Home Music intervention The Atkins actor presents a one-man show at the Black Box Theater

The Atkins actor presents a one-man show at the Black Box Theater

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Staff report

A “brilliant” thing is happening in Southwest Virginia in November.

Luke Sage, a senior at Wise University, originally from Atkins and a graduate of Marion Senior High School, will tour in the internationally acclaimed solo show “Every Brilliant Thing”, written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. The shows will take place in Wise, on the UVA-Wise campus, the Lincoln Theater in Marion and the June Bug Center in Floyd.

The play, a dark drama and comedy that tackles the serious issues of depression, suicide, and trying hard for those we love, was first produced in 2013.

The piece begins with an ice cream. When the mother of a 6-year-old boy attempts suicide, he begins to write down the little things that will help him realize that life is worth living. Ice cream is #1 on the list. Over a lifetime of trying to define and capture happiness, the list of shiny things becomes thousands of entries recited by participating audience members.

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Despite its dark and important subject matter, the play has regularly been hailed as an uplifting and magical evening of theater.

Now a senior at the University of Virginia College at Wise, Sage is no stranger to performing.

He fell in love with performing in second grade – when he wowed a hundred classmates at Atkins Elementary School with a few magic tricks. Later that year, he made his debut in the school production “Annie Jr.”

On her way to the pro stage, Sage took on roles ranging from Teach in “American Buffalo” and Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire” to Judge Turpin in “Sweeney Todd” and Ariel in “The Tempest.”

The Marion Senior High School graduate made his professional stage debut at age 18, playing Cap Hatfield in “Sally McCoy” in Pikeville, Kentucky.

Now 21, Sage has also ventured into the world of film, including playing a starring role in the 2021 feature film ‘Royal Ashes’. Other screen credits include supporting roles in “The Life and Times of Joshua James” in Grand Rapid, Michigan, and the role of Judge Pierce Jr. in “Divine Intervention,” filmed in New Orleans. He also worked as an extra on several television shows, including “Hightown” and “Outer Banks.”

The Atkins native is also a musician, playing with the Crowe Hollerers, the band he formed in high school with his brother. The group performs regularly in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

In the summer of 2021, Sage presented two days of music, storytelling and drama as part of the Crowe Hollerers’ Medicine Show. The show, which featured Marion and Wise, premiered two short pieces and featured musicians from Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee.

Floyd’s performance of “Every Brilliant Thing” will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 5. Paid tickets are available online at junebugcenter.com and at the door.