Madness, Masks and Miracles
A Play to Dispel Myths and Stigmas
about Mental Illness
Co-written by June Swadron and Victoria Maxwell
Co-produced by Hub Productions and June Swadron
DVD of MADNESS, MASKS & MIRACLES NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!
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Track 1: Junie’s Story – with Brock Tully Hosting
Track 2 – Live Performance of Madness, Masks and Miracles
Track 3 – Talk Back – (conversation) with the audience
A DVD Presentation
The evening includes a talk with playwright June Swadron, the screening of Madness, Masks and Miracles, a talk-back with the audience. June will also be introducing her vision of a centre in downtown Victoria called The Academy for Creative and Healing Arts for People with Mental Health Challenges. June will share her passion on how creativity transforms mental illness into mental health.
“This play is a winner. June Swadron and her writing team and actors engage the audience immediately and throughout with what it’s like to have a mental illness in contemporary society. We feel the anguish and confusion, we witness the denial in co-workers and family, we experience the shame of the sufferer and the multiple losses and we learn painfully about the limitations of our treatments. Yet this production is not cynical or depressing. It is moving, inspiring and intensely evocative. A gift. A call-to-arms. A must-see for every Canadian citizen.”
Dr. Michael Meyers, President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association
About the Play
Susan, the protagonist, is a successful lawyer, suffering from clinical depression and panic attacks. When she can no longer “keep it together,” her hopelessness takes over, and she ends up in the psychiatric ward of a large city hospital. She encounters other patients who, like her, are intelligent, courageous, frightened and suffering from various forms of mental illness. As their stories begin to unravel, they are no longer “crazy people in a mental ward” but people with hearts and lives and challenges that go along with an illness that is often misunderstood, shunned and heavily stigmatized.
As Susan slowly begins to speak candidly to family members and colleagues about her struggles, despite their wanting her to “snap out of it”, she begins to empower herself. At the end of the play there is no immediate resolution. Instead the audience is left figuratively looking in a mirror of their own feelings, beliefs and opinions about people living with mental health challenges.
Madness, Masks and Miracles: When illness strikes, it can feel like Madness has taken hold. When other people misunderstand and treat those who are ill with disregard or disrespect, the person with the illness will put on a Mask to hide their shame – if they can. When understanding, compassion, respect, caring and kindness are given, they become the catalyst toward developing self-worth and dignity. The masks can come off so that the Miracles can begin!
This is what happened for June. Inspired to write this profound play, miracles began to abound when June realized that she needed to remove the masks of shame. With no social support for bi-polar illness diagnosed at age 19, June had learned to put on masks in the attempt to be accepted. After deciding to step out of hiding, June now sees how her illness has been her greatest teacher and most profound gift. She now empowers others to remove their masks and shine their light in the world.
Co-Written by June Swadron & Victoria Maxwell
Co-produced by June Swadron with Hub Productions and Lee Clarke
Director – Rondel Reynoldson
Dramaturge – Elizabeth Paddon
Actors: June Swadron, Sheila Paterson, Victoria Maxwell, Erin Graham, David Flynn, Pamela Moore
Stage Manager – Roger Greenberg
Original Music – Steve Elliott
Lyrics – June Swadron
Click here to hear June Swadron interviewed by and Lynn Thompson, journalist for - Living on Purpose in which June shares her personal story of challenge, hope, transformation and empowerment.