Amaya Braganza, who plays Eurydice in Hadestown, first encountered the role as a 16 year old when she saw the original Broadway production. Always a performer, Amaya is the second Filipina actress to take on the complex role of Eurydice—and this fact is not lost on her as she speaks to us about the human story of Hadestown and her empowering character.
Q: What can you tell us about your role as Eurydice?
A: I play the role of Eurydice, who is the lover of Orpheus; based on Greek mythology of Orpheus, Eurydice, Persephone, and Hades. She is a very special character. She’s not your typical classic ingenue; she’s a fighter, she’s a survivor, and she’s one of the mortal humans in the show. She’s a very special character who experiences a lot. Essentially, she’s a strong and empowering female character who is trying to survive in a world where she is marginalized.
Q: I heard that you first encountered this role when you were 16 and saw Eva Noblezada in the original Broadway production of Hadestown. How has that influenced your role?
A: Seeing her (Eva Noblezada) playing Eurydice definitely influenced my love of Hadestown. It was inspiring seeing her on stage telling a human story. The second day of rehearsal was my 21st birthday and it feels like a full circle moment from when I first saw Eva play the role of Eurydice in Hadestown. I definitely think seeing her in that role inspired me in my career. I look up to her, but I wanted to make the character of Eurydice my own and add my own take.
Q: Music is a big part of your life and you even have a band with your sisters, The Braganza Sisters. How does your love of music translate to being an actress on Broadway?
A: I started mainly in the theatre, but I grew up around music. I’m Filipino and karaoke is a big part of our culture. Ever since I could talk, I remember performing in my grandma’s living room, performing for my family. So music has always been present in my life. I was also fortunate enough to have an older sister who was in theatre and encouraged and inspired me to be a musician and a performer.
Q: What is your favourite part about playing Eurydice?
A: I really think the journey and the message of the show is my favourite part of Hadestown. Even though it’s based in Greek mythology, I think the themes around climate change, immigration, and female empowerment are still relevant, and to be able to tell a human story that is timeless is a great part of the show.
I have worked in the industry ever since I was 10 and it was rare for me to see people of colour and people who look like me playing in these types of roles that focus on what it means to be human and not tied to notions of what it means to be a person of colour. I feel lucky to be able to tell the story of a young girl who is trying to survive in a world where systems marginalize her. I think it’s very personable for women of colour and people who look like me, and I feel grateful to be telling her story and to be able to play that strength within women.
Q: If you could play any other role in the show apart from Eurydice, who would you play?
A: I would love to play one of The Fates.The Fates are supposed to be real sisters and I think it would be so fun to play the Fates with my sisters. To actually have that real sister connection between the characters and getting to cause chaos within the story would be really fun to work with.
Q: Why should people go see Hadestown?
A: I feel like the hope that it brings and the community that it showcases is very present in the story. There are moments in the show when we connect with the audience and it brings that element of collectivity and hope. I feel that It tells the truth of the world that we live in and provides hope for a better future.
Make sure to check out this performance for yourself:
- Hadestown | November 14 – 19, 2023
- at Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium | University of Alberta, 11455 87 AVE