Training Theatre Artists to Make a Difference

Everyman with Bridget Grace Sheaff

Poster JPEG
An anonymous author wrote Everyman in the late 15thcentury. Just to give you a hint, that was a long time ago. Why, then, are the students at CUA doing a production of this play in the year of 2013? What is it about this play that can make a group of young adults feel the need to share it with the world? Simply put, the play is about every man. Cliché as that sounds, the play’s universality allows even people born after the fall of the Berlin Wall to connect to the message of redemption, life, and death.

The message of the play is inherently Catholic. Everyman is saved by his Good-Deeds, with the help of Knowledge of his redemption. Before the time of Luther and his nailing of his 95 theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, the debate about justification of faith raged, the primary question: can humans be saved by faith alone? This play responds, providing us with characters who fear their reckoning, their book of accounts full unready. The characters, universals and abstract nouns themselves, leave Everyman with only his Good-deeds, who will speak for him and present him to God the Almighty. So, it makes sense to do this play at this university.

We, as a production team, were very lucky to have a background in theology and philosophy before taking on a play of this magnitude. The road that Everyman travels is riddled with big questions, with ideas that, as people on the brink of adulthood, have been placed out of our minds and hearts. We confront more in this production than medieval English syntax and diction. We confront our very selves, our beliefs, and our relationships with those around us. We confront our expectations, flip what we assume on its head, and come face to face with the unknown.

This production is the work of human hands, many hands that have assisted me. I have never been more grateful to so many people at once. Undertaking this project was no easy task. I have to thank my actors and team for all the work they have put into making art and subverting expectations. We not only have our first two production dates to prepare for, but then have to reevaluate and prepare ourselves for an outdoor production for the Medieval Society’s Medieval Day festivities. To do this play in two different locations for two different audience sets requires a special kind of perseverance.

We come when you have us least in mind. We hope you take heed to the ending and we hope you enjoy the show.

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This entry was posted on April 7, 2013 by .
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