“…FROM SHIP TO SHAPE is a funny and gut-wrenching autobiographical monologue about one young man’s struggle with mental illness in today’s world. It's about losing your mind while chasing your dreams, the journey in pursuit of healing, and how a cruise ship can push you over the edge.” In the summer of 2003, Vreeland got a job as a lead singer for Norwegian Cruise Lines, but he could never have imagined the voyage that lay ahead. Boarding the Bermuda-bound ship would mark the onset of a mental breakdown so severe he would wake up months later in 1 of the 101 beds at Johns Hopkins Hospital's Mood Disorder Psychiatric Ward. Years later, and now an actor and award-winning radio personality, Vreeland has decided to “fight the darkness with humor and pathos” in this autobiographical monologue. “I had been keeping a journal throughout the cruise ship debacle and throughout the months that followed, through the time I was hospitalized and then for a long time after,” he says. Vreeland found a narrative through these journals. Under the direction of Academy Award & Emmy Award winning producer and director, Milton Justice, Vreeland’s tragicomic story is about the relentless pursuit of healing. It took him seven years to write, edit and get the piece stage ready. The one-man musical made its New York premiere in September 2017 and enjoyed a critical acclaimed, sold-out Off-Broadway run at Theatre Row as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival.
The event, which will be held in the main building of Fellowship's campus at 441 Elm Street in New Haven, will kick off community celebrations for “May is Mental Health Awareness Month”. At 6:30pm, just prior to the performance, guests may visit the art room for refreshments and an art exhibit displaying original artworks created by the artists of Fellowship Place’s Expressive Arts program. Following the 7:00 performance will be an audience talk-back with Mr. Vreeland, moderated by Will Sherman, Professor of Psychology at Southern CT State University.
Tickets are $25 each, students pay $10 with student ID. Tickets may be reserved by contacting Melissa Holroyd, Development Director at 203-401-4227 x1211, or visiting http://fellowshipplace.org/the-ct-premiere-of-walker-vreelands-from-ship-to-shape