Chester Presents “Every Brilliant Thing” in the Round

 Chester, MA – Chester Theatre Company (CTC) is proud to present Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe’s Every Brilliant Thing in the historic Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road in Chester, MA, from August 2 – 13, 2017. The production is directed by CTC Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer.
Every Brilliant Thing was produced by Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company at the Ludlow Fringe Festival, enjoyed a successful Off Broadway run at Barrow Street Theatre, and was subsequently adapted for television and broadcast on HBO.
When a boy’s mother attempts suicide, he starts a list of everything that’s brilliant in the world to convince her to stay: things with stripes, ice cream, Christopher Walken’s hair. CTC favorite Joel Ripka leads the audience on an engaging journey of a son’s gift to his mother, to himself, and to the audience.
Because of the significant use of improvisation and audience participation inherent in the script, each performance of Every Brilliant Thing will be truly unique.
The Guardian called Every Brilliant Thing “Heart-wrenching, hilarious…possibly one of
the funniest plays you’ll ever see.”
Every Brilliant Thing marks actor Joel Ripka’s seventh play at Chester Theatre Company, and his fourth working with director Daniel Kramer. “In many ways,” Ripka says, “Chester is an artistic home for me. It’s always been a joy to come up here and do the work. The seasons always feel relevant, important, and challenging. This particular play is very dear to me, and gives us all an opportunity to have a real exchange about things which can be challenging to talk about in any setting. I’m delighted and honored to be working on it.”
For the first time in its tenure at The Town Hall Theatre, CTC will be turning the space into a theatre in the round. Both Every Brilliant Thing and CTC’s final show of the season, the American Premiere of Folk, will be done in the round, and no seat will be farther than five rows from the stage.
With its abundance of post-show events that encourage audiences to share their experiences and observations with the artists and each other–each moderated by Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer–CTC is bringing the model of the New England Town Meeting to Chester’s reconfigured stage. “This is a brand new experience at Chester Theatre Company,” said Kramer, “and our audiences will be even closer to the action than usual. We’re excited to share this journey.”
The artistic team includes:
Joel Ripka (Performer) At Chester: Blink, The Swan, Wittenberg, The Nibroc Trilogy: (Last Train to Nibroc, See Rock City, Golf View Drive). Off Broadway: A Happy End (Abingdon Theater), American Jornalero (INTAR), Machinal (Columbia Stages).  Regional: The School for Lies (North Coast Rep, San Diego); Last Train to Nibroc (Peterborough Players, NH); Othello, Beautiful Dreamer, Jane Eyre, Crime and Punishment, Pride and Prejudice, The School for Scandal, Henry (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater); The Clockmaker, Mezzulah, 1946 (The City Theater); Harry’s Friendly Service, Amadeus (The Pittsburgh Public Theater);  Cymbaline, Le Grande Meaulnes, The Wild Duck (Quantum Theatre); Ah, Wilderness!, The Real Thing, FBI Girl, A View From The Bridge, Hamlet, One Flea Spare, King Lear (The Pittsburgh Repertory Company); Beirut (Unseam’d Shakespeare Company). FILM:  It Came From Yesterday (Independent-Jeff Watrowski), Since October Music Video (Endeavor Media).  Education: BFA from Point Park University.
Daniel Elihu Kramer (Director) is Producing Artistic Director of Chester Theatre, where he has directed shows such as Sister Play, The Turn of the Screw, Tryst, The Amish Project, and Blink. In 2011, CTC produced his play Pride@Prejudice, and in 2016 CTC premiered his play My Jane. He also teaches theatre at Smith College. Daniel’s CTC productions of The Turn of the Screw and The Amish Project were named by the Berkshire Eagle as among the Best Plays of their respective years, and he was named one of each season’s Notable Directors. He has received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Boston Theatre Works, and his production of The Pillowman at the Contemporary American Theatre Company received awards for Best Production and Best Direction. His film Kitchen Hamlet won multiple awards as an official selection at film festivals throughout the U.S. His short film Recently, Long Ago premiered in 2015 at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.
Kramer holds an MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama and a BA from Haverford College, and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and the Dramatists Guild. He was a Founding Artistic Director of Salt Lake Shakespeare, Associate Artistic Director of Spiral Stage, and assistant to the Artistic Director of Circle Repertory Theatre.
The design team of Every Brilliant Thing includes: Lara Dubin (Lighting Designer), Travis George (Scenic Designer), Charles Schoonmaker (Costume Designer), and Tom Shread (Sound Designer).
All performances will take place in the intimate setting of Chester’s Historic Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA. Show times are 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and 2:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Individual tickets are priced at $37.50. Chester residents, members of the military and their families, and those holding EBT/SNAP cards may purchase $10 tickets at the door or by calling the box office. (Call box office for details.) Student Rush $10 tickets are available day of show. Single tickets, season subscriptions, and flex passes may be purchased online at, or by phone at 413.354.7771. Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available.
About Chester Theatre Company
Chester Theatre Company, a professional theatre company located between the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley–and convenient to both–is known for presenting high-quality productions with top-notch actors, directors, and designers from across the country since 1990. Founded by former Artistic Director of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Vincent Dowling, CTC is now in its 28th season, and produces four thought-provoking plays each summer in the intimate setting of the Town Hall Theatre.
For further information, please call CTC at 413.354.7770, or visit

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