'HI, STRANGER' - An online play supporting suicide prevention
Released free online Wednesday 9 September - in support of World Suicide Prevention Day - short virtual play ‘Hi, Stranger’ explores suicidal thoughts through the lens of online dating.
“As with all mental health difficulties, talking is so important,” notes young writer/director Kristen Brookman. “Feeling isolated is a common symptom of suicidal thoughts, and I wanted to tell a story that allowed that vulnerability to be shown, then challenged."
On her hopes for the play, Brookman, 21, is unwavering, “There is absolutely no shame in sharing our vulnerabilities. I want anyone who watches the play to remember that.”
Fittingly, ‘Hi, Stranger’ is set amid a COVID-19 lockdown, with its two central characters meeting for the first time via Zoom.
“Online dating is the perfect way to reach, emotionally, a younger demographic - who are increasingly vulnerable to suicide. Admittedly, grounding the play in a Zoom call was necessity over design, given COVID-19, but in retrospect, the limitation became a blessing - because I was free of all distractions and better able to express the value of conversation.” says Brookman, an award-nominated young director from Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Technically, the 12-minute play required extreme precision from its actors, as the entire thing is filmed in one continuous take.
“If anything comes out of this, I hope it’s that people are encouraged to talk to each other and not be afraid to approach these subjects with loved ones”.
Released in support of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), ‘Hi, Stranger’ stars Tom Lewin & Penelope Yeulet.
Watch free here on Wednesday 9 September, 8pm - for a special live YouTube Q&A with Kristen Brookman and the cast.
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