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Auditions come to Orlando for 'This Is My Brave' -- addressing mental health through storytelling

Orlando Sentinel - 5/16/2019

May 16--"This Is My Brave: The Show" has what might be an unlikely premise for entertainment -- mental illness. But that's precisely the point.

Produced by a national nonprofit organization, the show is dedicated to ending the silence and misplaced shame surrounding the subject by having people talk -- or sing, dance or recite poetry -- about living with mental illness.

This weekend, producers will hold auditions in Orlando for a performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 22. No professional performing arts experience is necessary, and stories can be shared through spoken-word essay, original poetry or original song or dance.

The idea for the show began in 2013 when Jennifer Marshall decided that, after two years of blogging anonymously about her bipolar disorder, she was "sick of hiding" behind a pseudonym.

"We believe in the power of storytelling," says Marshall, a Virginia writer and mother of two. "And by giving regular people in our community a chance to share a glimpse into their struggle and recovery, we can save lives."

Since its first show in Arlington, Va., in 2014, "This Is My Brave" has featured more than 700 people in 57 performances across the United States and Australia.

This weekend's auditions will be held at Total Life Counseling's east Orlando office, 13013 Founders Square, Orlando, 32828. On Saturday, they run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Caregivers and loved ones are also encouraged to audition. Pieces should be limited to five minutes.

For more information and to sign up, go to


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