4.48 Psychosis

by Sarah Kane

Aug 24 - Sep 10, 2016

 

By the time 4.48 Psychosis went on stage at the Royal Court Theatre in London, Sarah Kane would be dead. In February 1999, she killed herself at King’s College Hospital, South London, three days after a previous suicide attempt. The play itself seemed to foreshadow events with uncanny accuracy. A sequence of elliptical fragments, fractured and emotionally lacerating, it apparently portrayed a mind in the throes of breakdown, raging against doctors who do not (or will not) understand. Not for the first time, the critics were disturbed. Was this even a play?

 

How on earth do you award aesthetic points to a 75-minute suicide note?

 

In the years since, the myth has only hardened – Kane the tortured martyr, driven to put her own psyche on stage. While Blasted and Cleansed and Crave have long been acknowledged for the radical theatrical masterpieces they are, 4.48 Psychosis has been trapped in the shadows of what happened to its author. 

 

The Guardian

OUTREACH

For this production, we asked patrons to contribute to a donation jar. 50% of those donations went to the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado and 50% went back into the company.

 

This was our inaugural production for Pipedream Productions. Before we knew we would even be a company, our Artistic Director, Tony Ryan, started planning rehearsals for this show. Audience members raved about the love and laughter found in our production, despite the extremely dark language used in the poetic piece.

We wanted to produce this show first because many of us in the company had personal experience with mental illness and suicide. 

OUR TEAM

CAST

Ashley Campbell

Trevor Fulton

Cicely Galm

Alexis Robbins

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director:  Tony Ryan

Assistant Director:  Kai Monahan

Stage Manager:  Sara Sachs

Dramaturg:  Katie Walker

Choreography:  Alexis Robbins

Scene Design:  Trevor Fulton

Costume Design:  Alexis Robbins

Makeup Design:  Alexis Robbins

Lighting Design:  Evan Mues

Sound Design:  Ashley Campbell

Poster Design:  Catherine Talbot, Trevor Fulton

Publicity:  Ashley Campbell, Trevor Fulton

 

I CAME ACROSS [KANE’S] PLAYS WHILE IN LONDON AND THE RAW BEAUTY, EXTREME VIOLENCE, AND BRILLIANT HUMOR THAT CHARACTERIZE HER WORKS IMMEDIATELY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION AND MADE ME REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT WORKS OF THEIR CALIBER ARE TO THE THEATRE TODAY. I HAVE DESIGNED LIGHTS FOR HER FIRST PLAY, BLASTED, AND DIRECTED A STAGED READING OF HER TORTUROUS WORK ABOUT LOVE, CLEANSED. 4.48 PSYCHOSIS IS VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM THESE TWO WORKS BECAUSE THE SCRIPT IS COMPLETELY DEVOID OF STAGE DIRECTION OR PLAYWRIGHT NOTES LEAVING ONLY THE BARE POETRY ON THE PAGE. THIS SHOW HAS BEEN ON MY SHORT LIST OF PLAYS TO DIRECT BECAUSE I LOST MY FATHER TO SUICIDE IN APRIL OF 2014. HIS AND MY OWN BATTLES WITH DEPRESSION HAVE MIRRORS IN THIS WONDERFUL WORK AND I AM GLAD AND LUCKY TO FINALLY BE ABLE TO SHARE IT.
— Tony Ryan, Director

"BRITISH DRAMATIST, SARAH KANE, LED AN IMPACTFUL THEATRE CAREER: SPANNING FROM HER DEBUT PLAY PREMIERING IN 1995 TO HER SUICIDE IN 1999 AND THE POSTHUMOUS PREM­IERE OF 4.48 PSYCHOSIS. HER COLLECTION OF WORK INCLUDES FOUR OTHER PLAYS: BLASTED, PHAEDRA 's LOVE, CLEANSED, AND CRAVE. SARAH KANE'S WRITING IS BOLD AND HONEST AND AS KANE'S OWN MENTAL HEALTH BECAME MORE FRAGMENTED, SHE REFLECTED THIS FRAGMENTATION IN HER DRAMATIC WORK. AS ONE MIGHT EXPECT, MANY VIEW 4.48 PRIMARILY THROUGH THE LENS OF KANE'S DEATH BUT NEGLECT TO REALIZE THE AMOUNT OF LOVE THAT LIES IN EVERY LINE OF HER POETRY. AS A MIND LOST IN THE DEPTHS OF DEPRESSION SEARCHES FOR CLARITY, ONE IS ENCOURAGED TO REMEMBER THE LOVE THAT THIS PLAY EVOKES AND TO BELIEVE IN THIS LOVE." - Katie Walker, Dramaturg