Every Brilliant Thing takes over The Ellyn Bye Studio for a compelling in-the-round theatre experience that doesn’t come around very often. It’s uniquely told story.  It’s unique in its use of audience engaged and woven into the very fabric and message of the play itself. It’s the first studio show in Portland Center Stage at The Armory’s 30th anniversary season.





Isaac Lamb


If you are a theatre-goer,  used to going to a play, it’s somewhat of a passive experience. We enter the theatre. The lights are subdued, but on. Then. A hush. The lights dim. The audience settles. Ready to be entertained and moved. But. Every Brilliant Thing is different. Without giving anything away, except to say. There’s audience participation here. This is a show you will experience differently every time you come to see it again.


Local favorite Isaac Lamb will take the stage for Every Brilliant Thing, a play that tackles the impact of depression using a life-affirming list and a partly- improvised structure that engages audiences in a way never before seen at The Armory. Created by British playwright Duncan Macmillan with comedian Jonny Donahoe, Every Brilliant Thing began as a short-play-turned-art-installation before becoming a full-length theater piece that was embraced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Off-Broadway, and adapted into an HBO movie. Associate Artistic Director Rose Riordan will direct Every Brilliant Thing in the round in the Ellyn Bye Studio..  Every Brilliant Thing begins preview performances on September 23, opens on September 29 and runs through November 5.


Enjoy our video preview and below that, our extended conversation with Isaac Lamb. All the links are at the bottom of the page, including some important ones that will hook you up with tickets, dates, and opportunities to take you deeper into the experience that is Every Brilliant Thing.






A kid makes a list for his mom. A list of everything worth living for in the world. He needs her to read the list so she doesn’t try to leave the world again. As the kid grows up and experiences more life, more love, and more loss, his list of every brilliant thing gets longer and more vital with each addition. Duncan Macmillan’s play shines hilarious and compassionate light in dark corners of the human condition, and the way in which the creators have constructed the performance is refreshingly theatrical. A reminder that hope is never truly lost, and a testament to the healing power of storytelling.

More information and tickets at www.pcs.org/brilliant.


  • After every Sunday performance in October join Talk Saves Live Presentations in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  • Here is a list of some of the wonderful organizations that offer free services for our community. Please share and help us spread the word. You Are Not Alone.
  • Join The Armory’s Out of the Darkness Walk team and help raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention.
  • The story behind Every Little Thing courtesy of Paines Plough