Health is no act for touring theatre

PORT HARDY-Production of Maladjusted Feb. 4 at Civic Centre aims to entertain, inform while bringing audience into the show

Happy New Year, Mount Waddington!

Last column, I touched on an upcoming event – the interactive theatre offering that will be held Feb. 4 at the Civic Centre in Port Hardy. Theatre for Living’s critically acclaimed Maladjusted is set to tour 26 communities across B.C. and Alberta.

This is an opportunity for people who are often marginalized to have their stories heard. Being heard is a significant aspect of feeling healthy and connected to one’s community. The event will be quite unique and is described in Theatre for Living information below:

Audiences are calling it a “thought-provoking, gut-wrenching, funny, sad, and mind-broadening” piece of interactive theatre.  Maladjusted engages audiences with powerful images and authentic voices weaving together three very personal narratives: a young teenager struggling with sadness over her friend’s suicide is misdiagnosed by her doctor; a young homeless man who is legitimately taking prescription meds gets thrown into dangerous circumstances by social workers, who are, from within a mechanizing system, trying their best to help him; and finally, a broader perspective on those who are unable to adjust to the needs of a maladjusted mental health sector, and are potential agents for change.

Maladjusted takes audience members on an intimate journey, builds up to a breathtaking crisis and then simply stops. Next, at this heightened moment of suspense, they are invited to engage with the characters from a safe, entertaining and creative space where anything is possible!

Directed by Vancouver’s veteran theatre maker “local hero” and “international treasure” David Diamond, and performed by a very talented cast of patients and caregivers who really know the mental health system, maladjusted is two and a half hours of riveting, ground-breaking and perspective-altering forum theatre.

The production has proven successful in reaching and involving diverse audiences, including families, mental health patients and those working in the mental health and counseling community in an essential dialogue.

How? By opening up an opportunity for people who are living with issues of stigmatization and mechanization of the system to articulate a narrative that allows all sides of the issue to explore practical and yet creative solutions.

To learn of ticket sale venues in Port Hardy and Port McNeill please contact Linda Cochrane at 250-956-4461, ext. 66252, or e-mail Shane.thomas@viha.ca. Those living in Port Alice can obtain tickets from Gail Neely at 250-284-3927. The event is being sponsored by the Addictions Services Planning Committee of the Mount Waddington Health Network.

Volunteers still required for the Port Hardy performance include an usher, a ticket taker, six physically fit people to help unload and load the equipment truck, and people to assist with putting up posters and spreading the word.

We hope to see you at the show!

Barb Park is coordinator of the Mount Waddington Health Network, which advocates for North Islanders across a spectrum of health and social services issues. info@mountwaddingtonhealthnetwork.com or 250-230-1238.