Upcoming Piece of Mind Festival to Explore Mental Health Through Theatre
Launching for the first time in early 2023, AUC’s Piece of Mind festival aims to normalize conversations about mental health by featuring scripts written by members of the AUC community on mental health and well-being.
The festival will be accepting English and Arabic submissions from students, alumni, faculty and staff until October 15.
“Despite global efforts to raise more awareness about the importance of mental health and to destigmatize it, Egyptian society still has a way to go,” says Nadine Abdel Razek ‘20, festival artistic director. “We wanted to use theatre, as the powerful tool that it is, in creating change and starting conversations about this vital topic.”
Piece of Mind will showcase realistic,10-minute plays about mental health and community. Ahead of the festival, Abdel Razek and their team will select seven to nine scripts from the AUC community’s submissions to develop, after which three to five will be offered a place in the festival. Each script will be assigned a director, and a casting call for actors will follow. AUC community members are encouraged to audition.
The festival was created and is overseen by Jillian Campana, professor and associate dean for Undergraduate Studies and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “When I initiated this community project I wanted to promote the idea that mental health is an issue for all of us,” she said. “Needing to talk about it, or wanting help is nothing to be ashamed of; rather seeking help when we need it is part of our total wellness."
The production will take place at AUC early February 2023 and will provide an opportunity for its creators and the audience to start conversations, connect with one another and see the ability of theatre to guide social change and acceptance.
“We want these plays to show people that they are never alone in whatever they’re going through, that whatever they may be experiencing and/or struggling with is valid,” Abdel Razek explains. “We hope that this festival can help normalize this often taboo topic and help destigmatize it, allowing people to talk more openly about mental health struggles.”