Elizabeth Mozer, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at Binghamton University, will bring her newest piece, The Asylum Project, to Wells’ Phipps Auditorium this upcoming Friday, February 24th. The Asylum Project, which focuses on the lives of patients from the now-deserted psychiatric hospital located in Binghamton, NY, explores and uplifts the narratives and voices of those who have been categorically dismissed and written-off from history.
After visiting Binghamton’s previously-termed Asylum for the Chronic Insane, locally known as “the Castle” in August 2015, Mozer began to meticulously investigate the lives of Asylum patients and unravel the hospital’s murky history. “I was awakened to the lives that lived, worked and visited the grand building and was inspired to share their voices,” she says.
The Asylum Project emerged as the product of her research on the history of the asylum, as well as other NY state asylums that operated between the years 1880 and 1980. The solo, 60-minute theatre piece showcases Mozer embodying the lived experiences and personal accounts of five characters related to the Asylum.
“In the play we hear the voices of people who are often silenced or forgotten. These individuals are some of the more vulnerable among us. Sharing their voices, during this current political climate in particular, has the potential of strengthening our humanity and deepening our understanding and appreciation of all kinds of people,” says Mozer.
“Increasing mental health awareness and decreasing the stigma that mentally ill persons and their loved ones experience is critical for people everywhere, especially for our youth and college students. Perhaps this theatre work can help facilitate these conversations.”
Mozer will be available after her performance for discussion on devising process, embodied character and text creation, collaboration, solo performance, and mental health. The post-performance discussion offers students the opportunity to connect this performance with mental health awareness on campus. Mozer hopes campus mental health professionals will be available to participate in the post-performance discussion, as well.
Over the course of the spring, Mozer will be performing The Asylum Project at various universities in the Northeast and workshopping the play, before returning to rehearsals in July for performances in NYC at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. In the upcoming year she will be develop another play entitled Castle on the Hill, based on her current project. The new project will augment The Asylum Project to include more characters and actors, and she will direct the work at Binghamton University in the Spring of 2018.
Elizabeth Mozer is an actor, director, deviser, and teacher. As an actor, dancer and singer her performance credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theatre, on-camera and radio. She has directed plays, musicals, and her original works in NYC, Pittsburgh, Binghamton, PA and NJ. She is the founding artistic director of the movement-theatre company Theatre in the Flesh. Elizabeth is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Binghamton University teaching acting, movement and devising and is a faculty member of the Physical Theatre Intensive at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. She earned her BA in Dance from SUNY Brockport and her MFA in Theatre Arts - Pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA and AGVA.