A different kind of show

Playbill art for

Playbill art for “Everybody” Photo credit: broadwayworld.com

Hillcrest High School’s theatre department never shies away from challenges, but their new show “Everybody” may just take it to a whole new level.

Auditions for the theatre department’s November show “Everybody” by Branden Jacob-Jenkins were held during the first week of October. With a very special structure, the show called for a small cast size.

Alden Parks, a senior in the show, shares that “‘Everybody’ is different because we don’t know who is going to play what role each night. We each have to memorize multiple roles because we need to be prepared to play any role.”

The crazy thing about “Everybody” is that everyone technically plays every part in the show. Parks shares how he has to prepare to play multiple roles, as he won’t know who he is playing. It changes for every performance as it is basically “a random lottery” and everyone “will get randomly assigned a role right in front of the audience.” The audience will find out the cast for that night at the same time the actors do.

Clara Williams is also a senior cast in “Everybody” with no single specified role. She shares how the cast has had a unique experience preparing for this show.

“The preparation has been different because we have teams of students doing many different jobs that would usually not be involved.” 

With a small cast size not a lot of people were given the opportunity to be cast in the show, but students have shown their passion and care for the show by being involved in other ways.

“We have a dramaturgy team, costuming team, memorization team, student directing team, stage crews,” Williams shares.

Williams is also excited to see how the audience reacts to the show.

“Hopefully the audience will leave the show full of questions about their own life paths and how the decisions they make in their day to day life impact their life as a whole. Hopefully, people leave wanting to be more insightful with what really matters to them, wanting to be kind to others.”

The cast of “Everybody” has been working hard to utilize the teachings of Sanford Meisner.

“Meisner is like being incredibly reactive and playing off other people so I think the show is going to read very funny and connected.” shares Jacob Winegar, another cast member.

Winegar is also excited to see how the audience reacts to the show. 

“It has a ton of messages packed in a really short run time, and none of them are very explicit in the dialogue, so it’s going to be one that leaves people thinking for sure.”

“Everybody” is a show defined by its creative style. The fact that the audience will discover who is playing what role that night is crazy, and it’ll be an interesting experience for any audience member. A lot of students from a lot of backgrounds have been working hard to put work into the show, and it should yield great results.

Hillcrest Theatre’s “Everybody” will have performance dates TBD, altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Limited tickets in the auditorium will be sold on hillcresttheatre.com along with live-stream tickets. Tickets will be put on sale soon.