During this era of uncertain ethical values,the Northeastern Department of Theatre presents Everyman, adapted by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at the Studio Theatre in the Curry Student Center from November 8-18.
Everyman is an imaginative new adaptation of the classical 15th century allegory transformed by rap poetry and 21st century theatricality. Morality plays emerged from church teachings in Medevial Europe and typically contain a protagonist who meets personifications of various moral attributes and must choose a godly life or one of evil. Of this 2015 adaption, The Guardian wrote: “What was originally church propaganda has been turned, in Carol Ann Duffy’s stunning adaptation, into a scathing assault on the myopic materialism of the modern age and a reminder of our own mortality.”
The Northeastern production is set in an urban dance club where corporate millennials and the fashionable glitterati live lives of uninhibited indulgence and decadence— until Death comes calling. “Everyman has lived his whole life only focused on his desires and not caring about the people and world around him, explains Ansh Kewalramani ’20, who plays the title role. “I believe it’s an important story for today as many people focused on their own self interests and deny issues such as climate change and economic inequality. I hope this play will help people realize we all have a responsibility to make a positive change. Because when death comes knocking at our door, are we going to feel proud of what we have accomplished during our time on earth?”
Faculty director and Associate Professor Antonio Ocampo-Guzman describes the play as, “God’s tragedy. She has created us, yet is embarrassed and angered by her creation. Though she wants a reckoning of the useless waste, she is moved by our plight. Her tragedy is that she loves us, and so, she does forgive us. Forgiveness is arguably the hardest thing to do, and the most edifying, and therefore, the most dramatic. Perhaps because of her decisively socialist views, Duffy gives us radical new angles through which we can stage the play: God (portrayed as a woman) asks Everyman to give a reckoning not only of his life, but also of how we humans have abused and damaged the Earth. Duffy argues for a need for collective responsibility; this is beautifully manifested in the ensemble nature of the piece.”
Everyman’s adaptor, Carol Ann Duffy, was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 2009, the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly gay person to hold the position. Duffy is an award-winning poet, receiving the Costa Poetry award for her collection Mean Time, Love Poems and the Bees. Her other plays include Take My Husband, Cavern of Dreams, Little Women, Big Boys, Loss, and Casanova.
The design team includes lighting design by Visiting Associate Teaching Professor Oliver Wason; costume design by Teaching Professor Frances McSherry; and two guest artists: two-time Elliot Norton Award-winner David Reiffel composing sound, and Jeffrey Petersen providing scenic design.
The Northeastern Department of Theatre production features Ansh Kewalramani as Everyman, Megan Warshofsky as God / Good Deeds, Lukas Heeringa as Death, Ciara McAloon as Knowledge, Meredith Lineman as Kindred (Mother) / Strength, Monil Shah as Kindred (Father) / Insecurity, Kate Franklin as Kindred (Sister) / Conscience, Tarik Jones as Everyboy / Touch, Isabelle Hanh as Goods / Passion, Jaime Gómez Díez as Goods / Smell, Adam Regenstreif as Goods / Sensuality, Emma Hunt as Fellowship / Taste, Casey Greenleaf as Fellowship / Discretion, Beth Whitlow as Fellowship / Sound, Amos Nasongo as Fellowship / Vanity, and Aidan Bradley as Fellowship / Sight.