Come travel by raining elevator

“Eurydice,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Sarah Ruhl, is an award-winning re-make of a timeless tale. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is a short part of Ovid’s epic poem “Metamorpho­ses.” On the day of Orpheus and Eurydice’s wedding, Eurydice meets a Nasty and Interesting Man who lures her away with a letter from her dead fa­ther.

She follows the stranger and eventually stumbles to her death. She then journeys to the Underworld in a raining elevator and is reunited with her father.

Meanwhile, Orpheus is mourning the death of his young bride. The gods take pity on Orpheus and offer him a chance to rescue Eurydice.

Among the other characters is a cho­ruses of talking Stones, who introduce the audience to their world.

The play is centered on Eurydice’s choice of returning with her husband, or remaining in the Underworld to be with her father.

A great amount of time and detail went into creating Ruhl’s vision. The scene when Eurydice is transported to the Underworld by a raining elevator was no small challenge.

Sophomore Kristina Hess, who plays Little Stone, was also one of the set car­penters. She explained what went into the design for “Eurydice.”

“At first it was just platforms and then it was this giant elevator that we then had to put a rain contraption in,” said Hess. “It was interesting to watch it go from just bare wood to an actual world.”

There is a lot of water imagery in this play world. It has a significant symbolic role. Water was also a motivation for costume and set design. Play director Brooke Kiener was inspired by a collection of dresses cast members found in the the­ater’s collection. The dresses had a 1950s housewife look. The vividness of the blue fabric inspired the costumes and color of the Underworld.

In order to capture the im­agery of the production, Kiener spent a lot of time researching what in­spired the playwright, the kind of music Ruhl listened to, the movies she watched and the kind of poetry she read.

“I tried to kind of immerse myself in that wellspring of inspiration,” Kiener said.

The makings of “Eurydice” began right before Christmas break. Casting sessions were an exciting experience for sophomore Dana Sam­mond, who plays Eurydice. This is her first lead role.

“It was a little scary but at the same time I think auditions are really exciting,” Sammond said.

The actors read through the play to­gether and Kiener gave them home­work to do over their break in Jan Term. Rehearsals began the first Monday of the 2011 spring se­mester. The cast rehearsed on an average 17 hours a week.

“I fell in love with the play immediately,” senior Nick Kem­ner said. “I really loved Orpheus’ charac­ter; he has these amazing lines that got stuck in my head.”

This play deals with themes of loss, memory and the transformative journey of love.

“There’s something about the simplic­ity of Ruhl’s language that I am in awe of, that she accomplishes so much with so little, is really admirable to me,” Kiener said.

Performances will be held March 11, and 12 at 8 p.m. in Cowles Memorial Auditorium. General admission is $8; students pay $6. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the theatre box office at (509) 777-3707 and online at

Story by Brianna Anderson

Three are dead; who is number four?

John is a fugitive on the run from a deadly enemy on a mission to destroy him. A hostile race, the Mogadorians, have already killed three others like him; adolescents with unusual powers.  John is Number Four.

John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) changes his identity and moves from town to town with his guardian Henri. He and eight other children were sent to earth from the planet Lorien in order to escape the Mogadorians. Paradise, Ohio is John’s new temporary home where he meets friends and tries to live under the radar. But adapting to his new abilities, which suddenly come in full force now that he is of age, makes it hard to blend in.

“I Am Number Four,” directed by D.J. Caruso (“Disturbia”) and produced by Michael Bay (“Transformers”), is an action adventure, suspense thriller. The film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and for language. Fleeting kisses and a shot of Pettyfer in a bathing suit is about as sexy as it gets. The film takes on familiar characteristics of sci-fi television shows such as “Star Trek” and “Smallville.”

“I Am Number Four” is the first book of a series called “The Lorien Legacies,” released in 2010. The series has been compared to other books like “Artemis Fowl” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”

The author of the series, Pittacus Lore, is a pseudonym for writers James Frey and Jobie Hughes. Copying the idea from fictional authors such as Lemony Snicket, Frey and Hughes created a character who recounts the stories of the Lorien Legacies. Pittacus Lore is the ruler of Lorien and has been hiding on Earth for 12 years but his whereabouts are unknown.

Frey has a reputation for fabricating more than just fictional characters in his books. It was revealed that in his memoir, “A Million Little Pieces,” he lied about spending three months in jail like he described in his book, when in fact he spent only a few hours in police custody, according to Time Magazine.

Frey eventually admitted to the allegations against him and has since then made a comeback with this highly anticipated film.

The film soundtrack features familiar recording artists such as Kings of Leon, Adele, Jimmy Eat World and The Temper Trap.


Story by Brianna Anderson

Preview: Leonard Oakland Film Festival

Whitworth’s third annual Leonard Oakland Film Festival premiers next week February 17-19. Enjoy a three day opportunity that will expose audiences to riveting films that deal with the depths of human experiences, from poverty and despair to hope and forgiveness. The festivities will be held in the Weyerhaeuser Hall Robinson Teaching Theatre starting at 7 p.m.

The Leonard Oakland Film Festival was first created in 2009 as a way of honoring the Whitworth professor it is named after. Oakland has taught film studies at Whitworth since 1970.

The purpose of the festivities is to promote an active interest in the study of film by featuring showings of various films to students, faculty and alumni alike, as well as encourage the continuing funding of the endowment in Oakland’s name. The last day of the film festival will feature winners of the Student Film and Animation Competition held earlier this month. Students are submitting short films and animation projects to the English department in Westminster Hall. According to the contest application form, the categories were: narrative, alternative, experimental, documentary, news, animation, and video photo essay. First, second and third place winners will receive $75, $50 and $25 prizes. In addition, a prize of $25 will go to the best film in the “60 Seconds or Less” category.

“Last year we had a pretty big roster of films we were looking at,” said English professor Casey Andrews. “There was a kind of ‘audience choice’ part of that too, which will happen again this year the night of. People can vote on their favorite movies.” Each of the movie showings is free and available to all audiences. Westminster Round, the English majors' student club, is going to be in charge of a concession stand providing popcorn, sodas, liquorice and other theater snacks.

Leonard Oakland Film Festival schedule printed out in the 2011 Heritage Month brochure:

Thursday, Feb.17, at 7 p.m. Favela Rising, filmed in 2005 (by American directors Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Monchary) is a documentary about a man who comes from the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and starts a movement called Afro-reggae.  The movement was originally designed to encourage adolescents to be involved with music and provide an alternative to the drug trafficking and violent gang lifestyle.

Friday, Feb.18, at 7 p.m. I’ve Loved You So Long, directed by Philippe Claudel, is a drama about two sisters who are reunited after 15 years. After serving a long sentence in jail, Juliette is finally released and attempts to re-connect with her sister Lea, who offers her a placed to live. The film depicts Juliette’s struggle in finding her purpose now that she is free.

Saturday, Feb.19, at 7 p.m. Norman, was filmed locally in Spokane. Featuring original music from Andrew Bird, director Jonathan Segal’s film recounts the story of a high-schooler who pretends to have cancer as a way of coping with his troubles with his new girlfriend and terminally ill father.

For further information visit:

By Brianna Anderson