Adapted by Carol Ann Duffy
Everyman Ansh Kewalramani
God / Good Deeds Megan Warshofsky
Death Lukas Heeringa
Knowledge Ciara McAloon
Kindred (Mother) / Strength Meredith Lineman
Kindred (Father) / Insecurity Monil Shah
Kindred (Sister) / Conscience Kate Franklin
Everyboy / Touch Tarik Jones
Goods / Passion Isabelle Hahn
Goods / Smell Jaime Gómez Díez
Goods / Sensuality Adam Regenstreif
Fellowship / Taste Emma Hunt
Fellowship / Discretion Casey Greenleaf
Fellowship / Sound Beth Whitlow
Fellowship / Vanity Amos Nasongo
Fellowship / Sight Aidan Bradley
Director Antonio Ocampo-Guzman
Scenic Designer Jeffrey Petersen
Costume Designer Frances McSherry
Lighting Designer Oliver Wason
Sound Designer David Reiffel
Dramaturg Kaley Bachelder
Stage Manager Desiré Lynn Bennett
Asst. Costume Designer Marissa Wolf
Asst. Stage Manager Ben Brotman
2ndAsst. Stage Manager Emma Nafz
Prop Masters / Artisans Verena Calista
Master Electrician Carla Mirabal
Asst. Master Electrician Keely Craig
Deck Run Crew Ivy Caithlyn Kee
Wardrobe Run Crew Victoire Cointy
Light Board Operator Shira Weiss
Sound Board Operator Kaitlyn Fiery
FROM THE DIRECTOR, ANTONIO OCAMPO-GUZMAN:
Gender and racial injustice, economic inequality, sociopolitical divisiveness, climate change, environmental catastrophes, immoral greed, ignorant triviality and vapid consumerism… what are we doing to ourselves? To each other? To the Planet?
Sometime in 15th century England, a text appeared, both on stage and in print, calling people to consider the quality of their lives. It may have been an adaptation of a Flemish text, Elckerlijc, which was published in 1495. It disregarded the traditional structures of ‘Morality’ plays, which were central to Medieval and Early Modern Europe, by inserting more allegorical traditions, such as symbolic and mythic creatures. Everyman, as the text was eventually known, became very popular and was performed for decades. The main idea of the story of God asking Man to give a reckoning at the end of his life was the common Christian tenant of ‘redemption through repentance.’
Carol Ann Duffy (Glasgow, 1955), Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, offers a different take in her 2015 adaptation of Everyman, commissioned by the Royal National Theatre. She proposes ‘redemption through gratitude and forgiveness.’ Perhaps because of her being the first woman appointed as Poet Laureate (in 2009), and an openly gay woman at that, or 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 ensemble nature of the piece.
Once Death has marked Everyman, he must convince his friends and family to stand trial with him and vouch for his character and morals, but none are up to the challenge. Not even his earthly goods are of any use to Everyman. Once he hits bottom, in some dark alley where homeless people survive, he is able to gain some insight through Knowledge, and acknowledges that only his Good Deeds will amount to anything in the next life. He finally recognizes the wonder, beauty and power of being human, and dies with some semblance of grace.
I see this 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.
“Her modern retelling bring the original concerns of lack of faith and good deeds into sharply modern focus, making us reflect on the state of humanity in this extreme consumerist and secular age and how to find meaning an a godless world.” Kirsten Sheperd-Barr
“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 Guardian
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK. Her poetry has received many awards, including the Signal Prize for Children’s Verse, the Whitbread, Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and the Lannan and E. M. Forster Prize in America. She 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.
Her poetry collections include Mean Time, Love Poems and The Bees, which won the Costa Poetry Award. Her writing for children includes Queen Munch and Queen Nibble, The Skipping-Rope Snake,and The Tear Thief. Her plays include Take My Husband (1982), Cavern of Dreams (1984), Little Women, Big Boys (1986), Loss (1986), and Casanova (2007).