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  • New Hampshire Theatre Project’s second Elephant-in-the-Room Series event focuses on Mental Illness

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    January 23, 2018
    New Hampshire Theatre Project
    West End Studio Theatre
    959 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH 03801
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 19, 2018
    Press Information:  Tamre Steinhauer, 603-431-6644, ext. 1
    New Hampshire Theatre Project’s second Elephant-in-the-Room Series event focuses on Mental Illness
    Featuring Snap! written & performed by Regi Carpenter
    Thursday, February 8 – 7 pm
    West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington Street, Portsmouth
    All proceeds to benefit Seacoast Mental Health Center
    Sponsored by Exeter Hospital
    The second event in New Hampshire Theatre Project’s provocative new Elephant-in-the-Room Series of playreadings and community discussion will focus on the topic of Mental Illness, featuring a performance of Snap! by guest artist Regi Carpenter. Regi has toured her solo shows and workshops in theaters, festivals and schools, nationally and internationally.  She is the recipient of many awards, including Storytelling World, Parent’s Choice, and Parents’ Guide to Children’s Media Award. Her stories have been featured on Sirius Radio, Apple Seed Radio, The Moth, and NPR.   Snap! is a winner of the Boston StorySlam.
    Snap! is the story of a sixteen-year-old girl’s descent into mental illness, her commitment to a state mental hospital and her journey back to reality and freedom.  Personal admission of hospitalization is still covered in secrecy, rarely treated as directly and honestly as it is in Snap!  Yet Carpenter doesn’t think of herself as courageous to share her personal experience of recovery.  “My challenge was how to bring this story to others in a way that allowed them to find their own story in mine,” she explains.  The show uses music, gesture and humor to put audiences into the experience as well as to facilitate a deeper understanding of mental health challenges.  As she created the story, Carpenter learned that the past doesn’t control us.  “What I can see in my experience now is a deeply troubled teen who could no longer cope and who received love, care and hope in the darkest place.”
    Following the performance of Snap!, Timothy Barretto will host a discussion with audience members and a panel of experts.  Along with performing artist Regi Carpenter, the panel will include Dr. Andrew Kaplan and Jennifer Kinsey from Seacoast Mental Health Center, Maren Tirabassi, and Teddi Kenick-Bailey. Andrew Kaplan is a staff psychiatrist at SMHC, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, with training in Adult & Child Psychiatry from Maine Medical Center in Portland.  Jennifer Kinsey is a licensed psychotherapist focusing on older adults in clinical and community settings.  She is also director of the state REAP (Referral, Education, Assistance, Prevention) Program. Maren Tirabassi is a United Church of Christ pastor in New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1980, the author of twenty books, a former poet laureate of Portsmouth, NH, and a facilitator for many New Hampshire Humanities Council programs.  Teddi Kenick-Bailey is a local actor and community member with personal experience in recovery from mental illness. 
    Admission to the reading and discussion is free, but donations will be cheerfully accepted to benefit Seacoast Mental Health Center.  Donations will help provide mental health services to those children, adolescent and adult clients with limited financial resources.
    NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series presents playreadings and performances  about subjects that we as a society often have difficulty discussing.  This season’s topics include: Human Trafficking and Sexual Abuse; Mental Illness; the Opioid Crisis Effect on Families; and Death and Dying.  Each event is moderated by Timothy Barretto, known for his UNH courses on Managing Conflict in the Community. Questions focus on attitudes about ethical issues involved in the subject over time and today, and our responsibility as a society to bring these issues out of the shadows and into the cultural mainstream. Audience members who wish to help bring these social issues out into the open will be provided with an Action Plan for positive action steps and ways to get involved.
    NHTP’s Elephant-in-the-Room Series is possible through generous funding by NH Humanities and the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle.  The February 8 performance of Snap! is sponsored by Exeter Hospital.  For more information, visit www.nhtheatreproject.org.
    Courtesy Photo:  Regi Carpenter

    Tamre Steinhauer
    Admin. Coordinator, NHTP

    29 Years of Theatre for Life! New Hampshire Theatre Project is dedicated to creating transformational and educational theatre that encourages community dialogue, leadership skills, creative thinking and self-reflection.  New Hampshire Theatre Project - it's an experience!

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    Tamre Steinhauer, Administrative Coordinator
    (603) 431-6644