CU Theatre presents: ‘4.48 Psychosis’ by Sarah Kane

Photo by Dontaye Abram
Stage right: Cameron University Deparment of Art, Music and Theatre Arts performers posing during a photo call. The department had their opening night for “4.48 Pyschosis” on Sept. 27.

Sarae Ticeahkie
A&E Editor

On Sept. 27, Cameron University’s Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts had their opening night for the late Sarah Kane’s “4.48 Psychosis.”

Kane, who is seen as one of the most controversial British playwriters, suffered from her own mental illness.

The time 4.48 has been said by some, being the time when Kane herself had her most sane thoughts.

Since Kane took her life in 2000, just a year and a half after she finished the play, “4.48 Pyschosis” has been performed and interpreted in many ways.

She left the world a play that has no stage direction or indication of the gender or number of performers.

When it comes to direction, it’s pretty much up to the director’s interpretation.

The play did well to interpret Kane’s vision.

The CU Theatre decided to use a woman as the main character.

The rest of the cast, both men and women acting as the conscious of the main character, a doctor and society and how its overall outlook is toward mental illness.

“4.48 Psychosis” depicts the life of someone who suffers from a constant battle with her internal self while dealing with reoccurring episodes of depression.

The play also focuses on a much broader spectrum of issues that are involved with mental illness.

The two performers who act as the main characters conscious are at constant battle with each other.

One constantly drowning in self pity and the other fueled with anger, both imitating what actually goes on in the conscious mind, and how it can make a person go mad.

Both constantly speaking with long pauses, again emphasizing each word with tone, and urgent movement across the stage showed what goes inside the main character’s mind.

Every performer possessed every aspect of what comes with someone who is depressed.

Every performer never held back when it came to the expressing the “not so subtle” mental state of the mentally ill.

Each spoken line began with passion, followed by body language that emphasized the feeling of what goes on in a depressed mind.

Society, who is portrayed by two male actors, shows how the world overlooks mental illness as a real issue but behind closed doors has its own demons.

To a viewer, it’s like being an active witness to unending trauma.

They achieved what Kane wanted to show – what truly goes on in the mind of a mentally ill person.

The play takes on more subjects than suicide – a major part of it focuses on love and relationships, religious and social aspects and critique of the mental health care institutes.

The set had a simple but powerful impact.

Stacks of books and crumbled papers covered the floor, which could possibly interrupt the mind of someone driven to despair.

The doctor sitting in front of the red lit window and the constant rain fall really sets the mood.

After various conversation with the doctors and being pumped with multiple types of medication [her], the patient finally comes to a state of emptiness.

The play begins to transition to a more calming tone, which also indicates the ending [not only] for the play, but also the main character’s life.

Throughout the play, the time 4.48 changes meaning first mentioned to be the time when “depression visits” and the main character plans to hang herself.

At the end of the play, 4.48 changes to the time “when sanity visits” and for one hour and twelve minutes [she] can think clearly.

The play ends one hour and twelve minutes after 4.48, when the main character takes her life.


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