SPOKANE, Wash. — On Stage!, a recovery program housed at Washington State University Spokane that serves mental health consumers, will present its musical theatre company, Theatre Extraordinaire, May 6 in its fifth production.

The 7:30 p.m. event will be in the Spokane Metropolitan Center for the Performing Arts and is free and open to the public. “Hats Off Spokane!” features both original and familiar songs, including music from the Broadway musicals “Little Mary Sunshine,” “The Music Man” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” Donations to support the program will be accepted at the door.

“This performance is an opportunity for the cast to display their talents and abilities, and the accomplishments they are achieving on the road to recovery,” said Donna Douglass, producer and director of On Stage!. “In addition, this event educates the public through reducing stigma and dispelling the myths that are so often associated with mental illness.”

Emcee for the evening will be Rick Hornor, chair of the Whitworth College theatre department. Guest artists will be members of the Celtic Nots, a local performing group.

Many community volunteers will be involved in the production, including several elementary school children from Discovery School and their parents, back stage and lobby personnel, makeup artists, musicians and performers.

The show is produced and directed by Donna Douglass and choreographed by Katherine Crow, both of the Washington Institute for Mental Illness Research and Training at WSU Spokane.

On Stage! is a recovery and rehabilitation program and the only one of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The organization’s mission is to prepare its students for community re-entry through skill building, personal development and an improved quality of life, and to educate the public about mental illness. The program is supported by the Spokane County Regional Support Network; the WIMIRT at WSU Spokane; the Simanton Foundation; fees from performances; and private donations.

For more information on On Stage! and WIMIRT, visit the following Web sites:
On Stage!

Editor’s Note: Cast members are willing to be interviewed and to talk about their mental illness and how On Stage! is helping in their recovery efforts. Contact Donna Douglass at (509) 358-7676 or (509) 999-0833 (cell), to schedule an interview.