University freshmen Matt Robertson and Sydney Deal are cast in the lead
roles in the JU Theater Department's production of "Eurydice," which
continues Nov. 1-3 at JU's Swisher Theater. (Photo by Kevin Hogencamp/JU)
By Kevin Hogencamp
Jacksonville University freshmen theatre majors Sydney Deal and Matt
Robertson are new to JU, but not each other. Close friends, they were in
productions together in Sarasota, Fla., where they attended high school
Now they are cast as romantic interests in JU College of Fine Arts
Theater Department’s production of “Eurydice,” which continues this
“I could not have asked for a better person to be cast as my
opposite,” Deal said. “I’m glad Matt and I knew each other previously
because (Eurydice and Orpheus) are very much in love, which calls for
familiarity. Matt is one of my best friends and I am so thankful that we
are both comfortable enough to play these parts.”
Both say they are thrilled with their college choice and, in particular, JU’s Theater Department.
“JU has been awesome so far. I have been finding so many
opportunities, and it’s only my first semester,” said Robertson, who is
studying music theater.
Here is a Q&A with Deal, a theater major, and Robertson, a music theater major.
Why did you choose JU?
Robertson: “I chose JU not only for its great
scholarship opportunities, but also because the music theater program is
more music based with a heightened sense of individualism.”
Deal: “It has a small homey atmosphere that I really
liked. All the people I met were really nice, and I was really looking
forward to meeting new people and enjoying the atmosphere JU had to
What has been special about the “Eurydice” experience?
Robertson: “This production has been special because
I have been able to work with great faculty and students so early in my
college career. I also have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Miss
Deal, she has made this a one-of-a-kind show.”
Deal: “It is my first lead role and I am so honored
to have been cast so early on in my college career. I am thankful that I
have been trusted with playing this part with care and it has pushed me
to do my absolute best and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
OK, about all that kissing in the show …
Robertson: “We have been friends for many years, and were completely fine with had to be done.”
Deal: “Knowing Matt as well as I do, the kissing is
not nearly as awkward as you’d think. We are not a couple, but he’s an
extremely close friend of mine. That made it much easier to ‘fall in
love’ with him. I mean, he’s a good looking guy, right? But he’s very
talented and we both look at the kissing from a professional point of
“Eurydice” is Sarah Ruhl’s imaginative retelling of the Orpheus myth
from a female perspective, focusing on a dead bride’s struggle with love
beyond the grave. JU Prof. Deborah Jordan is directing “Eurydice”; JU
Prof. Scott Watkins is composing original music for the show; Prof. Ben
Wilson is the scenic and lighting designer; Sally Pettegrew is designing
costumes; Brandon Lettow is technical director; and Katarina Howell is
the stage manager.
cast in the show are: Leonard Alterman, Father; Lexi Inks, Loud Stone;
Ashley Jones, Little Stone; Wayne Woodson, Big Stone; Rachel Romo, Woman
Understudy; Adam Keller, Man Understudy; and David Bilbray, Nasty
Interesting Man/Lord of the Underworld.
The upcoming performances of “Eurydice” at Swisher Theater on the JU
campus are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2; and 3
p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.
Tickets to the show are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and military,
$5 for children and students with IDs, and free for JU students faculty
Click here to read more about JU’s production of “Eurydice” in Wave Weekly.