February 7, 2020

Every Brilliant Thing Comes to PHHS

a woman standing up in high school bleachers full of sitting students

“The smell of waffles”

“Closing tabs when you finish a project”

 “That moment when you feel horrible but after crying/talking you feel truly happy”

These are just a few of the brilliant things Providence Hall Students shared after today’s performance of Every Brilliant Thing, a one person play written by Duncan Macmillan and performed by Kate Lee and company.  

a student in a white shirt raises her hand in a crowd

The production is being brought to schools throughout Utah and focuses on helping students address issues of depression and suicide.  It follows the life of the narrator from the time they were 7, dealing with a parent that has depression, until they are an adult and dealing with their own issues of depression.

Throughout the show the idea of “Brilliant Things” is repeated. The narrator starts a list at age 7, with #1 being ice cream, of reasons why life is brilliant.  Throughout the play the narrator adds to the list until, as an adult, they discover their own depression and they decide to start the list over again.

a student wearing a black shirt stands up in front of school bleachersOur own students also got to step into the play with Hadley Higbee as the veterinarian, Justice Bryant as the dad, McKenna Tripp as the school counselor and “Dot” the dog, Kyra Silcox as the professor, Mr. Johnson as Sam, and all of the “brilliant things” throughout the audience.  These students were courageous and really made the play come alive, and feel more personal, to the audience.

The themes of the play, 1. You’re not weird, 2. You’re not alone, 3. Things get better, and 4. Life goes on, resonated with the students and teachers.  Students were moved to tears by the message, and were able to share thoughts and ask questions at the end of the show.  Finally, students were asked to contribute their own “Brilliant Things” to the project.  

graphic image reading "when butterflies fly so close you can see the designs in their wings"

Depression and Suicide are both very real issues that we all deal with in some way or other. This play showed the emotions surrounding depression and suicide but, more importantly, it reminded us all of the brilliant things there are in the world to live for.  What was wonderful to me was to read the beautiful things written by our students on the “Brilliant Things” wall. It was a great reminder of the little amazing things in our world.

There are many sources at PHHS, in Utah, and nationally that you can go to if you are struggling and just need someone to talk to.


You can also find out more about the “Every Brilliant Thing Tour” on their website: https://www.bard.org/brillianttour-info

Also, feel free to leave a comment with some of your brilliant things to share with others.

Mrs. Amy Price

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Providence Hall Elementary

4795 West Patriot Ridge Drive
Herriman, UT 84096
p: (801) 727-8260 f: (801) 727-8282

Providence Hall Junior High

4558 West Patriot Ridge Drive
Herriman, UT 84096
p: (801) 727-8260 f: (801)-432-8496

Providence Hall High School

4557 West Patriot Ridge Drive
Herriman, UT 84096
p: (801) 727-8260 f: (801) 253-4997