Out of Character is a theatre company of artists and performers comprising of people who use or have used mental health services. The company grew from an inspiring initiative at York St. John University to provide introductory theatre courses to mental health service users.
Performing with Out of Character helps to build resilience, develop aspiration and confidence, overcome loneliness and participate with others in learning how to make quality and original theatre.
Out of Character aims to create work that challenges the social stigma of mental illness. We have devised, written, performed and collaborated on many projects based in York and nationally. We are also developing a simulated patient project to help nurses in training understand more about mental health issues and the recovery process.
By performing high quality and thought-provoking pieces, Out of Character not only impacts the members of the theatre company, but educates audience members about mental health issues and challenges them to examine wider attitudes to mental health care. It's a fabulous model as the members of the theatre company are directly benefiting by belonging to a group and being stretched and challenged, are demonstrating their resilience and courage and are also advocating on behalf of a much wider group.