Horizon Theatre Company Re-Opens! 38th Season Begins with EVERY BRILLIANT THING

January 7th, 2022

A Timely and Life-Affirming Story of Life’s Miracles and Finding Hope

Horizon Theatre Company will return to live performance and open its 38th season with the critically acclaimed Every Brilliant Thing, a unique, interactive show about how a child’s list of all the wonderful things in the world transforms a family’s life as the list grows over decades.  This refreshing play, told in collaboration with the audience in an intimate in-the-round setting, has touched audiences around the world.  Horizon’s production of this solo tour de force will feature three actors who will rotate in the role at different performances, telling the story of the list and its impact as it expands to a million items. 

Horizon Theatre Company’s performances start January 28, 2022 (Press Opening February 4, 2022) and run until February 27, 2022 at Horizon in Little Five Points/Inman Park (1083 Austin Avenue N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307, at the corner of Euclid and Austin Avenues). Performances are Mon through Fri at 8pm, Thursdays at 11am, Saturdays at 3 and 8pm, Sundays at 1 and 5pm.  Tickets and information are available at www.horizontheatre.com or 404-584-7450.

1)Ice cream. 2) Water fights. 3) Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. One fall day, a child begins a list of everything that makes life worth living when his/her mother is in the hospital recovering from “being sad”.   As time passes, the list grows and becomes an epic chronicle of life’s small joys that impacts the storyteller in unexpected ways, offering light and hope in the dark corners.  This funny and emotional journey charts the lengths we will go for those we love–and draws on the audience’s help to tell the story.  

The story-teller will be played by three separate actors, performing on different nights of the Horizon run.  Horizon favorite Megan Hayes is an actor of stage and screen (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) who is currently the co-host of Horizon’s Southbound: True Life Tales from the ATL and has been seen at Horizon in Waffle Palace Christmas, Sex with Strangers, Tree and The Santaland Diaries.  O’Neil Delapenha has been working virtually with Horizon for the past year, including the The Ghosts of Little Five Points and his own spoken word and story-telling.  He is a regular performer and director at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company and founder of Black Theatre Artists of Atlanta. Shelby Hofer has been onstage at Horizon frequently in earlier years, including the hilarious solo show, Bad Dates.  She is very familiar with solo performance as she has recently developed and performed her own one-woman show, High Risk, Baby! about her wild and epic journey into motherhood.   She is co-Founder of PushPush Arts which now manages an arts incubator facility for local artists in College Park dedicated to fostering innovation in all artistic disciplines. 

“This is not like any show I have ever seen before,” says director Jeff Adler, Horizon’s Co-Artistic Director. “It’s intimate and personal with the actor interacting directly with the audience before and during the play.  Every night will be a different experience with each actor and audience bringing their own stamp to the play. We have reduced the seating capacity of the theatre and included playing spaces throughout the audience to increase the intimacy while keeping COVID safe.  The show is filled with humor, joy, and hope, even though it tackles the very serious topic of mental health and its legacy in a family.  Audiences will leave feeling uplifted, more connected to their loved ones, and hopefully appreciative of all the small miracles that make life worth living every day.”

Every Brilliant Thing began as an adaptation of a short story by Duncan MacMillan, performed by him and others, and he worked on it for over a decade and several incarnations before it became the full-length play it is today.  Actor and stand-up comedian Jonny Donahue eventually took on the role, and it was first produced in this version by Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company in June 2013 at Ludlow Fringe Festival in Great Britain. It premiered off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre in December 2014.  Jonny Donahoe received a Drama Desk Award nomination for his performance, and both he and writer Duncan Macmillan received Lucille Lortel Award nominations. The show was so well received that it led to a television adaptation for HBO.  The current script was published after two years of devising and performing around the UK and NYC for hundreds of audiences, and the play has now been produced by theatresall over the country and the world.

The design team includes Horizon resident set designers and multiple Suzi Award-winners Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay, along with Horizon resident lighting designer Mary Parker. The Curley-Clay sisters have designed all of Horizon’s productions for the past 10+ years, and Mary has also lit most of those productions. 

Every Brilliant Thing performances are Mondays through Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3 and 8pm, Sundays at 1pm and 5pm, and Thursday matinees at 11am. Seating capacity is reduced for this production to increase intimacy and to allow for more space between audiences.

Tickets start at $30 for weekdays and $35 for weekends. ($20 anytime full-time students under 25 with a valid student ID and $3 off full price tickets for seniors).  Prices are subject to change and will rise as performances fill up. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets early for best prices. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased here: https://tickets.horizontheatre.com/events

Although aspects of mental health are approached from a positive perspective and the play is about resilience and hope, Every Brilliant Thing does address the topics of depression and suicide.   

For this and all performances, Horizon is committed to being COVID safe. The theatre will follow its COVID policy and procedures, including proof of vaccines or a negative PCR COVID Test within 48 hours for all audience members, artists, and staff.  In addition, the actors will be tested before every performance.  Masks are required for all patrons and staff. Enhanced cleaning and sanitation throughout the theatre will be conducted after each performance.  For this show, our seating capacity is reduced to allow some distancing.  Seating will be assigned, and seating assignments given on arrival to the theatre.  Horizon’s full COVID policy and procedures can be found at: https://www.horizontheatre.com/covid-19-policies-procedures/ 

For tickets and information, visit horizontheatre.com or call the Box Office at 404.584.7450.


MEGAN HAYES is thrilled to return to Horizon Theatre for Every Brilliant Thing. Hayes is an award-winning writer, storyteller, and actor. She has appeared at the Horizon in Waffle Palace Christmas, Sex with Strangers, Tree and Santaland Diaries to name a few. Her film and Television credits include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Emmy nominated Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old Bones, Eastbound & Down. She currently Co-Hosts Horizon’s Southbound: True Life Tales from the ATL and Beyond with Brittani Minnieweather. Megan dedicates her performance to the memory of her mom, Sarah.

O’NEIL DELAPENHA is an actor, director, and all around storyteller currently based in Atlanta. He’s originally from South Florida and received his BFA degree in acting from New World School of the Arts. Previous acting credits include : James T in Barbecue at Portland Playhouse, Candy Corn and other characters in The Ghosts of Little Five Points at Horizon Theatre Company, and Parolles in “All’s Well That Ends Well” at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. O’Neil believes that the best stories are the ones that shift and mold around the very people bearing witness to them. That shared experience is what truly bridges the gap between audience and performer. Which is why, after reading the script once, he knew he wanted to be a part of this show—to help create and share in those experiences/ You may also catch O’Neil onstage at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, performing as Lord Capulet in Romeo & Juliet select night’s throughout the month of February. Follow him on Instagram at oneild14 

SHELBY HOFER is an actor, writer, and Co-director at PushPush Arts, where she develops distinctive opportunities for artists to explore new ideas and collaborate across the globe. She has appeared on many stages over the last two decades locally, nationally, and internationally. In Atlanta, her stage performances include multiple productions at Horizon, including The Good Times Are Killing Me, Escape from Happiness, Almost Maine, and Bad Dates. Her performances of 101 Humiliating Stories (Lisa Kron) at PushPush garnered numerous awards including one of the Top 50 Shows of the Decade and a Best Actress award from Creative Loafing. Prior to the pandemic, she performed standup for three years while she was creating her most recent project, High Risk, Baby!, an autobiofictional comedy about a woman’s inner child clashing with her grown-up self, as she tempts fate with a journey to an in-vitro clinic in Ukraine. This show marks her 8th at Horizon, and she is thrilled to be back.

JEFF ADLER (Director) is co-founder and co-artistic/technical director of Horizon Theatre Company. He has directed more than 30 plays for Horizon including critically acclaimed and popular productions of Sex with Strangers by Laura Eason, The Book Club Play by Karen Zacarias, Superior Donuts by Tracey Letts, The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, Madame Melville by Richard Nelson, The Lonesome West by Martin McDonough, and All in the Timing and Mere Mortals by David Ives.  From 1995-2010, he led the Horizon Theatre Senior Ensemble, an outreach program that trained seniors in acting and playwriting and toured plays by and about seniors. He is in this seventh year serving as the drama teacher for The New School through Horizon’s partnership with this innovative intown high school.  He also directs Horizon Theatre’s technical and production staff and manages the facility. He studied at the Goodman School of Drama and holds a BA in Theatre from Roosevelt University.

ISABEL CURLEY-CLAY and MORIAH CURLEY CLAY (Resident Scenic Designers) are award-winning scenic designers whose work can be seen around Atlanta and on regional stages across the U.S. As Horizon’s resident scenic designers, they have designed all of Horizon’s productions for the past ten years.) Some favorite Horizon credits include scenic design for The Cake, Citizens Market (Suzi Award, 2018), How to Use A Knife, Avenue Q (Suzi Award 2011), Time Stands Still (Suzi Award 2013). Other select credits include The Magic Negro (Alliance Theatre); Dot (True Colors/Billie Holliday Theatre NYC); Slow Food (Theatrical Outfit); A Doll’s House Part 2 (Actor’s Express); Paradise Blue (Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre); Bright Star (Florida Studio Theatre), Two Trains Running (Triad Stage). Isabel and Moriah are the recipients of multiple Suzi Bass Awards for both scenic and costume design. They were featured in American Theatre Magazine’s “Inaugural Roll Call, 7 Theatrical People To Watch.” They are Artistic Associates at Theatrical Outfit, teach Scenography at Spelman College and are members of IATSE, United Scenic Artists 829.