Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth
adapted by Richard Schenkman
directed by Ned Record
Who Is The Man from Earth? Find out at the Adobe Theater this spring. What if a man from the Upper Paleolithic era had survived until today? Living almost 14,000 years, who might this man have been, and what would he have become?
The play, The Man From Earth, boldly posits these and many other questions about life. Prof. John Oldman (played by Matthew Van Wettering) poses these hypothetical questions to a room full of his colleagues, all trained in fields well suited to debunk his story. These include a biologist Harry (David Bommarito), an anthropologist Dan (Arthur Alpert), an archeologist and his student Art and Linda (Norm Fletcher and Adrienne Cox, respectively), Christian literalist Edith (Heather Lovick-Tolley) and psychiatrist Will (James Cady). Each in his turn attempts to deconstruct his story, always being met by John’s absurdly prompt and detailed answers. Rounding out the cast is Sandy (Rachel Haskett), who supports John through the evening. Questions of loyalty, friendship, love and faith are put to the test. After a series of plot twists worthy of Agatha Christie, the show seeks to answer the question “What is more important: The quality or the quantity of one’s life?”
Each evening, owing to the thought-provoking nature of the show, an informal Q&A will be held, moderated by the dynamic Teresa A. Longo. The original story by Jerome Bixby (“Fantastic Voyage”) was made into a film directed and later adapted to the stage by Richard Shenkman.
Director Ned Record has been fascinated by this story as well as other stories about immortality for years. He recently appeared at the Adobe as Chicago in Mark Twain’s Is He Dead? and before that as Uncle Louie in Lost in Yonkers, but this is his first time directing in Albuquerque. Prior to his move here, he directed a number of plays in Chicago, most famously his comedic adaptation of Dante’s Inferno. He holds a Masters Degree in Classical Acting from Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and is a trained circus performer.
“The Man From Earth, at its core, is about life,” he says. “The show deals with life from start to finish: and that a life without death is a story without an ending. This theme of life, goodbyes, and embracing what time we have is the very heart of this production.”
The Man from Earth opens on Friday, May 16 and runs through June 8.
9813 4th St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114