Cardinal Stage is premiering “Every Brilliant Thing” as the first show of its mainstage season Sunday, Monday and Sept. 11-12 outdoors at the McCormick’s Creek Amphitheater.
Shows on Sept. 11 will be at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The show on Sept. 12 will be at 2 p.m. The run time is one hour with no intermission.
“Every Brilliant Thing” is about finding solace, hope and joy knowing everything that's weird and wonderful makes life worth living, Cardinal Stage Artistic Director Kate Galvin said. The show follows a narrator who learns at a young age how to cope with tragedy and starts making lists of the good things in life, she said.
The only in-person event Cardinal put on last year was a cabaret in June, Galvin said. After a year of all virtual performances, Galvin said she is excited to return to the energy of in-person performances.
“You have those moments in between working where people are telling stories about their life or about other shows that they've done, and you all get to know each other a little bit better,” Galvin said.
The one-woman show stars Cardinal alum Diane Kondrat, in her return to Bloomington. Kondrat appeared in Cardinal shows like “Doubt,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Red Hot Patriot,” “Ann” and Cardinal’s debut show “Our Town” in 2006.
“I lived in Bloomington longer than I lived anywhere else in my life,” Kondrat said. “This is me getting to say, ‘Hello and I love you’ to a bunch of people that have seen me perform and pretend to be a lot of different people over the years.”
Kondrat said she has done five one-woman shows in the past and has experience with interactive theater. In a one-person show, she said the actor has to focus more on the relationship between them and the audience.
“It's completely different for an actor to have to rely on some people who have never been at rehearsal,” Kondrat said. “I'm used to interacting with audience members and having improvisational moments with them that actually end up being pretty moving because the truth catches us when we don’t expect it, especially if we're entertained by something else.”
McCormick’s Creek Amphitheater seats around 300 people, Galvin said. Cardinal is only selling 140 tickets per show to allow for people to spread out around the amphitheater to maintain COVID-19 protocols.
Since the venue is outdoors, masks are not required during the show. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks when going inside to use the bathroom or other indoor facilities.
This is the first time Cardinal is using their play what you will model for tickets. People will get to choose what they pay in a range from $0 to $75, with a $2 mandatory fee per ticket.
“We know that a lot of people's lives have been turned upside down this year,” Galvin said. “So we wanted to really take away any financial barrier to our work.”Tickets can be purchased on Cardinal’s website until 10 a.m. the day of the show. Afterwards, people can still purchase tickets by calling the Cardinal Stage Box Office at (812) 336-9300 or purchase tickets at the door.
Attendees must also pay an entrance fee of $7 per car to McCormick's Creek State Park if they do not own a 2021 Indiana State Park Permit.