...and there's always the stars...
This thirty-five minute piece is the story of RJ and Taina, two high school students that find psychological strength in their peculiar relationship. Taina suffers from anorexia nervosa, a condition she can't control, and which developed after the death of her little brother, Jimmy. Taina now lives with her father since her mother abandoned them due to her own depression. For Taina, her art, her relationship with RJ and her weight are the only things she can control in this world. Otherwise, the world is a crumbling place.
RJ is a brilliant teenager, who suffers from bipolar disorder. RJ, like most bipolar patients, doesn't understand his condition. He is constantly swinging from mania to depression. When RJ is in his manic state, he feels in control of the world and believes he can achieve anything. But when depression hits him, his life falls apart. As a result, RJ fails the Regents exam and loses his chance of going to M.I.T. -- a goal that RJ was sure he could achieve without any trouble.
RJ and Taina seem to be the only people that understand each other. They lean on each other, and find comfort and hope in their relationship. But when RJ's mania makes him want to do things that are life-threatening to them both, Taina realizes something is seriously wrong and that both must seek help.
Commissioned by Fantastic Experimental Latino Theater in New York City.
Toured New York City schools in 2006.