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Performing Arts Field Trip to Chris Gethard: Career Suicide

On Sunday, December 11th, Stevenson students attended a special performance of Chris Gethard: Career Suicide at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre in Greenwich Village. Career Suicide is advertised as “a new comedy about suicide, depression, alcoholism, and all the other funnest parts of life”. In his one-man show, Gethard shares his lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety, using comedy as a vehicle to start a conversation about traditionally taboo topics. Stevenson’s Performing Arts teacher, Jackie Silvestri, coordinated the trip and hosted a Q&A between Mr. Gethard and the students in attendance.

Students from Jackie’s Creative Expressions classes and weekly Music Club were encouraged to ask him questions. After a moment of initial hesitation, Chris assured the students that it was fine to wait until they were comfortable. His demonstrated empathy and understanding of Stevenson students’ struggles put them at ease, encouraging questions and discussion about his process of creating and performing an original piece of comedy with true and tragic roots, his stage fright, and even his Morrissey tattoos. In an open and honest and open conversation, Chris answered students’ questions and discussed his ongoing and evolving relationship with anxiety and depression.

Upon seeing Career Suicide in November, Jackie knew it would be a valuable performance for members of the Stevenson community to see. She reflected, “Gethard is candid about his mental health, which is refreshing and relevant for audiences. Unlike Stevenson students, he wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety and depression until his 20s, so he had to navigate his high school and college years without the same networks of support. Seeing someone like Chris, who has achieved so much in spite of or because he had to work through anxiety, depression, and nasty prescription side effects, is a big deal, and it’s an even bigger deal for our students to have the chance to speak with him. His show changes the conversation, and hopefully, the perception about mental health and how it is treated”.

“People have expressed to me that making comedy about depression is insensitive. I vehemently disagree. We need to start laughing about this stuff, so maybe we can finally be comfortable talking about it afterwards. I just try to make sure my jokes come from an honest place….” Chris Gethard in regards to the subject matter of his show. Junior, Lauren M. and Sophomore Aidan H., loved the show for this specific reason, “I never expected the show to be about such a dark topic, but then turn out so funny!” Aidan says. “It’s inspiring to see this subject matter talks about so openly,” Lauren says.

For more information about Chris visit the following sites: