Stage Play Encourages Mental Health Awareness As It Entertains Community

One upcoming production is working to spark helpful community dialogue. CryBaby, the compelling original play, tackles mental health issues on the stage. The producers are working hard to use the play to help educate in reality as well.
By: CryBaby - The Play
. . . silent noise
. . . silent noise
HOUSTON - Feb. 3, 2017 - PRLog -- We all like to be entertained. Art, TV, theatre, music . . . it's easy to strike up a conversation about these things. Some conversations are not as easy. Although more than 40 million adults in the United States experience some sort of mental illness in a given year, talking about mental health openly remains unnecessarily difficult. CryBaby offers playgoers a look at the everyday impact of mental illness on an individual, a family and a community. This dramatic work focuses on postpartum depression as a central issue, and also highlights other mental health issues in every tone from thought-provoking to hilarious.  CryBaby's writer, producer and director have combined decades of experience for this project. The method is to use engaging entertainment as a way to encourage conversation, point to resources and create a sense of community support for anyone who may be effected by a mental health issue. This play invites us all to make noise, as opposed to suffering in silence.

"We could all stand to take part in the conversation." says writer Joyce "J.A." Smith. Joyce sees the effects of mental health, both directly and in-directly, through her work in education and advocacy. "Not everyone has a mental health issue, but what I see daily is how one family member who is struggling can impact everyone in a household. When we think of mental health in those terms, we will really see this as a community issue and we should all be involved," Smith explains. She used her unique voice to work family and community dynamics into CryBaby in an authentic way. It's that same authentic voice that has gained Joyce a presence at theatre festivals in New York, DC, and Atlanta.

CryBaby debuted as a limited engagement show in May of 2016, to positive feedback. Charnele Brown, known best for her role on the TV series "A Different World", attended the debut show and offered acclaim. Another pleased patron commented ". . . I love how you brought attention to mental illness in an entertaining way. The actors were awesome". This time will be no different. "Now that we have gotten our feet wet, we are excited to do it bigger and better this go round", says the play's producer – Alexius Rayford of Trinitie Productions. Director Jacqueline Rudison, who's studied under everyone from Spike Lee to Ruby Dee, is excited to be on board as well. The plan is to take the production on the road; entertaining and leaving a movement of awareness as they go.

In an effort to engage as many people as possible, the CryBaby team encourages you to share a story of how mental health has touched you. The hope is that others who may feel isolated will instead be educated on ways to get help. There are resources to that end, and instructions on how to share your story, on the play's website.

The play will be held at Encore Theatre at 4112 Old Spanish Trail in Houston, TX (77021) on May 6th at 2:00 & 5:00 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase here ( For more information, visit

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