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Two Kiwis Attempt a World First: The Revolution is here!

Two Kiwis Attempt a World First: The Revolution is here!

As part of the Like Minds, Like Mine Campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illness, two kiwi mental-health promoters are attempting to bring attitude change to the public on a global scale.

The call for creative works with mind-altering themes went out around the world in March and people from across the globe have answered in their droves. Final scripts have now been selected for The Like Minds Big reTHiNK and the production phase is now underway.

The top twelve 2012 scripts selected blind for The Big reTHiNK launch event at Q Theatre (October 2nd – 6th) come from America, Australia and across New Zealand. The victorious script writers are Dan Tomasulo (USA) for N.O.T, Ric Colsey (Aus) with We Are Everywhere, Rex McGregor for Wayward Seniors, Taimi and Stewart Allan for Future Vs Nurture, and the same writers again along with Steve Carter for Rethink Safety, Lora Keyes for Attribution A Tribulation, Lynz Wilmshurst for Hang on Tight and Mad-O-Phobic, Daniel Larsen and Miriam Barr for Somehow in Relation, Sheree Veysey for Terribly Unwell, and the same writer along with Laura Ashton for Making Sense. These plays will be professionally produced and directed at Q Theatre for 5 performances only to launch the first ever international mental-health arts festival. Open auditions will be hosted on August 26th.

A total of 30 scripts forms the Regional Like Minds Big reTHiNK Script Pool Regional event organisers from around the world are invited to produce their own reTHiNK events from this pool of scripts and will begin staging their events in their own areas from international Mental-Health Awareness Week across the month of October.

Using the arts to change the way people think about mental-health problems is not new to the team at Mind and Body Consultants who are leading the project. Artistic Director and Producer, Taimi Allan explains “the purpose of reTHiNK is to take an audience safely through a journey of madness and into recovery. The family-friendly show attempts to mimic the rollercoaster of emotions associated with mental health challenges in a way everyone can relate to, without being lecturing or confronting” Mental-health promoter and co-producer Miriam Larsen-Barr adds, “The best thing is people go because it is entertaining but they leave with a message that makes a real difference to their lives and the health of our community.”

Since launching the call for submissions, the Like Minds Big reTHiNK facebook page has grown from 138 Likes to nearly 10 000. The interest is only growing. 80% of our cast and crew have their own experiences of mental health challenges, and while some performers, writers, comedians, musicians and celebrities involved are coming right out of the closet to talk about their own experiences, others are getting involved to stand beside those with personal experience and make a statement about how understandable mental-health problems really are.

“The catch is,” reveals Mrs Allan, “audiences won’t always be able to tell who is who, which is part of our message; people with mental-health problems are no different from people without them.”

In New Zealand, famous comedians Mike King, Irene Pink, Justine Smith, Tarun Mohanbhai, John Carr, Rob Callaghan, Chris Brain, Penny Ashton, Tevita Manukia, Mark Scott and Mike Loder will use the power of laughter to get audiences thinking and a live session band featuring guests Mike Chunn and Olympic Songwriter winner Sam RB will support between acts at the Big reTHiNK launch event.

Tickets are $20 - $40 and go sale on September 3rd from to coincide with the sale of the October issue of MiNDFOOD Magazine which features The Big reTHiNK. Tickets booked before September 15th go into the draw to win a weekend away for two courtesy of Batch Care.

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