Every Brilliant Thing

Could you name a hundred things that make life wonderful? A thousand? How about a million? When he was 7, a boy’s mother attempted suicide. In response, he started a list of things to live for. As he grows up, the list takes on a life of its own. From “Ice Cream” (#1 on the list) to “the Alphabet” (#999,997), Every Brilliant Thing shines a hilarious and compassionate light on dark corners of the human condition. Written by Studio Cabinet member Duncan MacMillan (1984, Lungs), and coming from a sold-out run last year, Studio brings Olney Theatre Center’s production to DC for SHOWROOM. A play about depression, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for those we love—told in collaboration with the audience.

“Turning Depression into Comedy: Would I be interested in making a very funny show about suicidal depression? And I said, yes. Absolutely.” Hear Jonny Donahoe, who originated the role, talk about turning depression into comedy with Every Brilliant Thing. Watch video

“I began writing on the inside of cereal boxes and shoes, carving words into fruit, rearranging refrigerator magnets” The Trailer for Olney Theatre Company’s production of Every Brilliant Thing, coming to Studio’s SHOWROOM series.

“Suicidal depression is something that touches everybody, and it seems to either be ignored or fetishized. And the reality of it is so much more ordinary. So the gesture became to use stand-up comedy.” Duncan Macmillan reflects on the reasons he wrote Every Brilliant Thing.