14 - 31 Oct 2019
EUPHORIA - A Tale of Good Days, Bad Days and Everything in Between.
Meg is battling with a mental health illness and she’s afraid. Afraid she’ll meet someone in the supermarket and they will know. Ethan is sick of living in a town where you can’t take a shit without it being reported in the local paper, and Jimmy... well everyone knows Jimmy’s made of Teflon, his dad owns half the town so he’s never had anything to worry about.
Life in rural and remote Australia is marked by unpredictability, isolation, economic and financial uncertainty, incessant change and extreme weather events. It’s a tough environment with many challenges that impact on health and wellbeing, yet statistics indicate that people in regional areas are happy.
Playwright Emily Steel was commissioned by Country Arts SA to examine this paradox as Artist in Residence, meeting with communities to share experiences and unpick the joys and challenges of country life. From Streaky Bay to Bordertown, conversations in pop up tea rooms and mental health units stirred deep thoughts and dust storms brewed as talk turned to water, services and health.
Following a creative development with Director Nescha Jelk, Playwright Emily Steel, Creative Producer Alison Howard and actors James Smith / Eliza Lovell, the script has since had a public reading at Holden Street Theatres as part of the Adelaide Fringe. The rehearsed reading was followed by a Q&A inviting the audience made up of Arts industry and Health sector representatives, to comment and provide feedback. Euphoria Ambassador, SA Mental Health Commissioner; Chris Burns attended the reading with members of the SAMHC Community Advisory Committee and Youth Advisory Group who have lived experience of mental illness.
Country Arts SA will produce Euphoria to tour through its Shows on the Road program in October 2019.
Critical to each performance will be the post-show Q&A supported by mental health professionals in each region. This platform will provide an opportunity for the community to ‘unpick’ the work and in doing so; engage in conversation around the themes and issues it raises about mental health in regional towns.
Flinders University Rural Health SA will be conducting research and evaluation as Euphoria tours to regional South Australia in October 2019.
To view Vimeo File password is Euphoria19