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New Play Tackles Mental Illness: The POW and the Girl

Long time NAMI Glendale member, activist, Family to Family teacher, and actress Jonee Shady tipped us off about this very special theater experience.  Jonee told us, ” I know the author, and I think it’s a good story that our members should see.  $20 with discount code 008 on 411 theater ticket site. ”

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This world debut engagement of The POW and the Girl runs Fri-Sun from now until February 16, 2019 at the Sherry Theater in North Hollywood, Calif.

“Katrina Wood has set her play The POW and the Girl in London of the 1980s. But the story has deep roots in World War II and the Japanese Changi Prison.

Playwright Wood tells of a grandfather, the POW, who survived the notorious Changi prison complex. He lives with his granddaughter, the Girl, in working-class northern London.

It’s a time of fast-moving change in Britain: Video games and punk rock have revolutionized pop culture. Women have made their way into the work force in great numbers — notably the strong-willed Margaret Thatcher, who has just taken the helm of the United Kingdom.

Despite the charge of modernization in the ’80s, mental health treatment remains in its adolescence. Little is known in particular regarding treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress syndrome — at the time often referred to by its historic name, shell shock.

Haunted by memories of the war and his former life in London, the POW exhibits classic symptoms of PTSD. He grapples with his demons at the same time he has thrust upon him the responsibility of supporting and protecting his granddaughter, a college student. The pair are left alone after the sudden death of the Girl’s mother, his daughter.

The Girl looks to her future, full of hopes and dreams. The POW remains wounded and embittered. The challenges are great for both characters and their familial relationship. Wood’s drama suggests that war trauma is not just relegated to veterans but can be indiscriminately passed down through the generations.

Full of humor and heart, “The POW and the Girl” unveils the extraordinary courage and resilience demonstrated by families who find a way through the harrowing maze of PTSD.” —https://powandgirl.com/about-the-play/

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