Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Hello friends!  Ali here, with a little update on what we've been up to lately...  Ryan and I have spent the past two weeks working on a unique theater project, writing a score for a staged reading of Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl as part of the Princeton Public Library's Page to Stage series.  We were also cast in the play, as the Stones.  Spinner's End is a relatively new band, so being offered this kind of opportunity was a real thrill for both of us.  Now, I am close friends with the amazing director Brandon Monokian, so that may have been part of the reason we got the gig.  However, we are not the type to take an opportunity like this lightly, nepotism be damned.  We dove headfirst into this project and wrote the bulk of the music in three furious writing sessions.  It's been a hell of an experience and we are both so excited for the show tomorrow!

In case you've never heard of this beautiful play, here's the story.  It's a modern twist on the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, this time through tragic heroine Eurydice's eyes.  Eurydice and Orpheus are young and in love - maybe too in love.  They're getting married!  But then, tragedy strikes on their wedding day when the Lord of the Underworld aka A Nasty Interesting Man comes along and decides to make Eurydice his own.  She "trips" down a huge flight of stairs and dies.  In this strange world, when you die you are dipped in the River of Forgetfulness & you shed all memories of your past life.  In the underworld she encounters the Stones.. a group of three strange creatures that serve as the Lord of the Underworld's gatekeepers and welcome committee.  Things get really interesting when Eurydice's father, who died when she was young, appears and somehow remembers his daughter.  Add in Orpheus's unwavering devotion to finding her and bringing her back to life, and you've got a recipe for an emotional, poignant, and sweet tale of what it means to love and be loved.

Usually, the Stones are played by three actors, the Little Stone, the Big Stone, and the Loud Stone.  In our version, the Stones have been consolidated and morphed into me, Ryan, and the piano.  Every line that would normally be spoken (save one sarcastic line that goes to Ryan) is instead sang by me, accompanied by Ryan.  I went to college for Acting, but I haven't actually done a play since I graduated.  Though I love acting, my focus has definitely shifted to music and making Spinner's End my number one priority.  It's been really amazing not only having an opportunity to act again, but also for Ryan and I to take Sarah Ruhl's beautiful and brilliant words and turn them into songs.  The surreal, heightened, poetic quality of the lines translates beautifully as lyrics.  I'm so proud of the work we've done these past two weeks, and I think that the audience tomorrow is in for something really unique, interesting, and honest.  The other actors in the play are giving really strong performances and Brandon's directorial vision is really beautiful.  If any of you internet folk out there are free tomorrow, Wednesday the 27th, and live in the Princeton area, please come check it out!  And if you're not able to come, I still suggest you get your hands on a copy of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice.  You won't regret reading it.

Details can be found here.

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