Today, a young girl presents a school project. An advertising executive is pitching a new client. A stand-up comedian prepares for a tour. Everyone is feeling it, but no one wants to talk about it. Collaboraction explored mental illness in THE MARS ASSIGNMENT.
“People with depression are usually placed in exploitative roles in theatre and film,” says Hiltner, who was inspired to start the process to create The Mars Assignment. “We specifically set out to create a show that showed realistic characters living with depression in the way that millions of people do. Living the 'everyday' and navigating stigmas, without leaning on the stigmatizing tropes of suicide and addiction.”
Every performance also featured an open discussion with co-creator Elsa Hiltner and various Community Partners including NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness)
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY:
RAN OCTOBER - NOVEMBER OF 2016
Guests at the following performances:
THE ENTIRE RUN
October 20 - November 20
National Alliance on
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI works to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.
Erasing the Distance
ETD collects true stories from people whose lives have been impacted by mental health issues, and we sculpt their actual words into monologues and scenes. Our ensemble of professional actors then brings these stories to life onstage before a live audience. Every performance is followed by a moderated, interactive dialogue with the audience that explores the play’s themes and, when appropriate, identifies mental illness signs, symptoms, recovery options, and community resources.
For The Mars Assignment, Collaboraction is proud to have partnered up with several incredible organi-zations that provide support and resources to families and individuals living with depression or other mental illnesses as well as raise awareness, acting as allies and advocates. After every performance, there will be a discussion about the play and its themes and will feature a representatives from one (or multiple) of our community partners. By connecting with these organi-zations, we can become more informed and therefore better equipped to be effective friends and allies. Learn more about these amazing groups and how to engage with them by clicking on any of the slides to the left.
ERIC/JAXSON- JOE MCCAULEY
AMY/JENNIFER - KRISTIN E. ELLIS
ALISON - MCKENZIE FRANKLIN
JEFF/CRAIG - JUSTIN WADE WILSON
CHRISTOPHER - JOSEPH GALIZIA
DIANE/KATIE - GEORGANN CHARUHAS
ALISON UNDERSTUDY - ZOE LUCAS
AMY/DIANE UNDERSTUDY - SCHOEN SMITH
ERIC/JEFF UNDERSTUDY - DUANE DEERING
RONAN MARRA - PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR
ELSA HILTNER* - CO-CREATOR/ASST. DIRECTOR
SARAH MOELLER* - PRODUCER
MICHELLE ROTH - STAGE MANAGER
CAITLIN BODY - ASST. STAGE MANAGER
BECCA VENABLE - TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
ASHLEY ANN WOODS* - SET DESIGNER
ANTHONY P. INGRAM - SOUND DESIGNER
CAITLIN R. DALTON - COSTUME DESIGNER
MAYA MICHELE FEIN - LIGHTING DESIGNER
DOMENIC LAURY - MASTER ELECTRICIAN
HOLLY MCCAULEY - PROPERTIES DESIGNER
KELLY BUTLER- PRODUCTION MANAGER
*designates company member*
The first reading of THE MARS ASSIGNMENT in The Salon at Collaboraction Studios on May 21, 2016.
The reading featured a script written by Ronan Marra (in collaboraction with Elsa Hiltner), stage directions read by Anie Svarz, and a cast that included Justin Dietzel, Ebony Joy, Georgann Charuhas, Nat Swift, McKenzie Franklin, and Justin Wade Wilson.
The official trailer for The Mars Assignment. Shot by Louis and edited by Joel Maisonet.