The FCLC Medieval Dramatists, comprised of the students of Professor Andrew Albin's ENGL 3102: Medieval Drama in Performance, will offer their debut performance of the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman at noon on April 26, 2015, at Summit Rock in Central Park (83rd Street & Central Park West). This production, free to the public, tells the story of Everyman, who finds himself on Death’s doorstep and in need of guidance before he goes to meet his Maker. As he travels the road to the grave, Everyman encounters those things dearest to him and comes face to face with the choices he has made during his life. Everyman represents the culmination of ENGL 3102’s semester-long immersion in the dramatic texts and traditions of late medieval England; the result is a medieval play reinvented for modern audiences, one that melds festivity, community, and ethical searching with comedic flair and New York savvy.
Designed and realized from the ground up by the FCLC Medieval Dramatists, this performance of Everyman loosely models itself on medieval modes of play-making. Over the course of the spring semester, students have worked as a tight-knit collective to read, discuss, adapt, and stage the play, with recourse to the wealth of talents they each bring to the playing space. Guided by Professor Albin, students have read deeply into the corpus of medieval English drama in the original Middle English, accompanied by works of criticism, theater history, and modern critical dramaturgy. For the performance of Everyman, though, Prof. Albin takes a back seat, facilitating students in their own creative exploration of the play they themselves chose to perform. Students also will record the live performance to create a film that will form the centerpiece of a media-rich digital archive of their efforts. Such an interdisciplinary project has benefitted greatly from the support of a variety of departments, programs, and offices, including English, Theatre, Medieval Studies, Media and Communications, New Media and Digital Design, Instructional Technology Academic Computing, and the Dean's Office.
A more appropriate debut performance for Fordham’s medieval theater troupe could not be imagined. Everyman asks difficult questions about our values, our ties to the world around us, our bonds with each other, and our relationships to ourselves. In the hands of the Medieval Dramatists, it has become a thoroughly local play, in dialogue with the culture of New York City and taking place in Central Park at the heart of Manhattan. Mindful of its rootedness in the Catholic culture of the Middle Ages, Everyman turns a critical eye on that culture and interrogates it, asking us to do the same for our own through laughter, inquiry, and play. Please join us!