AVPA’s Blurred Vision Theatre Company will open its 2015-16 season with The Mental State by Josh Adell. This original work addresses the urgent issue of untreated teenage mental illness, exploring the human story behind the newscasts. The Mental State follows the story of Andrew Cady, a teenage boy battling a serious mental illness in the small town of Havenville, Kentucky. When Andrew’s mother, Angela, reaches out to an overextended school system, an underfunded community mental health program, and a church community overwhelmed by Andrew’s antisocial behavior, her cries for help fall on deaf ears.
Directed by Jill Novick, with scenic and lighting design by Kirsten Opstad, AVPA’s production of The Mental State features a strong cast of high school theater students. The role of Andrew will be played by CCHS junior Ben Hilsberg, with Carly Shiever and Reno Behnken taking the roles of his mother and father. Also in the cast are Thanassis Tetradis, Paxton Amor, Izzy Parra, Samuel Peterson, Ayden Westmoreland, Eliza Spear, Cricket Cary-Green, Frances Horwitz, Raegan Harris, Sarah Toutounchian, and Nick Freedson. In the ensemble are Andrew Alvarenga, Reianna Bell, Isa Berliner, Samantha Cooper-Crutchfield, Hazel Cupp, Owen Jones, Anna Lewicki, Gabe Lobet, Shavit Melamed, Mathew Mercaldo, Joey O’Neal, Gabby Price, Andrew Rodriguez, Khamiya Terrell, and Tia Tiggs.
The Mental State opens on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. Additional performances are slated for Nov. 8 at 2 p.m., Nov. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission; $10 seniors. The Sony Pictures Blackbox Theatre is located at Culver City High School, 4401 Elenda St., Culver City, CA 90230.
The show contains mature content.