Playhouse 615 performers spotlight mental health in production of ‘Next to Normal’

MOUNTAIN. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mt. Juliet performers are using their craft to showcase mental health issues while bringing a Broadway musical to life in central Tennessee.

“I think this musical is very timely right now because more people than ever are dealing with mental health issues and this shines a light on that,” said Daniel Vincent, who plays ‘Dan’ in the production of ‘Next to Normal’. . The musical follows the story of a family dealing with grief and mental illness.

For Vincent, performing in the musical has been a cathartic experience, confronting his own history of mental health. “I feel like I’ve been in some of these situations, so I really related to that,” he said.

Memory Strong takes on the role of Diana-Dan’s wife and a mother struggling with bipolar disorder. “She’s dealing with delusions, depression, a suicide attempt,” Strong said.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical draws attention to the mental health crisis facing the entire country, including at the local level.

“There is a devastating lack of mental health counselors in Middle Tennessee right now,” Strong said. “There’s a three-month waiting list and if someone is in crisis, thinking about suicide, they can’t afford to wait three months.”

Cast members are bringing the themes front and center, hoping the audience can relate.

“I think we can all relate to the pain and anxiety and isolation that has been such a big issue over the last two years and living through the pandemic and I think the ability to express that in a safe space with people who care about you. , about the community and about the material is a wonderful and cathartic experience,” said program director Matt Smith.

  बॉडी मसाज कराने के हैं ये अनगिनत फायदे, जानें किस वक्त करवाना चाहिए मसाज

performances They are on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and last until February 27.

Strong said that “the most important thing is to create normalcy around mental health issues and how they affect, not just the person treating them, but the people around them.”

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis in Tennessee can call TN State Crisis Hotline at 1-855-CRISIS-1. Those struggling with suicidal thoughts can call National Lifeline for Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255.

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