Orpheus and Eurydice: A Modern Rom-Com

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Writer’s note: This play is a modern rom-com version of the Greek myth ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ with a twist. In the original tale, Orpheus is a lyre player who falls in love with Eurydice, but after they get married, Eurydice gets bitten by a snake and dies. Orpheus goes down to the underworld to retrieve her, and Hades decided to let her leave under the condition that Orpheus doesn’t look behind him to see if Eurydice is following her. If he looks back, Eurydice would fade into the underworld. Unfortunately, towards the end, Orpheus couldn’t resist looking behind, and Eurydice fades into the underworld.  

Eurydice: Orpheus’s Fiancée

Hades: Eurydice’s Best Friend

Orpheus: Eurydice’s Fiancé, a famous pop star

Alexandra: Orpheus’s Producer

Constantine: The Magic Snake Man who can turn himself into a snake

Security Guard: Constantine’s security guard, Hank

Lobby Lady: Constantine’s lobby lady

Scene One

Setting: An apartment at night. Eurydice walks through the front door. As she enters, a notification pops up on her phone’s screen. 

End scene

Scene Two

Setting: The restaurant Nymph Forest in the afternoon. This scene is a flashback. Orpheus and his producer, Alexandra, are sitting at a table. Eurydice walks through the door. She notices Orpheus, but he doesn’t notice her. Eurydice doesn’t think twice of the meeting between Orpheus and Alexandra happening in the restaurant. Eurydice walks to the counter to pick up an order. Orpheus and Alexandra are talking, but Eurydice can’t hear the conversation. Orpheus occasionally strokes Alexandra’s hair. 

Orpheus

(excited) I loved going to the arcade! That was so much fun!

Alexandra

I know, and I’m even more excited about the lunch that we’re having right now. (pauses) Have you broken off your engagement yet?

Orpheus

No, not yet. 

Alexandra

Ugh! We can’t hide this from her forever. (pauses) When are you going to tell her?

Orpheus

I’ll tell her tonight. 

Alexandra

You promise?

Orpheus

Yes. 

Eurydice picks up the food from the counter, pays, and walks out the door. When she walks by the restaurant outside, she looks through the window to see Orpheus. Orpheus and Alexandra kiss. A heartbroken Eurydice storms to her car. Once, in her car, she slams the keys into the ignition, and speeds off. 

End scene

Scene Three

Setting: Orpheus and Eurydice’s apartment. Still the afternoon. Continuation of flashback. Hades is sitting on the barstool in the kitchen, sipping coffee and scrolling through his phone. Eurydice opens the front door, and enters.

Hades

 Oh hey! What’s up?

Eurydice ignores Hades and heads to the bathroom.

Hades

Oh. Ok, then.

Time passes. Hades gets up, goes to the bathroom, and knocks.

Hades

(with concern) Hello? Everything alright in there?

There’s no response.

Hades

Ok, I’ll just go…

Hades walks back to the kitchen and sits on the barstool he was sitting on earlier. Time passes. Eurydice walks out of the bathroom, her face slightly red.

Hades

(concerned) What’s wrong?

Eurydice

(trying to be casual) Oh. Nothing. Everything’s fine.

Hades

(sarcastically) Yeah, everything’s fine because you crying in the bathroom happens everyday.

Eurydice

(like she’s trying to hide something) I wasn’t crying. 

Hades

(sarcastically) Whatever. Suit yourself. (pauses) Girl, I get it. Getting married can be stressful. You’re just having wedding jitters.You’ll be fine. After the wedding tomorrow, you’re going to be a happily married person. I wonder how Orpheus is dealing with this. 

Eurydice suddenly starts to sob.

Hades

(extremely concerned and gentle) What’s wrong? Oh my goodness! Did Orpheus do something? What did he do? Did he unexpectedly leave in the morning? Are you worried about him because he’s late? Did he- 

Eurydice

(through sobs) No, no.

Hades

Then what? (pauses) OH MY GOODNESS! DID HE CHEAT?

Eurydice continues to sob.

Hades

How did you find out?! I need the details!

Eurydice

(sobbing) I-I was picking up some takeout, and I saw hi-him there. I th-thought it was the meeting with his producer at first, but then, they-they-they k-kissed.

Hades

(GASPS) THAT SCOUNDREL! (calms down a little bit) What’re you going to do?

Eurydice

(still sobbing) I don’t know. 

Hades

(super confident) Girl, that’s ok. I do. 

Eurydice

(sobs starting to slowly die down) You do?

Hades

Yeah! You fake your death!

Eurydice gives him a blank stare.

Eurydice

(sobs nearly gone) Isn’t that a bit too extreme?

Hades

Isn’t cheating on you a bit too extreme?

Eurydice

Well, yeah, but, I-I don’t know. I don’t want to confront him, b-but I don’t know. 

Hades

Girl, trust me. I have an amazing idea. We’ll go to our friend Constantine, the Magic Snake Man, and we ask him to turn into a snake and bite you. That way, it’d look like you died of a snake bite, and you can run away without having to worry about him trying to find you.  

Eurydice

(reluctantly) Uh…(a long pause as she thinks about this) ok? Isn’t Constantine a bit stubborn though?

Hades

Usually, yeah, but he owes me, so he’ll do this. 

Eurydice

(still reluctant) I guess we can do this? When should we go to Constantine?

Hades

Tomorrow morning.

End scene

Scene Four

Setting: Still Orpheus and Eurydice’s apartment, but this time, around sunset. Continuation of flashback. Hades has already left sometime prior to the beginning of this scene. Eurydice is sitting on the sofa, watching something on TV. Orpheus walks through the front door.

Orpheus

(enthusiastically) Honey, I’m hooooommmme! 

Eurydice

(trying to sound excited) Hey!

Orpheus

Is anything wrong?

Eurydice

(trying to seem like she doesn’t know about Orpheus and Alexandra) No, no. Nothing is wrong. Why would anything be wrong? 

Orpheus

I mean, if you’re nervous about our wedding, there’s nothing to be nervous about. We’ll be showing the world how happy we are together. It’ll also be the coolest wedding ever, because honey, (jumps onto the couch next to Eurydice and puts his arm around her; in the most flirtatious way possible) you’re marrying a celebrity. (back to normal) Don’t worry about the lies gossip magazines might say about us. The important thing is that we are going to live the rest of our lives happy together. 

Eurydice

(trying to sound happy) I guess you’re right. 

End scene

Scene Five

Setting: The next morning. Continuation of flashback. There’s a knock on the door. Eurydice gets up to see who it is. It’s Hades. He enters. 

Hades

(whispering) Are you ready yet?

Eurydice

Almost.

Eurydice gathers some of her belongings, and walks out the door with Hades. New setting: in the hallway, on the way to Hades’s car. 

Hades

Won’t Orpheus notice you’re missing?

Eurydice

Uh, no. He’s such a wedding enthusiast, believing it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, and all that. 

Hades

Oh, right. 

Eurydice

Have you told Constantine that we’re coming?

Hades

No, not yet. If I told him we were coming, he would refuse to help us. We need to actually be there in order for him to actually want to help us.

Eurydice

What if it doesn’t work? I don’t want to be married to him.

Hades

It will work. It’s Constantine. His plans always work. And even in the zero-point-infinite-zeros-one chance that it doesn’t work, we can always just fake an illness that puts you in the hospital and delays the wedding. 

Eurydice

Ok. 

Hades and Eurydice enter Hades’s car, and they drive off. 

End scene

Scene Six

Setting: Constantine’s office building, around forty-five minutes after the previous scene. Continuation of flashback. Hades and Eurydice exit the car and go to the front of the building. There’s a security guard outside. As they approach the front door, the security guard stops them. 

Security Guard

And where do you think you two are going? 

Hades

(in a formal voice) We have an appointment with the CEO, Constantine Jones. 

Security Guard

Come with me. 

They all enter the front door, and go to the desk of the lobby

Security Guard

(to the lobby lady) Excuse me, ma’am. These two are saying that they have an appointment with Mr. Jones. Can you confirm this?

Lobby Lady

(baffled) Mr. Jones has no appointments today. 

Security Guard

Oh, ok. Thanks for the information. (to Hades and Eurydice) Ma’am, sir, I’m sorry. I’m going to have to escort you out of the building. 

Hades

(protesting) I swear we have an appointment with Mr. Jones. He and I go way back. 

Constantine enters. 

Constantine

Hank! You can let them go. I believe they want to talk to me. 

Security Guard

Alright, sir.

Constantine takes Hades and Eurydice to his office.

End scene

Scene Seven 

Setting: Constantine’s office. Continuation of flashback. Constantine, Hades, and Eurydice all sit down. 

Constantine

(slightly irritated, but amused) What’s it now Hades? (pauses) Aren’t you Eurydice, Orpheus’ fiancee?

Eurydice

Yes.

Constantine

Oh. (contemptuously) I never really liked his music. He’s a bit weird. Funny you’re marrying him. 

Hades

Umm, yeah. About their marriage, (pauses) I don’t think it’s going to happen. 

Constantine

(with a sly smirk) Well, isn’t this interesting.

Hades

Yeah. Eurydice caught Orpheus cheating on her yesterday. 

Constantine

Ooh! (pauses) And how do I play into this?

Hades

Umm, we were wondering if you could help her fake her death. 

Constantine

(a bit amused) Fake her death? A bit extreme, but I’d love to see the results of it. (amused and curious) How do you plan on doing it?

Hades

We were thinking you could do your snake thing, and we could fake her death by saying she died from a snake bite. 

Constantine

And? Is that it? It’s one thing to just say she died of a snake bite. Have you thought of how you’re going to prove it? 

Hades

(not confidently) I was just thinking of videotaping. 

Constantine

(contemptuously) Of course. (in a mocking tone, mimicking Hades) ‘How convenient it was of me to film my best friend’s “death”’.

Hades

Well, there are weirder things that have been filmed. You should check out the internet sometime. 

 Constantine

(heavily sighs) Fine. I’ll join in on your stupid plan, but I’m going to make some edits to it. (in a declarative tone) We need a fake body. They’re going to want to bury something. 

Hades

Where will we get a body from?

Constantine

(super casually) I have this friend at the morgue downtown. 

Hades gives Constantine the most baffled stare. Eurydice doesn’t. At this point, she has stopped questioning things.

We can do this during my lunch break, which is in two hours. 

End scene 

Scene Eight

Setting: A populated park not so great for faking a death. It’s two hours after the meeting with Constantine. Continuation of flashback. Eurydice and Hades get out of their car, and start to take a walk around the trail. They try not to stray too far from the parking lot so they don’t miss Constantine. A few minutes later, Constantine pulls up in his car, and Hades and Eurydice walk towards him. Constantine opens his trunk ever so slightly so that only Eurydice and Hades can see, but no one else can. 

Constantine

(whispering) This is the fake body. 

Eurydice and Hades take a good look at the body.

Hades

(also whispering) Wow! That looks really accurate. Wow! Are you seeing this Eurydice?

Eurydice

(also whispering) Yeah. Yeah. I’m seeing it. It looks really accurate. It would’ve been fine even if it wasn’t accurate. Orpheus doesn’t pay that much attention to me to know the difference between the body of a dog and my body. 

Constantine quickly closes the trunk. Eurydice, Hades, and Constantine walk around the park. 

Constantine

(now not whispering; talking normally) This is the park you were talking about? It’s full of people. If someone “died” of a snake bite here, it would make the news. I don’t think we want that. (pauses) Plus, the more we walk here, the more people would recognize Eurydice, and some paparazzi might appear. (pauses) I know a better place to stage this. 

Hades, Eurydice, and Constantine get into their cars, and Hades’s car follows Constantine’s. 

End scene

Scene Nine

Setting: A new park an hour after the previous scene. Continuation of flashback. Constantine, Eurydice, and Hades are in a barren field in the park. Constantine felt the dire need to find an EMPTY park, which was why the ride took an hour.

Hades

This place is empty

Constantine

Yeah. Of course. Did you want people witnessing what was going on, like what would’ve happened at the last park?

Hades

Well, no, but you said a park with less people, not a park with no people.

Constantine

(exasperated) Do you wanna do this or not?

Eurydice

(desperate) Yes, please.

Constantine

Ok. (in a commanding voice) Hades, get the camera ready. (pauses) What should Eurydice be doing before the video is being shot?

Eurydice

I could pretend to have observed something on the ground, and then when I get too close to the ground, BAM! I get bitten by a snake and “die”.

Constantine

Ok. Fine. 

 Constantine sheds his skin, and  morphs into a snake. He settles himself far enough so that he’s outside Hades’ camera view. Eurydice poses in an attempt to make the video look natural. Once it looks like everyone’s ready, Hades starts his camera. 

Eurydice

(pretending) Oh my goodness! Look at this! This is so cool! What is this?!

Constantine slithers up to Eurydice and bites her. Eurydice screams and falls to pretend as though she is dead.

Hades

(pretending for the sake of the video) Oh my goodness! Eurydice! Eurydice!

Hades promptly ends the video to create the illusion of an emergency.

Hades

Ok. I think that shot was good. (talking to Constantine) You can turn back to your original self now.

Constantine turns back into a human. 

End scene

Scene Ten

Setting: The room where Orpheus and his groomsmen are. Continuation of flashback. Hades bursts into the room. 

Hades

ORPHEUS! ORPHEUS! I HAVE BAD NEWS!

 Orpheus walks over to Hades.

Orpheus

(in a panicked voice, nearly sobbing) Oh no! What happened?!

Hades

I-I-It’s Eurydice. (Hades fakes tears) She’s dead.

Orpheus is in utter shock. He’s frozen still, processing what he has just heard.

Orpheus

Wh-What? Are you sure? How do you know? How- How did she die?

Hades

She was bitten by a snake. 

End scene

Scene Eleven

Setting: A city sign is passed by. We’re now back in the present, where Eurydice walks to the front door, and the notification pops up on her phone. The notification is an email forward from Hades that reads ‘Orpheus and Eurydice Wedding Cancelled’. Eurydice looks up and smiles. She looks down at her bag that reads ‘Ella James’, plops it on the couch, and starts unpacking.

End scene

The End.

Written by: Nashitha Azeez ’22

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