Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre Presents EVERY BRILLIANT THING
In February The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre presents Every Brilliant Thing, Duncan MacMillan's one-character play described by The Guardian as "one of the funniest plays you'll see about depression." Claire Marie Mannle inhabits the role - rarely performed by a female protagonist - of a young person determined to list every brilliant thing about life in an attempt to ward off her mother's suicidal tendencies. The play, performed in the round on the Scoundrel & Scamp's mainstage, is directed by Michelle Milne. The season runs February 7-24, 2019. Ticket prices range from $15-$28 and are available at the theater's website, www.scoundrelandscamp.org, or by calling box office 520-448-3300.
The success of a play that tackles the subject of mental health is not lost on the playwright: Macmillan has said his reason for writing the play was to convey the message, "You're not alone, you're not weird, you will get through it, and you've just got to hold on. That's a very uncool, unfashionable thing for someone to say, but I really mean it. I didn't see anyone discussing suicidal depression in a useful or interesting or accurate way."
Known for occasionally enlisting audience members to help tell the story, Every Brilliant Thing enjoyed sold-out runs at three consecutive Edinburgh Festivals (2014-16) and has since found homes in theaters worldwide. At the Scoundrel & Scamp, the rehearsal process has reflected the theater's commitment to connect with the wider community. Over the past few weeks, the cast and crew of Every Brilliant Thing have taken rehearsals 'off campus' to various venues around Tucson, including City High School, Milagro Cohousing, and Palo Verde Behavioral Health, a psychiatric facility providing behavioral health treatment programs for adolescents and adults. At the various venues, Milne and Mannle have engaged people of all ages and backgrounds in the rehearsal process.
Director Michelle Milne engages with students during a rehearsal of Every Brilliant Thing at City High School. Photo Tiffer Hill
Director Michelle Milne: "The practice audiences have been so important to our process. They have given surprising, meaningful responses to the content and its relevance to their lives. I've realized while watching the rehearsal audiences that we can't tell this story without them. And this speaks to the heart of Every Brilliant Thing, which is about how we keep each other alive, and what it means to be present with each other, and present with the world around us."
Michelle Milne has worked as a director, performer, writer, and educator across the US. She recently directed highly physical and immersive productions of Brontë (Drammy Award for Best Production, Portland), Eurydice, Macbeth (at a prison in Oregon), Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet (SB Tribune Regional Best Production), The Best of Everything, and several ensemble-devised productions. She performs around the US and Canada with Ted Swartz in Discovery: A Comic Lament, for which she also served as movement director. This winter she was delighted to work with Wolfe Bowart on his recent production of Cloud Soup at Scoundrel & Scamp. She tours her original writing with musician Heather Kropf in We Know There Are Oceans: A Travelogue; has performed her poetry as "Carmelina du Jour" in Chicago's Poetry Bordello; appeared as Supervisor McCrae in the sci-fi TV show pilot DeckTechs; and was part of the ensemble for Palissimo's The Painted Bird at La Mama in NYC. Her original piece about borders and walls, For Those Who Cannot Fly, premiered in San Francisco; she is currently expanding that piece for touring under the title Edge Effects. Michelle is a Feldenkrais Method practitioner, and has taught theatre and movement at colleges, universities, prisons, and jails, and to the general public. For the past five years she has been traveling around the US as part of her ongoing writing project, Traveling Home.
Previously at the Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre, Claire Marie Mannle has directed Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play and performed in The Yellow Wallpaper. Other recent directing work includes an adaptation of Euripides' The Bacchae (Siti Company's Skidmore Intensive) and Nor Any Drop to Drink, a devised play about water issues in the Southwest (UA Studio Series). As an actor, she has performed around Tucson in King Lear, The Grapes of Wrath, Macbeth, and The White Snake at The Rogue Theatre and in The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors for Arizona Repertory Theatre. A New York City native raised in the Midwest, she came to Tucson via Los Angeles where she worked with The Grand Guignolers, Cornerstone Theater Company, A Noise Within, The Antaeus Academy, and Siti Company. She has her MFA from the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater and her BA from Smith College. She is an Instructor for the School of Theatre, Film, and Television at The University of Arizona.
Located in The Historic Y in Tucson, Arizona, The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre is home to two state-of-the-art performance spaces - a 30-seat studio and a 100-seat proscenium-style mainstage. With an annual season comprising classics, modern plays, and world-class original works, The S&S Theatre challenges, invigorates, and occasionally tickles the funny bone of audiences of all ages. In addition to the performance season, The S&S Theatre strives to cultivate the next generation of theatre-going audiences through classes, mentorship, and performance opportunities. For more information, visit https://scoundrelandscamp.org.