Everyman

Adapted by Carol Ann Duffy
November 8-18
Studio Theatre

CAST

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

CREATIVE TEAM

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
Amanda Brea
Master Electrician                                                                  Carla Mirabal
Asst. Master Electrician                                                          Keely Craig
Deck Run Crew                                                                        Ivy Caithlyn Kee
Madison Ambrose
Lingyi Zhang
Wardrobe Run Crew                                                               Victoire Cointy
Kaila Bonocore
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 TimeLove 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).