Mental illness does not discriminate. Although there is more access to information, many still suffer silently or face stigma when they come out with their illness. What is this experience like for actors in Singapore? Are they expected to just deal with their mental health issues because they are seen as ‘tortured artists’ and ‘so full of drama’?
In 2019, as part of The Necessary Stage's developmental platform The Orange Production, the company presented Acting Mad, a verbatim play based on interviews with 20 actors who have experienced or are going through mental health issues.
This iteration, specially commissioned by Esplanade for The Studios 2022, incorporates new interview texts and testimonies, as well as actors’ responses to the pandemic and its impact on them.
Can sharing our stories, and creating theatre, be a form of solace and support?
Written and Directed by Haresh Sharma
Assistant Director: Deonn Yang
Performed by Ghafir Akbar, Karen Tan, Masturah Oli, and Tan Guo Lian Sutton
Texts by Haresh Sharma, Harris Albar and Maryam Noorhimli
Choreographer: Edith Podesta
Assistant Choreographer: Ryan Ang
Dramaturg: Sindhura Kalidas
Researcher: Arielle Jasmine Van Zuijlen
Support Facilitator: Rosie McGowan
Set Designer: Vincent Lim
Lighting Designer: Yo Shao Ann
Multimedia Designer: M. Nurfadhli Jasni
Multimedia Consultant: Brian Gothong Tan
Sound Designer: Te Hao Boon