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U of L re-examines medieval mysteries in A Barne in Bedlam

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The University of Lethbridge is exploring a pair of medieval “mysteries” but that doesn’t mean the actors are discovering ‘whodunnit” in “A Barne In Bedlam: Two Approaches to Medieval plays,” running in the David Spinks Theatre, March 20-24.Olusryi Dada, Kaitlyn Olfert and Jordan Payne, rehearse the Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. photo by Richard Amery
“It’s not a mystery, it’s a retelling of Biblical tales,” said Mia Van Leeuwen, who is directing “ The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.”

 There are two different interpretations of the plays by two different directors, working with the same cast for both of them.

“The Rise and Fall of Adam And Eve” is similar to what might have been seen 500 years ago when it debuted.

 On the other hand, “Second Shepherd’s Play” is a satirical and contemporized interpretation of the nativity, where a couple pretend a lamb is their baby. It includes multi-media components of a video montage and soundscapes.

“It‘s the same cast in both,” said Jordan Payne, who is joined on stage by Kaitlyn Olfert and Olusryi Dada.
“The second play, Three Shepherds (directed by Gabrielle Houle,)  is about three shepherds talking about who stole a sheep when the angel Gabriel comes downs and tells them Jesus is being born  in Bethlehem, they decide ‘we’d better go to see that,’” Payne summarized.    
Van Leeuwen noted creating the Rise and Fall  of Adam and Eve was a collaborative process with the cast, which they appreciated being able to do.
“ Collaborating with the students was really important. We started with the themes form the play and started creating,” Van Leeuwen said.

“I love that they trusted us to contribute our ideas,” said Kaitlyn Olfert.


“We were allowed to ask questions which really helped us understand the text,” Payne said, observing the plays are performed in medieval English, however there is a lot of physicality in them which makes it easy to understand.
“Everybody knows these stories,” Van Leeuwen observed.

Jordan Payne rehearses the Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. photo by Richard Amery
 “They are very physical plays.’
“The creative process was a lot of fun,” Dada said, adding he enjoyed being able to speak in his native language of Yarube from Nigeria.
“They let me experiment with it, which was fun,” he said.

Tickets to experience these classic medieval tales are available at the University Box Office or by calling 403-329-2616 (Monday – Friday, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.). Tickets are also available online: Tickets are $18 regular, $13 seniors and alumni, $12 students.
 Aversion of this story appears in the March 21, 2018 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/Shopper

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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