Blue Rooms: How the Book Became a Play
UPDATE, post production: Visit BLUE ROOMS to see photographs and footage + read reviews from this special production as well as get your copy of the book that started it all!
I've struggled with chronic depression and anxiety my whole life. Starting as a young girl, I became entangled in the mental healthcare system, looking to different therapists and treatments to help me find some relief.
As a teenager, I was outcasted because I was, to say the least, different. I felt misunderstood, less than worthy of my peers, and the intrusive and racing thoughts I'd battled with since childhood were amplified because I felt ostracized and alone.
As a young adult, I set out to make a difference. Before becoming a professional writer, I worked for ten years as a mental health specialist, and I often used writing to help young people cope with and heal from their mental illness and feelings of worthlessness and anxiety. And although I'd done the work to find healing for myself, I was scared to share my story and to be honest about what I had gone through.
Now, as a professional writer and book coach, I have spent many years encouraging others to tell their story; to summon the courage to talk about their experience so that they might not feel alone. But I hadn't yet told my own story. Blue Rooms is that story.
Now, I need your help.
Blue Rooms is the first of its kind in that it is a spoken word stage production that creatively combines the worlds of literature and poetry with theater, dance, and music. But beyond that, Blue Rooms is a movement.
With Blue Rooms, I want to create a safe and creatively charged space that inspires open and HONEST conversations about mental illness.
How are we doing that?
Blue Rooms is a multi-layered effort to inspire transparent conversation around mental health:
All three acts of Blue Rooms function as both the telling a singular story as well as social commentary on how mental illness is portrayed and treated. In Act One, our lead character begins to discover her difference at age 6, beginning a journey that spans into her adolescence. Over the course of 10 years, she struggles to understand and cope with the chaos in her mind, but she also goes on a journey of discovery, learning about how mental illness has been passed down through her family, and how the women around her treat their own mental illness.
Act Two takes our leading lady into young adulthood, where we learn how mental illness so deeply affects our self-image that it might cause us to seek out destructive relationships. Our lead falls in and out of love and in and out of despair as she works to transition into adulthood while also being heartbroken. Act Two stresses how at risk those with mental illness are for substance abuse and dangerous co-dependencies as well as how society marginalizes adults with mental illness.
Act Three represents all that is possible as our leading woman comes to understand herself and heal. She shows us that there is a path to empowerment and liberation from the bindings of mental illness, and standing strong in her identity, she creates a new reality for herself that isn't stained with the dark sickness that she spent so many years identifying with.
Every attendee will receive a playbill chocked full of local and national mental health resources. We have worked hard to identify local mental health organizations who are making a difference so that we can spread their services through Blue Rooms. Do you own or belong to an organization that would like to be featured in our playbill? Learn more HERE.
Every ticket purchase comes with free admission to the after party, which will take place directly after the show in the upstairs Lincoln Room at the music hall. We encourage everyone to share with each other, with myself, and with the cast and crew how Blue Rooms made them feel and how they might be able to relate to its topics. The soiree is a celebration as well as a place to connect with others so that no one might feel alone!
We have been all over the place trying to spread the good word about Blue Rooms! Blue Rooms has been featured in publications and on the radio and there is more to come! The more people we can reach, the farther we can spread our message and break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. There are a bunch of ways you can be a part of this movement. Check them out HERE.
Blue Rooms is not a one-time show, and it has always been my intention to take it on the road. I want to touch cities across America with our message, creating honest and productive conversations about mental health everywhere! But I need your help. Already, other cities like Toledo, Ann Arbor, and Chicago are all interested in hosting Blue Rooms, but we have to sell out Pittsburgh first to make our next shows possible!
How Can I Help?
BUY YOUR TICKET
Get your ticket NOW and secure your seat before we sell out. There are discount rates for package tickets as well! You can buy your ticket HERE.
SPREAD THE WORD
I'm looking for a few motivated people to inspire their community! Simple things like handing out flyers and spreading the word is a HUGE help, so email me today if you can join our team!
SPONSOR A COSTUME
Because Blue Rooms in an immersive experience, every costume is made from locally sourced materials and is carefully handcrafted and imbued with the meaning of the poems each dress represents. This is a financially and labor intensive process, but is integral to the play, so this is your opportunity to have a hand in that process! Every costume sponsor will be featured in the Blue Rooms playbill, honoring their generous contribution. Browse dress sponsorships HERE!
INSPIRE YOUR ORGANIZATION
Does your organization support mental health awareness? Partnering with Blue Rooms is the perfect opportunity to help raise awareness and valuable conversations about mental with your team and in your community! All of our sponsors receive mention in the Blue Rooms playbill as well as a variety of advertising opportunities. Boost your exposure, support local Art, and join the Blue Rooms movement to break down the stigma around mental illness!