Authenticity and the Price We Pay for Wearing Masks
Interview with Marina Ormes
Madness, Masks & Miracles: A Play to Dispel Myths and Stigmas about Mental Illness
Co-written by Junie Swadron and Victoria Maxwell
Co-produced by Hub Productions and Junie Swadron
Available on DVD
This DVD is perfect for you if:
- You suffer with mental health challenges
- You feel isolated and alone with your concerns
- You are a concerned family member, friend, care giver or employer
- You are a mental health organization and have it available in your library
- You want to be deeply inspired
“This play is a winner. June Swadron and her writing team and actors engage the audience immediately and throughout with what it’s like to have a mental illness in contemporary society. We feel the anguish and confusion, we witness the denial in co-workers and family, we experience the shame of the sufferer and the multiple losses and we learn painfully about the limitations of our treatments. Yet this production is not cynical or depressing. It is moving, inspiring and intensely evocative. A gift. A call-to-arms. A must-see for every Canadian citizen.”
Dr. Michael Meyers, President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to put on a different face, one that masks your true emotions, one that fools the outside world into thinking everything is just fine and dandy.
But that was me, hiding for months, year even; finding refuge under my stylish attire, cloaking my pain with a good sense of humour and concealing the grief with my work.
And it worked so well! I became a master of disguise so that no one on earth knew the truth.
But in the cold, dark entryways of my home, when solitude crept in, the mask would crack, and a volcano of pain would erupt and the tears would flow like lava burning into my soul with vengeance. Or conversely, I would be numb…and sit there as a frozen, empty pulse machine.
This would play itself out on a regular basis. The mask goes on, the mask comes off. And no one was the wiser.
But something had to give. I couldn’t keep up this charade forever.
What would happen when people found out my secret – that I lived with bi-polar illness?
Would that be the end of my career?
This decades-long struggle gave birth to Madness, Masks and Miracles©, a play conceived from the necessity to tell the truth.
It is about suffering, denial and secrets.
It is about friendship, humanity, and raw courage.
And ultimately it is about victory, the victory that came from the voices of those who wrote and starred in the production. Every person in the cast had their own mental health challenges or had a family member who did.
Madness, Masks and Miracles© is about the madness or the dark night of the soul we all go through, the masks we wear in public to keep from being judged, criticized, ostracized and marginalized.
And finally, it is about the miracles that let us remove the masks and let the world see who we really are.
It is a play to help dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness. It acts as a catalyst for honest open-hearted conversations about mental illness whether you are the sufferer, a family member, friend or care giver.
Everyone is affected. Everyone has a story to tell and each and every person deserves to be heard and acknowledged. It is only when all of us feel safe enough to shed the masks and speak authentically from our hearts that the madness ends and the miracles begin.
This is NOT a high-tech, big budget Hollywood production. Nonetheless, it’s just as powerful, just as meaningful, and just as authentic. The people are real. Their stories are real. And every line of the script that is acted on the stage comes from the heart and guts of true life experience.
And it’s available on DVD.
You can bring Madness, Masks and Miracles© into your home, office or any other meeting place so that more people can benefit from its message.
DVD of MADNESS, MASKS & MIRACLES
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE $24.95 plus shipping
25% of every DVD sold will go to BCSS Victoria Branch
Invite Junie to your city
as a keynote speaker or seminar leader
Junie imparts humour and delight in her talks and seminars. She empowers people to move from a perception of mental illness – pathology — to mental wellness, awareness, recovery and wholeness. Please contact Junie with inquiries.
“The play Madness, Masks and Miracles shows how difficult living with a mental illness can be; how denial, stigma, confusion; alienation lead to not revealing who we really are. It does this with the directness of anger, tears, humor, laughter and acceptance.
One leaves with a great sense of hope that it is possible to live with mental wellness and not just mental illness. It is a very inspiring, uplifting play appropriate for teens, young adults as well as other audiences. We were fortunate to have
Ms. Swadron at our showing of the play during a Mental Illness Awareness Week event. She participated in a very informative Q&A following the show sharing her own experiences and how they led to the development of the play.”
~National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Jefferson County, Port Townsend, Washington, USA