Orphée presented by Deaf West Theatre
Jean Cocteau's 1926 play is viewed through the unique lens of Deaf West Theatre
By: Deaf West Theatre
Shortly after he wrote the long poem "L'Ange Heurtebise" in 1925, Cocteau adapted the legend of Orpheus and his descent into Hell to rescue his wife, Eurydice, for the stage. With one act and few characters, the play revolves around a story of love and death in a universe where time is abolished and horses make poetry. Cocteau's work deals with the inner personality of the poet and his relentless inclination towards, and fascination with, Death. Described by Cocteau as "part farce, part meditation on death," the playwright explored the same themes throughout his ensuing career, culminating with his seminal "Orphic Trilogy" of films.
"Although the play was written in 1925, it feels oddly modern and is very relevant to these times," notes Deaf West Theatre artistic director David J. Kurs.
"Cocteau has created a world in which words are traded freely — Orpheus even communicates with a horse — yet no one truly understands each other," says Selenow. "This feels very familiar in today's world. It's a fun, messy tapestry for both Deaf and hearing actors and audiences."
Jean Cocteau (1889–1963)
Orphée runs Thurs - Sat at 8 p.m. and Sun at 3 p.m. from March 13 - April 5. Preview March 8, March 11 and March 12 at 8 p.m. There will be four ASL Nights, on March 19, 20; 26, and 27, $35 - $50; Previews $25. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in West L.A. Phone: (818) 762-2998 (voice) or go to www.deafwest.org.