SUU Theatre Advocates Mental Health Through 4.48 Psychosis

Published: April 01, 2021 | Author: Emily Marie Cacho | Category: Arts

2021 Theatre Student  Theatre has changed a lot during COVID-19, but it continues to be impactful and important. The Theatre, Dance, and Arts Administration Department (TDAA) presents Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis to broach the topic of mental health, depression, and suicide through the eyes of a young woman as she struggles to make sense of her own depression through poetry, love, religion, and family. SUU theatre students will present this play in two different forms on April 8 (Realism), 9 (Avant-Garde), and 10 (Realism), 2021, at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on April 10 (Avant-Garde), 2021 at 2:00 p.m. To participate in this live streamed event online, please visit go.suu.edu/virtualtheater. There will also be a live audience option with a masked, social distant audience in the Auditorium to watch the performance on a big screen. Pre-registration is encouraged at least 15 minutes before the show.

This production contains themes centered around suicide and depression and could be triggering to some audience members. Viewer discretion is advised.

Dr. Scott C. Knowles, director of 4.48 Psychosis, discusses his concept for this piece, “This show is a unique experience in that we are doing the show in two different ways: as a realistic piece of theatre and as a more avant-garde exploration of the themes of the performance. The actors are the same for both productions and it is fascinating to work in two modes simultaneously.

“The play 4.48 Psychosis is one that, according to Sarah Kane’s long time Director, James MacDonald, was meant to be ‘an experiential picture of what depression is like […] to allow them [an audience] to experience that.’ For me, this is at the heart of the play. We are trying to explore the nature of depression and suicide in order to open up about depression and suicide within our community and provide a chance to empathize with and understand the struggles of our peers, our siblings, our parents, and our children,” Knowles states.

Audiences are encouraged to see the show twice to experience the realistic and avant-garde versions of the play. The production team is working on this project as a piece of Practice as Research (PaR) in which they are exploring emotion within the theatre and how it operates for actors as well as audiences. Actors are required to journal about their daily emotional experience in rehearsals. Audiences will have a similar opportunity after viewing the show.

Olivia Sham, a senior musical theatre major from Cedar City, Utah, talks about her experience, “Working on 4.48 Psychosis has been nothing short of inspiring and challenging in the best way. Every day I fall more in love with Kane's writing and the endless possibilities for storytelling and emotion that the text holds. This show is very heavy and may be challenging for many audience members to view so definitely read about it beforehand and use your discretion! Beyond that, I think it's important for audiences to know that this show isn't just about the dark side of mental illness. It is full of so much color and life and depth of emotion that I feel capture and encompass the experience of living with mental illness.”

This powerful production should be an impactful experience for both the audience and the theatre artists working on the show. To participate in 4.48 Psychosis, please visit go.suu.edu/virtualtheater on April 8 (Realism), 9 (Avant-Garde), and 10 (Realism), 2021, at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on April 10 (Avant-Garde), 2021 at 2:00 p.m. There will also be a live audience option with a masked, social distant audience in the Auditorium to watch the performance on a big screen. Pre-registration is encouraged at least 15 minutes before the show. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, please visit www.suu.edu/pva.

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 800 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit www.suu.edu/pva.

Tags: Theater College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact Information:

Ashley H Palmer, Public Relations & Information Coordinator
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pollocka@suu.edu