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Cache Valley residents contribute their stories to performance about depression

By Jason Walker | April 10, 2017

The Facing Project came to Logan on Friday with its newest show, “Facing Depression in Cache Valley,” which took aim at stereotypes of people who struggle with depression in their lives.

Students from the Utah State University Department of Theater Arts performed
short monologues at the school’s Black Box Theater, telling the stories of Cache Valley residents who had sat down with writers to share their story of how they overcame depression.

“Our main goal,” said Matt Omasta, the director of the performance, “was to take the stories that we had and portray them as authentic as possible to try to reach a wide audience and create a piece that would be engaging and interesting, but honor the stories we were working from.”

The Facing Project is a national nonprofit which works with communities to put on performances to address a variety of issues, including mental health.

Jenni Allred, who organized the Facing Depression project, said depression is very prevalent in the community.

“I think every person is affected by it,” Allred said. “If I am not struggling with depression I can guarantee you that there is somebody that I know that is.”

Nelda Ault-Dyslin, the program director at the Val R. Christensen Service Center, was part of a group that applied for a fee waiver to cover the cost of getting the tools from the Facing Project to put on a show to address depression in Cache Valley. She said once the project began to move forward, it fit right into place with the needs of the community.

“The more we got into it, the more we realized that there’s a lot of people who want to talk about it but don’t know how,” she said. “A lot of service providers who know that it needs to be talked about but don’t do it. So it was a good fit.”