Press Release: Kevin Loomer to star in “Every Brilliant Thing” – Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1
Gesa Power House Theatre presents “Every Brilliant Thing” starring Kevin Loomer and directed by Nancy Simon, with performances September 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. and October 1 at 2:00 p.m.
“Every Brilliant Thing” is a one-actor play, adapted by playwright Duncan McMillan from his own short story “Sleeve Notes”. British comedian Jonny Donahue, who originated the role, shares in the writing credit.
The play’s title refers to a list – of everything wonderful in the world – that the narrator starts writing at the age of seven as a reaction to having a mother who suffers from depression. The list begins with simple things like “ice cream” and “water fights” and as the character matures, so does the list, with items like “the smell of old books” and “films that are better than the books they’re adapted from”. The play’s story spans nearly three decades and several life-changing events, evoking laughter and tears in equal measure.
Director Nancy Simon was drawn to this play first by its simplicity – few props, costumes, lighting/sound cues – and then loved the script from the first time she read it. “I like what this play has to say about the brilliant things that make life worth living,” she says. “And the gentle message it has for those who struggle with whether it is. Plus it’s funny!”
The play received critical acclaim in London, Edinburgh, and Off-Broadway in New York City. British Theatre Guide called it “the funniest play you’re ever likely to see about depression”.
“Every Brilliant Thing” invites some audience participation, primarily through asking people to read a few words aloud from slips of paper they are given as they enter the theater. Each slip of paper represents one of the many items on the list of “brilliant things”.
A few audience members, with their permission, are also incorporated as characters in the narrator’s story. Each of these moments comes out of a loving relationship that the narrator has in their life, and is not meant to demean or embarrass the participant.
There is a certain informality to the staging of “Every Brilliant Thing”. Most of the seating will be in folding chairs on the stage itself, and the play is performed “in the round” with audience on all sides of the acting space.
Kevin Loomer, a familiar face on Walla Walla’s many stages, plays the starring role in this one-actor play.
“In addition to being a very experienced and capable actor,” says director Nancy Simon, “Kevin brings a sense of humor and vulnerability that this role requires.”
Kevin Loomer is currently the Director of Theatre Arts at Walla Walla Community College. He last performed on the Gesa Power House Theatre stage in “Such Sweet Thunder” in 2015, as the title character in “The Merchant of Venice” in 2013, and as part of the ensemble for “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” in 2012.
Nancy Simon is Professor Emerita at Whitman College where she taught theater classes and directed at Harper Joy Theatre for nearly 50 years. Following her retirement, she remains active in the local theater scene. She last worked with Gesa Power House Theatre in 2016 to direct the staged reading of “Auschwitz and After” by Pat Henry.
Reserved seating tickets ($20 Adults, $15 Students) are on sale online (www.phtww.com) or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.
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The 2017 Season is also supported in part by: KAPP-KVEW, Coldwell Banker First Realtors, Foundry Vineyards, Courtyard Marriott, Inland Cellular, Pacific Power, McCurley Integrity Toyota of Walla Walla.
About the Gesa Power House Theatre
The historic Gesa Power House Theatre is a 300-seat performing arts venue, located in downtown Walla Walla. The 120-year-old building was once the Walla Walla Gas Plant, built to produce coal gas used to light the streets, businesses, and homes of Walla Walla. In 2011 the Gesa Power House Theatre building was transformed into a state-of-the-art playhouse for live performance. The interior design of the theatre was inspired by Shakespeare’s own intimate Blackfriars Theatre in London, England.
The Gesa Power House Theatre is on the Washington State Building Preservation Commission list of State historic buildings and on the National Register of Historic Places. The venue also hosts a variety of other cultural events, musical concerts, and private events (including weddings).
For additional marketing and media information, including interviews and hi-res images, contact:
Gesa Power House Theatre
111 North Sixth Ave.
Walla Walla, Washington 99362