Los Angeles Premiere of Modern-Day Morality Play 'Everybody' by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins Boasts San Diego-Based Creative Team.

Currently Playing at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center Until October 17

Cast of Everybody. Photo by Jenny Graham

Life’s greatest mystery: the meaning of living. 
Antaeus Theatre Company presents the Los Angeles premiere of Everybodya funny, provocative and very modern riff on a 15th-century morality play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Jennifer Chang, who received her M.F.A. at the University of California, San Diego, directs. Performances take place at Glendale’s Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center from September 16 through October 17, with low-priced previews beginning September 11.

Adapted from the medieval morality play Everyman (or The Summoning of Everyman), Jacobs-Jenkins’s Everybody is an allegorical journey through life in which the title character, “Everybody,” searches for a companion—“Somebody”—who will accompany them to their appointment with “Death.” Overseeing Everybody’s quest are “God,” “Time” and “Love.” Representing the randomness of death, the roles of Everybody and the Somebodies, who number among them “Friendship,” “Beauty” and “Stuff,” are assigned by lottery at every performance — resulting in 120 possible combinations. Each of these actors must memorize the entire script and be prepared to play any role.

Antonio Jaramillo, who grew up in San Diegoand Gerard Joseph, recipient of an M.F.A. from UCSD, are two of the five actors whose role is determined by lottery at each performance. Scenic designer Nicholas Ponting and projections designer Yi-Chien Lee each earned their M.F.A. at UCSD, while lighting designer Brian Ealey and sound designer Salvador Zamora — also a San Diego native — are both currently enrolled as M.F.A. candidates.

Also in the cast are Anne Gee Byrd (recently seen in This Random World at San Diego's North Coast Repertory); Harry Groener (an associate artist at The Old Globe); Dawn Didawick (A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Old Globe); Alberto Isaac (Dogeaters at the La Jolla Playhouse); and Lisa Sanaye DringCherish Monique Duke and Nicole Erb.

Lisa Sanaye Dring in Everybody. Photo by Jenny Graham
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s writing and his playful approach to intense topics, such as, in this case, life and death,” says Chang. “It’s an important reminder to us all to appreciate life because we don’t know how long we’ve got.”

Everybody premiered off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre in 2017 and was a 2018 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The Huffington Post calls it “theater rather unlike anything you might have seen…unusual, unconventional and eye-opening… not only provocative and involving, it is also funny. Wildly funny, in fact.”

Jennifer Chang is a multi-disciplinary artist whose recent directing credits include the opera On Gold Mountain by Nathan Wang and Lisa See with LA Opera at the Huntington and The Great Leap by Lauren Yee at Round House Theatre. Jennifer won the 2019 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for her direction of the Los Angeles premiere of Vietgone by Qui Nguyen at East West Players. She was a 2018 Drama League New York Fellow, directing the world premiere of Mara Nelson-Greenberg's The Clitorish and serving as assistant director on the Broadway world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Bernhardt/Hamlet starring Janet McTeer. She is a founding member and co-artistic director of Chalk Repertory Theatre, where her work has been honored with an Ovation, an LA Weekly Award and a Stage Scene LA “Scenie” award. Other select directing credits include Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by Jiehae Park at the Fountain Theatre in association with East West Players; Death and Cockroaches by Eric Reyes Loo for Chalk Rep; Animals Out of paper  by Rajiv Joseph at East West Players (L.A. Times “Critics Pick”); Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them for Artists at Play (GLAAD Media Award, Stage Scene LA “Scenie” award for best director, Ovation nominated); and Our American Story and Residence Elsewhere (commissioned for the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066) at the Japanese American National Museum.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who The New York Times calls “one of this country’s most original and illuminating writers,” is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose other credits include Girls (Yale Rep), War (world premiere, Yale Rep; LCT3), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre; Echo Theater Company in L.A.; Pulitzer Prize finalist), Appropriate (Signature Theatre; Mark Taper Forum; OBIE Award), An Octoroon (Soho Rep.; Fountain Theatre in L.A.; OBIE Award), and Neighbors (The Public Theater; Matrix Theatre Company in L.A.). A Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre, his most recent honors include the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright from the London Evening Standard, a London Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwriting, a MacArthur Fellowship (commonly but unofficially known as the “Genius Grant”), the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Playwriting Award, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. Jacobs-Jenkins has taught at NYU, Juilliard, Hunter College, and the University of Texas-Austin, and he recently joined the faculty at Yale University.

Antaeus is an actor-driven theater company that explores and produces timely and timeless works, grounded in its passion for the classics. The company illuminates diverse human experiences through performance, training and outreach. It believes in the transformative power of live theater.
Nicole Erb, Gerard Joseph and Harry Groener. Photo-by-Jenny-Graham

The Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center complements Glendale’s ongoing commitment to integrate vibrant arts space into the fabric of city life, ensuring the arts remain accessible to all. Located just a few blocks away from The Americana at Brand and the remodeled Glendale Central Library as well as the Alex Theatre, the center promises to build upon Glendale’s growing reputation as an arts and entertainment destination. The center includes an 80-seat theater, a reconfigurable 36-seat performance/classroom space, and a theater classics library.

Performances of Everybody begin FridaySept. 16, with performances continuing on Fridays at 8 p.m.Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.Sundays at 2 p.m.; and Mondays at 8 p.m. through October 17 (no matinee on Saturday, Sept. 17; dark Monday, Sept. 19).. There will be two additional performances on ThursdayOct. 6 and ThursdayOct. 13, each at 8 p.m. Four preview performances take place September 11 through September 15. Tickets to all performances are $40; tickets to previews are $20.

The Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center is located at 110 East BroadwayGlendaleCA 91205 (between N. Brand Blvd. and Artsakh Ave.). The first 90 minutes of parking is free, then $2 per hour, in Glendale Marketplace garage located at 120 Artsakh Ave. (between Broadway and Harvard). The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.

For reservations and information, call 818-506-1983 or go to www.antaeus.org.

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