BOISE — Ice cream. Water fights. The color yellow. A 7-year-old boy starts a list for his mother. A list of everything that is brilliant in the world — all of the reasons to want to live.
That is the premise of “Every Brilliant Thing,” a play running at Boise Contemporary Theater March 4 through 21.
Boise Contemporary Theater is partnering with St. Luke’s Health System and its Behavioral Health team to help bring awareness of mental health issues and available resources to the community during the run of the play. Behavioral health professionals from St. Luke’s and advisory members from the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, a program of Jannus Inc., will be on hand in BCT’s lobby before and after each performance offering information, and materials on mental health issues and the help available for those struggling with depression and other related challenges.
Additionally, experts from St. Luke’s, the Idaho Army National Guard, and the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline will serve as panelists, joining the solo lead, Christian Libonati, and BCT Producing Artistic Director Benjamin Burdic during two scheduled “talk backs.” The Q & As will center on the play and the issues it raises about depression.
Told with the help of the audience, the touching one-man show was written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and is directed by Chicago-based director Julie Ritchey. A play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love, the thought-provoking play has been performed all over the world and was the subject of a recent HBO documentary.
Through equal parts humor and empathy, “Every Brilliant Thing” tells the story of a young man who has grown up in the shadow of mental illness and, through his own experiences with love, loss and depression, has learned to find meaning and hope in everyday life. This immersive storytelling experience combines comedy, improv, and audience interaction, and strikes a delicate balance between grief, loss, and laughter.