• Press Release

Virginia Stage Company takes Every Brilliant Thing on the road supported by Sentara Healthcare


Every Brilliant Thing, Virginia Stage Company

Words and Images Courtesy of the Virginia Stage Company


Norfolk, VA – Virginia Stage Company and Sentara Healthcare present the road tour of Every Brilliant Thing, written by Duncan Macmillan with Johnny Donahoe. Financial support from Sentara Healthcare will enable Virginia Stage Company to produce 20 performances of this deeply impactful play about mental health free of charge in communities across Virginia.

This tour runs from October 2022 through the spring of 2023. The one-person performances will take place at various locations throughout Hampton Roads, Richmond and the Blue Ridge region. Virginia Stage Company is currently seeking venues, with a particular emphasis on organizations serving people who would benefit from a discussion of mental health.

“Behavioral health is among the most pressing health care needs of our time,” says Nedra Moncrief-Craig, Sentara director behavioral health services. “Sentara Healthcare convened a system task force last year to strengthen our Behavioral Health services. Supporting a meaningful play such as Every Brilliant Thing aligns with our effort to destigmatize mental health and reassure patients that it is okay to ask for help.” Producing Artistic Director, Tom Quaintance says, “Once in a great while you come across a show that not only speaks to you but changes you. Every Brilliant Thing is not only funny and moving, it sticks with you in a way that can change your view and understanding of the deeply important issues of depression and suicide. We are thrilled to partner with Sentara to get this critical story, and the surrounding conversation, out into the community we serve.”

Every Brilliant Thing tells the transformative story of finding joy in the small details of life in the face of mental illness and suicide. This powerful story is told from the perspective of our narrator, a single performer. This immersive storytelling experience explores topics that are essential to our community in a careful and delicate manner. The play blends comedy, improv, and audience interaction to tell the story of someone growing up in the shadow of their mother’s struggle with suicidal depression, and learning to grapple with their own journey. The Spring production was a 75-minute tour-de-force with no intermission. This current rendition will run just under an hour, making it accessible for all age groups. Like the Spring production, the tour will feature multiple actors alternating performances.

Quaintance goes on to add:

Every Brilliant Thing is the rare play that doesn't need much in the way of sets or props. The interactive storytelling works as well in a simple room with 30 people as it does on stage at the historic Wells Theater in Norfolk. The secret ingredient here is a universal connection to the story, which does not rely on stage magic to thrive. It is the perfect piece to bring out of the theatre and into the community.”

For information on the project, or how to book a performance for your own organization, visit: www.vastage.org/ebtour

Interviews can be arranged by contacting Director of Marketing, Maris Smith, at msmith@vastage.org.

Sentara Healthcare celebrates more than 130 years in pursuit of its mission – “we improve health every day.” Sentara is an integrated, not-for-profit health care delivery system with approximately 30,000 employees (including 1,375 physicians and advanced practice providers), 12 hospitals in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina and the Sentara Health Plans division which serves over 950,000 members. Sentara is recognized nationally for clinical quality and safety, and is strategically focused on innovation and creating an extraordinary health care experience for our patients and members. Sentara was named to IBM Watson Health’s “Top 15 Health Systems” in 2021 and 2018, and was recognized by Forbes as a “Best Employer for New Grads” in 2022, “Best Employer for Women” in 2020, and one of “America’s Best Employers” in 2018.

Virginia Stage Company is Southeastern Virginia’s leading theatre destination, serving an audience of over 58,000 annually, both at the Wells Theatre and throughout the community. Virginia Stage Company’s mission is to “enrich, educate, and entertain the region by creating and producing theatrical art of the highest quality.”

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