For many, the past year has been a contemplative time to reflect on our place in the world. In that respect, there is no better opportunity to present a theatrical production that offers a deeply personal journey through the mind. A collaborative, open, and organic work, 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane is presented online to remote audiences, March 17 – 20 at 7:30 pm nightly via Zoom.

Co-directors and Drama Department faculty, Mia van Leeuwen and Jay Whitehead have worked collaboratively with their students to devise a work that is deeply creative and introspective but also responsible, adhering to all guidelines and protocols to keep cast and crew safe during the pandemic.

“The work is very abstract in form and style,” says van Leeuwen. “We were able to keep the cast separated physically, ensuring we were following all restrictions and protocols, but not sacrificing the artistic or creative process.”

Both relevant and timely, 4.48 Psychosis weaves a narrative running through the main character’s head at 4:48 in the morning. “The play was written over 20 years ago, but the themes are very applicable to what we’ve experienced throughout the pandemic,” says Whitehead. “It is a very dark piece; a reflection of mental health and self-harm, but it is not without hope.”

“Morning does come,” says van Leeuwen. “This play has been described as a work that it roars at life as it gazes with death, and in that sense, both the story and the themes are very alive!”

Producing a play during a global pandemic poses ongoing challenges, but van Leeuwen and Whitehead are thrilled to present this production, albeit to remote audiences via Zoom. With set, costumes and sound designed by David Smith, and lighting by Lee Burckes, 4.48 proves to be a visual spectacle not to be missed.


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