May 13, 1999
MEDIA CONTACT: Barb Chamberlain, 509/358-7527, chamberlain@wsu.edu
MUSICAL PERFORMANCE PROVIDES REHABILITATION FOR MENTALLY ILL
        SPOKANE, Wash. -- Theatre Extraordinaire, a musical company partly comprised of people with long-term psychiatric disabilities, will present a one-act performance about the 1920s Prohibition era at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at The Met.
        "The Bootleggin' Blues," written by company director Donna Douglass, is a satirical look at the days when gangs had names like Big Al's Kit Kat Club and bootlegging booze was a common infraction.
        Performances by Theatre Extraordinaire are part of the psychosocial rehabilitation program "On Stage!" The program, developed in 1997, is designed to prepare people with mental illnesses for entry into vocational training, supported education and/or the workplace through a variety of activities. Musicals such as "Bootleggin' Blues" provide students with performance opportunities in which they develop self-confidence, creativity, self-discipline and team-building skills.
        The cast of Theatre Extraordinaire is comprised of consumers of mental health services, staff members of Spokane Mental Health and community volunteers. A variety show of solos, duets and production numbers by the entire cast will follow the play.
        The performance's musical numbers feature lead gangster Big Al and friends in "It Ain't No Easy Life"; the Kit Kat Kutie Dancers in "There's Gotta Be a Better Way to Make a Livin' "; torch song "Hey There! Big Boy!"; and Ella Ness and her sidekick McDuff performing "We're the FBI" and "The Bootleggin' Blues."
        "On Stage!" is sponsored by funds from the Department of Social and Health Services, the Spokane County Regional Support Network, Spokane Mental Health, the Washington Institute for Mental Illness Research and Training at WSU Spokane, and Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities.
        Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and students, and $2 for consumers of mental health services. For ticket information and reservations call 509/358-7676.
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