archive
links
essays

Emilia's Tree

What we call theatre began as tribal rituals that included masks, props, music, chants, dance, and fire. At the core of these rites is the intrinsic human need to act out anxieties—it's a form of group therapy elevated to art—so, it's only natural that theatre would be an effective healing technique for those dealing with depression or other spiritual, mental, or emotional challenges.

Emilia's Tree
Emilia's Tree
This is nothing new, of course, but it is nonetheless important. Anyone who has ever struggled with depression or mental illness knows the severe challenges involved. During such times, one of the most important factors in recovery is a strong support system. Denver's Karis Community offers just that. And now they're getting ready to stage Jeff Carey's Emilia's Tree.

Carey's playwrighting career includes stints in the playwright's units at the Denver Center and Playwright's Horizons in NYC, as well as at Creede Rep, which premiered and produced Emilia's Tree in 2006. It was Carey's first children's play. Three years earlier, Pan and Boone, received its world premiere at Creede, which was followed by a run at Curious Theatre Company.

Following the death of his mother and a near fatal car accident, Carey struggled and found support at Karis. During his stay, he taught some writing and acting classes, but was recently urged by the crew to do a full show. In a recent interview, Carey talked about how incredibly rewarding the experience has been.

People have jumped at the chance to get involved, and bloomed before my eyes as I put them through auditions, table work, blocking, design meetings etc. I have very strong feelings that it will be of great benefit for them to see themselves as actors, rather than mental patients, and I think the value of proving to their families, their children, and themselves, that they can learn some lines, face their stage fright, work as a group for a common objective, and get some laughs, and a standing O, will prove to be incredibly therapeutic.

Emilia's Tree, a play for all ages, will be performed on the main stage in Karis Community, 1361 Detroit, on Nov. 7th at 7:30, with a matinee on Nov 9th at 2:00. Admission is free, donations are accepted, and reservations are strongly suggested. Call 303-995-9244. (Facebook: Emilia's Tree)

Bob Bows

 

Current Reviews | Home | Webmaster