Tuesday, July 23, 2024

An image from Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister’s “The Manic Monologues.” (Via Facebook)

A mental health crisis and near suicide in 2017 reset the life of doctoral student Zachary Burton, redirecting him from geology long enough to fulfill a mission on the stage: His “Manic Monologues,” co-written with girlfriend Elisa Hofmeister, brings to life true stories that challenge what it means to be touched by a mental health condition (in Burton’s case, bipolar disorder).

The show comes to the Arrow Street Arts next week, one of the first shows in its new studio space.

“’The Manic Monologues’ has been on our short list for some time, and the stars have finally aligned to share this important and impactful piece with our audiences,” said Sharman Altshuler of Moonbox Productions. “This is a project unlike any other we have done.”

The real experiences told onstage come from people across the world in a way that will seem familiar from “The Vagina Monologues,” which Eve Ensler (now known as V) gathered for the stage in 1990s as a celebration and examination of another topic rarely discussed constructively in public. “Theater is a unique and powerful means to force an audience to confront these stories,” Burton told Stanford News in 2020 about his show.

The Moonbox performances have talkbacks afterward, Altshuler said.

In addition, each Moonbox show is partnered with a local nonprofit. For “The Manic Monologues,” that’s Me2 Music, an organization of classical music ensembles includes members who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. The Boston branch of Me2 includes a 55-piece orchestra, a flute choir and a chorus.

Directed by Brad Reinking, performances will be held at The Studio at Arrow Street Arts, 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square. The Manic Monologues opens Feb. 16 and runs through Feb. 25.

Tickets are $45 and are available at bit.ly/ManicTkts, with pay-what-you-wish options available at the box office.