It’s never easy to talk about mental health. The stigma in society forces people to hide or even invalidate such negative and crippling emotions.
But even in conservative countries like the Philippines, more people are breaking the taboo on mental health through different avenues of action. The Sandbox Collective and 9Works Theatrical delivers mental health awareness in a new light to Manila with their adaptation of Duncan MacMillan’s internationally acclaimed Every Brilliant Thing.
Directed by Jenny Jamora, Every Brilliant Thing is a one-woman show about Angela (played by Teresa Herrera) and her mission to help her clinically depressed mother make life worth living again by listing down 1,000 brilliant things. It’s a rollercoaster of candid emotions, from awkward to funny, sadness to joy, anger to hopefulness.
What is also unique to Every Brilliant Thing is how every show is different. Teresa Herrera doubles as a casting director as she pulls different audience members onto center stage to act as various characters, from Angela’s father to even her boyfriend. She constantly breaks the fourth wall to interact with the audience and encourage them to be a part of the play to either relate or learn more about the struggles of mental health.
Now on their closing weekend, Every Brilliant Thing holds post-show discussions with mental health experts, such as to open and facilitate conversations with the audience members. The production sheds light on various ways for mental health victims to seek out help, from local support groups to suicide hotlines as well.
Join the conversation this March 16, Saturday, at 2:30 PM at the Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, 26th Street, cor. 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.