Attention All Theater Buffs! Every Thursday at 1 PM, The Theater for Mental Health meets in Room 39A at Transitional Services Center, 422 N. Prospect, Wheaton, IL. We encourage you to come to the meeting each Thursday! Scripts are now being considered. Please Contact Us to indicate your interest.

In 2005, the Awakenings Drama Program began working with John Dooley’s Theater for Mental Health! TMH produces original plays and scenes, and offers ongoing classes on Thursday afternoons.

TMH knows that people with mental illness have many talents. And we can share those talents with the rest of the community at large through theater.

TMH may sponsor the works of playwrights with mental illness, or plays about things other than mental illness. There are also possibilities in becoming involved with psychodrama, a therapeutic technique of improvising and discussing scenes relevant to personal issues.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Theater for Mental Health, please Contact The Theater for Mental Health and indicate your area of interest.

The Theater for Mental Health meets every Thursday at 1:00 pm in Rm. 39A at the Transitional Services Center in Wheaton, Illinois. Call 630.668.5850 if you have any questions, or if you want to enroll in the class.


The Theater for Mental Health has recently completed a two semester workbook for the classroom. We are very excited about this and we are looking for a teacher for the class. The course will now be taught with this very important aid as we continue to develop a theater-therapy program under the guidance of General Director John Dooley and Clinical Psychologist Mary Beth Sivak, who have both expressed interest in working with the new teacher. You are encouraged to contact TSC for more information. The class continues to be held at the Transitional Services Center in Wheaton, Room 39A on Thursdays at 1pm. If there are any changes to the time/day, we will notify you here.


TMH welcomed three new members Steve, Danny and Sue. Today Bill, Ted and Jessy acted out their monologues that they have been practicing. Jessy and Bill are practicing tone and characterization. While Ted took the initiative and found another part to add to his monologue. In addition to this, the students participated in an Improv exercise in which they picked a person ( fiction or non-fiction) to demonstrate in a one minute monologue. This exercise was met with a lot of enthusiasm by the class as they embraced the characters they chose to portray.


We’re only a step behind! The TMH classroom is taking good shape at this point in time, but we are still a step behind due to the lack of technological communications etc. But on the other hand, the class is shaping up. In December we completed our SEMESTER I EXAMS. There were 21 questions in all and the exam was difficult. Some of the answers were already in the exam, so students were urged to look it over before starting; sometimes if you can’t go by the numbers you can go according to what you know best. The overall grade was a B-. Ten students completed the exam.

We’ve begun Semester II and it should be FUN. We’re busy JOURNALING in the first month and a half…and the students so far like this a lot. We’re learning fundamental writing rules and we expect the journaling process to be helpful in maintaining a PERSONAL BALANCE in our lives. Our short term goal with the journaling is to be among the nationally recognized writers who get their writing published in the Awakenings Review, another great project from the Awakenings artists.

The SEMESTER II Class plan is also being worked and reworked at this time. We’re on our way to becoming recognized and validated as the best new class at TSC. We’ll be continuing with ROLE PLAYING, but we’ll also be doing several Workshops, one technical and one all about the different kinds of acting techniques. Later in Semester II well begin our SPEAKERS PROGRAM, and BOB LUNDIN the editor of the AWAKENINGS REVIEW has offered to organize this for us. Keep looking for our updates as we open the classroom to visitors in Semester II.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH: Be selective about what you see, watch, hear and listen to. Keep your external influences predominantly positive.


The drama group is proud to report that the Thanksgiving reading was very successful. We were happy to have a captive audience and appreciated all of the nice supportive remarks.

The theater group members this week began reading selected summaries of plays in preparation for understanding longer theatrical works.

We also began doing role playing as well as theatrical exercises in preparation for reading dialogue.

This week we reviewed Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Huxley spoke about a state where technology ruled everyone and everything. Technology was used to control people, places and things. Humans were conditioned since birth to act a certain way and the government had a say in everything. Although it turns out that human nature preserves and cannot be controlled. This is evident in a few character’s who are extremely strong characters who remain themselves. It shows us through our strength humans can control their own destiny.

In class members made comments based on the summary of the book. We spoke about the debate between evolution and God’s creation, Free will and God’s will. We also spoke about the power and perseverance of human nature over technology. The acceptance of technology and how far technology has advanced us as a society was also discussed.

New members are welcomed. The drama group is looking for a core group of 12 members !!!

We’d like to wish everyone a HAPPY holiday season !!!


The Theater for Mental Health (TMH) is getting ready for the Holidays…… we are choosing a Thanksgiving play for a GROUP READING……Also we are having fun with role playing, we have moved the tables and chairs aside and created a performance space to act out our characters……..…. We are also working on an image for our organization…. The class is open to newcomers; we would like to get a core group of 12 interested participants.

September 22, 2005 THEATER NEWS BULLETIN

TMH did a MEET AND GREET on Thursday the 22 of September….we have some new members including Sean, D.J.,Ray, and also Jessy is back from taking care of her sister. We had brilliant brownies, apples and orange pop and everyone was very social. That’s the way to do it! Mary Beth lectured about the primary differences between SIGMUND FREUD AND AARON BECK………we have been given a new room to meet in on Thursdays….we are now in CONFERENCE ROOM 39A and this is great because there are 2 blackboards so we can illustrate what we are talking about. Other doings….AUDITIONS are going to be arranged pretty soon and everyone will get a chance to sing and dance and read dramatic scripts…so tell your friends and talk to Mary Beth Sivak or John Dooley.


What’s happening at TMH?????? We welcome Mary Beth Sivak!!! Mary Beth will be working with us to create a classroom program, one that we can all identify with. Mary Beth is degreed in Clinical Psychology (a Masters) and will be going for her doctorate. We are very happy to have her aboard, and our classes are now open to discussion about what kind of a behavioral health class will be a good fit with theater…………also……we are interviewing theater directors at the center, (contact John Dooley or Norman Bartels), and we are going to continue to write our biographies………………so come and join us if you have writing talents or just want to get your story out. Also……….we will be studying the BIG 3 psychoanalysts……….SIGMUND FREUD, AARON BECK and CARL ROGERS…and we will be reviewing the building blocks of …………….P S Y C H E………..so don’t be overwhelmed………its good stuff. Please join us on Thursdays at 1pm in the gym at TSC………………….Bye for now …………. THEATER FOR MENTAL HEALTH.


The theater folks have been busy preparing dramatic readings in the Thursday classes. We have been reading plays from Gary Sunshine, Hugh/Connie Fox, J. Day, Brad Slaight, Sam Shepard, Ionesco, Eugene Labiche and Robert Lundin. We’ve learned how to find the central theme in each scene.

Also, TMH has begun writing autobiographies and folks who want to continue this exercise should come to the Thursday classes. You will be using these autobiographies to create poetry and paintings.

Also, we’re just about ready to release a calendar for our Fall 2005 production, so watch the bulletins on this site ————- Break a leg!


In 2003 Awakenings attended a workshop with The Second City in Chicago. Second City’s outreach director, Dionna Griffin, led us through exercises called “Zip, Zap, Zop,” “The Hitchhiker,” mirroring, and a series of scenes called “Wheres.” The event promoted team building and a great time was had by all.

Awakenings’ first foray into drama was an exhibit of artwork during the play, “Standing On My Knees,” by John Olive, in which Catherine, a talented poet with schizophrenia is torn by the need for a sane life and her passion for writing. With the help of her therapist, she attempts to lead a normal life around regular therapy sessions, heavy medication, and her new-found love interest, Robert. Urged by Alice, her publisher, Catherine tries writing again, but is unable to produce good work while taking her medication. As she faces the fact that she cannot be sane and a quality poet simultaneously, she struggles to balance her illness and her art.