Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival opens Every Brilliant Thing:
“The Funniest Play You’ll Ever See About Depression”
CENTER VALLEY, PA: June 3, 2022— 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out of your nose. 4. Me. In the face of severe depression, a child begins a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. The list soon takes on a life of its own in this captivating play by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe. Every Brilliant Thing opens June 9 at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, the professional theatre on the campus of DeSales University.
The Guardian (UK) calls it “One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.” Every Brilliant Thing previews June 7 and 8, opens June 9, and runs through June 19 in the Schubert Theatre at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts.
An uplifting story examining a family’s resilience through laughter and appreciation for life, PSF veteran and DeSales alum Suzanne O’Donnell returns in this one actor play directed by Festival newcomer Anne Hering. O’Donnell and Hering reprise their roles together following their successful run of this production in 2021 at Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
O’Donnell’s PSF credits include Maria in Twelfth Night, Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, and Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, among others. Additionally, she has worked regionally at Florida Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, 1812 Productions, Folger Theatre, and Arden Theatre, to name a few.
Hering, an actor and director and new to PSF this season, currently serves as Director of Education at Orlando Shakespeare Theater (OST), as well as teaching Theatre and Speech at University of Central Florida, Valencia College, Rollins College, and Seminole State College. Directing credits at OST include Every Brilliant Thing, Christmas at Pemberley, The Tempest, The Great Gatsby, The Turn of the Screw and Yankee Tavern. Select acting credits include OST productions of The Three Musketeers, Henry IV, Part 1, All’s Well that Ends Well, Hamlet, The Glass Menagerie, King Lear, and The Winter’s Tale.
The Production Stage Manager is George Hamrah, who serves as the Director of Production at OST. A 30-year member of Actors’ Equity Association, he has worked as a Stage Manager for theatres throughout the east coast including Trinity Rep. in Providence, RI, The Barter Theatre in Virginia; and in Florida at Orlando Theatre Project, Florida Rep., Riverside Theatre, Walt Disney World and OST.
Sound design is by David M. Greenberg, resident sound designer and sound supervisor for PSF and DeSales University ACT 1 productions. A member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), he holds an MFA in Theatre Sound Design and Technology from the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Keith & Stefanie Wexler are the production Sponsors for Every Brilliant Thing. Kathleen Kund Nolan & Timothy E. Nolan are the 2022 Season Sponsors. Associate Season Sponsors are Douglas Dykhouse, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, The Szarko Family, and Harry C. Trexler Trust.
Patrons can meet with the actor Suzanne O’Donnell following every performance for an informal talk-back offering insights into the production. Volunteers from NAMI, Lehigh Valley (National Alliance on Mental Illness) will also be available at the talk back, and before and during the performances in the event a patron would need support due to the content of the play and its references to suicide and mental illness. Additional support will be provided by the Lehigh Valley Therapy Dogs prior to the 7:30pm performance on Thursday, June 16.
Subscription packages and single tickets can be purchased online at pashakespeare.org or by calling the PSF box office at 610.282.WILL .
The season will run June 3 to August 7 at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the bucolic campus of DeSales University in Center Valley.
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival features acclaimed actors from Broadway, television, and film, and is summer home to over 200 artists from around the country, including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards.
Main Stage: A Chorus Line: June 22 – July 10; August Wilson’s Fences: July 27 – August 7;
Shakespeare For Kids: July 27 – August 6.
Schubert Theatre: Every Brilliant Thing: June 7 – June 19; The River Bride: July 1 – July 3; Much Ado About Nothing: July 13 – August 7; Little Red: June 3 – August 6.
nd Cleopatra, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Shakespeare in Love. Also Head of Acting at DeSales, Patrick holds degrees in acting and directing from Syracuse University
SUZANNE O’DONNELL* (Narrator, Every Brilliant Thing) Recent PSF: Maria, Twelfth Night, Mistress Ford, Merry Wives of Windsor, Maria, Lend Me a Tenor, and Miss Prism, The Importance of Being Earnest; Florida Rep: Nora, A Doll’s House Pt 2; Orlando Shakespeare Theater: Hermione, The Winter’s Tale, Emilia, Othello, Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing, and Kate in Taming of the Shrew; 1812 Productions: Boston Marriage; Folger Theatre: Comedy of Errors, Arcadia; Arden Theatre: Dancing at Lughnasa, Romeo and Juliet
Creative Team Bios:
DAVID M. GREENBERG (Sound Supervisor; Sound Designer, Every Brilliant Thing) is a composer and sound designer from Fort Lauderdale, FL by way of Knoxville, TN. He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Tennessee and went on to earn his MFA in Theatre Sound Design and Technology at the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), David serves as the Resident Sound Designer/Sound Supervisor for DeSales University and PSF.
GEORGE HAMRAH* (Stage Manager, Every Brilliant Thing) is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in CT. A 30-year member of Actors’ Equity Association, Mr. Hamrah has worked as a Stage Manager for theatres throughout the east coast including Trinity Rep. in Providence, RI, and The Barter Theatre in Virginia. In Florida, Orlando Theatre Project, Florida Rep., Riverside Theatre, Walt Disney World and Orlando Shakes. George has also spent time at Royal Caribbean International, Acadia Repertory Theatre in Maine and Arena Stage in Washington, DC. George makes his home in Orlando, FL with his wife, Laura Hodos and their cats where he is the Director of Production for Orlando Shakes.
ANNE HERING (Director, Every Brilliant Thing) is Director of Education at Orlando Shakespeare Theater and has been a Theatre and Speech instructor at University of Central Florida, Valencia College, Rollins College and Seminole State College. She has appeared in OST productions of The Three Musketeers, Henry IV, Part 1, God of Carnage, Pride and Prejudice, All’s Well that Ends Well, Hamlet, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, The Glass Menagerie, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Lear, Into the Woods and The Winter’s Tale. Directing credits: Every Brilliant Thing, Christmas at Pemberley, The Tempest, The Great Gatsby, The Turn of the Screw and Yankee Tavern. She is a member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA. Anne has an MFA in Acting from The Ohio State University and a BS in Speech Communications from Ithaca College.
CHIARA H. JOHNSON (Assistant Stage Manager, Every Brilliant Thing) is a BIPOC stage manager from NYC. Credits include New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Playbill’s Pride Plays series.
DUNCAN MACMILLIAN (Playwright, Every Brilliant Thing) 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, 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); Wunschloses 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).
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association