Speakeysie News Desk — August 8, 2022
WRITTEN BY PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST AND OBIE AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS
CO-DIRECTED BY SUSAN V. BOOTH AND TINASHE KAJESE-BOLDEN
ATLANTA, August 5, 2022 – Rehearsals started this week for the Alliance Theatre’s season opener,EVERYBODY, by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. EVERYBODY, which is co-directed by Susan V. Booth and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, marks the final production of Booth’s 21-year tenure as the Alliance Theatre’s Jennings Hertz Artistic Director. Performances begin on the Coca-Cola Stage September 2, 2022. Opening night is Saturday, September 10.
Inspired by the 15th century play Everyman, EVERYBODY tells the story of Everybody – a happy person, a free person, a person who believes nothing but the best lies ahead. Then Death comes calling, and Everybody must go on a journey to find what has had lasting significance in his lifetime. Remixing the archetypal medieval morality play into an explosive experiment of wit and emotion, EVERYBODY is a “sunny, stunning journey from life to death” that “fills the heart in a new and unexpected way” (DC Theatre Scene & The New Yorker).
“Sounds odd to talk about joy when you’re talking about mortality, but the tone and impact of this piece is so, so joyful,” said Co-Director and Alliance Artistic Director, Susan V. Booth. “And in a time of ever multiplying senses of division, a piece that reminds us of the most basic of human connections seems so very necessary.”
Since its premiere at Signature Theatre in 2017,EVERYBODY has captivated audiences with its cutting wit, hard-hitting questions, and, most notably, its unique storytelling device. The play begins with five of the actors being assigned their roles by lottery, live before the audience, meaning these cast members have learned each of the five possible lottery roles. This also means that there are 120 possible role combinations, making it unlikely that any performance will include the same actors in the same role combinations twice.
“The thrill of the unknown is super delicious,” said Co-Director and Alliance Associate Artistic Director Kajese-Bolden. “No show will ever be the same because every night the roles are cast by lottery. This play [feels] like a fresh start and proposes a reset while also giving us some landscape to reflect on how we got to where we are today.”
The cast members of the Alliance’s production areAndrew Benator as Death, Shakirah DeMesier as Love, Skylar Ebron as Girl/Time, Deidrie Henry as Usher/God/Understanding; and Brandon Burditt, Chris Kayser, Courtney Patterson, Bethany Anne Lind, and Joseph J. Pendergrast as the Somebodies. Production understudies include Soleia Howington, Parris Sarter, and Dellan Short.
In addition to the co-directors, the creative team includes Scenic and Costume Designer Lex Liang, Projection Designer Milton Cordero, Lighting Designer Thom Weaver, Sound Designer Melanie Chen Cole, and Fight Coach Connor Hammond; as well as Associate Set Designer Seamus Bourne and Associate Costume Designer Laury Conley.
The production support team includes Stage ManagerAnna Baranski, Assistant Stage Manager Barbara O’Haley, Assistant Stage Manager Kacie Pimentel, Stage Management Production Assistant SamanthaHoneycutt, Young Performer Supervisor Amanda Perez, Line Producer Jody Feldman, and COVID Coordinator Haylee Scott.
EVERYBODY will run on The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre, September 2 – October 2, 2022. Opening Night is Saturday, September 10. Tickets and information are available atwww.alliancetheatre.org/everybody. Ticket prices range from $25 – $78.
The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre
1280 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
The Alliance Series on The Coca-Cola Stage is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. The Alliance Theatre’s Season Opening Celebration is sponsored by Northern Trust.
CALENDAR LISTING SYNOPSIS:
September 2 – October 2, 2022
The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre
1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Co-Directed by Susan V. Booth & Tinashe Kajese-Bolden
Described as “one of this country’s most original and illuminating writers” by The New York Times, Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has created an irreverent, rollicking, uproarious ride that asks BIG questions of all who see it. In EVERYBODY, Everybody is a happy person, a free person, a person who believes nothing but the best lies ahead. Then Death comes calling, and Everybody must go on a journey to find what has had lasting significance in his lifetime. Inspired by the 15th century play Everyman, EVERYBODY explores the meaning of life and the roles we play along the way. In keeping with life’s random twists and turns, the play’s performers draw names on stage each night to determine which actor will play each character in that performance. Remixing the archetypal medieval morality play into an explosive experiment of wit and emotion, EVERYBODY is a “sunny, stunning journey from life to death” that “fills the heart in a new and unexpected way” (DC Theatre Scene & The New Yorker). For tickets and information, call 404.733.4600 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/everybody.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE THEATRE
Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre is the leading producing theater in the Southeast, reaching more than 165,000 patrons annually. Under the leadership of Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, the Alliance received the Regional Theatre Tony Award® for sustained excellence in programming, education, and community engagement. In January 2019, the Alliance opened its new, state-of-the-art performance space, The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre. Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance has premiered more than 116 productions including nine that have transferred to Broadway. The Alliance education department reaches 90,000 students annually through performances, classes, camps, and in-school initiatives designed to support teachers and enhance student learning. The Alliance Theatre values community, curiosity, collaboration, and excellence, and is dedicated to representing Atlanta’s diverse community with the stories we tell, the artists, staff, and leadership we employ, and audiences we serve. www.alliancetheatre.org
Expanding hearts and minds on stage and off.
Making Atlanta more connected, curious, and compassionate through theatre and arts education.