Everett Kagan’s backstage experience

Jude Herwitz, Staff Writer

Everett Kagan (12) grew up in a family involved with theater; both his parents work as producers for plays and musicals, and his brother acted in high school. While he initially acted because it was what was expected of him, he said, he has now found his own motivation and passion for the theatrical arts.

“When I was in lower school and middle school … I was [acting] because everyone else in my family did it, but I wouldn’t still do it if it were just for them,” Everett said.

His mother, Janet Kagan P’19, agrees. “If he doesn’t like something, he won’t do it, no matter how much I try to entice or convince him,” she said.

Part of what Everett enjoys about acting is the sense of teamwork that the activity provides; he enjoys working as part of something bigger, he said. He also finds it fun to try and study, and then become, another person.

“I think it’s a fun imagination exercise to inhabit another person and try to see the world from their perspective, and I think that it’s also a valuable skill to have,” he said.

It has proved helpful for Everett in his academic life as well. Particularly in English classes, when trying to analyze a certain character, his acting skills are invaluable.

“A very helpful thing is to think about your character’s motivation, and that’s basically all that acting is,” he said. “’What does my character want in this scene, do they get it do they not.’”

Janet Kagan lead produces shows, which means she raises capital for them and brings good ideas to fruition, she said. While in the past she has worked exclusively with her husband, she recently started her own production company which focuses on giving women opportunities both in the content of the shows, and the staff who puts on the show, meaning the choreographer, the director, and the set designer, for example.

Everett Kagan and Janet Kagan attend productions both on and off Broadway, and have done so since Everett was young, for which he is thankful.

“We would always go and see shows and talk about shows so acting was something that I got into really early,” he said. “I know a lot of families find that art is a waste of time, and I’m really happy my family doesn’t.”