Every Brilliant Thing – Orlando Shakes
You’re six-years-old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy, he said. So you start to make a list for her of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. 4. The color yellow. You leave the list on her pillow. You know she read it because she’s corrected your spelling.
Soon, the list will take on a brilliant life of its own.
With help from a live audience, Every Brilliant Thing — running from September 22-October 16 at Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF, and presented by AdventHealth — tells the uplifting story about a daughter, her parents, her spouse, depression, resilience, and the lengths we will go to for those we love.
“This is an amazing show that will have you laughing, thinking, and remembering all the brilliant things that there are in the world,” said director Anne Hering.
Orlando’s Suzanne O’Donnell stars as the story’s narrator. A fixture in Central Florida’s arts scene, the veteran actor has performed with Orlando Shakes since 1993, when she played Rosalind in As You Like It and Adriana in The Comedy of Errors. Since then, she has acted in numerous Shakespeare plays, while also giving life to characters in many new productions at Orlando Shakes. A member of the Actors’ Equity Association, O’Donnell has also performed with prominent regional theaters throughout the country.
In Every Brilliant Thing, O’Donnell just might face her most unique setting as a professional actor. The story, while mostly scripted, is told in collaboration with the live audience. Which, at a moment’s notice, challenges the performer’s comedic and dramatic improvisational skills as she and the audience tell the story together.