A one-man play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love. You’re six years old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own.
Every Brilliant Thing was a collaboration between playwright Duncan Macmillan (Lungs, and People, Places, and Things) and Jonny Donahoe, drawing on his experience as a stand-up comedian. Macmillan gushes, “Jonny found ways to tell the story and use the audience that I couldn’t have conceived of. By its nature, the play is different every night and thus new and exciting for the audience and the performer”. This text was published after two years of devising, several trial performances around the UK, runs in Edinburgh and London, and a four-month run at the Barrow Street Theatre in NYC, and was recently the subject of an HBO documentary. It has been filtered through Donahoe’s interactions with hundreds of audiences.
British newspaper The Guardian hailed the show “[A] heart-wrenching, hilarious play…One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop”! Peppermint Creek Artistic Director, and director of this production, Chad Swan-Badgero, reflects on how the play seemed to be waiting to come to PCTC at JUST this moment, “The way this script invites the audience in to the story is both organic and truly moving. It’s hard to believe that one play can pack so many lessons and questions about life in a fast-paced 90 minutes! And with its focus on depression and the anxiety that many Americans are feeling today, it seems as though this play was written specifically for OUR theatre and OUR mission statement to address current issues.”
Swan-Badgero is also thrilled to be welcoming Los Angeles based actor, and Okemos native, Spencer Smith to the PCTC stage. “One-person productions are both a luxury and tenuous experience as a director. You’re working really closely, and in a very deep, personal way with this person, not to mention the entire production rests on their shoulders. So you’ve really got to have a trust and belief in that person. Spencer and I have a long history both as friends and in the theatre, and I consider him one of the very best performers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I sent him the script almost on a whim because he now lives and works in LA. So you can imagine my joy when he agreed to come back to Michigan and PCTC to work on this show! I am certain audiences will instantly connect and believe him on stage, and find themselves better for their time in the theatre with this story”.
The production will take place at Peppermint Creek’s performance venue, the Miller Performing Arts Center, 6025 Curry Lane, Lansing MI 48911. The show will run Thursday, January 31 – Sunday, February 3, and Thursday, February 7 – Sunday, February 10, 2019. Show times are Thursday – Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets can be ordered online at www.peppermintcreek.org, and are $15 general admission, and $10 for students/seniors 65+.
This production of Every Brilliant Thing is directed by PCTC’s Artistic Director, Chad Swan-Badgero, and stars Los Angeles based artist, and Okemos native, Spencer Smith. This production is generously underwritten by Foster Swift Collins and Smith Law Firm, Sam & Mary Austin, and Frank & Katharine Dennis.
To purchase tickets, visit www.peppermintcreek.org. Follow “PCTC” on Facebook. Press photos are available on request.
Every Brilliant Thing Peppermint Creek Theatre Company CAST LIST
Narrator – Spencer Smith
Chad Swan-Badgero, Artistic Director, 517-927-3016; firstname.lastname@example.org