Behind the Door:  

Stopping the Stigma of Mental Illness

On Tuesday, May, 28th, the Appleton North High School Theatre Seminar/Production class will present a theatrical piece entitled BEHIND THE DOOR: STOPPING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS at 7:30 P.M. in the Large Group Instruction Room at North High School. 

Each year the North Theatre Seminar/Production class prepares a production dealing with some social issue topic relevant to our community and its youth.  Previous classes have dealt with the issues of body image, abuse, depression, suicide, homelessness, and drunk driving.  The 35 minute play utilizes a combination of performed poetry, monologues, images, and movement to bring light to this relevant issue.   It will be performed for North High School students during the school day on May 29TH. 

North educator and director, Ron Parker, stated,  “Theatre is one of the most effective vehicles for change, and these young students of theatre have committed their time and talent to creating positive change in the world around them.   BEHIND THE DOOR: STOPPING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS is a work intended to speak to the issue of mental health that confronts our schools and community every day.   Together the class researched types of mental disorders such as Asperger’s, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders, brought in experts on mental health and spoke with students willing to share their personal stories.  They then took on the challenging task of creating and selecting dramatic pieces, which most effectively addressed these issues.  Many of the pieces chosen are original works written by North students; others are poems composed by young people living with mental illness.   The message of BEHIND THE DOOR is that mental illness is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about, that that like other illnesses, it is eminently treatable and that it is much more common that people realize—one in four adults, approximately 61.5 million Americans, experience mental illness in a given year—not to mention the family and friends whose lives are also affected.   Only by breaking the stigma which surrounds it with example and education, can there be hope for understanding, acceptance, and change.  Through their willingness and courage to use their talent to present this theatrical project, the members of the North Theatre Seminar/Production class hope to do just that.”  

Admission to the public performance is free, but seating is restricted to 95 people.  Both the school and public performances will be followed by a talk back on the issues of mental health raised by the play.  For further information, contact Ron Parker, director at 832-4300 or via e-mail parkerronaldc@aasd.k12.wi.us .

BEHIND THE DOOR: STOPPING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS

On  Friday, May 2nd the Appleton North High School Theatre Seminar/Production class will present a theatrical piece entitled  BEHIND THE DOOR: STOPPING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS at 7:00 P.M. in the Grand Ballroom of the Radisson Paper Valley Conference Center and Hotel as part of the National Association of Mental Illness (N.A.M.I.) state conference.  

Each year the North Theatre Seminar/Production class at North prepares a production dealing with some social issue topic relevant to our community and its youth.  BEHIND THE DOOR was the production originally performed in May of 2013.  Current members of the  2014 class are reprising the performance for the N.A.M.I. conference.  The 45 minute play utilizes a combination of performed poetry, monologues, images, and movement to bring light to this relevant issue.   

 North educator and director, Ron Parker, stated,  “Theatre is one of the most effective vehicles for change, and these young students of theatre have committed their time and talent to creating positive change in the world around them.   BEHIND THE DOOR: STOPPING THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS is a work intended to speak to the issue of mental health that confronts our schools and community every day.   Last year’s class researched types of mental disorders such as Asperger’s, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders, brought in experts on mental health and spoke with students willing to share their personal stories.  They then took on the challenging task of creating and selecting dramatic pieces, which most effectively addressed these issues.  Many of the pieces chosen are original works written by North students; others are poems composed by young people living with mental illness.   The message of BEHIND THE DOOR is that mental illness is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about, that like other illnesses, it is eminently treatable and that it is much more common that people realize—one in four adults, approximately 61.5 million Americans, experience mental illness in a given year—not to mention the family and friends whose lives are also affected.   Only by breaking the stigma which surrounds it with example and education, can there be hope for understanding, acceptance, and change.  Through their willingness and courage to use their talent to restage this theatrical project, the current members of the North Theatre Seminar/Production class hope to do just that.”   

Admission to the public performance is free,  The performance will be followed by a talk back on the issues of mental health raised by the play.  

North High School offers several theatre courses as part of its curriculum:  

  • Introduction to Theatre
  • Acting
  • Theatre Production
  • Theatre Seminar.  

The Theatre Seminar/Production class presents a social-issue play each year on a topic of relevance to high school students and the community.  Previous productions have dealt with the issues of tolerance, teen suicide, and homelessness.  North was the first area high school to present the powerful play The Laramie Project.  Other class projects have included staging a children’s theatre version of A Christmas Carol and creating an original script and video on abusive relationships for Harbor House, a local women’s shelter.

In 2008, the Theatre Seminar and Production class wrote and performed a social issue play that focused on disability awareness.   It was very well received and filled a void in disability awareness education, so the 2009 seminar class revived it and brought it to several venues around the state.  To see a full length version of this powerful 45 minute play, click on the following link:  2009 version of Much Like You


James and the Giant Peach

  • Theatre Seminar and Production Class
  • Traveling children's show