Performance Review At LaGuardia Community College
The Mind of Mia: Reading of A Play, Premieres at LaGuardia Community College’s Performing Arts Center Little Theater (LPAC) October 17, 2018 to a Full House: Standing room only and Rave Reviews! This tightly wound, multi-faceted, character driven, solo reading of a play written and performed by award winning actress and playwright Mia Raye Smith, about one woman trying to find the perfect therapist before her anxiety returns was received by students, faculty and staff alike, as being “genuine,” “relevant,” “relatable” and “a true revelation.” Dozens of characters manifest themselves within her live performance, as Smith skillfully and bravely reveals her struggles, challenges and coping strategies for the anxiety that haunts, but ultimately does not, defeat her. As Smith has found her ultimate healing modality: the play, is indeed, the thing. In the post-reading “talk back” with the audience, Students were overwhelmed and brimming with emotion, thanking the playwright for her candor and authenticity. A few shared that the play has served as a catalyst propelling them forward to seek professional mental health counseling to dispel their own personal myths of the “strong Black woman,” who historically is supposed to withstand all manner of hardship on her own, without faltering, and without complaint. It quickly became apparent that the actress, playwright, and mental health advocate, Mia Raye Smith’s vulnerability and willingness to let us into her world, has developed into her strength. And therein lies the power of the play to transform lives: by bringing some humor and pathos to the stigma of mental health, whilst inspiring people to be their true and genuine selves, whether or not they are living with mental illness. “ This event was sponsored by the LaGuardia Women’s Center, the Health and Human Services Club and the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.