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A Comedic Play
Directed by Demian
Video of Orphée

Jean Cocteau’s short 1926 play, Orphée,
was directed by Demian in 1965.
This 3 minute video was created in 2009
from stills Demian shot during rehearsal.

The great poet Orphée seeks only the truth. However, he stumbles when seeking truth from a horse. He is convinced that the horse uses his hooves to tap out secret messages.

William Skurski (Orphée) — Orphée’s opening soliloquy.

Upon the death of Eurydice, his wife, Orphée vows to seek his lost love in the underworld. The angel, Heurtebise (who works as a glazier for a living), guides Orphée through Hades.

William Skurski, Richard White (Heurtebise)
Orphée is shown the way into hell by the angel, Heurtebise.
The portal to hell is the mirror.

Finding his wife, he is allowed to bring her back to the world of the living, only on the condition he never look at her again. If he does, she will be instantly transported back to Hades.

William Skurski, Patricia Coomey (Eurydice)
Orphée inadvertently looks at his wife and thereby kills a dead woman.

John T. Sheedy (Azreal), Michael Leininger (Raphael),
Katherine Thomas (Death), Richard White (Heurtebise),
Patricia Coomey (Eurydice), William Skurski (Orphée),
Richard Lizza (Commissioner of Police), Jean Zampiceni (Police Secretary)

Orphée is a first-class example of surrealist-dada theater. Jean Cocteau wrote this and other variations on the Orpheus legends in many of his plays and films.

The set was by Norman Archambault. Orphée was performed in Boston, December 1965.

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