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) This process has been completely different than any process I've ever done. There is no sitting back and waiting for your scene - the scene you are watching may be a scene you will be performing, and the scene you are rehearsing may not be the scene you perform because if you do get to perform it, it may be with someone other than you rehearsed it with, so we all have to track each others choices, even though we all present a different Everybody. I have loved every minutes of the process because the only thing you can do is just give over to the process - and trust every single person you are working with, and that I do. This cast has just been awesome!
Q) What have you learned the most while working with Erin and your cast mates?
A) I have learned so much from everyone. First, Erin is one of the most patient and articulate directors that has ever been my pleasure to work with, she fully understands the challenge of this process and has been so supportive in terms of our own discovery and helping us give shape to those ideas. As to the rest of the cast - it's as if we are all in this very small boat together without any oars, but together we can figure out how to get to land...and we are doing it, man, we are doing it!
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) All of the concepts have had some serious rethinking and attention in rehearsal, but personally I am really struck by LOVE - how its impatient, but so not, but most important how LOVE is always there, but Everybody doesn't recognize it. As a human being looking at LOVE, I wonder, why is it so hard for us to Love each other? Why are we so afraid of love, or think that it isn't there, when we should be embracing it because it is always there! One of my favorite lines in the play is: "I loved them better [my friends], than my Love alone" because it points to a human dilemma - we don't recognize this incredible gift that we have been given, the enormous capacity to love. In light of everything that is going in the world right now - we need to lean in, and lean in hard on LOVE. It's right there. And favorite role? I hate to play favorites, but I do love the sass and presence of STUFF. But. I also love the genius amalgam of Everyone's friends in FRIENDSHIP.
Q) What about this production is special or why should audiences come see it?
A) Aside from stellar cast? Compelling script? You could see this show multiple times and you will literally get a different production, a different take-away each time.
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!
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