YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this month the Rust Belt Theater is incorporating that theme into its original production “Madhouse.”
It’s loosely based on a true story of a valley local and set in Youngstown. It’s about a woman who suffers a psychotic break after the death of a family member.
In the play, she develops pareidolia — a rare mental disorder where people see faces and sometimes hear voices from inanimate objects.
“There’s millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness and many of them are able to cope with it, with therapy and medication,” said Rust Belt Theater house manager Nicole Zayas.
“I know where the source material came from and what it was based on. It just makes it more personal and as someone who struggles with mental illness myself, I guess I can see a lot of myself in some of the aspects of my character,” said lead Celena Coven.
Coven said she’s been with Rust Belt for 11 years and this is her favorite play the company does because of its complexity.
The show runs May 20-21 and 27-28 at Club Switch on Belmont Avenue, starting at 8 p.m.