BWW Q&A: Steven Lone on EVERY BRILLIANT THING at CCAE Theatricals

Performances begin July 5th and run through July 21st, 2024.

By: Jun. 26, 2024
BWW Q&A: Steven Lone on EVERY BRILLIANT THING at CCAE Theatricals
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We talk with Steven Lone about starring in Every Brilliant Thing at CCAE Theatricals. Performances begin July 5th and run through July 21st, 2024.

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 surprising and immersive theatrical experience speaks openly about depression, mental illness and suicide. With poignant humor and joy, Every Brilliant Thing takes us on a journey through grief, healing, falling in love, and rediscovering all that life has to give.


Tickets are currently on sale for Every Brilliant Thing

​The Run: July 5th – 21st

Every Brilliant Thing will be staged in the round on the Center Theatre Stage with audiences on all four sides of the space.

Standard General Admission ($40) First come first served seating, based on availability on day of show.

For General Admission purchases of more than one ticket, there is no guarantee you will be seated together.

Premium Reserved Seating ($50) Pick your seats prior to the performance)

STEVEN LONE he/him/él (Narrator) is thrilled to be making his debut with CCAE Theatricals. Born and raised in San Francisco, CA as a proud first-generation Latino-American, Steven discovered one of his Brilliant Things after being cast as Demetrius in his high school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bitten by the acting bug, Steven moved to San Diego to study theatre at UC San Diego, and soon found another Brilliant Thing (70-degree weather almost all year round) and never left Southern California. Some of Steven’s favorite credits include Elliot in Water by the Spoonful (Craig Noel Award Winner, Outstanding Lead Performance), Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, Jackie in Motherf**ker with the Hat (all with Cygnet Theatre), Orlando in As You Like It (New Fortune Theatre), and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde at Poe Fest (Write Out Loud). Steven would like to dedicate his performances to three Brilliant Things in particular who always give him all their love and support when he goes out to play on stage, and always create a loving place to come home to when the curtain drops.

You got the acting bug in high-School and decided to pursue studying theatre in College. Why did you choose UC San Diego?

I came into theatre later in my young life compared to most actors I have come across. I was always into sports in school, and although I did love art as a young child, my chosen medium was drawing. Even after joining theatre class in my second year in high school, I still wasn't ever considering pursuing it much further. It wasn't until we got a new drama teacher in my third year, that my perspective changed completely. For once, I had a teacher who cared and believed in each of their students and took the time to build them up and find worth in them. It was this teacher that told me if I truly wanted to pursue this career that I could do it and succeed. That was all the inspiration I needed to dive fully into it. After high school, I joined a two-year intensive theatre conservatory in the Bay Area. From there, I began visiting colleges with strong drama departments where I felt I could grow as an artist. UC San Diego's theatre graduate department was always considered one of the top in the country, and the same professors would teach the undergraduate program as well. This was an immediate draw. Then I visited the campus, felt the 70-degree weather, saw the beautiful ocean beachscapes, and how could I not choose to go there? I was born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco, so this new Southern California landscape felt like something out of a postcard. And it was the best decision I could have made.

You recently won the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Lead Performance for Water by The Spoonful, what did winning that award mean to you and how has it been since?

Winning the Craig Noel Award was one of the top highlights of my career. Such an honor. For me, it was more than just recognition of a job well done on a particular piece. It was an acknowledgment that all of the sacrifice and work I had put into this craft was being valued. To understand the true impact that has on someone like me is to understand the identity I navigate this world with every day. I'm a first-generation immigrant to this country, where English was my second language. Throughout my life, I have dealt with being told I didn't belong in the spaces I was occupying. That my voice would not be heard, and that my worth was less valued than others. Although theatre offered an opportunity in my young life to be accepted for who I was, as I grew older and found myself residing in artistic spaces where I was immediately reminded that I was a minority, that feeling of acceptance felt more and more difficult to obtain. Although I have been fortunate to find true friendship along my artistic journey, the fact remains that persons with a historically marginalized identity still face a daily battle for acceptance in the spaces they contribute so much time and love to. Being recognized for my work, for a show written by and for persons of color, is recognition that we belong. So I will forever be grateful to the Critics Circle for that acknowledgement.

Looking at your resume, you've worked mostly in straight plays. What made you interested in doing a one-may play, Every Brilliant Thing?

My resume provides the answer as to exactly why I would be interested in doing a piece such as Every Brilliant Thing. I have mostly been cast in dramatic pieces, even though my initial inspiration to be involved in theatre was to be silly and funny on stage. To do comedies. This play is unique in that it does a great job of using comedy as the engine that drives the story forward. So I not only get to tap into my experience in portraying emotional roles, but I also get to flex my comedic muscles more than I ever have in the past. At this stage of my career, I only seek projects that are going to challenge me artistically and personally. I want to always be evolving as an artist and as a human being, which means going to the uncomfortable. This play ticks all of the boxes for me.

What is the show about and what can audiences expect when they see the show?

Every Brilliant Thing is a beautiful and poignant piece about the complex themes of mental health and suicide. it's a one-person show that tells the story of a child who starts making a list of everything brilliant about the world, as a gift for their mother following her first suicide attempt. The list starts off with the simple joys in life, like ice cream and rollercoasters, but then progresses into more profound experiences as our main character ages. The play is really about finding hope and beauty in the smallest details in life and is a reminder that even in the darkest of times there are always moments of joy and wonder we can hold on to.

What has it been like rehearsing a one-man show with 4 different rotating actors? Has this unique format been beneficial to the process?

The process of preparing for this show has been unique, for sure, but has been such a pleasure and a privilege. The splitting up of rehearsal times has challenged me in such a great way because we are so limited in time. I don't have the luxury of spending several nights a week finding the emotions or objectives of a scene. Normally, I would have weeks of rehearsal time where I would be running and working through scenes most of the week. That has to be condensed greatly for this show, with each of us only getting about nine rehearsals before being in front of a paying audience. This has forced me to do a lot of that discovery work outside of my allotted time and hit the ground running when I come into my rehearsals. This approach has made me trust my instincts more and work more efficiently overall, and I think it will only make me a stronger performer moving forward. With that being said, rehearsals have also been therapeutic for me. I have found many parallels between my own personal life and this story, and I think that is what will ultimately differentiate the performances between the four actors. We are all going to bring our own life experiences and perspectives onto the stage, and it's going to naturally inform the choices we make and the interactions we will be having with our audiences.

What should audiences know about Every Brilliant Thing and why should they come to see the play?

I believe this is a vital piece of theatre about a topic that is often not talked about with this level of intimacy on a stage. The show does a great job of taking the stigmas away surrounding suicide and depression and offers a unique blend of empathy, connection, and shared experiences that can be very impactful. People should come to see this play because it's so unique in the way it chooses to tell its story. it offers an opportunity for collective catharsis and understanding. There is no fourth wall in this show. We are all going to be in the space exposed and vulnerable to each other. We will laugh together and cry together, and find common ground in our search for universal happiness. I believe this show is a testament to the strength found in community and storytelling.


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