Ashland musical promotes mental health awareness

, Written by Natalie Hurd, Posted: Wed, November 6 2013 at 7:33 PM, Updated: Wed, November 6 2013 at 8:14 PM

There's a new approach to an ancient problem in Ashland. A musical aims to provide understanding to sufferers of mental illness, and their families, by showing them they're not alone through song and laughter. 

"These songs and emotions were in me from the beginning and they just sort of welled up."

Ashland composer, David Gabriel wrote the songs of Divine Lunacy and he wrote them from his heart. Gabriel's brothers and father suffered from Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. 

"They all died early because of it, because of the effect the medications had on them."

The story is written by Ashland playwright, Peter Quince and follows a playwright who goes off his psychiatric medication in order to regain his creativity.

"We follow him through the exhilaration and excitement all the way through a full blown manic episode and then, of course, the crash."

The artists hope the play will  bring more than awareness to what's become a major problem in America, but compassion and understanding.

"Certainly the way we're handling mental illness by being afraid and keeping it in the shadows is not working." 

Divine Lunacy will be held November 7th and 8th at 7 p.m. at the Bellevue Grange in Ashland. It's free and includes dinner, but donations are welcomed. Call Peter Quince at 541-973-5875 to reserve a spot.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Natalie Hurd

Natalie Hurd anchors NBC5 News at 6pm and 11pm. She first joined the NBC5 News team as an intern in 2005. After earning a Journalism degree from the University of Oregon, Natalie returned to NBC5 News as a reporter and weekend anchor.

Three years later, she moved to Omaha, Nebraska to report for KETV. Natalie’s breaking news coverage of a tornado helped win her station the national Edward R. Murrow award, one of the most prestigious honors in journalism.

Natalie is thrilled to be home again where she enjoys spending time with her mom and brothers in Ashland and her husband, Bobby and their dog, Ziggy.

Catch Natalie co-anchoring with Craig Smullin weekdays on NBC 5 News at 6pm.

Connect with Natalie

Leave a Comment:

Note: Comments with profanity are automatically filtered and hidden. Verbal attacks towards others via our comments section will not be tolerated.