Every Brilliant Thing

Kiersten Cussins plays the main role in the one-person dramatic comedy “Every Brilliant Thing,” which plays Friday and Saturday at Laramie Dance Center. Admission is free.

A new production from the Queen’s Players Theatre Troupe reminds audiences of the small beauties in everyday life.

“Every Brilliant Thing” is a dramatic comedy by British playwright Duncan Macmillan that follows a narrator who catalogs from her youth the brilliant things in the world: ice cream, roller coasters, chocolate and more. The catalyst for this catalog is the narrator’s mother, who struggles with depression and has attempted suicide several times.

“The character is worried, nervous and afraid the same thing will happen to her,” said Danni Horwitz, who directs the production.

“Every Brilliant Thing” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Laramie Dance Center, 107 N. Second St., Suite C. Admission is free, and the production is sponsored by the Wyoming Humanities Council.

Kiersten Cussins, a University of Wyoming theater student, plays the role of the narrator in the one-person show.

Horwitz said the play combines comedy and tragedy as the narrator reflects on heartwarming moments while also taking a sobering look at mental illness and suicide. As the play progresses, the narrator draws on the list of brilliant things while reflecting on her own life.

“She started making this list for her mom so that her mom would stick around, and the list ended up giving her a reason to stick around,” Horwitz said.

When the narrator faces her own low point, she decides to trust that things will get better.

“There are some sweet moments when the character is reflecting on this,” she said.

Horwitz said she’s excited about opportunities in the production for audience participation, which offer potential for spontaneity.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen the night of the show,” she said.

A talkback with the audience is set to follow each show, during which audience members can ask questions and discuss ideas in the play. Horwitz said one role of theater is to prompt reflection and awareness of difficult topics.

“We’re not afraid to pick stories that are a little bit uncomfortable to help facilitate conversation,” she said.

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