The landscape of healthcare is changing rapidly, both in terms of patients and psychiatric caregivers and involving the coming together of diverse cultures. In January of this year "Smoke" was issued a supporting grant by The ArtPride New Jersey Foundation to mount a reading of the play held in Centennial Hall of the Newark Public Library. "Smoke" was featured as a listing in the online ArtPride magazine for The National Day of Racial Healing.
The ArtPride New Jersey Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that proudly supports our state's creative community and is widely viewed by the field as the go-to source for research, innovative programs and services, and high-impact advocacy work.
“Smoke” is a full-length play about Alana Phillips, a young White girl who enters a psychiatric institution burdened with her brash, angry, manipulative, and racist feelings. She encounters her newfound caregivers of recent African descent, who carry their own preconceived notions of patients diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses. Both Alana and her caregivers struggle to work on a unit and in an institution that has failed to address the cultural shifts it is undergoing.
Regardless, as sometimes faulty as it is, the staff work to treat Alana, as she works to maintain her independence, defiantly smoking cigarettes whenever she can get one and however, she can get them. Despite the differences they have, unintentional bonds are formed between Alana and the staff caring for her that create a healing process for each of them. "Smoke" written is to highlight the often-unseen healing that takes place.
The play, written by Zelda Patterson, was attended by the general public and members of the medical community. Its performance was part of a weeklong celebration of The National Day of Racial Healing.
The Call is a scene from “Smoke” a full length play. A brash, angry, manipulative young White girl enters a psychiatric institution burdened with her racist feelings. She encounters her newfound caregivers of recent African descent who carry their own preconceived notions of patients diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses. Unintentional bonds are formed between client and the staff when the choice to care becomes the only option.
The Call is a scene from “Smoke” a drama set in a psychiatric hospital. In April of this year the scene was performed as part of Premiere Stages' Healing Voices. As playwright Zelda Patterson was asked to the stage to shed light on her process as a writer as well as her experience as an advanced practice nurse in psychiatric care.
Produced in partnership with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Healing Voices: Caregivers’ Stories weaves together short works of prose, poetry, and drama about personal caregiving experiences into an intimate theatrical staged reading.
Seeking sponsors and partnerships with organizations interested in highlighting National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in July.