As a late Christmas present and gift for the New Year, the award-winning musical “Hadestown” is headed to the Saenger Theatre as part of the Broadway in New Orleans series. The Grammy winner for Best Musical Theater Album can be seen from Dec. 28 – Jan. 2, 2022. I have heard nothing but good things about the show and am eager to attend, as I’ve never seen what Forbes calls “an epic celebration of music, togetherness and hope.”
Ahead of the show, described on the musical’s website as the intertwining of two mythic tales and a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back, I asked a few questions of cast member Morgan Siobhan Green, who plays Eurydice, to learn more about the Anais Mitchell production.
Elevator pitch: how would you describe “Hadestown” to someone who has never seen it?
“Hadestown” is a spin on the myth of Orpheus, Eurydice, Hades, and Persephone. A tale of love, loss and hope. It’s a piece reflective of times past and present. How capitalism effects climate change and humanity. You can find a piece of everything in “Hadestown!”
What’s the best part about being in the cast of “Hadestown?”
My favorite part about being in the cast is how fresh this story still is to the world. So many people have yet to see the show come to life outside of the albums and inside of a theatre. I count it a privilege and responsibility to tell this story during this pandemic when so many people are experiencing loss and tragedy. I believe so many things divide us as a nation but the themes of this piece and the way those themes affect the humans on stage is unifying. We have a tremendous responsibility to be there for one another and extend grace and humanity. There’s something about sitting in a theatre and taking in art, that doesn’t apologize for what it is, that can become a springboard for those conversations and the beginning of empathy and grace for ourselves and for those around us.
What’s your favorite part of the musical?
You know, my answer for this continues to change, but what I have grown to observe and appreciate is the way this piece can be so beautifully and authentically told by many people. We’ve had a number of understudies go on, and to experience the way the text, songs and blocking resonate differently, but effectively, on them speaks to the brilliance of Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin’s creation. The future of this piece is a bright one. I can’t wait to see it breathe on the stages of so many regional, community and collegiate theatres. I hope and believe it will become a beacon of light to the change and invitation of uniqueness that we long to see implemented in the industry as a whole.
It’s a different spin on an old mythological story, what is it like to re-interpret that story?
I think what’s amazing about myths is there is very little that we know about the players inside of them. There’s so much space to create your own backstory and make the characters your own. Myths were meant to be told from one person to another, and the amazing thing about theatre is that it requires an audience and storytellers. This piece, because it’s a myth and its magical, requires me to stand a little bit more convicted than I do in my everyday life. It’s a lot of work to be so vulnerable in front of an audience but it’s crucial to this story that these characters live authentically as themselves and get to tell their truth.
What does a typical show day look like for you?
I typically sleep in as much as I can. I get up and walk my dog, find somewhere to get a nice pressed juice, and possibly a massage. I usually get to the theatre two hours before a show and warm up, get my bearings, and take my time getting ready. I’ve learned that recovery between shows is very important and have given myself the grace to be as lazy as possible, when I can, during periods where I can rest.
Any show day rituals?
I always try to send a selfie or Facetime Nick (Orpheus) before a show, particularly on two show days. It’s just a fun way to connect before seeing each other onstage. I make sure I do 100 jumping jacks, pray, drink a lot of water, and connect with my props/costume pieces. I’ve found consistency inside of the piece by connecting with the other actors on stage and the physical space. Some of the story can be sad but I try not to live there, but rather in the journey!
Have you ever been to New Orleans?
I have never been to New Orleans, and I must say, I am so excited to have beignets, perform for the audience, and experience the culture! “The Princess and the Frog” instantly made New Orleans a dream destination for me, so to be able to visit and have something to offer the community with this show makes me so excited! I’ve based my character on “Hushpuppy” from the movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild”. Although the piece takes place in Louisiana, not specifically New Orleans, but a place heavily affected by the hurricanes, I think the community will understand the perseverance and hardship that some of the characters experience. With those hardships comes so many moments of release and cultural expression, and in those moments, I know the fellowship between the actors on stage and the audience will be an indescribable but palpable energy and experience.