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Every Brilliant Thing

Nov 30, 2023
Dec 17, 2023
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This holiday season, celebrate the irrepressible resilience of the human spirit!

“Ice cream.” “Water fights.” “Peeing in the ocean and nobody knows.” A boy’s handwritten list to cheer up his despondent mom becomes a surprisingly funny and poignant ode to humanity. This one-of-a-kind solo performance is a dramatic comedy that will capture your heart and lift your spirit as actor and storyteller Steve McDonagh takes audiences on a transcendent and tender coming-of-age journey that reminds us to pay attention to life’s smallest joys — and to each other.

Farmers Alley Theatre is proud to offer an ASL Interpreted performance for Every Brilliant Thing. For more information, please visit our accessibility page

American Sign Language Interpreted Performance
Sunday, December 10 at 2:00pm



Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe



Steve McDonagh

Steve has been waiting to share this beautiful work since he first read it. He most recently appeared as Roger DeBris in THE PRODUCERS at Music Theatre Works. Other Chicago area credits include THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at Chicago Shakespeare, THE MUSIC MAN and several New Stages readings at Goodman, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE; Court Theatre, BELLS ARE RINGING; Porchlight Music Theatre, THE ELEPHANT MAN; Williams Street Rep, and productions at Drury Lane, Royal George and Marriott Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include Lamb’s Theatre and regional work at The Kennedy Center. Television credits include multiple appearances on CHICAGO MED and TWISTED LITTLE LIES as well as numerous ‘exasperated dad’ commercials. In his life as celebrity chef, Steve was the season one winner of NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR, co-host of PARTY LINE WITH THE HEARTY BOYS and co-author of “Talk With Your Mouth Full” and “The New Old Bar.” He co-hosts the ‘eatertainment’ podcast “But I Digest.”

Creative Team

Creative Team

Jeremy Koch

Brilliant thing #33: making your directorial debut! Jeremy is ecstatic to guide this inspirational production alongside his mentor, Kathy Mulay. Jeremy is an award-winning, professional actor, singer, model, voiceover artist and theatrical producer. He is a co-founder, Managing Artistic Director and frequent performer here at Farmers Alley Theatre. Favorite roles include Robert in THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, Jimmy Ray Dobbs in BRIGHT STAR (2022 Wilde Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical) and Ed Boone in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME (2019 Wilde Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play). Jeremy recently made his debut at Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck, MI, as Gyp DeCarlo in JERSEY BOYS. He has performed off-Broadway and played the part of “Tony” in the National Tour of WEST SIDE STORY. You may have seen Jeremy recently as the quirky dentist in a national commercial for Jeremy dedicates this show to his brother David, who will always be on his list of Brilliant Things.

Roger W. Burleigh
Stage Manager

Roger is excited to be in his 11th season as Farmers Alley Theatre's Equity Stage Manager. Roger started his theatre journey in second grade and has been traveling that road ever since. As an actor and technician Roger has graced many stages and has been at Farmers Alley since season two. Some of his favorites in recent years are NEXT TO NORMAL, THE PRODUCERS, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, MURDER FOR TWO, and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT…. Roger would like to thank his family and educators who got him hooked on live theatre. There is nothing quite like experiencing a live production with a live audience. Proud member of Actors Equity Association.

Mike Borzkowski
Technical Director

Mike is returning as Farmers Alley Theatre’s full time Technical Director. Mike has previously served as the audio engineer at Chenery Auditorium, a stagehand at Miller Auditorium, and the TD for the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. Specializing in taking things apart – but not necessarily putting them back together again – Mike is ready to keep taking on the unique challenges and opportunities at Farmers Alley Theatre.



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Gilmore Piano Festival Sponsors

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Running Time

70 minutes, no intermission.

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Content Advisory

Farmers Alley does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 269.343.2727

Content Advisory: This production contains discussions of depression and suicide.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or thinking about self-harm or suicide, there is help available. Call or text 988 for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Click here for resources on mental health support and suicide prevention from our friends at Gryphon Place. Additional resources will also be available in the lobby post-show.

Age Recommendation: 13+

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