Q) What is your role in EVERYBODY?
A) I play one of the Somebodies, which means by the end of the production, I'll *hopefully* have played Everybody, Friendship, Kinship, Cousin, Stuff, Mind, Senses, Beauty, and Strength, along with A, B, C, and D. If you don't understand what any of this means, you should come see our show!
Q) EVERYBODY can be performed a variety of 120 different ways based on its nightly casting concept. How has this rehearsal process been for you so far?
A) Haha it has truly been one of the more challenging role(s) I've ever taken on. There is always some point at every rehearsal where someone makes a comment about line memorization anxiety, and everyone replies with some sort of "Thank god! Me too!" response. But aside from that, jumping from role to role has made me both excited and scared (thanks, Sondheim), always keeping us all on our toes. The themes of the show itself are quite heavy, and so we try to surround those darker moments with energy and connection. Understanding each of these characters individually definitely feels like a sort of "Alice in Wonderland" journey. Many of these characters, besides Everybody, don't come with much back stories. So we get to make them up ourselves, which is half the fun of this show for me!
Q) What have you learned the most while working with Erin and your cast mates?
A) This is my second show with Erin, but my first with this cast of people. What I love so much about this cast is how truly different and unique we all are. No two of the same character are really alike for anyone, which is so great for all of us. There's no sense of competition or feelings of "copy-cating" someone's version of a role. I love observing and going through everyone's individual discovery process because they're all so different. I'm also the self-proclaimed cast-clown, so that's what I bring the to table. Hopefully no one disagrees with me. They better not...
Q) EVERYBODY features the ideas of Love, God, Kinship, Friendship, Death, Understating, etc. and personifies them as everyday people. Which idea is speaking to you the strongest recently?
A) Definitely Understanding. I've been experiencing a lot of change in my life this year, both good and bad. So if there were overwhelming moments where it seemed too much, I just had to remind myself that everything happens for a reason, and things work out the way they're supposed to.
Q) What about this production is special or why should audiences come see it?
A) Well, I can 99% guarantee you that if you come once, you will not see the same casting any other night. If you come for a second show and it's the exact same cast, I'll buy you a beer. So that's a good reason come. But in all seriousness, everyone has had such a large job to take on that we're just so excited to celebrate that achievement with audiences with a different cast every night and explore the myriad of colors that this show takes on.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' EVERYBODY runs July 13-August 12 at The Buena at Pride Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased HERE - and make sure to pick up a See EVERYBODY Again punch card at the Box Office for repeat viewing discounts!
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.