The Dissociation of Shirley Mason

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Written by Isabella Culver

By Isabella Culver
Directed by Peter Leslie Wild

Shirley Mason is a young woman of uncertain identity – buffeted by the expectations of family and church in the American town of her childhood.

Later, as an art student in New York she feels her personality disintegrating, and a psychiatrist takes a keen interest. Dr Cornelia B Wilbur may have stumbled upon a landmark case to make her reputation.

As the two women’s lives become entwined, lines blur between psychiatry and art, case studies and tall stories, real hurt and false memory.

Inspired by the real-life case of a woman diagnosed as having 16 personalities. This premiere production is an American tale spanning the decades up to the 1970s, with questions for us all about where our true selves reside.

Duration: 2 hr including interval
Recommended age: 14+
Trigger warnings: discussion of psychological distress
Strong language: very occasional

 

Image credit: Hide The Shark

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