The Clark Atlanta University Department of Speech Communication and
Theatre Arts presented a play that explored mental illness at the Mass Media Arts building in room G-17 from Wednesday, Oct. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 21.
4.48 Psychosis is a play that explores many different themes, such as the clinically depressed mind, relationships and isolation. It was written by Sarah Kane and directed by Jonathan Kitt. In this production of the play, there were four actors: Ashja Vargas, Trejhaun Dueberry, Therecia Lang and Derrick Robertson.
“It really is actually a suicide note of the playwright because the playwright never saw this work. She took her life before because she dealt with these
issues,” Kitt said.
The play was presented in a blackbox theatre that seated 80 people, which created an intimate setting between the actors and the audience. The audience was attentive throughout the play.
“It made me feel vulnerable and realize that people can relate to what I am
going through,” Makyah Coleman, a sophomore Political Science major, stated when asked about the play.
“To see the way Professor Kitt had the actors say certain things and the
mannerisms he made them have really resonated with me and actually reminded me of my mom who has Schizophrenia,” Michaela Brown, a stagehand for the play, stated.
Kitt’s main purpose for putting on this particular play was to address the
struggles of the student body at the university. He wanted students to feel more comfortable talking about their problems. At the end of the play, there were mental health specialists available for any student that wanted to talk to someone.
“The play reflected the student body because it touched many subjects that
students go through in their everyday life,” Tatyanna Pugh, a sophomore Criminal Justice major, said when asked if the play reflected the needs of the student body.
“It made students feel more comfortable speaking on topics like this. They
also provided professionals to talk to. By doing this students could get through those hard times and get advice on how to prevent depression,” Mariah Hill, a junior Mass Media Arts major, said.
Many audience members were grateful to Kitt for directing this play. “Thank you so much for bringing this to us and to our students. I know that this is an issue all over the campuses and all of the country and it is just so emotional for me because my sister had mental illness and it’s a beautiful thing what you have done. I hope that whoever has heard this and has aniexty will reach out,” Irene Johnson, the first lady at Clark Atlanta University, said.