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This program is generously sponsored by
the California Community Foundation

The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA invite you to join them for the Los Angeles premiere of The Manic Monologues, a new play that seeks to disrupt the stigma around mental illness.

This groundbreaking theatrical drama gives voice to real people whose lives have been touched by mental health disorders. It features true stories from diverse individuals, each who has something important to say about the way mental health has affected their life. The cast share brave stories from across the world that convey struggle and pain, but also humor, triumph, and joy.

The Manic Monologues is the creation of producer Zachary Burton and director Elisa Hofmeister. Zach, a Stanford Ph.D. student at the time, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017 and Elisa, a researcher at the Stanford School of Medicine. It was their drive to address the lack of visible narratives and conversations regarding mental illness that resulted in their vision for The Manic Monologues. The play was first performed at Stanford University in 2019 and received rave reviews from NPR and The Washington Post.

The international advisory team for The Manic Monologues includes mental health researchers, doctors, authors, advocates, journalists, and performance artists who live with mental illness.


Following the performance, there will be a discussion with cast members and:

  • Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF, Advisor to The Manic Monologues, author of Another Kind of Madness, The Mark of Shame and The ADHD Explosion

  • Michael Gitlin, M.D., Division of Psychiatry Director, Mood Disorders Clinic Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-author of Clinician’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder and The Psychotherapists Guide to Psychopharmacology

SPECIAL NOTE:  In December 2019, The Friends of Semel was gifted a PSA film, “i feel” created by local high school students who participated in the Righteous Conversations Project, a collaboration of teens and Holocaust Survivors.  The students will proudly present their original piece at this Open Mind program.

Sunday,  February 9, 2020
6:30 PM Check-in | 7:00 PM Program 
James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall, UCLA
Parking is available for $13 in Structure 3

235 Charles E Young Drive West Los Angeles, CA 90095

From Eastbound Sunset Blvd: Turn right on Hilgard Avenue and make an immediate right on Charing Cross Road. Go straight at the stop sign to enter the Pay-by-Plate area using the North entrance of the structure. Park on level 1, 2, or 3 in any designated pay-by-plate space and use the pay-station (located on each level) to purchase parking. After paying for parking, proceed to Level 1 and walk through the tunnel. Melnitz Hall is the first building on your left.

Admission is free but registration is requested.


Friendly Reminder!
Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. RSVP does not guarantee seating. We overbook to account for cancellations and no-shows, so please arrive early.