Tonight’s guest blog post is brought to you by Poet Laureate of Douglasville, Georgia (USA) Alice Shapiro.
What’s Upstairs? the Musical-in-Development Workshop / Performance
Eventually, not knowing that I could have been helped, I hit an especially stressful time, was fired from my job of 12 years and lived in homeless shelters for 4 years. It was there I was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. Having said that, I can see people’s jaws drop, eyes bulge in fear and deep breaths looming all around me. Not to worry as after 6 years of medication and psychiatric appointments I am recovered from my experiences and have been medication-free for almost 4 years.
Sometimes after telling my story in excerpts people have suggested I write a book. Because reliving those days would have been depressing and mostly boring I never wanted to undertake such a project. One day I realized how absurd my entire life had been and suddenly thought that making a musical of it would be rather perfect. So, What’s Upstairs? was born.
Naturally, I have added segments from my imagination because I want What’s Upstairs? to be a truly entertaining spectacle as well as a vehicle of information about schizophrenia. Also I’m hoping that looking at this topic in a serious fun way will reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness in general and schizophrenia in particular. Most schizophrenics are not violent to others. The media and entertainment industry have warped the image quite nicely and unnecessarily. I fell that you can entertain and tell the truth at the same time.
So, what’s What’s Upstairs? about? A schizophrenic dream and a surprise ending. A little fantasy, a little reality… and it’s all in Blue’s head. Blue is a high school senior who wants to write a novel but is pushed down at every turn by her so-called best friend, Cindy.
On Friday, May 31, 2013 from 7:00-7:30PM EDT (New York time) you can see a FREE live workshop / performance of What’s Upstairs? the musical-in-development, from your computer. Simply go to the website www.whats-upstairs.com and click on the link at show time (7:00PM).
Since we are in an early phase of development, your feedback is especially critical. You can help by answering a 3-question survey after you see the performance. The survey is also on the website right underneath the link where you tuned into the show at www.whats-upstairs.com
Enjoy the show!
Thank you, Alice. I’ll be there watching. 🙂
Alice Shapiro is an award-winning playwright and author of three poetry collections and one play. She currently serves as Poet Laureate of Douglasville, Georgia. You can visit her website at www.whats-upstairs.com.
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