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Ephemeral ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ Speaks to the Transformative Power of Theater

On the surface, the brilliance of The Justice Theater Project’s production of Every Brilliant Thing is its simplicity. There are no dazzling production values to speak of, just an actor, a chair, an audience, and a list.

It is a story about a young man, who upon learning of his mother’s first attempted suicide, begins making a list of nice things, happy thoughts that might cure her depression and give her reasons to want to live. Over the years, the list grows and grows and becomes a how-to guide of sorts for the young man (and his audience).

Thaddeus Edwards, as the young man, gambols about the space without equivocation. His curiousness and charisma are intoxicating. Under the tutelage of director J Chachula, Edwards’ improvisational skills render awe-inspiring and inviting. Audience members become willing participants, scene partners if you will, and assume the role of wife, teacher, father, and friend. In the end, we’ve collectively created something that is unrepeatable, ephemeral, and altogether wonderful, which may be why so many people are returning again and again to experience this gem of a show.

Every Brilliant Thing speaks to the fact that at its core, in its purest form, theater can be transformative, a type of connective tissue that brings people together, and in some cases, leaves them better off for it.

It is in a word… brilliant.

Hear what the cast and creatives behind Every Brilliant Thing had to say to Beltline to Broadway’s Juan Isler.

The Justice Theater Project production of Every Brilliant Thing runs through Sunday. During the Sunday performance, Seed Art Share will be providing free childcare. For more information visit http://www.thejusticetheaterproject.org/.

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