Renowned Director and Actor Tanja Jacobs to Direct Fall 2022 Production

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Tanja JacobsThe Theatre and Performance program is excited to announce that Award-winning Canadian director and actor, Tanja Jacobs is directing the Fall Production, 

EVERYBODY by Black American playwright, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

EVERYBODY is a fourth wall defying contemporary adaptation of the 15th-century morality play, EVERYMAN. Jacobs-Jenkins’ secular take on the idea of morality and the journey to one’s demise is brilliantly written as a comedic adventure to the afterlife, where the protagonist, EVERYBODY, must answer to DEATH and bring a presentation of their life to GOD. EVERYBODY, terrified of completing this endeavour alone, seeks out the help of various figures in their life to accompany them into the unknown potential afterlife.

Tanja admires the playwright’s investigation of darkness using a very light hand,

The play explores the idea of chance and the role it takes in every aspect of our lives. On one hand, it is meant to give us hope that life is not going to be a total monotony. But on the other hand, it fills us with terror because anything could go wrong at any moment. So the play investigates the tension between randomness and inevitability.

The playwright has baked that tension into the script through the method of casting. As stated in the script,

... it is required that the actor’s roles be decided by lottery every night in an attempt to more closely thematize the randomness of death while also destabilizing preconceived notions about identity… (Jacobs-Jenkins 14)

The Theatre and Performance program is delighted to have Tanja at the helm of this project. Her recent directing credits include: Orphans for the Czar (Crow’s Theatre), Getting Married (Shaw Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in High Park/Canadian Stage), and La Bete (Soulpepper Theatre).

In 2018, Tanja won the Gina Wilkinson Prize for an Emerging Female Director, recognizing her disciplinary transition from acting to directing. As an actor, she has appeared in productions across Canada, with many new works by Canadian playwrights over the last 40 years.  During that time she has been nominated for eleven and won three Dora awards. In 2017, she completed her MFA in Stage Direction at York University in Collaboration with Canadian Stage.

Join us November 22 - 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts. Tickets go on sale October 17, 2022.