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Medieval Morality Tale Takes the St. Lawrence Stage

St Lawrence University’s Mainstage Productions will present a contemporary adaptation of “Everyman,” a medieval morality tale, starting at 8 p.m. April 5 to 8 and a final performance at 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, in the Edson R. Miles Black Box Theater, located in the Griffiths Arts Center. The performance is free and open to the public, though it will feature adult content and tickets will be required for entry.

Playwright Carol Ann Duffy’s new adaptation of “Everyman” premiered in 2014 at the National Theatre in Scotland, where it had a critically acclaimed run.

Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, assistant professor of performance and communication arts, is directing the production and describes the new adaptation as “an exciting take on a very old story.”

“Ann Duffy’s adaptation brings the piece into our contemporary world. Everyman’s ‘sins’ still include pride, gluttony, and lust, but they manifest as his mistreatment of others and the environment,” Sweigart-Gallagher said. “Everyman’s quest to account for his life feels surprisingly relevant. This adaptation is somewhat more secular than the original medieval text, which I appreciate because morality and the idea of living a moral life is not tied to religion or particular religious beliefs.”

The contemporary take extends beyond the text and includes the University’s production itself. The design and production team will transform the black box theater into a night club of sorts. Sweigart-Gallagher said “security” will greet patrons as they arrive at the theater, and a select number of audience members who come “dressed to impress” each night will be seated in a VIP section on an elevated platform, where they will be served complementary mocktails.

“We really want the audience to begin in Everyman’s debauched world and to experience his mental and emotional shifts as he sent on his quest,” said Daniel Gallagher, technical director and production manager.

Tickets may be obtained at the Gulick Box Office hours from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, April 3, to Friday April 7. For ticket information, contact the Gulick Box Office during operating hours at 315-229-5748.

For more information about the performance, contact the Department of Performance and Communication Arts at 315-229-5166.