Forum: Arts and the Filter of Mental Illness

Sun, Feb 24, 2019 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Fireside Room

People have filters. They are  much like the filter you might put on a camera. The whole camera is still there and the filter is something extra you use to add a little pizzazz or reduce some annoying element like glare. Mental illness is a filter that many people have. Some have a stronger filter than others, one that can start to impede and some have a filter that adds so much it spills beyond the bounds of brilliance.

How do you capture the whole picture accurately in a piece of writing or theatre about mental illness without distorting or manipulating? This is the primary challenge that a writer who works with the subject can have. The challenge is different  when working with fiction than with non-fiction, and the distinction in form and result is an interesting one to look at. The challenge can be particularly dramatic and exciting when working with playwriting and theatre. Especially given the experience in theatre is never a solitary one and the dynamics of the group can be fragile. Come and share your thoughts on the issue with a writer who has written to the topic of mental illness in both a novel and a non-fiction anthology, and has produced a play written by five writers from a mental health worldview.

Lenore Rowntree’s novel Cluck was published in 2016 (Thistledown Press). She is co-editor and contributor to the anthology of life stories Hidden Lives: true stories from people living with mental illness (Brindle & Glass, 2nd edition 2017).

She produced and co-wrote the theatre piece SRO Stars as part of the Heart of the City Festival in 2018. All of these works are from a mental health worldview.


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