The Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s Production of Every Brilliant Thing opens in a month! We are so excited we sat down with actor Colt Neidhardt to learn more about what he thinks is “Brilliant.”
What does Every Brilliant Thing mean to you?
To me, a ‘Brilliant Thing’ is something that we often take for granted- the little moments of beauty and simplicity that we sometimes miss while we are stuck thinking about the bigger concerns of life (health, bills, work, family, etc.)Every Brilliant Thing is a show that helps to remind us of the little wonders that anxiety and depression can rob us of; finding something you thought was lost, licking the beaters after Mom makes a cake, dusk settling in around Buffalo Mountain, etc.
Can you tell us about your character?
My character is the Narrator of a story that is all too common. As a young person, he finds himself trapped in the middle of the tension of having a mentally ill Mother and a distant Father that is struggling to cope with his wife’s illness. After his Mother’s suicide attempt, my character begins creating a list of everything brilliant in the world, everything worth living for. As my character grows up and begins to face the challenges of adulthood the list continues to grow- eventually reaching one million brilliant things.
What do you think will be the most challenging part of doing a one-person show?
The most challenging part of doing a one-person show is the isolation. It’s just me and the audience for 70 minutes straight. In a show with multiple performers, you can always rely on one of your scene partners to get you out of a jam if something were to happen. In this case, I have to fix my own problems, think a couple steps ahead, and still be present with the audience. Its a terrifying and thrilling challenge all at the same time!
What are some Brilliant Things that you think make life worth living?
1. Soul Music! Mavis Staples, Aretha Franklin, Brittany Howard, Paul Janeway— voices that can raise you to your feet or bring you to your knees.
2. The miracle of homemade bread & butter.
3. Hummingbirds- enough said.
4. Spending a lazy Sunday with someone you love.
5. The feeling of elation/relief/joy that happens after you accomplish something that you didn’t think you could do.
What excites you about doing Every Brilliant Thing?
As an actor, it’s always exciting to perform in a show that has a real opportunity to affect positive change. Suicide rates have increased by 24% nationally over the past 15 years and Colorado consistently has some of the highest suicide rates in the country. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24, second only to vehicular accidents, and those rates are even higher among People of Color and the LGBT population. This is a topic that is often approached with a great deal of stigma and Every Brilliant Thing allows us to create a space where mental health issues can be represented/discussed without fear of judgment. I am also very excited about Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s partnership with Building Hope and the Summit County Community Care Clinic, who will be providing their expertise to our panel discussion as well as providing mental health resources to everyone who comes to see the show.
What can audiences expect when they come to Every Brilliant Thing?
Audiences can expect a truly unique show going experience—When you come to see Every Brilliant Thing, you will receive a page or item from the list of ‘brilliant things’ that my character has created. As we work our way through the list together, you may be asked to shout out the item on the list when I mention the corresponding number or you might even be asked to perform in a brief scene with me (don’t worry- I will tell you exactly what to do/say!). Audiences can also expect to feel a sense of community connection- this show will be staged in the round in the Henry Studio Theatre which will help everyone to feel a part of the action. Last but not least, laughter! This is a serious topic, but it’s tempered with a healthy sense of humor that is going to be refreshing and relatable to everyone who comes.
If you want to be added to my list of brilliant things— then you better come see this show! 🙂
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