You can’t miss the SMC Theatre’s production of Jacobs-Jenkins’ show Everybody.
By: Dylan Cazin
If you’ve been missing live theatre, you’re in luck. Everybody, a play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, marks the return of live performances for the Saint Mary’s Theatre Program. A finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, Everybody is a playful riff on the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman. The Saint Mary’s production will be performed in the Redwood Grove, a magical natural setting and an iconic location for both students and alumni. Guest director Daniel Larlham explains, “Audiences who come to see Everybody should expect to be surprised; it is an unusual offering, a site-specific environmental show. As the action follows an ordinary person on the journey towards life’s greatest mystery—mortality itself—our production will be timed to map onto the setting of the sun and the coming of darkness.” This is something that has never been done before in Saint Mary’s history!
In another twist on typical theatre, the lead character, “Everybody,” is being played by three different actors: Aero England, Naomi Kalter, and Xavier Romero. Who will play “Everybody” on any given night will be determined by a lottery at the start of each performance.
For these Theatre majors, the production is especially meaningful. After the challenges posed to live theatre during the pandemic, all are eager to get back to what they love doing. Senior Naomi Kalter is enthusiastic about “rehearsing in the fresh air and being together as a cast.” “The energy at rehearsals feels different,” she says, “because everyone is so thankful to be on stage again and to have this opportunity to perform for a live audience.” The company of student actors and crew members are adapting to a new way of theatre and performance during their time rehearsing outdoors.
Third-year student Xavier Romero has called this “an adjustment,” but adds, “The actors have connected in a way that wasn’t possible on Zoom or in our virtual classrooms.”
Senior Aero England notes that Everybody is different from any show they’ve previously been part of. “I’ve never done anything this existential before,” England says. “I believe it’s going to make audience members think a lot about their own lives, as well as about death and its inevitability—themes extremely relevant given everything we’ve been through since 2020.”
Director Daniel Larlham’s recent productions (Dance Nation, Lysistrata, and Twelfth Night) were lively performances and expressive pieces of art. Larlham and his actors are finding humor and great wisdom in Jacobs-Jenkins’ script. “Audiences should expect a very vital, boisterous, and funny play,” says Larlham, “one that’s full of life and ends with a sense of poignancy and gravity that will touch their hearts.”
With in-person performances from Wednesday, Nov. 3rd through Sunday, Nov. 7th, and a pre-recorded video available on-demand on November 14th, there are six chances to see the show. “We felt that it was important to have a streaming option,” explains Theatre Program Director Deanna Zibello, “because some people may not feel comfortable yet being in a crowd.” With two ways to watch—as part of an adventurous (masked) live audience or from the comfort of your couch—you can’t miss this performance!
In-person performance dates:
Wednesday, November 3 (5 pm)
Thursday, November 4 (5 pm)
Friday, November 5 (5 pm)
Saturday, November 6 (5 pm)
Sunday, November 7 (4 pm)
Pre-recorded streaming option:
Sunday, November 14 (12:15 am to 11:45 pm)
Tickets limited – reserve early.
For tickets or more info, please visit stmarys-ca.edu/everybody or call (925) 631-4670. $8 Students; $12 SMC Faculty/Staff/Non-SMC Students; $15 General
Please dress warmly and bring blankets. Masks will be required for the audience, and Covid-19 regulations will be followed.
Madison Sciba '24,