Behind Everybody, MA’s Striking Fall Play



Everybody Cast

Anaya E. '26

We’ve all seen the announcements—come see MA’s fall play, Everybody, November 2-4!! So, I decided to investigate this show, starting with rehearsal. As soon as school ended, I went straight to the theater blackbox and found a group of almost 30 chatting, social students. It started with a group meeting in which Annie Elias, the show’s director, reviewed the schedule: five and a half hours of rehearsal until nine o’clock at night (admirable commitment from the performers, might I add). The actors started in the dance studio with Randee Paufve, director of the Marin Academy Dance Company, while the band set up in the theater. In 30 minutes, I watched her successfully transform a large group of awkward teenagers into a dancing mass of skeletons. 

While they were working, I spoke to Annie about the process of organizing this production. She said that the entire process was very collaborative, including initial brainstorming: “There was one day where we had big pieces of paper where everyone wrote down words, pictures, colors, and images that came to mind after reading the play. Some actors even made a collage of what they imagined their characters to look like.” Moodboards made by Maddy M. ‘23 and Erin H. ‘25, who plays Beauty are featured below. 

Annie also said, “Much of the process has been kind of abstract… blocking the play while thinking about themes of shadows, echoes, mirrors, doubles—which is now manifested into the set. Right now, we’re exploring all the different possibilities.” The play deals with many symbolic concepts, such as identity, mortality, reflections, and more, which were thought deeply about while putting together this show. Juliet R. ‘24, who plays the titular role of Everybody, also spoke about this: “This is a very existential play with a lot of abstract ideas. Something about that is so fun and cool—to understand how people interpret life and death in different ways at different times.” Despite the challenges of putting life and death on a stage, the show was a resounding success.

The play used unorthodox methods—such as frequent 4th-wall breaks—to convey its philosophical messages and provide comic relief to dark situations. We were led into the show by Alcides A. ‘25 playing the seemingly inconspicuous Usher, who then revealed a monologue too witty and sarcastic to be improvised. Next, God emerged. Sara R. ‘25 turned the character of God from a rockstar into an emotional powerhouse in only a few lines, complete with sequined pants and masterful screams. Everybody develops from a slightly-offbeat beginning to a deep story about the human condition. Juliet R. ‘24 plays a representation of every human racing to find a companion to face Death and present their life to God with. The biggest question: who will really go to hell for you? To Everybody’s dismay, Friendship, Kinship, Cousin, and Stuff all reject their pleas. When all seems hopeless, Love steps in. In return for accompanying them to death, Fin C. ‘23’s character forces Everybody to humiliate themself by removing some of their clothes and running in circles through the audience, all while repeating variations of, “I hate my body because it changes. I surrender.” This scene is arguably the strongest in the whole play; the best adjective to describe it is harrowing. Juliet’s Everybody opened up the gut-wrenching pain of dying desperately, in sharp contrast to Fin’s sadistic Love. After this point, the plot resolves with the inevitable death of Everybody, alongside Love, Death, and Evil. Throughout the whole show, the set, costumes, music, lighting, and actors were all absolutely stunning.

Every plot point brought new surprises: from actors seated within the audience to God and Love playing in the band to man-in-the-mirror style plot breaks dealing with racism. However, much of the play was spent on three largely repetitive scenes, and I think it underutilized characters like Understanding, while overplaying Everybody’s talks to friends within the mirror. The production didn’t shy away from topics usually out of reach for school productions, including expletives and breakdowns. These raw, emotional elements were a refreshing change to the expected sanitized version commonly used by high schools. Overall, Everybody was an impactful and deeply psychological play; an amazing way to start off MA’s 2022-23 year.