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Posted Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Jan. 4 Performance at Whippany Park High School

Make Me Happy: An Original Cabaret About Anxiety in High School will be performed Friday, Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Whippany Park High School. All are welcome and admission is free.

Morris Stigma-Free: 'Make Me Happy' Cabaret Explores Anxiety as Experienced and Performed by Teens

The performance explores and exposes the anxiety felt by adolescents, as the teen-age actors and actresses share thoughts on anxiety, how adolescents speak about angst among themselves, and how they express it in isolation.

The initial script was written by Sierra Miliziano, a graduate of Whippany Park High School, and modified by the performers themselves as they have given feedback on their own experiences and picked out common themes to express in the performance.

The cabaret is the seventh in a series sponsored by the Hanover Substance Awareness Committee and produced by its Adolescent and Community Outreach Committee. Miliziano, the playwright, has written the initial script for the last three cabarets and participated as an actress in an additional four cabarets. A sophomore theater arts major at the University of Michigan, Sierra believes that “the arts can change the world through expression.”

The audience can expect an intimate experience, as they will share the stage in close proximity to the performers.  Following the performance, an  educator or mental health professional will lead a discussion or “talk-back” with the audience to encourage others to reflect on the performance and to encourage all to seek help when faced with mental health issues.

Morris Stigma-Free: 'Make Me Happy' Cabaret Explores Anxiety as Experienced and Performed by TeensThis event is part of the countywide Morris County Stigma-Free initiative, which is focused on removing the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse, to foster a climate of healing and recovery.

The primary reason people fail to seek the help they need is due to the stigma associated with the disease of mental illness. Main reasons cited are shame and fear of judgment from friends, family and co-workers. Such judgment is often rooted in a lack of knowledge or training.

Morris County is committed to disseminating information and fostering a stigma-free environment where people are free from judgment and can get the help they need to recover from diseases such as mental illness and substance abuse.