GAM Visitor

The Play of Adam: The Cloisters’ Production Restaged at Illinois

Friday, January 20th, 2017

The Chapel of St. John the Divine
1011 S. Wright Street, Champaign

Event Description

Thursday and Friday, January 19th and 20th at 7:00 pm ~ Saturday, January 21st at 3:30 pm

The Met Cloisters and the Program in Medieval Studies & Illinois Theatre present the world premiere of The Play of Adam, a medieval comic drama in a new English verse translation by Carol Symes, directed by Kyle A. Thomas, with musical direction by Drew Minter (George A. Miller Visiting Professor). 

Beginning in the Garden of Eden and ending with the promise of redemption, Adam is a holiday play for all ages and any age. The first fully-staged production of this new translation premiered at The Met Cloisters on December 17th and 18th of 2016, beautifully framed by the apse of the chapel of San Martín at Fuentidueña, accompanied by ravishing vocal and instrumental music contemporary with the play. In January, the same production with its original cast of Illinois actors and New York musicians will be restaged at the lovely neo-Gothic Chapel of St. John the Divine on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Composed in colloquial rhyming verse, with passages of Latin plainsong, The Anglo-Norman Play of Adam is the oldest European play in any vernacular: in this case, an early dialect of the language we know as French. Updating the story of humanity’s fall and redemption, it comically and poignantly addresses timeless issues: ambition and desire, sibling rivalry, social mobility, and the uncertainties of political and cultural upheaval.

The original text and new verse translation of the play can be accessed here. More information about the production is available here and here.

All performances are free and open to the public, but seating may be limited. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance.  Questions or requests for reserved seating may be sent to Casey Griffin at caseyjg2@illinois.edu.