Directing duo tackles ‘Everyman’ at Columbus State

Columbus State University Theatre Department Directors Larry Dooley and Krystal Kennel have joined efforts to direct “Everyman.”

The adaptation of a medieval morality play is in production at the Riverside Theatre and will run through Nov. 12.

Dooley, CSU Theatre Department chair, said the production of the show began in some unusual ways.

“The first thing that may catch your attention is the plural: Directors,” he said. That’s not something we do very often — or hardly at all, but this process has been a bit different in many ways. We cast the show without a script. We started rehearsing without permission from the playwright or the licensing company.”

CSU has a script and permission from all appropriate parties. They’ve also got one memorable production on the stage.

Dooley said he is thrilled to be a part of this production.

“While ‘Everyman’ is widely considered a masterpiece of drama, for most of us it is a work that is found primarily in large, dusty anthologies of literature,” he said. “Our goal was to shake off those cobwebs of medieval antiquity and make it relevant to a modern audience.”

Both directors were passionate about their reasons for selecting this production. In their Directors’ Notes for the show, they discuss the reasons they chose to produce this particular piece:

“We fortunately happened upon the script that you will see and hear. In it, Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, presents to us a modern Everyman, living a largely self-centered and purposeless existence. The portrayal is unrelenting in its use of unvarnished language and depiction. Yet, for all the gritty specifics that make this a modern drama, Everyman, like his medieval counterpart, turns to all the same people and beliefs, and he arrives at the same conclusion. So what is it that he, and we, are left with? When facing our last moments, we might ask ourselves a similar question: What really matters?”

“Everyman” has adult themes and language in the context of the script so parental discretion is advised. The play is not suitable for children.

If you go

What: “Everyman”

Where: CSU Riverside Theatre, 6 W. 10th St.

Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4, 5, 10, 11, 12; 2 p.m. Nov. 6

Cost: $12-17