Playwright Megan Rigoni and lead actor John Wood
This October, Albury’s Murray Gardens Retirement Village will welcome acclaimed Australian actor John Wood and the cast of Carpe Diem, a new play promoting awareness of men’s health and mental health issues.
The musical comedy stresses the importance of mateship and professional care in times of crises, and follows two men, played by John Wood and Ron Halsted, on the journey of their mental health issues.
Playwright Megan Rigoni was inspired by the experiences of several of her male friends, including one who was grieving the loss of his wife.
Ms Rigoni says, “The writing process is an interesting one given the didactic nature of the script.”
“It’s important to create characters and a storyline that are relatable.”
The issues at the heart of the play – stress, grief, loss and depression – are certainly prevalent today, with concerning rates of suicide and depression affecting Australian men, particularly those in rural communities.
Lead actor John Wood, who has partnered with Ms Rigoni on two previous productions, says, “It’s a very Australian thing (not just male, necessarily) to feel that it’s none of our business and that someone knows what they’re doing.”
“But men need to ask the questions and not ignore their apparent depression or inner pain.”
Ms Rigoni agrees, “Talking is powerful and helps alleviate people’s feelings of isolation, powerlessness and loss.”
“Any program that encourages awareness and dialogue around these issues is a very positive step.”
Carpe Diem will be touring the local Albury region and interstate between October 2015 and June 2016, with two performances at Murray Gardens on 22nd October.
Village Manager Anne Jack says, “With Men’s Health Week just gone, we’ve all got these issues at the front of our minds.”
“We’re honoured to host such a beneficial and important play and we look forward to welcoming John Wood and the rest of the cast onto our stage.”
Anybody who would like to attend is encouraged to call the village on (02) 6023 3822 for further information, or contact Centre Stage Scripts on (03) 5754 4778 to book a performance in your area.
John Wood and the company of ‘Heroes’, Ms Rigoni’s previous production
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