Mental Health Issues Take the Stage
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 22:04
Call Me Crazy, which premiered on Tuesday, is inspired by the day to day struggles of individuals battling mental health disorders.
The play was written by Nicole Teitelbaum ’14 in high school and developed as her special studies project. Teitelbaum has been responsible for directed, cast and organized the entire show.
Act One, “Cabaret,” comprises a series of original pieces and other works related to mental health issues. It showcased Smith students, including Hannah Trumbo ’14, a psychology major and member of mental health awareness group Active Minds.
Trumbo’s original song “Cellophane” details her struggles with her own mental health.
“The song is about my struggles with anorexia and depression. [It is about] the feeling of not wanting to be in my body and escaping, wanting to be somewhere else. The process of me performing this song is very cathartic,” said Trumbo.
“Cabaret” features a variety of passionate acts. “Unraveling” by Alisa Hartle ’13 critically examines the anonymity of depression in an earnest and honest way. The final scene, “Everyday Crazy,” written and performed by Taylor J. Middleton, focuses on the ideas of the generic disorders of mind.
This scene is different from the other in that there is no speaking from the main character, but a speedy rhythmic voiceover in the background: “The everyday man lives in an everyday world where his everyday is no different than hell.”
Act Two, “Just Eat,” is an original one-act comedy based on a true story. It features an adolescent girl recovering from anorexia.
“Just Eat” portrays quirky humor through a less than perfect family. The key characters of the too-outspoken grandmother, the overcritical father, the clueless mother and the teenager just trying to escape it all are highly relatable.
The topics of the show are heavy and sensitive subjects, and the performers bring passion, compassion, sensitivity and even light-hearted humor to tackle these issues.
“That’s what I hope Smithies take away from the show and fit into their own mental health world,” Trumbo said. “Instigate change by surrendering to people and being vulnerable to challenge and change them. [We are] taking a person’s story and expressing a wider inner struggle.”