It is no exaggeration to say we have entered an epoch-making era where no human beings in history had ever experienced such exponential access to data, information, as well as numerous channels for unimpeded communications and self-expressions.
The evolving technology and its application has brought unprecedented convenience to our lives. However, what is often overlooked is its silent, pernicious yet powerful influence on our mental health. The first thing we check after wake up and the last thing we check before sleep is the same thing - our small screen that connects to the infinite Internet world. Modern life bombards us with relentless sources of pressure, to name just a few: social media, emails, notifications, news, interpersonal demands etc.
“One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders …” indicating how social and systematic changes bring about our one’s inner struggles.
World Health Organization (WHO),
The play Ritual Medicine is born out of the quest to arouse conscious awareness and trigger thoughts on this present-day problem of psychological well-being and excessive usage of medicine.
Mental disorder is an isolated experience that no one else other than oneself can witness and explore. This is fundamentally one of the reasons why it fails to receive its deserved attention and sympathy. In order to depict this topic in the most realistic approach, the play features a solo performer to portray the process of mental breakdown, the colloquial monologues as well as interactions with three characters in representation of different identities. In tandem with the plot development, the performer attempts to use medication and drug to serve as the single fast-track cure-all to alleviate the problem yet unfortunately it only exacerbates the situation.
Act I Self Doubt
The play unfolds with verbal instructions of medicine usage given by the doctor. Besieged by a barrage of urgent tasks and to-dos, the protagonist suffers from continuous stress and self-doubt. To dispel his anxiety, the protagonist keeps using painkillers as his panacea.
Act II Insomnia
This act highlights the chronic and excessive usage of medicine to cure insomnia, a prevalent illness common in the contemporary age. The feeling of need more yet feeling less is the main message intended to relate to the audience.
Act III Mental Monster
The final act revolves around the interaction between the protagonist and divergent voices inside of his head. He feels the profound dislocation of his mental state, seeks out for restructuring of his life, yet left baffled, numb and helpless. The act culminates when the protagonist throws the question to the audience “How can we own our lives back?”, intending to elicit emotions, thoughts and solutions.
Director / Performer:
Motion Graphic Director:
Pasakorn Nontananandh Aka “Akaliko”
Voice-Over / Sounds Effect:
Krit Tone Sukawat