With refreshing humour, this memoir-play cracks open the stigma around mental health and waits for your response.
Comedian and certified insane person Jan Derbyshire turns the audience into a mental health review board to help determine her current state of sanity. Through this fiercely funny one-woman show, Jan tells you all about her experience being certified a total of 8 times, and how she got to where she is today. Join the irreverent fun of Jan’s journey through the mental health system and grapple with hefty questions like: how do we define “crazy” and who gets to decide? In this case: you do.
This show has seen a number productions across the country since it first premiered in 2018 at Handsome Alice Theatre (Calgary). It’s the 23rd play that Jan has written, 8 of which were solo shows.
Jan says, “I think that it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to laugh at something that we don’t think we can laugh at, and to experience that opening from an audience and then take them a little deeper, and then bring in other laughs… I really treat depression with humour. If I [lose] my own humour, then I will be listening to stand-up or finding whatever I can to kind of right myself again.”
Touchstone Theatre Artistic Director and Certified Director, Roy Surette, adds, “Mental health issues have come out of the closet recently, though there still is much stigma attached—especially suicide ideation and harrowing pharmaceutical experiences like the ones Jan has lived through. Employing her audacious, articulate writing style, Jan creates candid, compelling material about discovering her need for vigilant self-care. Her background as a trail blazing, queer, female stand-up comedian and her vast experience as a playwright-performer contributes to making Certified a rich and unique work.”
Written and Performed by Jan Derbyshire
Directed by Roy Surette
IN BRIEF: Certified by Jan Derbyshire. A Touchstone Theatre Production at the Vancity Culture Lab October 31–November 16, 2019. Preview: October 31 at 8pm. Opening: November 1 at 8pm. Tickets: General: $35; Preview: $20; Student/Senior/Artist: $20. Box Office: www.tickets.thecultch.com| 604.251.1363. Show times: Tuesday–Saturday: 8 pm; 2 pm matinees: Nov 3, 9, 10, 16.
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