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Performance to help community face the uncomfortable

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Feb 24, 2019 at 2:00 PM

HURON — Stories from experience can take us beyond statistics, beyond the 5 o’clock news. It can bring us into the lives of those affected by the tsunami of trauma and transformation brought about by addiction and mental illness.

With that goal in mind, stories performed in “Facing Addictions, Mental Illness and Recovery in North Ohio” are the result of a partnership with the Facing Project, which has been featured on NPR, and Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center.

This 45-minute performance will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the McBride Theatre at BGSU Firelands as part of the Facing Project. A panel discussion with a Q&A will follow. Admission to the performance is free, and donations to the recovery movement are welcome.

Through a community-based learning component of communication and theater classes, Bowling Green State University students collected about 30 interviews, which were then written into first-person narratives. Knowing that personal stories have the power to uncover a deeper picture, these experiences from different perspectives will be shared to illuminate ways in which the community faces the tragedies and triumphs that accompany mental illness, addictions, recovery and stigma.

The Facing Project connects people through stories to strengthen communities. The Huffington Post and Harlem World Magazine have hailed the Facing Project as “one of three oral history projects to watch.” The Facing Project inspires communities to tell first-person stories of citizens through the talent of local writers, actors and partnerships with non-profit entities to raise awareness and create community conversations about a topic.

From Muncie, Indiana, J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman started a movement in 2012 that has spread across U.S. communities that are facing uncomfortable topics to bring awareness, understanding, and, hopefully, empathy.

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