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Cleveland Play House Presents EVERY BRILLIANT THING

Cleveland Play House Presents EVERY BRILLIANT THING

Cleveland Play House (CPH), takes audiences on a journey through grief, healing, falling in love, and (re)discovering all that life has to offer in Every Brilliant Thing, written by Duncan MacMillan with Jonny Donahoe. Performances run from November 23rd - December 22nd in the Helen Theatre at Playhouse Square. Directed by CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley, he cast includes Tarah Flanagan and Alex Brightwell in alternating performances. Tickets range from $25-$97 and can be purchased by phone at 216.241.6000 or online at Cleveland Play House is proud to recognize sponsors Anne Marie and Bill Warren, and Nancy Hancock Griffith.

Every Brilliant Thing is an adaptation of Duncan MacMillan's short story "Sleeve Notes." The original production was first performed by British stand-up comedian Jonny Donahoe in London, Edinburgh and NYC (Barrow St. Theatre). A filmed version of the live show premiered as an HBO documentary in 2016. Every Brilliant Thing offers an uplifting and eye-opening look at mental illness, depression and suicide through this surprising and immersive theatrical experience. This story reminds us of all the wonderful things that make life worth living.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley states, "You know, we thought, 'Can there really be a funny and uplifting show about the struggle against suicidal thoughts?' and we found the answer was a resounding 'Yes!' Every Brilliant Thing is that intimate and interactive play full of wit and humor. If you magnify how your favorite thing makes you feel, multiply it by 100 and that's how you will feel after seeing Every Brilliant Thing. This is a play that reminds us that we are not alone. It doesn't sugar coat hard truths but it offers hope."


"Every Brilliant Thing may be the funniest show about depression you've ever seen." - The New York Post

"Heart-wrenching, hilarious...possibly one of the funniest plays you'll ever see, full stop." - The Guardian

"Filled to the brim with joy!" - Time Out London

"...the show is full of humor, not to mention delightful audience participation." - New York times

Duncan MacMillan (Playwright) Plays include: People, Places and Things (2015-2017, National Theatre/Wyndham's Theatre, West End); 1984, adapted from George Orwell (2013-2017, Headlong/Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, West End, Broadway, international tours, co-adapted/co-directed with Rob Icke); Every Brilliant Thing (2013-2017, Paines Plough/Pentabus Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, UK and international tours, HBO); City of Glass, adapted from Paul Auster (2017, 59 Productions, HOME, and Lyric Hammersmith); 2071, co-written with Chris Rapley (2014-2015, The Royal Court/Hamburg Schauspielhaus); The Forbidden Zone (2014-2016, Salzburg Festival and Schaubühne Berlin); Wunshloes Unglück, adapted from Peter Handke (2014, Burgtheater Vienna); Reise Durch Die Nacht, adapted from Friederike Mayröcker (2012-2014, Schauspiel Köln, Festival d'Avignon, Theatertreffen); Lungs (2011-2016, Paines Plough and Sheffield Theatres/Studio Theatre, Washington, DC); and Monster (2006, Royal Exchange Theatre).

LAURA KEPLEY (Director) became Artistic Director of Cleveland Play House in 2013 and has directed numerous CPH mainstage productions including Into the Breeches!; Tiny Houses (world premiere, also at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Sweat; The Diary of Anne Frank; Shakespeare in Love; The Crucible; Steel Magnolias; The Good Peaches (world premiere); Fairfield (world premiere); How I Learned to Drive (also at Syracuse Stage); The Little Foxes; Venus in Fur; Good People (also at Syracuse Stage); A Carol for Cleveland (world premiere); In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; My Name is Asher Lev and CPH readings of Roe Green Award-winning plays Tiny Houses; The Chinese Lady; Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976; Marjorie Prime and Daphne's Dive. She joined CPH in 2010, having arrived from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island where she was Resident Director and Artistic Associate for four seasons and Interim Director of the Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. in Directing Program for one. She has also directed for The Alliance Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among others. A native Ohioan, Laura received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and her Master of Fine Arts from Brown University/Trinity Rep. She is a Drama League Fellow and a recipient of the 2009-2011 National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors.

The Design Team for Pipeline includes: scenic design by JILL DAVIS (The Seagull, Clyborne Park, Too True to be Good), costume design by CAROLYN DICKEY, lighting design by Benjamin Gantose (Egress, Merchant of Venice), sound design by NICK DRASHNER (Egress, Macbeth, The Seagull). Additional creative team members include: MARYANN MORRIS (Production Stage Manager).


TARAH FLANAGAN is delighted to return to CPH where she appeared last season in An Iliad. Recent credits include the world premiere of Buzz at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, directed by Carrie Preston. Theatre: The Mint, Looking Glass, Hang a Tale prod. at the Pearl Theatre (The Little Prince), and the Sheen Center (An Iliad), Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Arkansas Rep, Clarence Brown Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, Eugene O'Neil Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, Public Theatre of Maine, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Studio Arena Theatre, and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Saint Joan). She has been a proud company member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival since 2007 where she serves as Associate Artistic Director. Film/TV: Mother's Book, by Keith Joseph Atkins, Futurestates PBS, As the World Turns, and Darwin: the Series, directed by Carrie Preston. Training: PCPA Theaterfest, Conservatory at Webster University (BFA), Alabama Shakespeare Festival (MFA). Tarah is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association.

ALEX BRIGHTWELL is incredibly grateful to be working on this brilliant play. He was born in West Virginia and raised in North Carolina. He earned his BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program. He was a Conservatory member for the 2018 and 2019 seasons at the Chautauqua Theater Company, where he played Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Alfie in One Man, Two Guvnors; Silvius in As You Like It; and Br'er Rabbit/Ratts in An Octoroon. Cleveland credits include the New Ground Theater Festival reading of Tiny Houses and the CWRU/CPH MFA productions of The Merchant of Venice, Hay Fever, The Seagull, and Fifth of July. He has also been seen at Yellow Tree Theater, Minnesota Jewish Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Public Theater of Minnesota, and the Guthrie Theater.

Tickets range from $25-$97, with $15 rush tickets for currently enrolled students (valid student ID required). Young Professional discounts are available with our YP-CPH Membership. Ohio Direction/EBT cardholders receive $5 admission to any performance for up to 8 tickets. CPH is a proud Blue Star Theatre and offers military members a 50% discount on tickets to any performance throughout the season. Military members interested in attending use the promo code: BLUST to receive the discount.

Single tickets can be purchase by calling the Box Office at 216.241.6000 or by visiting Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% off single ticket prices by contacting CPH Groups Sales at 216.400.7011. Subscriptions are still available at the best low rates with amazing perks. Subscribe today and save up to 30%, with flexible small packages available, by calling the CPH Subscription Office at 216.640.8800 or by visiting

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