On a warm July evening, on the grassy lawn of the Wilder Observatory, six actors and a musician from the Mettawee River Theatre Company gathered in front of an audience of all ages and used puppets and poetry to bring a medieval Welsh tale to life. Taliesin—which blends mythology and real historical figures—tells of a boy magically reborn as a sorcerer-poet and adopted by a fisherman and his wife, who uses his extraordinary gifts to shake things up in the king’s court. The performance was the result of a joint effort between two theater professionals who first collaborated at Amherst College more than 55 years ago.
The theater and dance department staged a fall production of Eurydice, a play that reimagines the myth of Orpheus from the perspective of his wife, Eurydice. The playwright, Sarah Ruhl (daughter of the late Patrick Ruhl ’63), was a 2008 Robert Frost Fellow at the Amherst College Library. She came to campus in the last week of rehearsals to work on the production. Lisa Smith ’09 ( below right, holding an umbrella) played Eurydice.
Amherst's playwright-in-residence Constance Congdon was interviewed for this light-hearted article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In the story, she discusses everything from her new play to politics to her granddaughter.
A Wednesday eve to Webster did we come— Ten students, a professor and myself— To gather ‘round a table laid with tea And carrot cake. What play was it this week? They’d done MacBeth, and Romeo they chose For Valentine’s. So which tonight? Pray tell! The cake displayed our title in sweet script: The Merry Wives of Windsor. Comedy! (It’s one I’ve never read, and, so we learn, The only one that Shakespeare ever set In modern England—his own time and place.)