“Every Brilliant Thing” shines light on depression

The production “Every Brilliant Thing,” which tackles mental health issues, was performed at Choteau’s Roxy Theatre. Beside the donation jar, various mental health resources were provided, along with free Deterra bags

The production of “Every Brilliant Thing” at Choteau’s Roxy Theatre June 13 was a classic tragicomedy, mixing serious lessons with humor, and simultaneously wrenching and warming hearts.

As audience members took their seats, they were expecting to watch a play for suicide awareness — not act in it — but audience interaction was a planned technique to help foster an atmosphere of community resilience.

The cast of “Every Brilliant Thing” approached people as they entered the room, sitting next to them or kneeling to their level to chat and pass out cue cards. Each card had a different item from a list of brilliant, happy things that would be called out at some point in the play.

Other audience members were pulled from their seats at points to act as characters in brief sketches: Jim Hodgskiss as a child asking “why” endlessly, Dawn Gunderson as a love interest and so on.