The room goes dark, the crowd goes silent, and a spotlight appears. A sitting figure wearing black and white is shaking, leaving the audience wondering what is happening. It wakes up, and exclaims, “This is God!”
A comedy about death. A comedy about death? Believe it or not, the Wilson Players pulled it off. Directed by Jill Roos, a talented group of students managed to intrigue and leave us astounded. You would not think this performance was produced in just one month.
What was most surprising and impressive about this show was that for every performance the actors changed roles. They did not even know which character they would play until minutes before the start. It was unexpectedly hard to find any mistakes, with just one month to learn multiple roles for a 90-minute show. It was a little hard to comprehend everything going on without being given background knowledge or an explanation. This is hardly a flaw, just a byproduct of the complexity. In the show, there were no characters that were people, but instead emotions, and representations of bigger things. This was an interesting way to express ideas and social norms, but it was a little confusing. Characters like Love and Friendship were introduced throughout the story, which helps the audience think about the bigger picture being portrayed in the story.
The show opens with God telling Death that Everybody, an actual character, is going to die. Death informs Everybody of the news, and Everybody asks if they can take something with them for comfort. Death allows this, and so the journey begins. The rest of the play follows Everybody as they seek to find something to bring with them. They meet Friendship, Kinship, Belongings, Love, Strength, The Five Senses, Beauty, and Blank. They all reject Everybody’s offer because they don’t want to die, except Love, who cares about Everybody, and decides to go with them. The story explores race, acceptance, loneliness, and selfishness, digging deeper into how these problems shape society.
A lot of little details made the show more interesting and exciting to watch. For example, the use of recordings of monologues as well as how gender did not play any part in the show. These aspects kept us attentive, waiting to see what would happen next. After every scene, I was eager to see who would have the next interaction with Everybody. The interactions were funny, exciting, and powerful as we could see the value each of these ideas have on us as humans, like how we take our friends and family for granted, or we act like we own things we don’t, all of these things were represented really well in “Everybody.”
Additionally, the acting was very impressive. There were parts that I could not tell were acting, literally. At the beginning of the show, Death is talking to people in the audience who would later turn out to be actors. When this was going on, the actors seemed so unaware of the situation, as if they were just a part of the audience. I was actually wondering if they were or not.
“Everybody” was very well produced and performed. Overall it was a very good way to see the world through a different perspective while undergoing a journey of self identity.