Friday, September 11, 2009

Hello, it's Friday

This week we kick off the weekend by introducing you to the woman who dreamed up and created our wonderful organization. As an occasional Friday series we will introduce you to another member of our ETD family of artists and mental health professionals.

Meet Brighid O'Shaugnessy, founder and Executive Artistic Director of Erasing the Distance.

Brighid was recently granted DePaul University's prestigious David O. Justice Award for her use of theatre to educate communities about mental health in non-traditional and creative ways. Her experience as a director, actor, teacher, and artist committed to social change has spanned the last 15 years.

In the past she has been the Co-Director of both The Thresholds Theatre Arts Project (which created space for adults with chronic and severe mental illness to write and perform their own stories) and Redmoon Theater's DramaGirls, which uses spectacle based theater to empower middle school girls to find their voices. She also taught at the Acting Studio Chicago (formerly known as the Audition Studio)and has created many original theatrical productions with teens in Chicago Public Schools based on social issues and their own personal stories.

Brighid holds a Masters of Arts in Personal and Professional Effectiveness from DePaul University where she was granted the Richard J. Meister Scholarship. Her undergraduate degree is from Santa Clara University in Theatre. Her commitment to health and well-being goes beyond Erasing the Distance. She is a mental health educator for families with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and has extensive training in personal coaching and leadership development through the Coaches Training Institute.

She will be performing one of the stories from our signature play, The People I Know, at the NAMI walk, so if you would like to meet her in person come on out to Grant Park this Sunday.

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