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One-person Show on Stage at Sterling College

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By Sterling College

 

STERLING, Kan. — When Sterling College Theatre Senior Josh Morris, of Hutchinson, was searching for his senior directing project, he knew he wanted to do something unconventional; something that “pushed boundaries” and yet was heartfelt and emotional but was funny, too. That’s a tall order but he found his perfect show in Every Brilliant Thing, which will be presented in Upper Wilson Hall on Friday and Saturday, February 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Every Brilliant Thing is also a first for Sterling College Theatre – the first one-person play. While there have been some one-person showcases in the past, this is the first scripted, fully produced one-person play at Sterling.  

In the realm of theatrical brilliance, Every Brilliant Thing stands as a shining star, a one-person play that captivates hearts and leaves audiences in awe. This extraordinary production, written by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe, takes the spotlight to illuminate the beauty of life through the lens of resilience, humor, and the countless brilliant things that make life worth living.

Every Brilliant Thing is not just a play; it’s a journey, an immersive experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional storytelling. The magic lies in its simplicity, with a single performer taking center stage, inviting the audience on a wave of emotions through a touching narrative.

At the heart of the play is a list – a list of every brilliant thing that makes life extraordinary. From ice cream and roller coasters to the smell of old books, each item on the list serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. 

With only one person on stage for the whole show, director Morris knew he had to cast someone who could have an immediate connection with an audience. Senior Luke Harding, Sterling, who was recently seen as John Proctor in The Crucible and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls for Sterling College Theatre, will be the “cast” for the show. 

“Luke is incredibly charismatic, on top of being an amazing actor. I knew that if anyone could make a performance like this work, it would be him,” Morris said. “It’s been exciting to work with Luke on such an in-depth level. It’s just us, so we can do the kind of fine detail work that you just can’t do otherwise in a more traditional show.”  

Morris said, “What makes this show stand out, is how real it is. It talks about real issues and real life. It brings the audience in and gets them to share a real experience with each other. The core of the show is about a child growing up with a mother struggling with her mental health. This is something I’ve experienced, and it can impact your life in so many more ways than you expect, nonetheless, life continues. Thats what this show is about, and I believe it needs to be shared.”

More than just a play, Every Brilliant Thing is an ode to the resilience of the human spirit. It celebrates the small, often overlooked, yet brilliant things that make life beautiful. In a world that can sometimes seem overwhelming, this production serves as a gentle reminder to appreciate and cherish the simple joys that surround us.

Reflecting on his time at Sterling, Morris said, “Sterling College Theater has taught me to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get something done the way I want. It’s invaluable to understand how to get something done and make it ‘Brilliant,’ even when the odds seem stacked against you.” Morris hopes to find theatre work in Chicago following graduation because “it’s an easier place to find this kind of work to get my foot in the door.”

In the meantime, Morris and Harding are excited to share the Every Brilliant Thing experience with their audience. The show is being staged in Upper Wilson Hall on the College campus in an intimate setting. Seating is limited and advance tickets are recommended. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available online at www.sterling.edu/arts.  Tickets may also be reserved by calling 620-204-0708 and may be available at the door before each performance. 

The comic mystery Baskerville, based on the Sherlock Holmes story, is next up for Sterling College Theatre on February 29, March 1 and 2. The season will finish with the popular Sondheim musical Into the Woods on April 12, 13, and 14. 

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit www.sterling.edu.