September 24, 2015
Meghan Brodie ’00, Visiting Assistant Professor at Ursinus on a leave of absence from her position as Assistant Professor of Theater at University of Southern Maine, created a theater major at a time when Ursinus did not offer one. She majored in English as well.
She directs Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, an acclaimed play that retells the myth of Orpheus reimagined from a feminist viewpoint. Performances are Oct. 1 through 3 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. The Oct. 3 performance includes a post-show discussion.
“Ursinus was very good to me,” she says of a time when there was no Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center and only a few theater courses. Yet, she points out, she wrote and directed plays, was a Summer Fellow twice and studied abroad at Oxford. She went on to Cornell University on a full scholarship, earning a Ph.D. in theater.
Although Eurydice was already selected before she took the position at Ursinus, it was a “fortuitous match,” she says of one of her favorite plays and playwright. “Not only does Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice revisit a timeless tale, many of Ruhl’s stage directions suggest that the play moves through time and embraces the anachronistic,” she says. “The sounds of the play transport the characters and audience back and forth across time—in Ruhl’s whimsical world, everything is possible.” Inspired by the dark and playful work of Edward Gorey, Brodie has chosen an Edwardian setting for this production, evoking a time when women were struggling to achieve equality.
She is excited to direct in the Lenfest and enjoys reconnecting with her former faculty, now her colleagues. The last play she was in at Ursinus was Machinal, which was directed by Professor Domenick Scudera. “The Lenfest is an amazing space,” she said. She transported most of her Maine office – books, posters, teapot and chocolate, and is glad she did. “I live in my officer 12 hours a day, she said.
She is working with a cast of seven students, including theater scholarship winner Angela Bey of Philadelphia, and with professional scenic, costume and lighting designers. “It has been a privilege for me to work with this cast on one of my all-time favorite plays,” she says. “The cast is composed entirely of first- and second-year students and their majors vary from Neuroscience to Peace & Social Justice Studies. Their commitment to this production and each other serves as a reminder of the value of the arts for everyone.”
Brodie knows the importance of faculty mentoring. “I owe my career to the exceptional education I received at Ursinus. My time at Ursinus not only inspired me to become a professor, but also provided me with the knowledge, skills, and confidence I needed to make a success of graduate school. I want to pay forward the mentorship and support I received as an Ursinus undergraduate.”