St. James' Episcopal Church is Site for Medieval Classic "Everyman," February 20 - 22

The Genesee Center for the Arts is collaborating with St. James' Episcopal Church to present the classic medieval play Everyman on February 20 and 21 at 8:00 p.m. and February 22 at 2:00 p.m. The Forum Players, the student-based acting group at Genesee Community College, will perform the drama in Readers Theatre format, under the gothic arches at St. James' Church, 405 East Main Street, Batavia, New York.

First printed in 1495 and totaling a mere 900 lines, Everyman is the best known surviving example of medieval drama. The play portrays a complacent "everyman" who is informed by Death of his approaching end. Chronicling the hero's journey from despair and fear to acceptance, "everyman" learns that he can take nothing from this world which he has received, only that which he has given, which is the prelude to redemption.

Frank Mayo, Director of Speech and Theatre Arts at Genesee Community College is directing the play. "I chose the play because I recognized and appreciated the comic relief. Morality plays can be very serious and thrust a person and audience into despair. So, within this very serious, formal text, is a comedic look at human weakness and failure to commit. To be honest, I had fun editing and re-writing some of the language using more modern-day, colloquial phrases. I even have some Monty Python shtick in mind." "Readers Theatre," Mayo continues, "is a unique medium that focuses on the text and tears down the ?fourth wall' that separates the audience from the performance." The Readers Theatre technique brings the audience closer to the text, and the students gain a unique opportunity to interpret a play with minimal physicality and stage setting, Mayo added. "The Theatre department at Genesee presents this opportunity as an instructional tool that proves to be very helpful to actors who have to do readings for auditions."

Tickets for this event are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for students and senior citizens, and $2.00 for Genesee students with a current ID. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by calling the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at 585-345-6814.

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