Showing posts with label Everybody. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Everybody. Show all posts

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cast Announced for Brown Paper Box Co.’s Regional Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist EVERYBODY

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Cast Announced for Brown Paper Box Co.’s 
Regional Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
 Directed by Erin Shea Brady*

July 13–August 12, 2018

The Buena at Pride Arts Center

Brown Paper Box Co.’s regional premiere of EVERYBODY has found its cast! This modern riff on the medieval morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from the cast via lottery at each performance) as they question and explore life’s most basic and universal elements of death, love, friendship, family, God. etc. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria, An Octoroon) bases EVERYBODY on the 15th century morality play that instructs sinners on how to repent and seek redemption.

"This is play written for a company of nine performers of varying generations, gender- and ethnic-identities. The exact breakdown of roles should vary from performance to performance via lottery or some other element of chance." Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, playwright

For 20 performances, the majority of the cast’s roles will be decided by lottery live on stage. As the script says, “This is done in an attempt to more closely thematize the randomness of death while also destabilizing your preconceived notions about identity, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.” At any given performance, audiences will see a version of the show that has never been performed, out of 120 possible variations.

“With EVERYBODY, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins gives us the vital opportunity to see five very different actors step into a variety of roles in each others' stories,” says director Erin Shea Brady. “The piece takes ‘different every night’ to a whole new level without resting on a gimmick. EVERYBODY explodes our preconceptions of theatricality to explore bias, conditioning, relationship, and representation — and at the core of it all, to ground us in our collective humanity.”

"Our staff got about 6 pages into reading EVERYBODY and immediately knew it was the perfect play to begin our new season,” says Artistic Director Kristi Szczepanek. “The opportunity to premiere such an exciting and timely play following its New York debut during BPBCo.’s ‘back to our roots’ season is an absolute honor.”

The cast for EVERYBODY features Kenny the Bearded, Hal Christine, Chelsea Dàvid, Alys Dickerson, Nora Fox, Alex Madda, Donovan Session, Francesca Sobrer, and Elle Walker. Hannah Green and Alexandria Moorman round out the cast as Understudies.

The staff and design team includes Erin Shea Brady* (Director), Michelle Benda (Lighting Designer), Zach Dries* (Photographer),  Sarah D. Espinoza (Sound Designer), Evan Frank (Scenic Designer), Kaitlyn Guerrieri* (Box Office Manager), Destiney Higgins (Assistant Director), Jeremy Hollis* (Production Manager), M. William Panek* (Casting Associate), Deanna Satin (Stage Manager), Charlie Sheets* (Graphic Designer), Gin To* (Dramaturg).

* denotes Brown Paper Box Co. members

Previews: Friday, July 13, 2018 @ 7:30pm and Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 7:30pm
Opening Performance: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 7:30pm
Press Performance: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 7:30pm 
Regular Run: Friday, July 20–Monday, July 23, 2018
                        Friday, July  27–Sunday, July 29, 2018
                       Thursday, August 2–Sunday, August 5, 2018
                       Thursday, August 9–Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tickets: On sale soon at

For more information, performance times, and ticketing information, please visit

See EVERYBODY Again Punch Card Promotion

There are 120 possible variations to the randomness of recasting EVERYBODY by lottery night after night, so Brown Paper Box Co. is offering a See EVERYBODY Again punch card to see the show again with different performers in different roles. Nothing's guaranteed, but with 120 variations, odds are in the repeat viewer's favor!

After a first viewing, audience members can pick up a punch card that grants 50% Off a second visit and a Free Ticket for their third. Purchases must be made in-person at the Pride Art Center's Box Office the hour before the desired performance by the same attendee each visit. Seating is based on availability.

About Brown Paper Box Co.
Brown Paper Box Co. creates challenging and inspiring theatre that focuses on the text. By employing a smart, simple aesthetic in intimate spaces, we connect audiences directly to the heart of the story. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: Brown Paper Box Co.'s 2018/2019 Season Kicks Off This Weekend 5/4 & 5/518

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Brown Paper Box Co. 2018/2019 Season

Brown Paper Box Co.’s 2018/2019 season poster designs by Artistic Associate Charlie Sheets.

Following their Jeff Recommended run of They’re Playing Our Song and the Chicago Reader Recommended Speech & Debate, Brown Paper Box Co. is proud to announce its 2018/2019 season. With an exciting regional premiere fresh out of New York - cast by lottery each night live on stage, a Chicago storefront chamber musical premiere, a new cabaret at Mary’s Attic in Andersonville, and a Spring 2019 Special Event to be announced soon, BPBCo.’s upcoming season has a little bit of something for everyone & everybody.

"Our staff got about 6 pages into reading Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ EVERYBODY and immediately knew it was the perfect play for our new season,” says Artistic Director Kristi Szczepanek. “And when William & Stephanie brought us their bare-bones concept for Little Women the Musical, it seemed like a great compliment. Thematically, the shows are very different, but we hope to tie them together aesthetically, as we focus this year on our ‘theatre, plain and simple’ roots."

Additional information regarding tickets, casting, outreach, becoming a season donor, and auditions for Brown Paper Box Co.’s 2018/2019 season can be found by visiting

Brown Paper Box Co. presents An Existential Cabaret
Host: Kristi Szczepanek, Accompanist: Emilie Modaff
May 4 and 5, 2018 
Mary’s Attic above Hamburger Mary’s

Inspired by life’s great mysteries presented in our first play in our 2018/2019 season, EVERYBODY, An Existential Cabaret will be a little different from our previous cabarets! As we begin to explore life, love, and morality through Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ modern morality play, guests at Mary’s Attic can expect to hear the musical stylings of Love, Death, Stuff, Friendship, Understanding, and even God — just to name a few. Join us on May 4th and 5th at Mary’s Attic to celebrate our season with the Brown Paper Box Co. family - and a few special guests!

Regional Premiere
Playwright: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Director: Erin Shea Brady
July 13 - August 12, 2018
Pride Films & Plays’ The Buena 

This modern riff on the 15th-century morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from the cast by lottery at each performance) as they travel down a road toward life’s greatest mystery. Making its regional premiere in Chicago following its 2017 world premiere off-Broadway, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria, An Octoroon) bases his new play on a medieval morality play that instructs sinners on how to repent and seek redemption.

“EVERYBODY harnesses theatricality to drop these conversations into our laps in a way that is hopeful, engaging, and unique,” says director Erin Shea Brady. “The actors literally get to try on different roles. They literally get to step into different points of view, giving us a new opportunity to explore bias and conditioning. There will be some permutations of this piece that have never happened before, that an audience is seeing for the very first time. It’s a huge, exciting experiment and it is electric. EVERYBODY is in on the rarity, taking ‘different every night’ to a whole new level.”

Erin Shea Brady (Director) joined the BPBCo. team this year as Production Director. She is the founder of No Stakes Theater Project, an organization dedicated to supporting the creative risks of emerging artists, where she has produced several productions, staged readings, and initiatives since 2014. Directing credits include: Kander & Ebb's Cabaret, Sharr White’s Annapurna (staged reading) and Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (No Stakes Theater Project); Stands (Spartan Theater, staged reading) and Anna Schutz's Prodigy: A Modern Family Portrait (staged reading). In assistant direction and dramaturgy roles, Erin has worked on productions at the Goodman, TimeLine, A Red Orchid, Jackalope, Northlight, and Remy Bumppo. A graduate from the directing program at Columbia College Chicago, her training also includes internships at Steppenwolf (Casting Department), American Blues (Performance Intern, Waiting for Lefty), Northlight and A Red Orchid.  Erin is also a contributing critic at Newcity Stage and Perform.Ink and is hard at work on her new play, Revival.

Music: Jason Howland, Lyrics: Mindi Dickstein Book: Allan Knee
Musical Direction: T.J. Anderson
Co-Directors: M. William Panek and Stephanie Rohr
Opening January 2019

This timeless, captivating story is brought to life in this Broadway chamber musical filled with personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested. Her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

Under the co-direction of company members M. William Panek and Stephanie Rohr and musical direction of artistic associate T.J. Anderson, Brown Paper Box Co.’s production will focus on the season's mantra of "theatre, plain and simple." The "back to the basics" approach will re-orchestrate the Broadway score for single piano to transport Jo's memories and the events of the musical into her childhood attic. The bare-bones reimagining will elevate the March sisters’ relationships as important focal points rather than simple plot points. 

M. William Panek (Co-Director) is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois' Theatre Department. Most recent he collaborated with Zach Zimmerman on Luke Babylon: Christian Magician and Spell: An Interactive Solo Performance at iO Chicago, iO New York, The Duplex New York, and the Annoyance Theatre. Previously directing: Now. Here. This., [title of show] (Jeff Award Nominated), A New Brain, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Godspell, To Tree (world premiere), Reefer Madness! The Musical in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Casting Associate: EVERYBODY, The Baltimore Waltz, Julius Caesar, Spike Heels. Cabaret: "Positively Present," "Mary'z With a Z," "Proud at Mary's" at Mary's Attic, "Spring Forward Fail Back" at Uncommon Ground, and "BPB Yearbook" "Character Breakdown" at Davenport's. William served as an artistic associate with The Orchard Project in Hunter, NY, production assistant for the 24-Hour Musicals at Joe's Pub, and the business management assistant at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Stephanie Rohr (Co-Director) has worked with BPBCo. as director of Spike Heels, assistant director of A New Brain, and coordinator for Spring Forward Fail Back cabaret. She has performed with BPBCo. in Godspell, Aloha Say the Pretty Girls, and [title of show]. Stephanie holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Drake University and an MA in Classical Acting from Drama Centre London. She made her West End debut in Opera Up Close's Olivier Award winning production of La Boheme, and also performed at the Roundhouse Theatre and the Barbican Centre in London. Chicago credits include: High Fidelity (Refuge Theatre), Macbeth, Reservoir Dogs, and Predator: The Musical (Roundhouse Productions), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Spectralia Theatre), Jesus Camp (Cornservatory), Perfect Wedding and Secrets of a Soccer Mom (Towle Theater), and No Sex Please, We're British (JPAC). Stephanie also works as a private vocal coach, sings with The Moxie Sisters and The Bangers, and is a fiber artist and cross-stitch designer. (

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