This weekend there will be three comedy performances in Willimantic, Middletown, and Norwich, in conjunction with Stand Up for Mental Health Connecticut. The shows-- Friday and Saturday evenings, and an afternoon show on Sunday-- feature David Granirer, the founder of SMH, and the long-standing local performance group the Second Step Players.
April 19, 7:30 pm. Windham High School, 355 High Street, Willimantic, CT 06226
April 20, 7:30 pm. Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown, CT 06457
April 21, 4:00 pm. Spirit of Broadway Theater, Norwich, CT 06360
The program behind Stand Up for Mental Health involves an integrative, therapeutic comedy skills training program, developed by Granirer a decade ago in Vancouver, B.C. Since then, international satellite programs have developed in many cities. This unique program engages performers with mental illnesses to transform their experiences into humor.
In the process, audience members at SMH shows are afforded new shared perspectives. Both the therapy model and the awesome performances that come out of SMH have received extensive documentary media coverage.
Just last week, Granirer received an Award of Excellence for Destigmatization from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. The SMH Connecticut facilitator, Becca Atkins, was recognized by the same organization for Artistic Contribution in collaboration with the Second Step Players. SMH engages local communities, like our own, and is also establishing a larger dialogue about mental health within an increasing number of cities.