by Tracey Mitchell
In March, 2013, Vancouver’s Theatre for Living (formerly Headlines Theatre), mounted maladjusted, an innovative ‘Forum Theatre’ production that engaged audiences in the task of finding solutions to humanize the mental health system. The production was the result of weeks of intense creative collaboration between professional joker and director, David Diamond, and workshop participants and cast members, all of whom had experience with the mental health system, whether as “patients,” as “caregivers,” or both. 191 people applied to be part of the production, 24 were part of the 6-day workshop process to create the play and 6 were in the final cast that rehearsed for a few more weeks before beginning the two-week run of the play.
In a 2015 remount, the Theatre for Living took the production on tour to 26 BC and Alberta communities, with grassroots organizations sponsoring each of the events. Many of these shows were collaborative efforts between First Nations and non-First Nations organizations.