J R Theatre are passionate about many things. Creating entertaining performances for audiences to enjoy? Yes! But that is fairly obvious! Creating thought provoking theatre that tackles tricky subjects? Yes.... again, fairly unoriginal and let’s face it that‘s happening all over London.
But how about doing both those things whilst at the same time providing a comfortable, safe and reassuring platform for people with mental health problems to successfully take part in a show?
That is something that we really want to achieve! It is safe to say that people struggle with different forms of anxiety, depression and mental health illnesses in all walks of life and industries. But it can be particularly prevalent in a tough competitive industry such as Performing Arts where you are permanently in the spotlight.
Can you be made to feel comfortable enough at an audition to give of your best? Can you talk to your Director or Company Manager during rehearsals? Can you have a discussion about your struggles with your cast in a safe space? Can you take time off to attend essential therapy sessions that offer the support you need to do the job that deep down you know you can do?
These are all the questions we aim to answer with a positive and reassuring answer!
We want to create a performance world where it is ok to say you haven’t slept well, you are struggling with self doubt and you need to talk through some things from the script that are triggering certain emotions within you!
Last year an actor from one of our shows publicly stated on social media that working with J R Theatre had pulled her out of a very dark place and helped her get back on track with her performance career. Not only did she manage to deliver sensational performances for us to delight audiences, she found her self belief again and got herself a brand new agent!
This is an amazing story and we are delighted it is the case and that the work we did to help her was so gratefully received, but that’s just one person.
We want to be able to continue to do that for more people… that is where we need your help. We would like to have the budget to offer performers financial support when they need to travel between rehearsals and therapy sessions or doctors appointments.
We would like to create a comfortable working environment for our performers with suitable refreshments and areas where relaxation or moments of privacy can be encouraged.
We would like to be able to consult medical professionals who can offer support and guidance to cast members and most of all we want to pay these gloriously brave people for the stunning performances that they will achieve having overcome all the hurdles that stood in their way.
Please help us to help all the industry professionals out there, who are creative, talented, knowledgeable and passionate, but who have been dealt the annoyingly unfair hand of being lumbered with some form of mental health trouble.