Every Brilliant Thing

by Duncan Macmillan
with Jonny Donahoe
January 23 - February 9, 2020

A One-Actor Play Featuring David Daniel

Directed by Tyler Marchant

You’re seven years old. Mum’s in 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. Water fights.
#3. Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV.

You leave it on her pillow, hoping. And you add to the list throughout your life.

An immersive storytelling experience blends comedy, improv, and audience interaction to tell the story of a boy growing up in the shadow of mental illness, and learning to grapple with his own adult experiences with love, loss and depression. Every Brilliant Thing provides a life-affirming jolt of humanism, reminding us that hope comes from the miracles of life’s minutiae.

“[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...” – The Guardian (UK)


- This play is presented in-the-round in the Playhouse at Overture Center, with all seating located on the main level. There is no balcony seating for this production.
- If you would like tickets, we highly recommend choosing the "Round Seating" option on Overture.org. This is a new seating section built specially for this production, and offers an excellent view of the play!


David Daniel


Lighting Designer: Noele Stollmack, Scenic Designer: Christopher Dunham, Costume Designer: Kristina Sneshkoff, Composer/Sound Designer: Joe Cerqua, Stage Manager: Sarah Deming-Henes, Technical Director: Kevin Zimmer, Props Master: Pamela Miles, Assistant Stage Manager: Enya Nett, Wardrobe Supervisor: Megan Dickel, Master Electrician: Brad Toberman, Scenic Charge: Pamela Miles, Sound Technician/Board Op: Benjamin Krueger, Carpenter: Jordan Rockman




David Daniel and Tyler Marchant with Artistic Director Jen Uphoff Gray

Check out a behind-the-scenes interview with actor David Daniel and Director Tyler Marchant, where they discuss the process of creating this one-of-a-kind theater experience. Recorded exclusively for our Theater Forward podcast:

You can also listen via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, OverCast, Stitcher, Google Podcasts


Check out an audio recording of the free, pre-show lecture presented before the Thursday and Sunday performances of Every Brilliant Thing.


*Samaritans Media Guidelines are referred to in Every Brilliant Thing. Here is the list, which is intended for journalists to support informed and safe coverage of suicide. You can learn more about Samaritans here.

• Don’t provide technical details.
• Never suggest that a method is quick, easy, painless, or certain to result in death.
• Avoid dramatic headlines, terms like “suicide epidemic” or “hot spot.”
• Avoid sensationalist pictures or video.
• Avoid excessive detail.
• Avoid using the word “commit.”
• Don’t describe deaths by suicide as “successful.”
• Don’t publish suicide notes.
• Don’t publish on the front page.
• Don’t ignore the complex realities of suicide and its impacts on those left behind.
• Include references to support groups, such as the Samaritans.
• Don’t speculate on the reason. That’s crucial.
• Don’t supply simplistic reasons such as “he’d lost his job” or “she’d recently become bankrupt.”


Forward Theater Company offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. Every Brilliant Thing does not include the use of any physical production elements, such as a strobe effect, an herbal cigarette, gunshots or haze effects.

We don’t offer unsolicited content advisories, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have questions or concerns about content or themes, we are happy to provide details. Please leave us a message at 608-234-5001 and we will promptly return your call, or email us at info@forwardtheater.com.

Sponsored by: National Guardian Life, Sybil & Maurice Better, CUNA Mutual, Dane Arts, Stafford Rosenbaum, Our Lives Magazine