UNCW Theatre Department to perform “4:48 Psychosis”

Caroline Straubel, Contributing Writer

UNCW’s theatre department is performing “4:48 Psychosis” by Sarah Kane in the Cultural Arts Building and on a livestream. The live performances will be on February 18-21, the 25-28, at 8 p.m., and the livestream performance will be on Sunday 21, at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the live performances are limited to UNCW students and staff and can be reserved, here.

Attendance is limited due to COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, and masks must be worn while inside the Cultural Arts Building. The livestream is available to members of the general public.

Kara Shoup and the cast of UNCW’s production of “4.48 Psychosis.” (Kaylin Damico)

“4:48 Psychosis” is a play about depression and portrays the playwright’s personal struggle with mental illness. The department’s website explains that “the play contains strong language and explores issues of mental health, depression and suicide.” It is recommended that the play be viewed by people age 16 or older.

The production is directed by Professor Charles Grimes, who describes the play as “one of those plays that … just tells the truth about a [mental health] situation.”

“4:48 Psychosis” is a unique play because the author did not create a set number of characters. Instead, the production consists of multiple actors portraying the same character titled “I.”

In the UNCW production, four actors will portray the role of “I” at different points of the character’s mental health struggle.

Nick Raeff and Addison Hamlet play a doctor and patient in “4.48 Psychosis.” (Kaylin Damico)

Sophomore Addison Hamlet is one of the four actors cast as “I.” Hamlet has described the nameless aspect of the character as “more developed and more complex,” allowing the actor to connect more aspects of their personal experiences to the challenges “I” faces over the course of the play.

Hamlet hopes that the livestream will expose more people to the theatre by making the production available from the comfort of home and allow the family members of actors to view the play.

Grimes hopes that recorded productions will create a new way for people to “encounter [the theatre] in a different way, [which is] a long-term goal for the department.”

Dajah Glenn, Addison Hamlet, Kara Shoup, and Brenna Flanagan onstage. (Kaylin Damico)

Hamlet advises students who have been coping well with the COVID-19 pandemic to watch the play, in order to “gain some insight into what their friends, or people they do not know well, are going through,” she said, “to invoke some empathy.”

“If this feels like what you are going through, you are not alone and there are resources both on campus and in the community to guide you along, with help and support,” said Grimes.

For people who have been struggling with their mental health during the pandemic, who see aspects of themselves within the role of “I,” there is support on campus.

The UNCW Counseling Center offers teletherapy support for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(UNCW Theatre)