August 15, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
James Phillips, associate professor of Theatre at Mount Saint Mary College, perform Every Brilliant Thing from September 13 – 15 at the Ritz Theater in Newburgh, N.Y.
James Phillips, associate professor of Theatre at Mount Saint Mary College, will bring comedy, drama, and a celebration of life to the Ritz Theater with the one-man play Every Brilliant Thing from September 13 – 15.
The performances will take place at the lobby at Ritz Theater, 107 Broadway, in Newburgh at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14, with a 3 p.m. show on Sunday, September 15. Admission is $15. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/4315305
Every Brilliant Thing, written by Duncan Macmillan, tells the story of a man who starts to write a list of everything brilliant about the world as a gift for his mother, who first attempts suicide when he is seven years old. The list continues through his college years, his marriage, and his life as an adult, helping him battle his own bouts with depression. The play is told by a single actor with the help of the audience.
“It’s a really well-written story, told in an interesting way,” Phillips explained. “I’m very drawn to the audience interactivity part of it. There’s a part of every show that will always be unique because the audience response will be different from night to night.”
But there’s another reason he selected the play, one that goes beyond providing an engaging performance: September, Phillips noted, is Suicide Prevention Month.
“It’s impossible not to be struck by the largely hidden suicide crisis in America,” said Phillips. “There are far too many deaths of despair.”
Later in September, Phillips will be performing the play for the Mount Saint Mary College community. Afterwards, he will join clinical counselors from the Mount’s Counseling Services for a roundtable talk on suicide prevention and awareness.
“We all go through bouts of depression,” noted Phillips. “A startlingly high percentage of people have thought about suicide. The message in this play boils down to ‘It gets better. Don’t do it.’”
Aiding Phillips in this production are Mount alumnus Alexander Florez ’15, who is directing the play, and current Mount student Sierra Caban as stage manager.
“Bringing Alex and Sierra into this, who I trust greatly to do good work, is a way to provide them with plenty of hands-on experience,” Phillips explained. “It’s a small theater and a small cast, but it’s a professional show.”