“Content warning: While not depicting enactments of suicide or self-harm behaviors, this production does discuss and engage with the interiority of a mind grappling with suicide, self-harm behaviors, and depression.”
Completed shortly before her own suicide, Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis is an intensely unique representation of major depression and suicidality. Lacking stage directions or characters of any kind, 4.48 Psychosis presents the interior of a mind as its central pro/antagonist. Unmarked dialogue with an implied psychiatrist, feverish monologues, language culled from psychiatric tests, and mere lists of words all weave together as this mind grapples with diagnosis, treatment, “psychosis,” and ultimately suicide.
This production hopes to counteract two poles of how mental illness is misrepresented in our society: a) that it is not really real, and must be “gotten over”; and b) that it is a wholly debilitating illness that deprives the person the ability to articulate or even understand their situation, much less act on their own behalf. We invite the audience to not just witness, but live inside this mind for an evening, and experience both its genuine reality and agency.
$5 suggested donation at the door, 100% of which will be donated to RESOURCE, a local nonprofit that provides chemical and mental health services to “low income individuals, people with complex needs or who have with a history of relapse,” as well as employment and career education and services.
This play’s production is made possible by a CLA2 Summer Research Scholarship from the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts.