Next Up:

Profiles in Courage: 

Men, Women and Mental Illness


Shell Shock 

by Eugene O'Neill 

and 

The Rescue 

by Rita Creighton Smith.


6 at 8pm and May 7 at 2pm

Old Barn, Tao House



During the dawn of the 20th century, ideas of what it is to be human were evolving. The field of modern psychology was emerging as a major force shaping our views of the human experience. Mental illness as an explanation for the challenges of our lives was a new concept.


This May Playwrights' Theatre will feature two voices from the Provincetown Players delving into the relationship of gender and mental illness. Rita Creighton Smith's The Rescue, tells a story of a family of women coping with the prospect of inherited madness. Eugene O'Neill's Shell Shock shows a man struggling to make sense of his war time experience and the burden it has placed on his psyche. "This unique pairing lends a deeper understanding to the role gender plays in shaping our ideas of
mental illness" says EONF Artistic Director Eric Fraisher Hayes.


The performances of Shell Shock and The Rescue will be presented as a collaboration between the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, Tao House and Symmetry Theatre Company of San Francisco. Symmetry is a professional company committed to addressing issues of gender parity in theatre and society. Additionally, both performances will be followed with a lively discussion of the relationship of gender and mental illness led by scholars and the artists involved in creating this presentation.