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Every Brilliant Thing

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.


This solo show that is performed in the round had its debut in London and then travelled to Off-Broadway in 2016. In it, the protagonist engages the audience by asking them to read items from the list and, occasionally, to help him tell his story. Sincere but not sentimental, Every Brilliant Thing deals with mental illness and its impact on a family. It employs humor and theatricality to reveal the way tragedy can yield both sweetness and sorrow

Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe
by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe
New Jersey Premiere



Thursday, September 21: 8pm

Friday, September 22: 8pm

Saturday, September 23: 8pm

Sunday, September 24: 2pm


Friday, September 29: 8pm

Saturday, September 30: 8pm

Sunday, October 1: 2pm SOLD OUT!


Friday, October 6: 8pm

Saturday, October 7: 8pm

Sunday, October 8: 2pm

September 21 – October 8, 2017
Due to the intimate and interactive nature of the show, only 50 seats will be sold for each performance.



September 21

Preview performance, all seats $20

September 22

Opening night, post-show reception

September 24

Senior Sunday, all senior tickets $20

Free post-show talkback


October 1 SOLD OUT!

Free post-show talkback

Cast of The Electric Baby



DRT patrons can show a receipt from Every Brilliant Thing to receive 10% on a meal. Receipt must be presented at beginning of meal. 10% off the bearer's food and beverage check, one 10% off coupon per table.   


Hat Tavern is located at 570 Springfield Avenue Summit, NJ 07901 908.273.7656 

Westfield Leader
Cast & Creative Team


Clark Scott Carmichael*†


Director: Laura Ekstrand

Stage manager: Scott McGowan*†

Assistant Stage Manager: Katie Agnello

Lighting designer: Zach Pizza

Sound designer: Jeff Knapp

Playwright:  Duncan Macmillan , with Jonny Donahoe

* member of the Dreamcatcher ensemble

member of the Actors' Equity

“[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…There is something tough being confronted here—the guilt of not being able to make those we love happy—and it is explored with unflinching honesty.”

—The Guardian (UK).


“EVERY BRILLIANT THING finds a perfect balance between conveying the struggles of life, and celebrating all that is sweet in it.”

—The Independent (London).


“What Macmillan offers, with great sensitivity behind the abundant laughs, is a child’s fierce, flawed attempt to make sense of adult unhappiness and a meditation on the shadow that a loved one’s depression casts over the lives of a family.”

—Evening Standard (London).


“…very charming…offers sentimentality without shame…guaranteed to keep your eyes brimming…[The script] balance[s] acuity and affability…with unobtrusive artistry…captivating…”

—NY Times.


“[EVERY BRILLIANT THING] is sad, but it is also gloriously funny and exceptionally warm. It’s a show that spells out a little of what depression can do to people, but it also highlights the irrepressible resilience of the human spirit and the capacity to find delight in the everyday.”

—Time Out (London).

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