Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Fidgety Fairy Tales" - The Mental Health Musical

A new fairy tale musical is about to tour schools during October in Northland, Minnesota, specifically to raise awareness about the delicate subject of mental illness. (The poster from the September preview run at the Hilton is shown above.)

From Duluth News Tribune:

In this fairy tale, Little Hood has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and gets distracted easily on the way to Grandmother’s house. Sleeping Handsome is a young prince who suffers from depression and decides to prick his finger on a spindle so he can fall asleep for a long time.

Rapunzel isn’t locked in her tower; she is staying there because she has an anxiety disorder that makes her terrified to leave.

Reportedly, the number of children being diagnosed with some form of mental illness is increasing, even among preschoolers, and the musical aims to send the message that suffering from such an illness is indeed a very real issue for kids but can be treated and is nothing to be ashamed of. It even attempts to highlight some positive aspects of some of the conditions, eg:

The hyperactivity that goes along with Little Hood’s ADHD, for example, can make her a great multi-tasker if channeled correctly.

You can find out more about the musical HERE and HERE (from the Star Tribune) including about the students acting both in the production and as ambassadors for mental health (one actor learned how to deal with his anxiety and is seeking to share his 'success story' with other kids) and theories for the rising numbers of children being diagnosed. They have a blog with additional pictures and information HERE. The page from the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health website (MACMH), profiling the musical, is HERE.

Public performances will be staged from October 22-24 in Cloquet, Minnesota.

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