Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finding Peace in This House: Brian

Welcome to the fifth entry in our six-week series focused on ETD's Finding Peace in This House, which opens January 23, 2012. Today, we offer a sneak peek into the process of sculpting and performing the story of Brian.

Brian is currently serving seven years in prison. He talks about how he ended up where he is today, including growing up in a broken home, using drugs, and struggling with depression. Brian is just one of the six remarkable people featured in Finding Peace in This House. (Click here to read about the other stories that comprise the show.)

Hillary Doyle, a graduate student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, interviewed Brian and then transcribed and edited his story. ETD artistic associate Wes Clark performs Brian's story onstage. Hillary and Wes share insight into their own experiences working on this project.

Hillary (Story Collector):

"What an amazing, life-changing, powerful process! The collaboration between Erasing the Distance and The Chicago School was a great opportunity for me, as a Clinical Psychology doctorate student, to throw my textbook out the window and better appreciate the subjective experiences of individuals who have experienced mental illness. Working with Erasing the Distance has allowed me to gain a sense of empathy and understanding of mental health issues that has surpassed the knowledge I’ve learned in my training thus far. The process of interviewing Brian, transcribing the interview, and forming it into a monologue was a rigorous yet rewarding process. Brian mentioned several times in the past that he wanted to write a memoir about his life, so when I heard about ETD, I knew Brian would be interested in sharing his story. Wes, the actor who portrayed Brian, was able to accurately tell Brian’s story and expose the confusion, depression, and anger that Brian described while telling his story. I wish Brian could have been in the audience to witness the powerful reactions and support of the audience members. I was excited and inspired by the support of the community and those who came together at Finding Peace in this House."

Wes (Actor):
Wes Clark as Brian
"I've been acting with Erasing the Distance for several years now, and Finding Peace in This House is assembled from stories that strike me as a little different from some of the other shows I've seen or performed in with ETD. In past shows, many of the stories share a common thread about how each person can reach a place in their lives where they may achieve a measure of understanding and acceptance about the struggle of learning to live with a mental illness. These stories illustrate the kind of peace everyone needs in order to feel confident in our ability to steer our lives in a chosen direction. To me, the stories in Finding Peace in this House are about the difficulty of reaching that place, and our storytellers are at different places along that journey towards finding that peace. Brian, the young man whose story I perform, is still faced with numerous obstacles, both internal and external, and his struggle is still ongoing. But his honesty and his bravery in telling his friend about his struggles and his constant willingness to keep trying to find that place where he can overcome those obstacles is what Finding Peace in This House is all about. I'm proud to be part of this show."
Please join us Jan. 23, 24, 30 or 31 for Finding Peace in This House. Advance ticket purchasers save $5.00 off each ticket! With only four performances, tickets will go quickly. SO GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

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