Jakobi directing “The Realistic Joneses”

By: Sophie Pierce

This winter’s Little Theater production is brought to the student body by Jakobi Luke, a
senior at South Eugene High School. The upcoming dark comedy is entitled “The Realistic
Joneses,” written by Will Eno, and the play comments on the struggle of coming to terms with
death by using two elderly suburban couples as an example.
“Both husbands [of the couples] have serious illnesses that could result in death, so the
show is about how human beings deal with loss told from everyday people’s perspective,” Luke
said. “I love the way Will Eno gives a voice to humanity in his work.”
Luke appreciated the open and honest side of the play when it came to dealing with
sensitive topics like death.
“I had never read a show that was as honest and funny,” he said. “It wasn’t afraid to be
both sad and heartbreaking, but laugh-outloud funny at the same time.”
As with every play, “The Realistic Joneses” is complex and has many themes that are
relatable to high school students especially when it comes to asking big questions about what
comes next and how to cope with the inevitability of an end.
“High schoolers can relate and it’s bigger than death and it’s about relationships and how
distancing can happen,” Luke said. “It’s a show about how people show emotions to people that
they love.”

Every senior in South’s theater program gets the chance to direct at least one play, and
“The Realistic Joneses” is Luke’s first. He conducted the auditions after choosing his play.
“I was actually really surprised during auditions because a lot of people in the department
gave very honest auditions, and I wasn’t expecting that because there were a lot of freshmen and
sophomores who were really good,” Luke said. “I ultimately chose the actors who really
embodied the characters and understood the roles they were portraying.”
Opening Jan. 24, “The Realistic Joneses” will be an insightful and hilarious play for all
who attend.

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