Someone Like Me 

This drama chronicles the lives of 5 teenage patients in an Adolescent Psychiatric Institution as they put on their own theatre play. 

 

It’s a window into the lives of doctors, patients, and parents – and inside their souls. But it’s also our story, because these kids - are a high volume version of us.

Playwright Roy Chen wrote the play following 6 months of research in a Psychiatric Hospital. The result blends dark humor with wit and sincerity, and creates a world which is both poetic and raw.

Someone Like Me celebrates the healing power of theatre in the hopes of raising the bar of compassion ever so slightly.

“A touching production that shakes you up, with painful and tender moments, alongside comic reliefs.”

CALCALIST

A stunning, fascinating and moving production. All five young actors give incredibly raw and true performances. ***** FIVE STARS

YEDIOT AHARONOT

Daily Newspaper

Characters  (3 teenage girls, 2 teenage boys, 2 women, 2 men)

THE CHILDREN

MAX suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder and fits of rage, dreams of becoming an actor.

GABRIEL is on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s syndrome, has incredible memory skills,

dreams of being stupid.

MIA suffers from bi-polar disorder, dreams of becoming a psychiatrist.

TAMARA/TOM F2M, dreams of looking the way he feels.

ESTHER is an orthodox Jew, hears voices inside her head, dreams of becoming a lion.

THE STAFF

DR. DORIAN the head of the Juvenile psychiatric ward in the “Bright Lights” psychiatric hospital.

CAROLINE the new drama teacher, struggles with an eating disorder from her past.

THE PARENTS

played by the same two actors

JO & KELLY / Max’s parents, own a grocery store

AUDREY & MATTHEW / Mia’s parents, educated, wealthy, divorced

GARY & IRIS Gabriel’s parents, live in an empty house

MORDECHAI ESTHER’s father, an orthodox Jew from a closed community

IRINA Tamara’s mother, born in St. Petersburg, former ballerina

The play was produced in 2019 and still runs in Gesher theatre, Tel-Aviv, Israel. 

 

An extract from the play

Translated from Hebrew

by Ealeal Semel

SCENE 4:

THE CONTRACT

DORIAN. May I ask you to roll up your sleeve.

MIA.     Haven’t you heard of “Me Too”, Dr. Dorian?

DORIAN. Mia…

MIA      (rolls up her sleeve to reveal a fresh bandage on her wrist.) I cheated myself. Like I knew I would.

told you I was trouble; you know that I’m no good.

DORIAN. You are good.

MIA.     Come on, it’s Amy Winehouse! (starts singing) “I cheated myself…”

DORIAN. We agreed that if you keep cutting, I’ll have to lower your status.

MIA.     And…

DORIAN. You keep cutting.

MIA.     And…

DORIAN. I’ll have to lower your status.

MIA.     And…

DORIAN. And you won’t be in the play.

(bit.)

MIA.     Who cares? I don’t wanna be in this life, and you’re threatening me with a stupid play?

DORIAN. Mia, this isn’t your first stay here.

MIA.     Lucky number three!

DORIAN. You’re a very intelligent girl.

MIA.     (like a sports anchor) And he’s trying a strategy of shameless flattery..

but he falls flat on his face…

DORIAN. You said the new drug is doing you good.

MIA.     It’s doing me bad. I don’t feel like myself.

DORIAN. I want to offer you a contract.

MIA.     A contract?

DORIAN. A contract. Between you and yourself. I have no part in it, I’m just the witness. You

commit before Mia that you won’t cut. You can commit to as many days as you can.

MIA.     Why should I sign it?

DORIAN. Because I want you to get out of here.

MIA.     ‘cause you hate me.

DORIAN. I don’t hate you and you know that.

MIA.     Then why do you want me to get out? When you love someone you want to keep them close.

DORIAN. You once told me you want to be a psychiatrist when you grow up.

MIA.     I changed my mind. I don’t wanna grow up.

DORIAN. Mia, you treat this place like it’s home. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you.

MIA.     A whole world full of assholes.

DORIAN. Well, some of these assholes can be less of an asshole if someone could see them and

listen to them.

MIA.     That’s so sweet, let me give you the number of the guy who raped me when I was 13, so you

can see him and listen to him.

DORIAN. I mean you have the ability to listen to people, to teach them, to save them.

MIA. What if I don’t want to? What if I just want to stop. I don’t wanna be here. I want to die.

DORIAN. Then you’ll have to go through me.

MIA.     Where do you get the nerve to stop a person of sound mind who wants to die?

DORIAN. Where? From experience. I had my fair share of smart girls, not like you, but very smart.

They promised to kill themselves. But they didn’t. A week, a month, even a year later, they

found meaning in their life. It’s not like they walk around with a smiley face, but they’re

alive, some started a family, some make art. One of them does amazing work with kids on

the autistic spectrum.

MIA (grabs the page meant for the contract and starts writing.) “I, Mia, commit before myself,

to avoid cutting for…”

DORIAN. Even two or three days. I mean, everything we do is internal agreements between ourselves.

MIA      (takes out another coin for him.) Again with this psycho-crap? You’re gonna be rich. Go buy

yourself something pretty. (she throws the contract in his face and leaves.)