From the Inside, Out

The Problem

There is documentation of self-injury dating back to Ancient Greece. In the late 19th century, two doctors documented the “strange medical phenomenon” of women all over Europe using sewing needles to harm themselves. The practice was so prominent that the women were given the name “The Needle Girls.” Famous people, like Jonny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Christina Ricci and Princess Diana have admitted to being self-injurers. There is no doubt that self-injury existed in our history and exists in our present day. However, the action being taken to make people aware of self-injury is little to none. The books and articles about self-injury generally focus on the most dior cases or are riddled with medical and psychological jargon, ignoring the voices and feelings of the self-injurers and friends of self-injurers around the world.

Plan of Action

From the Inside, Out began as a senior project at Oberlin College where it had its premiere on campus in October of 2005. After conducting interviews with over 50 self-injurers and fiends of self-injurers, the play was put together in collaboration with the actors and production team. Later that year it was presented as a staged reading at the University of Michigan. After some major re-writes, more collaboration and interviews, the play went up at the International Fringe Festival of New York in August of 2008. We are currently touring to various colleges and high schools in the New York area, spreading awareness and empowering self-injurers with stories similar to their own.

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