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March, 2024

Venue: Allen Theatre, 5C Performing Arts

Branden Jacob-Jenkins morality play is a dark comedy about what it means to live, what it means to die, and the journey in between. Five of the main actors have learned the whole script and each evening, in front of a live audience, only then do they know what they will be playing. For this production, a baby buggy would be wheeled in, and each actor would dig into a basket to pull out a colored egg. A chart is presented, and the color would signify which roles they would be playing that night.

Director's Note:

In my research prep for EVERYBODY, I stumbled upon a very small study conducted by F. Perry Wilson, MD in which he measured the electrochemistry of comatose patients in their last moments of life. While these patients had very low frequencies of consciousness, half of them showed an intense power surge at the highest gamma frequency just 300 seconds before death. Surprising to say the least. The spike occurred in the areas of the brain associated with consciousness. While we will never know what was happening, what memories were triggered, what new thoughts were formed, I approached the text, and all that the character Everybody experiences, to live in those 300 seconds.

The magic of the text is that in each scene, Branden Jacob-Jenkins is able to playfully imagine for us some of the major influences of our lives. He draws in such broad strokes which manage to ring true for each of us, furthering the universality of our human experience. And while we as individuals experience incredibly unique lives, death is the one thing that will be a part of our existences.

I cannot speak enough of how brave the student cast in this 5C Performing Arts production has been throughout the process. They have been willing to explore the darkness of death, the absurdity of life, while facing naked vulnerabilities, and literally jumping in feet first into the artistic journey. Supported by an incredibly hard working and dedicated student crew, campus staff and faculty, and designers plucked from L.A.’s industry professionals, we invite you to share with us in the exploration of a life in death.

EVERYBODY by Branden Jacob-Jenkins

Director Fran de Leon

Scenic Design Stephanie Kerley Schwartz

Costume Design Angela Balogh Calin

Sound Design M. Glenn Schuster

Lighting Design Nita Mendoza

Fight Choreography Richard Soto

Dance Choreography Teirney O'Keefe

Intimacy Direction Chels Morgan, CSE

Stage Manager Arden DeForest

Production Manager Adrienne Johnson-Lister

Technical Director Bobby Guitierrez

Photo Credit: Sarah Ziff Pictured L-R

Slide 1: Zalia Maya, Matilda Kirk, Jeffrey Pendo

Slide 2: Zalia Maya

Slide 3: Matilda Kirk, Fei Tangkaravakoon

Slide 4: Zalia Maya

Slide 5: Zalia Maya, Jeffrey Pendo


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