This Is My Brave Announces Fall 2018 Season

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Media Contact: Mariclare Hulbert; 585-278-2302; mariclare.hulbert@gmail.com

Jennifer Marshall, Co- Founder and Executive Director; jennifer@thisismybrave.org
 

THIS IS MY BRAVE ANNOUNCES FALL 2018 SEASON

-- Executive Director Jennifer Marshall Honored with Mental Health America Award --

“Participating in This Is My Brave was a turning point in my life and in my recovery. This Is My Brave gave me the power and confidence to start owning my anxiety instead of letting it own me.”  -Paige Shimer, TIMB Storyteller

For Immediate Release June 4, 2018 -- This Is My Brave, Inc. (TIMB),  the national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness through storytelling, today announces its Fall 2018 season. This is My Brave performances are live theater shows in which community members share true stories about their personal challenges with mental illness and health. These stories open a dialogue and create new opportunities for participants and audiences to thoughtfully engage around the topic of mental health. 2018 features TIMB’s most robust performance schedule ever. Over the next six months, This is My Brave: The Show will be presented in Arlington, VA; Los Angeles, CA; Iowa City, IA; Lansing, MI; New York, NY; Myrtle Beach, SC; and beyond.

Founded in 2014, TIMB has received national praise and numerous accolades. Later this month, Co-Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Marshall will be honored with the Mental Health America (MHA) Clifford W. Beers Award at the MHA 2018 Annual Conference held in Washington, DC June 14-16. The Clifford W. Beers Award is presented annually to an individual with the lived experience of mental illness who best reflects the example set by MHA founder Beers in his or her efforts to improve conditions for and attitudes toward people living with mental health conditions. Founded in 1909, MHA is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

“I continue to be blown away at what the This Is My Brave community is able to accomplish, together,” stated Jennifer Marshall. “Each year we’ve grown and offered more and more storytelling performances. Our storytellers use the hashtag “#StorytellingSavesLives” because it’s true. I’ve heard countless stories from people around the country who say that our show inspired them to keep fighting and to have the courage to share their own struggles. To be recognized by Mental Health America is the icing on the cake, and I’m deeply grateful for this award.”

One in five American adults face mental health issues (National Institute of Mental Health). Yet, the conversation around mental illness continues to carry shame, and many people who deal with mental health challenges remain silent. This Is My Brave aims to break that silence by celebrating and honoring the stories of people who are dealing with mental illness. The reaction from participants and audience members has been powerful as performances double with each passing year. Since its first show in 2014 in Arlington, Virginia, This Is My Brave: The Show has featured over 650 people sharing their stories in 43 performances across the United States and in Australia.

Each performance is hosted and produced by a local producer or partner organization, with support from TIMB. Local teens and adults audition to be part of each event. Story submissions encompass struggles and perspectives on any form of mental illness including depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, suicide attempts, anorexia or bulimia, schizophrenia, PTSD, and more. Stories can be shared via comedy, spoken word essay, original poetry, or original song. Caregivers are encouraged to audition and participation is open to all ages. The resulting live one- or two-night-only events are open to all ages and regularly sell out. Tickets for each show go on sale approximately six-to-eight weeks prior to the performance. For individual performance information, including audition announcements, visit thisismybrave.org.

FALL 2018 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Additional performances will be announced at a later date.

September 16, Iowa City, IA; Englert Theatre

September 22, Los Angeles; The Warner Grand Theatre

September 24, New York, NY; Mason Hall, Baruch College

October 8, Boise, ID; Boise State University Special Events Center

October 18, Elkins, PA; Gratz College

October 21, Arlington, VA; Gunston One Theatre

October 28, Myrtle Beach, SC; Five Crowns Conference and Event Center

November 11, Lansing, MI; Wharton Center for Performing Arts

November 16,  Boston, MA; Strand Theatre


ABOUT JENNIFER MARSHALL

Jennifer Marshall is a speaker, writer, and Co-Founder and Executive Director of This Is My Brave, Inc., the leading platform for individuals to share their story of overcoming mental illness through creative expression.

Marshall was diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder in 2006 and has been hospitalized four times in five years. Writing her way through life with a mental illness became her way of healing, and her award-winning blog, BipolarMomLife, became an inspiration to many. After a positive outpouring of support in reaction to her personal story, Marshall  wanted to provide that same opportunity to others living with mental illness. She envisioned a theater show concept, and together with Co-Founder Anne Marie Ames, launched the project on Kickstarter. The project was successfully funded within 31 days, raising over $10,000 to create the inaugural This Is My Brave show. The movement became a nonprofit organization the following year.

Marshall’s blog, now jennifermarshall.me, has been named Healthline Bipolar Blog of the year for four years in a row (2014-2017), and in 2014, she was named a “Rookie of the Year” finalist by WEGO Health. She’s been featured in The Washington Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, BPHope Magazine, and numerous local news stations, publications, and podcasts. Marshall gave a TEDx talk in 2016 entitled “Mental Illness: Being Brave Saves Lives,” and she speaks regularly at mental health and storytelling conferences. In June 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Clifford W. Beers Award by Mental Health America.

 

ABOUT THIS IS MY BRAVE

This Is My Brave was co-founded in Virginia by Jennifer Marshall and Anne Marie Ames (1958-2017), two women passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, and saving lives through storytelling. In May of 2014, TIMB debuted its first ever live show in Arlington, Virginia at the Spectrum Theatre to a sold-out crowd of nearly 400. Over the past four years, the nonprofit organization has hosted performances across the United States and in Australia, including Greenville, SC; Valparaiso, IN (Chicagoland); Denver, CO;  Iowa City, IA; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Napa Valley, CA; Boston, MA; Lewiston, ME, Wheeling, WV New York, NY; and beyond. TIMB has been featured in The Washington Post and O, The Oprah Magazine, Stage-Directions Magazine, as well as many other publications. TIMB will celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2019. For more information about This Is My Brave, visit www.ThisIsMyBrave.org or http://youtube.com/thisismybrave.