London’s Park Theatre has partnered with charity Mind to introduce rehearsal practices to protect performers’ mental health.
The measures, which include daily mental health check-ins, have been introduced for the company of Fine Line Productions’ play Distance, which explores mental illness.
The Park plans to roll these out to other companies performing at the theatre in the future, and is also piloting daily mental health check-ins for the venue’s staff.
Each morning, the company members have a formal “check-in” session with each other, where they are able to openly talk about how they are feeling that day. They have also adopted new relaxation exercises into their warm-ups and cool-downs recommended by the Park’s local branch of Mind in Haringey.
Fine Line adopted the practices with the aim of helping to equip the company to deal with the challenging issues raised in Distance, which is written by Alex McSweeney and runs until September 29, with press night tonight.
Park creative director Melli Marie said: “We are taking a proactive approach to our team’s mental health and well-being at Park Theatre first by acknowledging the importance of it and secondly by setting up practices that allow for mental health to be a priority.”
She added: “Cool downs are especially important, and they can often be neglected when people are pressed for time, but they help you get back to a place of calm after you have expressed lots of feelings and emotions.
“I would really encourage other theatres to find a process that works for them, or to try these techniques.”