Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins‘ script for Everybody was inspired by the 15th-century morality play Everyman, one of the first recorded plays in the English language. The provocative play is about the path one takes toward death and the meaning of life.
The play features the unique casting quirk of using a lottery system to define which characters an actor will play in each performance of the play. Each actor must memorize the entire script and be prepared to play any role. Jacobs-Jensen uses this technique to symbolize the randomness of death.
The story is mainly kept the same as Everyman, with a few exceptions. Fellowship, Kindred, Goods, Discretion, Five Wits, and Knowledge are renamed Friendship, Kinship, Stuff, Mind, Five Senses, and Understanding.
Additionally the scene where Everyman must whip himself for Confession is changed to a scene where they are instructed by the drill seargant-esque Love to strip naked and shout about existential dread.
Everybody asks each of us “What will accompany you on the last steps of your life’s journey?”
Everybody, at the Theatre Factory in Trafford, now through March 4th. For tickets, visit: https://www.onthestage.tickets/show/the-theatre-factory1/62cccb0161bc950e1e27b056/tickets
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