, Jason Griffin, Tatyana Kot, Darrell Stokes, Jessika D. Williams) are visually arresting – they “cut figures” rather than embody characters in a naturalistic way. This is very much worth, well, seeing, the sort of work that you go over for a considerable time after it ends, speculating on the way its images fit together and from whence their impact arises.
For more on Blessed Unrest, click here.