MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance, in association with the School of Media Arts, will present “Everyman” to audiences in April.
This production marks the first of the season’s Theatre & Dance’s Studio Series. Studio Series productions incorporate inventive staging and minimal design, so the focus will be placed on the performers and the text.
Directed by UM theatre Associate Professor Bernadette Sweeney, performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, April 11-14. Performances also will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday through Sunday, April 14-15. All shows will take place in the Masquer Theatre of UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center.
The production is general admission only and tickets cost $9. Tickets are available by calling the UMArts Box Office at 406-243-4581 between noon and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or online at http://www.umt.edu/theatredance. Audience discretion is advised as “Everyman” includes adult themes and language as well as flashing media imagery.
The origins of this dazzlingly humorous and poignant contemporary adaptation hearken back to 15th-century England and an allegorical accounting of the life of one person meant to represent all mankind. Abstractions such as the Senses, Kindred and Death are embodied as comrades and antagonists of Everyman. Despite all the people and things he thought were essential, Everyman realizes that when life comes to a close, you are left with only your own good deeds – however many or few there may be.
“Everyman is a very attractive character who admits that he has ‘been a thoughtless bastard,’” Sweeney said. “Everyman – in this production which incorporates hip-hop dance, live music, experimental media imagery and motion capture – reminds us all of the necessity for basic human decency, kindness and our responsibility to each other and our environment.”
MFA acting candidate Tsiambwom Akuchu will play the role of Everyman as a portion of his final creative project for the MFA.
“The interesting thing about Everyman,” Akuchu said, “is that regardless of whether or not you've lived the same sort of life as he has, it's the very human experience of facing the end of your time that makes him incredibly relatable. One of my favorite lines is toward the end of the show as Everyman contemplates, ‘I think I have a soul.’”
For more information call Sweeney at 406-241-9113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete schedule of UM School of Theatre & Dance productions for the academic year is available at http://www.umt.edu/umarts/theatredance/Season/17-18-season.php.