by Mary Winne Sherwood
On the evening of Saturday, November fifteenth, Ki (pronounced "Key") Theatre, based out of Washington, Virginia, will present a profoundly moving event. A play entitled, "My Sister's Sister", it is the story of one woman's experience with a loved one who develops schizophrenia. It is about growing up, seeing the world, misplacing a sister and finding her again. It is packed with laughter, surprise, tears and joy.
The third play of a trilogy written by starring actress Julie Portman, "My Sister's Sister" explores the playwright's childhood, her coming of age in the riot-torn Boston of the 1960s, her travels to India to study dance, and ultimately her commitment to postpone her professional life and care for her mentally ill sister. It is a journey of discovery and transcendence, set to a musical score by Portman's husband, Paul Reisler. It is the story of two sisters, one an artist, the other schizophrenic‹and the simple understanding it takes to accept each other just the way we are.
"My Sister's Sister" is more than just a theatrical production. It takes a look at mental illness with a vigorous intelligence. Families experience many challenges but perhaps few, as this play suggests, are as difficult as regaining a foothold in the quaking landscape of profound mental illness. This play presents the issues with frankness and relevance. A panel discussion and reception will follow the presentation, during which the audience may talk about their experiences and their reactions to the play with the actress and other members of the mental health community. Sponsoring organizations include the OPC Area Program, the OPC Foundation, the Mental Health Association of Orange County and the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Other supporters include the North Carolina Arts Council and the Charter Behavioral Health Systems. The hope is that this event will promote partnerships between mental health programs in the communities and the arts and education institutions to work together to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
The play will be presented at The Phillips Auditorium at Guy B. Phillips Middle School on Estes Drive in Chapel Hill, on Saturday, November 15, 1997 at 7 PM. Tickets are available at $10 each, with scholarships available for OPC clubhouse clients. All proceeds will be designated to cover costs and support the OPC Foundation.
|Mary Winne Sherwood works for Orange-Person-Chatham Mental Health Center.|
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