‘Everyman’ finds salvation on Kent Stage

Caitlin Potts

The EZ Theatre stage filled with music, dance and folklore when Kent State students performed in the medieval drama “Everyman” Feb. 6.

The play was written by an anonymous author as “The Summoning of Everyman” in the 1400s. It focuses on the moral turmoil of the lead character to find Christian salvation.

Wesley Doucette, director and senior art history and theatre studies double major, wanted the play to be relevant to modern times.

“I came up with the concept for this production,” Doucette said. “My goal was to get to the heart of it and make you feel it.”

Doucette explained the stage setup to the audience. Stage left showcased dark objects and gothic paintings. It represented Hell. Stage right featured a cross and represented Heaven.

The play opened with medieval rock music and dancers dressed in all black. They performed ballet in a struggle between good and evil. One of them lit a match and it scared the others away.

Then senior theatre studies major Shannon Hubman entered the stage as a character named Death. She wore a black cape and spoke to the audience as the dancers moved around her.

“Time waiteth for no man,” Hubman said.

Senior theatre studies major Kate Johnson’s character “Everyman” entered the stage next. Death said Everyman’s time on earth was over.

Everyman struggled to grasp the concept and questioned the idea. Death said it was time to travel on to the next adventure.

Everyman spoke to many different characters like Fellowship, Kindred and Cousin after hearing Death’s news. He tried to persuade them to join him on the adventure. None agreed to go with Everyman.

Senior theatre studies major Jay Washington’s character Goods told Everyman, “We are never, ever, ever getting back together.” Laughter broke out in the audience.

The lights dimmed very low as Everyman walked further with Death. Medieval music played and ballet dancers entered the stage.

A girl in a beige dress, played by junior theatre studies major Michelle Ireton, laid on her stomach. She was unable to rise from the floor and crawled in a pit of dirt. Everyman learned she was Good Deeds and asked her to join her with Death.

After Everyman repented her sins, Good Deeds lifted herself from the floor and hugs her.

In a symbolic, somber final scene, Everyman and Good Deeds exited stage left to die. Death and senior theatre studies Ryan Kirkpatrick’s character, Knowledge, huddled over a candle. Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” played and the stage lights faded to black.

Actors received a standing ovation at the end of the play.

The play was performed on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. and 6 at 6 and 7 p.m. Admission was free to students.

Contact Caitlin Potts at [email protected].