BY TIM OCEL, DIRECTOR
There is a line in Every Brilliant Thing that grabbed my attention from the very beginning: “If you live a long life and get to the end of it without ever once having felt crushingly depressed, then you probably haven’t been paying attention.”
The statement is simple, but true. The idea that one can be crushingly depressed and not know it because “you haven’t been paying attention” seems reasonable. Also, dangerous.
It made me wonder if I’ve been paying attention.
My history with this piece is that last year I saw a staged reading of it by a student director at Webster University. I didn’t know the play, was immediately suspicious of being asked to participate, surprised that I had fun participating, and immediately wanted to direct the play if given the chance. Several weeks later, and purely by coincidence, Janet Allen asked if I was interested in directing a production with Marcus Truschinski. Of course, I said yes.
Marcus and I go back about ten years when he played Amiens for me in a production of As You Like It at American Players Theater, and then Proteus for me at the same company in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Terrific actor, lovely man, hard worker, wonderful collaborator. Since October, we’ve Skyped about the play and begun to share our own experiences with depression….
I have always paid attention to things—enough to know that the line separating living from dying can be very blurry; that to be in the world is sometimes more difficult than the choice to leave it. But I also know that life offers an infinite variety of lights along with the ever-lurking shadows. And so, I offer you this play, and Marcus Truschinski.
We hope you'll join us for Every Brilliant Thing, running now through February 10! Tickets are available here.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
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