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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Dear Eurydice, Sincerely Yours" by Rebecca Cureton

On their path to graduation, all Villanova Theatre second-year students complete a Thesis project in a chosen area that they have studied over the past two years. Options range from academic to artistic and have taken on many forms over the years. Rebecca, is currently playing the title role of Eurydice in Villanova Theatre's current production of Sarah Ruhl's EurydiceBelow, Rebecca shares with us her own Dear Eurydice letter: 

Dear Eurydice,

Remember when we first met? I was afraid to approach you in the beginning. You have lived for centuries. Your tale is ancient, yet your words are new and alive. You now tell your story with your own strong voice. The honor of giving sound to that voice is overwhelming and expectations are high, especially the expectations I place on myself. Questions such as,” Will I find your voice speaking honestly and bravely through my own?,”  “Can I capture you in a recognizable and original way?,” and “Do I have the emotional strength to carry this titular role?,” pulsed through my mind.

Mixed with this trepidation was also bursting excitement. A famed character from Greek mythology now adapted to speak with such bravery and generosity, you are an iconic role to play. The range of emotions you express are a welcome challenge for anyone honing their craft. While the weight of the play is heavy, your lightness of spirit is joyful. How often does one get to tackle such a paradox!?

This lightness and simplicity of your speech at first belies the depth of your intellect and capacity to feel. You say you do not need rhythm, but the rhythm of your heart is undeniable. The beats of your emotions and the rhythmic pace of your journey from life to death, love and loss; are as lyrical as Orpheus’ music. The poetry of your words and bravery in your choices give me the opportunity to travel your road as I speak words which not mine, but made mine. Ours. As we dance together.

And we have danced! Our friendship blossomed to complete happiness with a power to feel and play that I have never felt before in rehearsals.  With the loving support of a creative team and surrounded by an encouraging and talented cast, my fear quickly melted as I found freedom to make mistakes and expand my physical and emotional abilities.

Eurydice, do you recall that secret I told you? Crying was embarrassing for me. There was something in the release of tears that always felt weak and shameful. I expect most people understand that feeling. But you have taught me no emotion is weak. Your expression of love is so free and your thoughts so open that to share them is a delight and not a shame.
I have no embarrassment now in loving, laughing, and crying. It means I am alive.

We are alive.

Your story reminds me that time is short. I hope it reminds our audiences, too. It seems like yesterday that we said “hello.” Now it is almost time to say “goodbye.” We should be good at that by now. We say difficult “goodbyes” so many times in this play. Leave-taking should be our forte. I confess I am still not a master of it. I struggle now to find the right words to express myself. You have connected my heart to my voice, for which I am eternally grateful.

I want the words to be perfect and saying everything. I even thought saying it in a letter would be easier.

All I can say is thank you for letting me share breath with you.

Sincerely (and always) yours,

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