The ISU Theatre in Terre Haute is putting on the medieval morality play "Everyman." Director Arthur Feinsod has put together a thoroughly modern production that is at the same time faithful to the language and values of the text.
In "Everyman," Death is God’s messenger. He carries the essential truth, that man’s life is limited. "Everyman" is the story of life, it’s values and what about it has permanent value. In Terre Haute, Everyman was played with considerable range and depth by Jon Myers. Death, was a particularly flexible and energetic dancer. Josh Hoover, as Death, was somehow both a frightening and a winsomely playful figure from the top of his skull headpiece to the bottoms of his Converse All Star high tops.
As Everyman approaches death he calls for help, in order and in vain, from companions, possessions, accomplishments, senses and his own physical qualities.
Walter Pozywio, Rocky Contri and Terry Tincher of the Fellowship Ensemble came on like the Jets in "West Side Story," but just as quickly fell away. Kindred, Mark Crimans Kelsey Kanlon, Craig Kilgore and Angie Englebert in the ISU production, seemed totally involved in eating, but they did take a break to ironically consider the various ways that Death might take Everyman before they bailed out. Rocki Contri was a genial hit as the embodiment of Everyman’s Goods and Riches. Nice to look at, but again nothing Everyman could take with him.
Likewise, Strength, the Five Senses, Beauty and even Discretion appeared, swore allegiance and were diminished and disappeared as Death approached. Only Good Deeds, played by Brandon Wentz, and Knowledge played by Angie Englebert stay to the edge of the grave. In fact Good Deeds needed a solid addition of generosity near the end of the play to really turn the corner.
The ISU production, designed by Linda Janosko, makes excellent use of the New Theatre in its arena configuration. A single arrangement with both theatrical and theological elements serves with David Del Coletti’s lighting for a constantly changing playing space. Sound designer Jeff O’Brien’s choices are an integral part of the story and range from techno-pop to the classics.
The original "Everyman" was written to be both entertaining and thought provoking its very nice to be able to say that in this version it continues to do both..
The ISU production of "Everyman" directed by Arthur Feinsod plays this Tuesday and Wednesday at eight in the New Theatre on the campus in Terre Haute.