Breaking Wave Theatre Company — a non-profit community theatre group — is having its second Unspoken Word production for the first time online.
When Breaking Wave was established back in January 2018, their Unspoken Word Theater production was made up of local artists performing various acts — from reciting monologues to singing songs live. And all centered on the theme of mental health and suicide prevention.
Co-founder CJ Ochoco talks about how production this year might not have happened. But with the events that took place during the pandemic, the theater company felt the need to put the production together virtually.
“After Unspoken last year, a lot of people asked ‘re you going to do this again?’ At the time, we weren’t sure, I was leaving for a little bit so we weren’t too sure. Then, the pandemic hit and we realized that now, more than ever, we need to continue the conversation about mental health because, you know, so many people have been in isolation since March, suicide rates have been rising, and so we were really inspired to continue this conversation, but this time from home,” Ochoco said.
Ochoco, who personally struggles with clinical depression, stresses the importance of having a conversation about mental health, especially during this time
“There’s just so much power in sharing your story. You know there’s so much stigma talking about mental health and people don’t like to talk about it. And that’s one of the barriers to getting better. If you can’t talk about it, it’s kind of hard to get better. So I take my experiences with depression and turn it around to show that it’s okay to not be okay … that we can talk about it. That’s why Unspoken is really personal and important to me and also to important to a lot of people I’m working with in the arts community because we all have struggles and our own mental health journey,” Ochoco said.
The Unspoken Word Theater Production will take place on September 28 at 6 pm via zoom. Ticket sales are up at their eventbrite page, the Breaking Wave Theatre Company social media handles, and their website. Prices for tickets are on a pay what you can basis as it’s all by donation.