Theatre for Living presents MALADJUSTED @ The Firehall Arts Centre from March 20th -28th


maladjusted is back by popular demand for 9 shows ONLY!

“maladjusted, is a thought-provoking, gut-wrenching, funny, sad and mind broadening journey inside the hierarchical and mechanical mental health system-a system that leaves little time or money to invest in the people it is trying to serve.” Patty Osborn,

For short videos of the cast please click here 

Theatre for Living (TfL) has been creating cutting edge, controversial and hard-hitting theatre since 1981. Formerly known as Headlines Theatre, TfL takes its new name from Artistic Director David Diamond’s innovative practice that has come to define the company’s work. This year, TfL’s legacy continues with maladjusted, created in 2013, touring into 26 communities across BC & Alberta and culminating in 9 Vancouver performances at the Firehall Arts Centre.


maladjusted engages audiences with powerful images and authentic voices weaving together three very personal narratives:

- A teenager struggling with sadness over her friend’s suicide is misdiagnosed by her doctor and put on prescription drugs;  

- a young homeless man who is legitimately taking prescription meds gets inadvertently thrown into dangerous circumstances by frustrated social workers, who from within a mechanizing system, are trying their best to help him; 

- finally, there is all of us, unable to adjust to the needs of a maladjusted mental health sector, who become potential agents for change. 

How can we support human-centered care? What needs to be done to ensure safety for patients and caregivers? How do we sustain a healthy mental health system? These are just a few questions that maladjusted explores. 

“David Diamond is an international treasure.” Mark Leiren- Young, Vancouver Sun

 Change is needed in the way we view and deal with mental health. Here is an example in which Mayor Gregor Robertson and Police Chief Jim Chu talk about compassion not stigmatization in the Vancouver Sun (Sept 16, 2013). And another: Exposing Canada’s ugly mental health secret in the Globe and Mail (Oct 13, 2013). The issue has not gotten better. A year after Vancouver declared a mental health crisis, cases continue to climb (Globe and Mail (Oct. 23, 2014). A potentially positive step is being taken with the recently announced plan to re-open Riverview Hospital as a holistic mental health care facility, as reported on Global News (June 17, 2014) and in Vancity Buzz (Dec. 9, 2014). There are many more examples for the urgency for change.


maladjusted is an authentic voice of patients and caregivers that speaks to the heart of these issues, while using the theatre to seek concrete human and systemic change.


The cast & crew: maladjusted brings six original and relevant voices to the stage:  Original cast members Micheala Hiltergerke, Pierre Leichner, Martin Filby and Sam Bob* are joined by Christine Germano & Columpa Bobb*, combining shared wisdom and unique lived experiences. The director of maladjusted is David Diamond, recipient of the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre in NY (2010) and the Mayor’s Arts Award for Community Engaged Art (2012) as well as numerous other awards. He leads a talented design and technical team including: Technical Director Elisha Burrows, Technical Lighting Director Tim Cardinal, Stage Manager Dorothy Jenkins*, Set/Props Designer Yvan Morissette, Sound/Video Designer Candelario Andrade, Lighting Designer Gerald King, Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre, and crew person, Robyn Volk                                                                        *Appear through the generous support of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.


Cast members brought rich and unique real-life experiences as patients and caregivers from within the mental health system to the original creation and performance of this Forum Theatre production.


Forum Theatre: is an opportunity for creative, community-based dialogue. The play is performed once, all the way through, so the audience can see the situation and the problems presented. The story builds to a crisis and stops, offering no solutions. The play is then run again, with audience members able to “freeze” the action at any point where they see a character engaged in a struggle. In maladjusted this means trying to receive or give human-centered care and failing. An audience member yells “stop!”, comes into the playing area, replaces the character s/he sees struggling, and tries out his/her idea to create human-centered care. The other characters respond, not to “make it better”, not to “make it worse”, simply to be truthful, drawing on their own lived expertise. What insights do we have? What do we think? What do we learn? Who agrees? Who disagrees? In this way we engage in a creative and action-based dialogue about issues in our lives. The process is fun, profound, entertaining and full of surprises.


Global Interactive Webcast: maladjusted will culminate in a live, interactive, global webcast on Saturday March 28th 2015 at 8pm PST. TfL has been pioneering interactive tele/webcasting since 1986. Audience “interventions” come from all over the world.

For media Inquiries please contact: Dima Alansari, Publicist P: 604.871.0508 c:604.961.7924 [email protected] // For photos of maladjusted please click here

For short videos of the cast please click here



Member Institutions Accomplishments IAF Northwest


get updates