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October 12 - 22, 2022 , The Helen

CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program

Everybody

written by BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS
directed by TONY F. SIAS

Run time: Approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes, no intermission

YOLO! You Only Live Once. And everybody has to die. But what really happens when we pass on? And how do we prepare? Riffing off the 15th century morality play Everyman, Obie Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins shares a dark comedic look at the inevitability of death and the meaning of life in his acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize finalist, Everybody. When the character Everybody is told that their time is up, they attempt to bargain with Death on what or who they might bring on their final journey. Featuring the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program Class of 2024, Everybody is a wildly funny and heartfelt ride through our humanity.

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Artists

Josh Bates

Josh Bates

(Everybody, 4th Somebody) originally hails from the sunny shores of Southern California. He has spent the last four years attaining his BFA in theatre performance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His most recent educational credits include Urinetown, Ordinary Days, and Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros . His professional credits include more(Everybody, 4th Somebody) originally hails from the sunny shores of Southern California. He has spent the last four years attaining his BFA in theatre performance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His most recent educational credits include Urinetown, Ordinary Days, and Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros . His professional credits include The Little Mermaid at Zilker Hillside Theatre and Legally Blonde at the Granbury Theatre Company. In his free time, Josh enjoys sports, writing/playing music, and being outdoors.

Madeline Calais

Madeline Calais

(Kinship, 5th Somebody, Mind, A) was born and raised in the smoggy yet mighty metropolis of Houston, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in acting from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance. Following undergrad, Madeline spent two years performing in theatres more(Kinship, 5th Somebody, Mind, A) was born and raised in the smoggy yet mighty metropolis of Houston, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in acting from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance. Following undergrad, Madeline spent two years performing in theatres across the country with the American Shakespeare Center’s national touring troupe based out of Staunton, Virginia. Madeline is thrilled to join Case Western Reserve University’s class of 2024 graduate acting cohort in Cleveland. Other notable companies Madeline has worked with include Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Red Bull Theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella, and The Classical Theatre Company.

Ellen Grace Diehl

Ellen Grace Diehl

(Love) is grateful to be making her CPH debut, and is honored to be a part of the class of 2024. Credits include Louise (Gypsy), Sibella (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Sophie (Mamma Mia!), and Sandy (Grease) at Allenberry Playhouse; Gigi (Gigi) more(Love) is grateful to be making her CPH debut, and is honored to be a part of the class of 2024. Credits include Louise (Gypsy), Sibella (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Sophie (Mamma Mia!), and Sandy (Grease) at Allenberry Playhouse; Gigi (Gigi) and “Everyone Else” in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (two-actor version) at Washington County Playhouse; and Ariel (The Tempest) and April (Company) at Messiah University. Ellen studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, received her BA in theatre from Messiah University, and trained in classical ballet for over 14 years with Chambersburg Ballet Theatre. Ellen is also a dance teacher and choreographer. www.ellen - gracediehl.com IG: @ellengracediehl

Victoria Alev Duffy

Victoria Alev Duffy

(Friendship, 1st Somebody, Senses, B) (she/her) is a proud New Jersey native. She spent all her childhood summers studying theatre (because it was "cheaper than soccer camp") at the Paper Mill Playhouse and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Those summers spent performing informed her decision to pursue a career more(Friendship, 1st Somebody, Senses, B) (she/her) is a proud New Jersey native. She spent all her childhood summers studying theatre (because it was "cheaper than soccer camp") at the Paper Mill Playhouse and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Those summers spent performing informed her decision to pursue a career in the arts. Prior to attending Case, Victoria received her BA in theatre performance from Fordham University in New York. Victoria has a passion for exploring theatre through a non-American lens, and has spent her summers intensively studying devising techniques and experimental theatre at Bard College in Berlin and Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts in London. She is excited to continue her graduate school journey! Instagram: @vickduf

Olivia Hovis

Olivia Hovis

(Girl, Time) is excited to join Everybody for her first time performing in Cleveland. A few of her favorite past roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Angela in The Fun Story. Olivia completed her undergraduate training in theatre performance at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy more(Girl, Time) is excited to join Everybody for her first time performing in Cleveland. A few of her favorite past roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Angela in The Fun Story. Olivia completed her undergraduate training in theatre performance at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and The New School. She is currently pursuing her master’s in dramatic writing at Case Western Reserve University.

Girard Ireland

Girard Ireland

(2nd Somebody, Cousin, Strength, D) is a 23 year old from High Point, North Carolina. Ireland is excited to dive into his second year of graduate school headfirst to continue honing his craft. Ireland has a plethora of experience from a melting pot of different acting disciplines. Shakespeare, Commedia more(2nd Somebody, Cousin, Strength, D) is a 23 year old from High Point, North Carolina. Ireland is excited to dive into his second year of graduate school headfirst to continue honing his craft. Ireland has a plethora of experience from a melting pot of different acting disciplines. Shakespeare, Commedia dell’arte, contemporary drama, and Laban are just a few styles Ireland has had practice with. Before acting, Ireland was a musician and athlete. These communities instilled foundational qualities of self improvement and discipline that blend seamlessly with his new journey as an actor. A space where he can be himself, where he can express, where he can just be. Ireland has plans to continue his acting career in the hopes of becoming the best he can be, to show the world who he is, and the stories that he wants to tell. In his spare time, Ireland is a proficient saxophonist and avid comic reader. He dabbles in other artistic endeavors such as drawing and is currently self teaching the piano. “This journey is a marathon. Not a sprint.” Instagram: @irelanddylan__

Shunté Lofton

Shunté Lofton

(Death) is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey! She’s had the privilege of growing up all over the world and comes to Cleveland from Houston. She is thankful to God and to her family more(Death) is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey! She’s had the privilege of growing up all over the world and comes to Cleveland from Houston. She is thankful to God and to her family for their continued support. A lover of the classics, she has performed her way through half of Shakespeare’s canon. Some of her favorite credits include Ophelia (Hamlet) and Princess of France (Love’s Labour’s Lost) with the American Shakespeare Center, and Constance ( King John ) with Colorado Shakespeare Festival. In her free time, she enjoys playing the bass.

Gavin Michaels

Gavin Michaels

(3rd Somebody, Stuff, C, Beauty) is from wonderfully rainy Seattle. His stage credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet , Orlando in As You Like It (Bainbridge Performing Arts); The Prince in the musical The Light Princess (Dacha Theatre); Rolly in Mae West’s The Drag (Play Your Part Theatre); more(3rd Somebody, Stuff, C, Beauty) is from wonderfully rainy Seattle. His stage credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet , Orlando in As You Like It (Bainbridge Performing Arts); The Prince in the musical The Light Princess (Dacha Theatre); Rolly in Mae West’s The Drag (Play Your Part Theatre); Ferdinand in The Tempest and Hamlet in Hamlet (Kentwood Players). He earned his undergraduate degree in political communication and rhetoric from the University of Washington.

Alfredo Ruiz

Alfredo Ruiz

(Usher, God, Understanding) was born and raised in Miami, FL. After graduating with his BFA in Acting from Florida International University in 2018, he worked as a teaching artist while creating manic works of indie film. He spent the rest of his time acting in immersive regional theatre and more(Usher, God, Understanding) was born and raised in Miami, FL. After graduating with his BFA in Acting from Florida International University in 2018, he worked as a teaching artist while creating manic works of indie film. He spent the rest of his time acting in immersive regional theatre and releasing his own music under the moniker Adult Programming. Recent credits include: Passage (CPH/CWRU), 7 Deadly Sins (Miami New Drama/Winner of the Drama League Award), and Wynwood Stories (Juggerknot Theatre Co.) alfredojruiz.com

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

(Playwright) is based in Brooklyn. His plays include Everybody (Signature Theatre; Pulitzer Prize Finalist), War (world premiere, Yale Rep; LCT3), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre; Pulitzer Prize finalist), Appropriate (Signature Theatre; OBIE Award), An Octoroon (Soho Rep; OBIE Award), and Neighbors (The Public Theater). A Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre, more(Playwright) is based in Brooklyn. His plays include Everybody (Signature Theatre; Pulitzer Prize Finalist), War (world premiere, Yale Rep; LCT3), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre; Pulitzer Prize finalist), Appropriate (Signature Theatre; OBIE Award), An Octoroon (Soho Rep; OBIE Award), and Neighbors (The Public Theater). A Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre, his most recent honors include the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright from London’s Evening Standard, a London Critic’s Circle Award for Most Promising Playwriting, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Steinberg Playwriting Award, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. Having taught at NYU, Juilliard, and Hunter College, where he was director of the M.F.A. Playwriting program, he now serves on the faculty at Yale.

Tony F. Sias

(Director) is the President +CEO of Karamu House, Inc., America’s oldest Black producing theatre. Under Sias, since 2015 Karamu stabilized finances, raised over $10 million for restoration and increased attendance. Prior to his tenure at Karamu, Sias served in several progressive roles for the Cleveland Metropolitan School more(Director) is the President +CEO of Karamu House, Inc., America’s oldest Black producing theatre. Under Sias, since 2015 Karamu stabilized finances, raised over $10 million for restoration and increased attendance. Prior to his tenure at Karamu, Sias served in several progressive roles for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) including Director of Arts Education and Artistic Director of Cleveland School of the Arts. As a creative Sias has produced, directed and performed in over 100 productions. He most recently received critical acclaim for directing Karamu’s production of Freedom on Juneteenth, and in October 2021 Sias performed narration with The Cleveland Orchestra in Sinfonia No. 5 “Visions” by George Walker. His work has been highlighted nationally in The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show with Al Roker, and more. Sias served as a delegate from the U.S. Department of State in Istanbul, Turkey, representing the Council of International Programs in the Youth Arts for Peace Project. In 2018, he was inducted into The HistoryMakers, the largest African American oral history archive collection in the U.S. In 2019, Sias was named the Cleveland Arts Prize, Barbara S. Robinson award winner. In 2021, Sias received the Community Leader Award from Cleveland Magazine. He is a Fellow of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program through Harvard Business School. Sias serves as a National Board member for the League of Historic American Theatres. He is a Boards member of the Cleveland School of the Arts and the Assembly for the Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dramatic art from Jackson State University and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from The Ohio University.

Laura Carlson Tarantowski

(Scenic Designer) is a Cleveland-based set designer and scenic artist. Her free-lance design work has taken her to many theaters around the mid-west including: Dobama Theatre, Madison Opera, Cain Park, Berea Summer Theatre, Ohio Northern University, Cumberland County Playhouse, Viterbo University, Beck Center for the Arts and 30+ more(Scenic Designer) is a Cleveland-based set designer and scenic artist. Her free-lance design work has taken her to many theaters around the mid-west including: Dobama Theatre, Madison Opera, Cain Park, Berea Summer Theatre, Ohio Northern University, Cumberland County Playhouse, Viterbo University, Beck Center for the Arts and 30+ productions for Theatre Cedar Rapids. She is the resident set designer for Near West Theatre since 2009 and was thrilled to play a part in designing the décor, marquee and murals that decorate their brand new building in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Art District. Recent set designs include All Shook Up and La Finta Giardiniera (Baldwin Wallace University); The Investigation (Cesear’s Forum); The Call and Slowgirl (Dobama Theatre); Dogfight (Beck Center for the Arts) and Family Happiness (Oberlin College). Recent work for Near West Theatre includes Scrooge, The Snow Queen and Hair. She holds an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in Theatre from Brenau University.

Suwatana Rockland

(Costume Designer) is delighted to join Cleveland Play House for Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. She is currently the resident costume designer, professor, and costume shop supervisor at The College of Wooster. Suwatana is originally from Thailand. In addition to her full-time employment, she finds time to freelance as a more(Costume Designer) is delighted to join Cleveland Play House for Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. She is currently the resident costume designer, professor, and costume shop supervisor at The College of Wooster. Suwatana is originally from Thailand. In addition to her full-time employment, she finds time to freelance as a costume designer and guest lecturer for universities and theatres in the US and Thailand. Her credits include Emilie La Marquise Du Chatelet, (2019 costume design winner of the Regional Awards for Broadway World), All Shook Up (Kent State); The Nerd (Kent State - Stark Campus); Shrek the Musical, Sister Act, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Rock of Ages, and A Christmas Carol (The Players Guild Theatre); BKLYN the Musical (Porthouse Theatre); The Member of the Wedding and The Legend of Georgia McBride (Beck Center of The Arts); and Cinderella (The Ohio Light Opera).

Jakyung Cho Seo

(Lighting Designer) is an Associate Professor of Lighting Design and Coordinator of BFA and MFA Design, Technology and Production at Kent State University (KSU). Prior to joining the faculty at KSU she taught at University of Cincinnati and California State University at Fresno. Jakyung has worked as a more(Lighting Designer) is an Associate Professor of Lighting Design and Coordinator of BFA and MFA Design, Technology and Production at Kent State University (KSU). Prior to joining the faculty at KSU she taught at University of Cincinnati and California State University at Fresno. Jakyung has worked as a professional lighting designer and assistant lighting designer in USA regional theatres including Steppenwolf, Congo Square Theatre, Eye to Soul, CATCO, Porthouse, and Lodestone Theatre. Her international credits include: Face at Edinburgh, (UK), What We want is for Thrust Dance Company (Japan) where she was awarded the best prize at the International Dance Festival in Saitama, BINARI at Avignon Off Theatre festival and Theatre Laboratory Elizabeth Czerczuk (France), Sibiu International Theatre Festival (Romania). Internationally, she has taught lighting design workshops in Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea.

Jeff Polunas

(Sound Designer) (he/him) is thrilled to be making his Cleveland Play House design debut after growing up in Northeastern Ohio. He is the Assistant Professor of Sound and Projection Design at Kent State University. Recent credits include Million Dollar Quartet, She Loves Me, Shakespeare in Love, The more(Sound Designer) (he/him) is thrilled to be making his Cleveland Play House design debut after growing up in Northeastern Ohio. He is the Assistant Professor of Sound and Projection Design at Kent State University. Recent credits include Million Dollar Quartet, She Loves Me, Shakespeare in Love, The Sisters Rosensweig (South Coast Repertory); A Doll’s House Part 2, Silent Sky, Fences, Uncanny Valley, Abigail/1702 (International City Theatre); Cost of Living (Fountain Theatre). He is a graduate of the Claire Trevor School of Theatre with a MFA in Sound Design from the University of California-Irvine.

Kenya Woods

(Choreographer) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio with more than 30 years of experience in dance performance, choreography, teaching, and leadership. She holds a degree in Dance from Tennessee State University and is certified in Lester Horton Pedagogy, the official technique taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. more(Choreographer) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio with more than 30 years of experience in dance performance, choreography, teaching, and leadership. She holds a degree in Dance from Tennessee State University and is certified in Lester Horton Pedagogy, the official technique taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Her additional dance credits include Dance New Amsterdam and North Coast Ballet Theater. Madame Darvash, Dr. Diane McIntyre and Lynn Simonson have influenced her teaching style as well. She has worked nationally and internationally at regional dance companies, universities and school systems as an educator, performer, and choreographer. Kenya is currently a Hildegarde and Elbert Baker Visiting Scholar in the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University focusing on Jazz and Modern Dance for students in the MFA Theater Program. She continues to teach dance to students of all ages and lead programs that help cultivate technique, artistry, body awareness and empowerment and appreciation for dance.

Beth McGee

(Vocal Coach) is a co-founder of Shadow of the Run productions and the playwright of WanderLust, and DreamWalkers, Cleveland’s first fully immersive theater experience, produced in July 2019. She was the on-set dialect coach for Cinemax’s 2016 television series Quarry, directed by Greg Yaitanes. She has been the vocal more(Vocal Coach) is a co-founder of Shadow of the Run productions and the playwright of WanderLust, and DreamWalkers, Cleveland’s first fully immersive theater experience, produced in July 2019. She was the on-set dialect coach for Cinemax’s 2016 television series Quarry, directed by Greg Yaitanes. She has been the vocal coach for CWRU/ CPH MFA Acting Program productions of The Seagull, Fifth of July, Macbeth, Claybourne Park, She Stoops to Conquer, The Philadelphia Story, The Misanthrope, and An Orchard. Additional CPH main stage voice coaching credits include A Christmas Story, The Grapes of Wrath, A Kiss for Cinderella, The Imaginary Invalid, The African Company Presents Richard III, Lady from the Sea, Antigone, and Dracula. She dialect-coached the 2002 film Welcome to Collinwood directed by the Russo Brothers and starring George Clooney. She has coached and/or acted in productions at numerous Cleveland area theatres. She is a professor of voice and acting at CWRU. Devotees of folk music can find her 1980 Folkways album Love is Teasing housed in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution. McGee is an active member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Jeffrey Ullom

(Dramaturg) is an associate professor of theatre at Case Western Reserve University, where he teaches theatre history and dramaturgy. He is the author of several books and articles focusing on regional theatre, including his most recent book on Cleveland Play House, America’s First Regional Theatre. As a dramaturg, he more(Dramaturg) is an associate professor of theatre at Case Western Reserve University, where he teaches theatre history and dramaturgy. He is the author of several books and articles focusing on regional theatre, including his most recent book on Cleveland Play House, America’s First Regional Theatre. As a dramaturg, he worked with notable playwrights including Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, John Patrick Shanley, and others at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, and has served as a dramaturg for several Cleveland Play House productions. He is currently working on two books — a broad history of regional theatre and a murder mystery involving theatre history.

Tyree Franklin

(Stage Manager) is a graduate of Wright State University with a BFA in Stage Management. He is currently a freelance stage manager in the Cleveland area as well as a social worker. Tyree is excited to be back at Karamu alongside some amazing artists! He would like to thank more(Stage Manager) is a graduate of Wright State University with a BFA in Stage Management. He is currently a freelance stage manager in the Cleveland area as well as a social worker. Tyree is excited to be back at Karamu alongside some amazing artists! He would like to thank his family and friends for their endless support!

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