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Erasing the Distance is a nonprofit arts organization based in Chicago that uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate, and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health. Founded in 2005, ETD’s performances have been seen by over 60,000 people to date. For more information, please visit our website at www.ErasingTheDistance.org.
Erasing the Distance (ETD) collects true stories from people whose lives have been impacted by mental health issues and shapes the storyteller’s words into monologues, scenes and full productions. Professional actors then bring these stories to life onstage before a live audience. Every performance is followed by a moderated, interactive dialogue. ETD has three primary branches of programming:
Public Productions: ETD stages shows for the general public at local venues. These productions-often world premieres-are based on true stories and shaped for the stage by professional theatre artists. ETD partners with mental health professionals to offer actor training and onsite audience support and information.
Custom Programs: ETD has a vast repertoire of stories that explore various mental health issues and feature people of many different ages, cultural backgrounds, racial groups and perspectives that can be combined and curated to fit the needs of each client. These performances enliven meetings, conferences, special events, and curriculum for organizations and schools.
Education: The approach ETD uses to collect, transcribe, and shape true stories not only leads to theatrical scripts, but deepens compassion and understanding for those impacted by mental health challenges. Through presentations, workshops and trainings, this methodology is taught to artists, college students, mental health advocates, and current/future health professionals.