September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and to bring attention to this important issue, a local theater company will be holding a performance revolving around mental health and healing.
Consisting of a variety of locally written works, the Breaking Wave Theater Company’s “Unspoken: A Mental Health Anthology” explores its theme with three approaches.
The first part of the performance is called “Let’s Talk” and is a collection of letters and scenes that discuss mental health from the teenage perspective.
The second part, “Community Speaks,” is a short series of locally written monologues, poems, and songs.
Based on a true story, the show’s third part, “On the Inside” is a musical by Joyce Torres and CJ Ochoco which chronicles the story of an 18-year-old college freshman named Isa who ends up in a mental health facility after an attempted suicide.
Isa meets other patients suffering from different mental conditions and challenges who share their stories with her. From her experience, she finds hope and encouragement.
“On the Inside” includes eight original songs and is one of the few original musicals written and performed on Guam.
According to Joyce Torres, the musical’s co-writer, the show is an opportunity to let people know that they aren’t alone in their struggles.
“It’s a great bag of emotions and it’s so wonderful what happens when we open it up and people get to speak about them for the first time. I think it’s so beautiful and so moving,” Torres said.
According to the CJ Ochoco, the show’s producer, “Unspoken” is the theater company’s way of giving back to the community and uniting artists for social causes.
“We grow up in a culture here where we’re ashamed to talk about our problems, but talking about your problems is the first step of healing. And I think that’s the message we wanna get out here. It’s meant to start a conversation,” Ochoco said.
If you want to catch the show, “Unspoken” will be showing this Thursday to Saturday, 7 p.m. at UOG’s Fine Arts Theater and 2 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are $15, student and senior tickets are $10, and free for UOG students with an ID.