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FSU/Asolo Conservatory Presents EVERYBODY By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

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A 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Everybody answers the questions, “What happens when we die?,” “What do we get to take with us?” and “Will we be ready when the time comes?

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training opens its 2021-2022 season with the thought-provoking play Everybody, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Directed by Conservatory Director Greg Leaming, the production marks the program's return to the Cook Theatre stage for the first time since early 2020. The show runs Nov. 3-21, with a preview on Nov. 2, and tickets are on sale now.

A 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Everybody answers the questions, "What happens when we die?," "What do we get to take with us?" and "Will we be ready when the time comes?" The cast selects their roles through a random lottery at the start of each performance, offering an exciting opportunity for different combinations of performers at each show. Both absurdly witty and intensely moving, Everybody takes audiences on a journey through the meaning of life, and most importantly, of death.

"A better play could not be found for our times," said Leaming. "The years 2020 and 2021 have been a time to face our own mortality, to examine the dividing line between life and death, and to really ask ourselves 'What is our purpose here?' ... a question that has bedeviled our species for its entire existence." While Everybody was originally published in 2018, it is based on the 14th-century morality play Everyman. The same questions we asked back then, we still ask now and Jacobs-Jenkins doesn't answer them for us.

Jacobs-Jenkins is an award-winning American playwright from Washington, DC. In 2014, he won the Obie Award for Best New American Play for two of his works, An Octoroon and Appropriate. In 2016, his play Gloria earned a spot as a Pulitzer Prize finalist, as did Everybody in 2018. Jacobs-Jenkins is currently working on writing and producing a pilot for FX based on the Octavia E. Butler novel Kindred.

Everybody celebrates a return to the Cook Theatre stage after a digital 2020-2021 season. Second-year Conservatory students take the stage as the cast, while first-year students make up the crew. The producing and creative team includes Production Manager/Technical Director Chris McVicker, Stage Manager Savannah Heslep, Sound Designer Alex Pinchin, Costume Designer Dee Sullivan, Voice & Dialect Coach Patricia Delorey and Movement Coach Eliza Ladd.

Everybody plays Nov. 2-21 in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $32 and are available online at asolorep.org/conservatory/season, by phone at 941.351.8000 or in person at the Asolo Rep Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Student prices are also available.


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