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Finding Peace in This House presented at the Woodstock Opera House

Celebrate the human spirit in overcoming challenges by taking in a performance of Finding Peace in This House brought to the Woodstock Opera House by the professional theater company Erasing the Distance (ETD) for one day only on May 12 at 8 p.m.

This play of monologues features diverse true stories of how mental health issues affect individuals and our communities.

Brian’s story, told by professional actor Wes Clark, is a recollection of decisions and events that ended in heroin addiction and a seven-year prison sentence.

Deb’s story, portrayed by Jen Mathews, explores the sadness and anxiety that led this mother and schoolteacher to self injure as a way of coping. Her story explores responses to common fears and feelings we all share.

Mathew, represented by Jason Economus, has Cerebral Palsy. Despite predictions that his life would be short, he is a college student and award winning slam poet. He talks about how Cerebral Palsy affected his life, and recounts struggles with depression, acceptance, and finding love.

Ramona, characterized by Desla Epison, grew up in a dysfunctional household filled with abuse and neglect. She found self-redemption through forgiveness, and reaching out to work with homeless youth.

Directed by Brighid O’Shaughnessy, Finding Peace in This House first opened at the Chicago Cultural Center to a sold out audience.

ETD is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of performance to tell stories shared by individuals affected by various mental health issues. The goal is to disarm stigma and spark dialogue that promotes healing. True stories are sculpted into theatrical monologues and scenes to bring them to life for live audiences.

Every performance is followed by moderated interactive dialogue with the audience, and an opportunity to discuss how the cast works with persons whose stories they tell.

Appropriate for high school-age students through adults, this performance received great reviews following performances in Chicago’s cultural centers. A $5 donation at the door is suggested.

For information call the McHenry County Mental Health Board at 815-455-2828, or email

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