Laura Burke is a generous soul. As Heartwood’s playwright and star, she allows the audience a window into her difficult journey through mental illness. The journey is a roller coaster ride, one that has the audience gripped by fear one moment, laughing the next. In one particularly stunning scene on a bus, Burke experiences the onset of psychotic symptoms. Haunting music plays, voices whisper. It’s a powerful, dramatic representation of Burke’s reality in that moment. In another memorable scene, Burke clashes with a paternalistic psychiatrist over the definition of schizophrenia, and in doing so, takes ownership of her disease. The play is visually stunning, and makes beautiful use of shadowy projections. The script is compelling and laced with poetry. Like the tree that is the central metaphor, this play is grounded in reality, yet it reaches for the stars, lifting the audience up with it.
Runs April 29th- May 1st @ The Bus Stop Theatre at 8 pm
Part of the Mayworks Halifax Festival.
Tickets are $10 ($25 for festival pass)