The Parable of Mental Illness at MITF

Altonya Longmore reviews

Not-StampedIT’S NOT STAMPED ON YOUR FOREHEAD written and directed by Natasha Cobb; starring Erica Johnson and Adetnuke Adetunji. Forced into therapy after leaving a mental hospital a shattered woman struggles with how to thrive while living with bipolar disorder. (Drama)

It’s Not Stamped on your Forehead is a play about a woman named Sasha, recently diagnosed with Stage 1 bipolar disorder, handling a future with it. The play focuses on a therapy session. She tells her therapist about all the hardships about her disability. Disadvantages like not being about to read or write like she used to, not feeling like she could thrive with being bipolar, and feeling like people think of as a threat to society. This play was very emotional and gave me a strong sense of how others with this disorder might feel we view them as.

Sasha is a very lively character and made this play feel as powerful as it is meant to be. Erica Johnson did a great job at portraying how this disorder makes people feel. She talked about depression and thoughts of suicide bring a sense of understanding and care from the audience. Instead of uplifting her and making her believe that she can thrive, she is treated her like a criminal.  Adetnuke Adetunji as the therapist “Ann” played a major roll in creating the tension and the understanding.

What’s surprising to me is that later on in the play, it is divulged that the therapist also has a mental disorder. The play’s ending is left open to our now-somewhat-pessimistic imagination as suicide is till on the table.

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