Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 19th-21st: 'Stand Up for Mental Health CT' Comedy Show, with David Granirer and the Second Step Players

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

 Connecticut's mental health comedy initiative is supported by Artreach, an organization centered in Norwich. The Second Step Players had their origin at Artreach, which has a focus on overall wellness, and on establishing a supportive local mental health community. Granirer, whose inspiration for SMH came from his long comic career, will be headlining the show. 

The local comics bring their unique experiences to the mic, and inevitably show that neurodiversity gives us a lot to laugh about, and can enrich society. These performers are our local Connecticut folk, our neighbors and friends. Comedy has a lot of power to address stigmatic issues in an approachable way, and have some fun while we're at it.

About Stand Up for Mental Health:

David Granirer
Photo credit: MMIX Patrick Tam,

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.

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