Q) What is your role in EVERYBODY?
A) I play Death.
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) Slightly less cumbersome than my fellow ensemble members. While Death presents it's own set of challenges, my five castmates who rotate the roles deserve all the praise and credit I can muster for what they've accomplished during this process. I'm amazed every night I get to watch them. They memorized the entire script and don't know who they're playing until they draw the roles during the lottery. They're the real MVPs and to see their dedication to getting the lines down is inspiring and they are beautiful to watch each night.
Q) What have you learned the most while working with Erin and your cast mates?
A) It really kind of depends on what your definition of the word 'most' is. I've learned so much from Erin and my castmates, that quantifying it would be near impossible. I believe the value of love and acceptance have been two of the greatest lessons I've seen come into play time and time again. To see the kindness that exudes from our cast and crew, feels my heart with joy every night. Erin leads by example and I'm grateful to get to work with someone who truly has a heart for such deep, meaningful work. It's exciting walk in to rehearsal every night and get to explore.
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) Love. Unequivocally, love. As we deal with the process of dying each night, you start to see the fragility of life and relationships. We're surrounded by chaos and maelstrom at this moment in time and people seem to hate each other for no other reason than they just want to hate someone. We'll get through it, but if there's one thing we can do to help speed up the process, it's to give of ourselves and give freely. Be the light, be the change. Work towards a better world. Because, at the end of the day, we're all dying, but we don't have to die alone.
Q) What about this production is special or why should audiences come see it?
A) There are 120 different variations to this show. You'll have to come AT LEAST 5 times for the chance to see everybody play Everybody. And even then, nothing's guaranteed. Just like life.
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.