Creating a Conversation about Mental Health

The Manic Monologues

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Recommended Age Viewer's Discretion
Viewing Optimization The video, audio, and animated graphics in this media experience are best viewed on a desktop or laptop. See details below on web browser requirements.
Closed-Captioning Closed-captioning for videos is available in English and Spanish.


Nominated for a Drama League Award: Outstanding Digital Theater, Collection, or Festival!

This initiative brings to life true stories – experiences submitted by resilient people across the world living with mental health challenges. They have things to say about struggle and pain, and also triumph and joy.
This experience is free to access anytime, no registration required.

The Virtual Experience

Take a journey through the minds and voices of people who bravely share the way mental illness has affected their lives, performed by a celebrated cast of actors – enhanced by interactive design and technology. 

Engage with the stories at your own pace, access our virtual resource guide, and watch interviews with experts and advocates on mental health and the current moment.


The Backdrop

When Zack had his first psychotic break and was diagnosed with bipolar in May 2017, he was just finishing his PhD at Stanford University  and his world imploded. Would mental illness dictate his whole life? Would everything change? Zack was underwater, and his then-girlfriend Elisa had no way of knowing whether her happy, gregarious partner-in-crime would ever resurface. 

One of the hardest parts about those early days was the absence of relatable, lived experiences. Zack and Elisa decided to create a play based on true stories to disrupt the stigma around mental illness. It resulted in a series of vignettes they called The Manic Monologues. The play was performed live in 2019. 

McCarter planned a professional staged reading in 2020. When COVID-19 halted live events, the project was re-conceived for our digital stage.


Please note: The video, audio, and animated graphics in this media experience are best viewed on a desktop or laptop


Sticky note with message that says" Click here  to begin your  virtual experience". The a blue button appears with label  that says"ENTER"


Technical Requirements and Recommendations:

The Manic Monologues website is an intensive media experience containing audio and animated graphics.
It is best viewed on a desktop or laptop device, rather than a mobile or tablet device.

In order to completely experience the website, please view the site on the following web browsers: Chrome version 68 or above, Safari version 11 or above, or Firefox version 61 or above.

If you’re experiencing performance issues or lag, please ensure that hardware acceleration is enabled in your browser's settings and that your operating system is up to date.

At this time,
The Manic Monologues web experience is not supported by the Firefox browser when using Linux operating systems specifically.

The Manic Monologues website does not store any data about its visitors.

Creative Team & Cast



Partners & Sponsors

The Manic Monologues are meant for private viewing only and may not be screened for any other purpose. Under no circumstances may these recordings be shared or duplicated. The Manic Monologues website has been made available in partnership with employees represented by the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society and Actors’ Equity Association.





The Manic Monologues virtual experience is made possible through the dedicated support of  Princeton University partners: The TigerWell Initiative, The Lewis Center for the Arts, Residential Colleges (Butler, First, Forbes, Mathey, Rockefeller, Whitman) and The Graduate College; support from Daniela Bonafede-Chhabra & Ashvin Chhabra, and a partnership with One Mind All Media, a non-profit organization that accelerates collaborative research and advocacy to enable all individuals facing brain health challenges to build healthy, productive lives.