The Fringe may be over, but plays such as OCD will resonate long after.
Fringe Festival play OCD is more than a comedy, although it does put the ‘fun’ back in ‘dysfunctional.’ OCD is a teaching tool that educates those who don’t understand the realities of living with obsessions, compulsions, and disorders.
Louise Casemore, winner of theatre awards and accolades from New York to Edmonton, was recognized as giving an “outstanding performance by a Fringe actress.”
There’s always a reason for the behavior.
While the DSM-5 classifies OCD as a mental illness, it has been my observation that it is also a coping mechanism when someone has experienced severe trauma. It’s also been my observation that OCD is treatable, but if left untreated, it can lead to permanent disability.
Casemore is in good company. Justin Timberlake has OCD and says it makes him overly obsessed with neatness often spending hours making sure objects are lined up perfectly. Katy Perry says OCD is why she brushes her teeth four to six times a day.
Billy Bob Thornton discussed his OCD on NBC’s Dateline. Certain numbers represent certain people and he can’t use a particular number in some situations. Super soccer star David Beckham admits he struggles with OCD, which causes him to count his clothes and place magazines in straight lines and symmetrical patterns.
Casemore’s character, Jenna, shares her summer camp experiences of cognitive-behavioural therapy and medications. The audience cannot help but feel her pain as the disorder manifests itself in high school and sabotages dating as she matures.
The scene from childhood, where the need for coping strategies all began, is particularly poignant. Adult OCD is no picnic either, but humour proves an elixir for both actor and audience.
The best plays have takeaways. Besides a powerful message, Louise Casemore provided resource information:
OCD Centre Manitoba Inc.
100-4 Fort Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1C4
Phone: (204) 942-3331