The Fringe Abstract

“That’s Just Crazy Talk” – A Play (F003)

Sagar Parikh (University of Toronto); Erin Michalak (University of British Columbia);
Victoria Maxwell (Crazy for Life Company) 


A group of researchers conducted a knowledge translation study which created a theatrical performance and evaluated its impact on attitudes toward mental health issues. The research findings have been submitted separately as a research paper, but for the “Fringe”, we are applying to put on the play itself for the CME Congress audience. The play, That’s Just Crazy Talk, is written and performed by Victoria Maxwell, an acclaimed actress and mental health educator. Like her previous solo shows (Crazy for Life, Head Over Heels), That’s Just Crazy Talk looks at both the light and dark side of living with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis. In one hour, it describes one woman’s journey of coming to terms with mental illness within herself and in her family. This achingly truthful play both entertains and educates by exploding stigmas and portraying the love and resilience it takes to stay together as a family in the midst of illness.

The earlier research, funded by a CIHR Knowledge Translation grant, involved people living with bipolar disorder and healthcare providers who watched the play and completed pre— and post-performance surveys as well as separate focus groups. Performing the play at CME Congress will be a demonstation of a pedagogical technique that goes far beyond lectures—in some ways, it is a “simulation”. In other ways, it is a demonstration of an engaging and novel format for altering attitudes in health care providers, among others. It was favourably reviewed in the Globe and Mail.


Nothing to disclose.