For Every Man, Woman, and Child–a modern morality play inspired by EVERYMAN

Kent Trumbull Theatre Presents: For Every Man, Woman, and Child--a modern morality play inspired by EVERYMAN (by Willy Conley)

REVIEW: “Different worlds intersect in Kent-Trumbull production”
by Andy Gray
Tribune Chronicle

A Brief History
The year was 2009 . . .

This project was an exciting venture between both campus and community, as well as between hearing and Deaf worlds: accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences through a mixture of ASL, spoken English, gesture and mime. The play is a contemporary written English adaptation of the medieval (late Middle English) British medieval morality play, Everyman. While Conley’s For Every Man, Woman and Child is inspired by the Christian medieval English morality play, Everyman, it is clearly set in contemporary times, and pays respect to several religions in addition to Christianity, including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Sun Worship. This is a play that addresses the very foundation of issues in celebrating diverse populations.

Willy Conley meeting with potential cast and crew before tryouts.

Willy Conley explaining to several theatre enthusiasts how he got the idea to adapt a medieval morality play into a contemporary ASL/Spoken English experience.

The play calls for a “carnival atmosphere”. We intended to give the performance a “Cirque du Soleil” carnival style (costumes and setting). There also was a festive pre-production MONEY SCENEatmosphere in the theatre lobby that included popcorn and other concessions, jugglers, clowns, and other circus-type performers wandering around the area. At the Opening Night Performance (September 25), we added a table at which playwright Willy Conley sat, offering to autograph copies of his recently published anthology of plays, Vignettes of the Deaf Character and Other Plays (Gallaudet University Press, 2009).

Producers’ Notes


THE CAST — BACK ROW: Christine Fowler, Kurt Cullison, Thomas Young, Jenna Cintavey, Pamela Young Beish, Haley Jane Otto, Christiana Ozimek , Daniel Parsons; MIDDLE ROW: Tiffany Mulloy, Rhianna Squires, Joe Toto, Kate Starling, Dorothy Voyda; FRONT ROW: Cleric Ricard Costes, Curtis Showers, Victoria Van Horn, João Ciuba, Kayla Donaldson

Cleric and Dan

Cleric Richard Costes experimenting with make-up with Dr. Daniel-Raymond Nadon (Director)

This project allowed us as a cast, crew, and directing team to explore a number of crossroads between a number of otherwise dissimilar cultures and theatrical styles.  The play meets at the intersections of contemporary American theatre and medieval British theatre, of traditional theatre forms and those of National Theatre of the Deaf, of an onsite production and a tour (we are taking the show on the road), of town and gown, of Deaf/deaf and hearing cultures, of male and female, of Christian in relation to other faiths, and of education through entertainment.  The important journey of the characters, Everyone (male and female), into uncharted territory is matched by the incredible journey of our actors, designers, directing team, and crew–brave soldiers all.  I am proud of the amazing team we have assembled and of the hard work we have achieved together, in this intersection.
~~Daniel-Raymond Nadon, Stage Director

nancy resh

Professor Nancy M. Resh (She suddenly died a year after this production in November, 2010.)

I believe Willy Conley wanted everyone (not just Everyone) to see how important it is that we all communicate with each other and communicate successfully. As Sign Master for this play, I had the unique opportunity to observe this wide range of hearing, deaf, signing, and speaking actors. What was most impressive was that they all made the effort to overcome the nearly impossible communication barriers. I cannot begin to tell you how I feel working with this wonderful group: watching their conversations (ASL, English, or something in between) and the other ways they socialized and practiced with each other. Their taking the time and effort to better understand a language and culture other than their own made this play experience a success, even before opening night.
~~Nancy M. Resh, Sign Master

Kate and Carol

Carol Robinson (left) helping Kate Starling (right) to learn some American Sign Language.

A medieval morality play is supposed to teach the lessons of Christian “right” conduct. Willy Conley’s adaptation of (perhaps) the most famous of British morality plays, Everyman, also attempts to teach “right” conduct. While this modern morality play still holds much of the Christian ethos of the original work, it also brings in much contemporary pathos (such as a passionate plea for self-reflection) and logos (such as a reasoning for tolerant behavior). For me, the irony has been that, in producing this play, we have had to learn to practice what the play preaches. Observing and trying to help the actors struggle through communication barriers, through performance breakdowns and breakthroughs, through tears of frustrating self-disappointment, through tears of joyful self-discovery: it has been both a torment and a pleasure. (Isn’t it funny how those two feelings often come hand-in-hand?) I am both honored and proud to have worked with this troupe. We are everyone, all of us.
~~Carol L. Robinson, Dramaturg

Nancy, Willy, Carol, Daniel-Raymond

Nancy M. Resh, Willy Conley, Carol L. Robinson, Daniel-Raymond Nadon

The performances were held at the Kent Trumbull Theatre (September 25, 26, & 27–at the end of Deaf Awareness Week–and October 3, 4, & 5). On Saturday, September 26, at the end of Deaf Awareness Week, there was a Fundraiser Performance that featured an audience-invited Forum (involving Ohio Deaf Leaders), held after show. Performances ran for two weekends, and then the troop traveled to Loudonville, New York (just north of Albany) to perform at the 24th International Conference on Medievalism at Siena College on October 9, 2009.

siena show

Performance at the International Conference on Medievalism (Siena College)


Who is Willy Conley?

Willy Conley

Willy Conley explaining Deaf theatre and his play to Kent State University at Trumbull students, faculty and community.

A professional actor, director, sign master, and playwright, Conley has won awards from VSA arts 2000 Playwrights Discovery Competition at the Kennedy Center, the PEW/TCG National Theatre Artist Residency Fellowship, the Sam Edwards Deaf Playwrights Competition, The American Deaf Drama Festival, the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, the ’97 and ’99 NeWorks Festival in Boston, the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund, and the Lamia Ink! International One-Page-Play Festival. Published plays include “The Hearing Test” (in No Walls of Stone, Gallaudet University Press), Broken Spokes (Tactile Mind Press), The water falls. (Tactile Mind Press), The Universal Drum (TYA/USA Theatre for Young Audiences Today), and a collection of his plays has just been published: Vignettes of the Deaf Character: And Other Plays (Gallaudet University Press). As an actor, Conley has performed with the National Theatre of the Deaf, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Amaryllis Theatre Co, Colonial Theatre, Shakespeare-in-the-Park in Rhode Island, Fairmount Theatre of the Deaf, New York Deaf Theatre, Quest: Arts for Everyone, Sunshine Too, and Center Stage. Recently, he appeared in an episode of NBC’s Law & Order: CI ‘Silencer’; other films include: Wrong Game and Stille Liebe (Secret Love). He holds an M.A. in Creative Writing/Playwriting from Boston University (where he studied with Nobel laureate Derek Walcott), and an M.F.A. in Theatre from Towson University. He is an Associate Artist with Center Stage, an Affiliate Artist with Quest, and an Associate member of The Dramatists Guild. In addition, most people do not know that he was the first Deaf person to receive national certification as a Registered Biological Photographer (#319) after having graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biomedical Photographic Communication.


The SLACKERS are in town!



This role was play by four people: two signers (one man and one woman) and two speakers (one man and one woman).

Rhianna Squires
Jenna Cintavey
Kurt Cullison
Joe Toto
Death Cleric Richard Costes
Allah, Strength & Ensemble João Ciuba
Buddha, Good Deeds & Ensemble Christiana Ozimek
Great Spirit, Riches, 5 Senses & Ensemble Patricia Rogan
Vishnu, Sister, 5 Senses & Ensemble Katie Starling
Ra, Mother, 5 Senses and Ensemble Pamela Young
Jesus Christ, Cousin, Strength and Ensemble Thomas Young
Sister, Beauty, and Ensemble Haley Jane Otto
Sister, Beauty and Ensemble Kayla Donaldson
Good Deeds Christine Fowler
Knowledge Tiffany Mulloy
Knowledge, 5 Senses, & Ensemble Victoria Van Horn
Death being nagged

Old man Death is receiving orders from the gods to go get EVERYONE.


Directing Team
~~Stage Director Daniel-Raymond Nadon
~~Sign Master Nancy M. Resh
~~Dramaturg Carol L. Robinson
Technical Director/Scenic Design Robert Katkowsky
Stage Manager Daniel Parsons
Costume Design Christine L. Jones
Lighting Design Leslie Brown
Sound Design Nolan Sowa
Slides and Projection Jim Lybarger
Light Board Operator Kate Graff
Sound Board Operator Nolan Sowa
Rehearsal Interpreters Jim Draper
Christine Fowler
Tiffany Mulloy
Artwork Carol L. Robinson
Office/Student Employee Jenna Cintavey
Shop/Student Employee Jeff Infante
Mickey Krenek
Coordinator of Theatre Daniel-Raymond Nadon
Web Page Design Carol L. Robinson
Strength and Beauty

Allegorical characters Beauty and Strength.


We are extremely grateful to the below organizational and individual sponsors whose generosity allows us to bring this very special performance to life!


Kent Trumbull Theatre
KSU Trumbull Diversity in Action Council
KSU Trumbull Student Services
KSU Trumbull Student Disability Services

Individual Contributions:
The Ciuba-Rogan Family
David & Diane Starr
Randby Robinson
Irene Gianakos
Elaine Shively