The Grand Street Theatre of Helena and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana have partnered up for a 50-stop tour across the state presenting the play, “Every Brilliant Thing.” Thanks to the Toole County Health Department, one of those 50 stops will be in the Shelby High School auditorium on Friday, June 21, starting at 7:30 p.m. This is a free event for the public and everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend. 

The play is by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe, and is a tribute to “the irrepressible resilience in all of us and the capacity to find delight in the everyday.”

 The play tells the story of a seven-year-old who comes home from school to learn that mom is in the hospital, “for doing something stupid,” according to dad. The “stupid” thing done, attempting suicide. 

The kid decides to create a list for mom, citing everything a seven-year-old can come up with that is terrific about the world. As the play progresses, the list grows from ice cream to staying up past your bedtime to watch TV, and beyond. What starts as a list to make mom happy becomes a list of the silver linings that we should all remember to look for and appreciate every day.

Not only is the play funny and uplifting, it also highlights the lengths people will go for those that they love, no matter the situation. The play was written in hopes of breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness by creating new ways to discuss it openly and by making people laugh. 

Donahoe describes the play as “the funniest thing you’ll ever see about the least funny thing in the world.”  

Montana has the highest suicide rate, per capita, in the United States, touching everyone throughout, including the rural communities dotting the highline. Getting rid of the stigma associated with mental illness is just the first step in cutting back the number of lives lost in such a tragic and devastating way. 

Following the play, a 15-minute panel discussion will follow, with the panel consisting of Pastor Chad Scarborough, Kyle Fisher and Dana Hellinger. 

At some point in life everyone is touched by mental illness, whether yourself or someone you love. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana has prioritized suicide prevention throughout the state and through a grant “Every Brilliant Thing” is just one more effort towards lowering the staggering statistics of lives lost to suicide. 

The play is free to the public, but donations will be accepted. All proceeds from the performance will stay in the community, going to the Mental Health Advisory Board to help fund future suicide awareness activities. 

For questions or more information contact Angela Lamb at the health department, (406) 424-5169.

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