Water, gods, and a myriad of emotions, Metamorphoses proves myths about romance, family, loss and redemption never go out of style. The evolution of this show is more than just an experience for the audience; it’s a constant process for the actors as well. Lauren Orkus who recently performed in Metamorphoses with the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago, comes to DC's Arena Stage and gives us her take on this transformative piece of theatre.
Describe the characters you play.
All of the actors in the show play multiple roles. I play Eurydice, the bride of Orpheus, who steps on a snake at her wedding and travels to the Underworld. I also play a servant called Lucina, Q (for Question) in the Eros and Psyche scene, a sailor and do various other narrations.
What has been your metamorphosis as you work on this production?
When we began rehearsals in Chicago last August, I was only one of two people in the cast who had never been in Metamorphoses before. I was definitely the new kid in the group and had a lot of catching up to do. But I did! And it has been a great journey getting to know this show so well and being able to perform every day for almost seven months in total.
What's your ideal take-away for the audience?
To me, this play is about love, loss and change. Most importantly, I'd like the audience to enjoy themselves, but also to connect with these stories. I think there is something there for everyone, no matter what phase in life they are in. We are always changing and there is still time and opportunity for more change.
Tell us about your experience working with water for this show.
What is most challenging for me is that the deck that surrounds the pool is wet in a different way every night and more slippery in some spots than in others. The moment you get complacent, that's when you'll fall. I am in the water less than some of the actors, just by the nature of the track I am playing. However, I do get some great opportunities to get splashed and sometimes drenched by other actors, even when I am not actually in the pool.
Share with us a challenge, a surprise and a standard mode of operation - as it relates to the play.
In a play like this, what we do backstage during the show is almost as complicated as what we do onstage—costume changes, hair, getting from one side of the theater to another quickly to make our next entrance. The routine and ritual of all that brings consistency so that we are ready to be flexible with all the aspects that are inconsistent. When performing in live theater, and especially in a show with water, there are so many things that you can't control or that can change—an actor slips, a prop breaks, a costume rips, etc.
What is your favorite line in the show?
In the Eros and Psyche scene there is a line "It's just inevitable. The soul wanders in the dark until it finds love. And so, wherever our love goes, there we find our soul."
If you weren't an actor, what would you be doing?
I would probably be working with animals in some way. I am a big animal lover. In addition to acting, I am also the Content Manager for an educational/parenting website called whyzz.com. It's been really exciting to help build a company from the ground up and I could see myself being involved in this way more in the future.
To catch the show and experience the water, you can get tickets at www.arenastage.org or call 202-488-3300.