The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian


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‘Everybody’ is ready for winter play

ETHS’ winter play, “Everybody”, will be an immersive and interesting experience for audience, cast and crew
Kupu Sumi

As leaves begin to change colors, anticipation for the ETHS fall play, “Everybody,” is high.

One reason for this excitement is the unique plot which follows God’s concern for humanity, in which God sends Death to find Everybody, who has, of course, died, and is presented with the question regarding the meaning of life. Everybody is expected to give a presentation on their lives and why they want to keep the world as it is and attempt to recruit the essence of Kinship, Cousin, Friendship and Stuff known as the other Somebody’s in the play. The journey embarked on is one to remember, as the main message impresses upon the audience a meaning of life and death.

Not only is the plot unique, so is the casting, as the actors playing Somebodies as well as the group playing Usher, God and Understanding will have to memorize the lines of all their parts, because they then go on to pick the character that they will play from a hat on stage at the beginning of each performance. This is meant to symbolize the randomness of death.

“The people who are playing the Somebody’s aren’t going to play the same role every night. The Somebody’s will play either Everybody, or one of the essences,” describes junior Zach Cutter.

The director of this play is Mr. Tim Rhoze, who has also directed plays at ETHS such as “Blood at the Root” and “Chicken and Biscuits.” Rhoze explains the  meaning of “Everybody” in a unique way.

“If we were to be held accountable for our lives and have to answer to a higher power at the ‘End’, how should we respond?” Rhoze explains.

It’s also clear that “Everybody” falls into the category of absurdism.

“My view of absurdist plays is that they allow for the ultimate suspension of disbelief and theatrical ambition,” Rhoze says. “Diving into the absurd makes for a very interesting experience as a director, performer, designer and as an audience member.”

With theatrical productions, there are usually struggles and highlights, especially in the director’s spot. However, Rhoze explains that most aspects of directing “Everybody” are fun for him, especially working with students.

“They are always very eager to jump in and become fearless performing artists,” Rhoze remarks.

Despite the enjoyment that comes from being a director, he knows that there will be difficulties as well.

“Every production has its challenges. This play will challenge all of us in many different ways, but that is the excitement of doing theater: the rush of being challenged.”

In addition to the challenge of bringing its absurd plot to life, “Everybody” also has very unique technical aspects, opening up lots of possibilities..

“‘Everybody’ being a morality play is in itself very abstract,” says technical director Mr. Danny Halminiak. “But this is a play that knows it’s a play, so you get to be a bit more unique with it. … With ‘Everybody,’ you are able to do a lot more things that might not make sense but can show a lot of emotion.”

But of course, with such a unique play like this one, there will be several struggles.

“With ‘Everybody,’ you kind of just do what you think feels good, and then you never know if it’s going to turn out how you think it’s going to be,” Halminiak notes.

Halminiak also states that challenges could be presented by such a unique set, because in the play  a location is not entirely defined, so there isn’t an idea to exactly go off of, and of course there is the aspect of  the actors not knowing who they are playing, which can also emit a struggle with the set,

“They might not hit the exact same spot they’re supposed to hit each night, so you have to be ready for those kinds of things.” Halminiak says.

“Everybody” is “quite the immersive play,” according to Halminiak, and the audience should be ready to be part of the show as much as the actors. With the location of this play not entirely defined, the technical direction aspects are going to be very interesting and fun.

Cutter, cast as a Somebody, has had to learn much of the script due to his changing roles each night, but he is looking forward to the rehearsal and performance process.

“One thing that I want to personally gain from this experience is being able to switch roles consistently, being able to play multiple roles in a certain night and being able to create distinct choices,” Cutter declares.

Making distinct choices is important when it comes to characters and casting. Junior Gracie Puricelli describes her experience with being cast as Death.

“I took a nicer approach to Death, and [Rhoze] loved it so much that he wanted me to take my octave of how I was speaking up, so I sounded even more innocent and childlike,” describes Puricelli.

Cutter and Puricelli hope for the audience to walk out with a new perspective on life and death.

“The least we can do is make sure that whatever we do on Earth is what we truly wanted to do and be known for,” states Puricelli, as she describes the message she wants the audience to take away from the play.

Each performance will be new every night, with a unique experience every time. “You don’t really know what you’re going to get each night,” says Halminiak.

ETHS has not put on a play that falls into the category of absurdism for a while, and both Rhoze and Halminak agree that audiences should come prepared for a unique and interesting few hours.

If you are looking for a play that opens your eyes to new ideas and realities and really makes you think, then “Everybody” is the play for you!

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About the Contributors
Xander Mroczek, Staff Writer
Riley Romisher, Staff Writer
Hi everyone! My name is Riley Romisher, and I am a staff writer for The Evanstonian. As a senior, and a second year member on staff, I am super excited to continue pursuing my passion for journalism and spreading my ideas and thoughts to the broader community. Outside of The Evanstonian, I am a captain of the ETHS girls swim and dive team as well as a member of the ETHS water polo team. I am also a board member for Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) and an Emerge outreach member. In my free time, I love spending time with family and friends, as well as baking any chocolate desserts! 
Kupu Sumi, Artist
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