Amanda Filippelli’s Blue Rooms’ stage play was simply amazing.
I’ve always known that Amanda was abundantly talented, but what I witnessed on Friday, June 22, 2018 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Pittsburgh captured a depth of brilliance that took my breathe away. Blue Rooms tells the story of a young woman as she explores her lineage and heritage, experiences heartbreak and loss, and embarks on a journey to reinvent and empower herself.
I’m no expert, but I believe this play has the potential to have a national presence. It’s my hope that this play gets into as many communities as possible.
Why do I feel so strongly about this?
You may say “Oh, you’re just biased, Diana, because she helped you with your book, Inspiration in My Shoes.” Let’s just clear the air. Yes. I am biased. And, justifiably so. Amanda does excellent work. She pushes her clients to dig deep. Believe me, it was hard work and there was a lot of heavy lifting to finish my book. There were a few times I thought about turning away from what she wanted me to do, and just overlooking the few pieces of my life that I didn’t want to talk about. But, I stayed the course. She worked with me in a way that helped me affirm my core values, guide me toward appreciating my identity, and living out my life’s purpose.
But there’s more.
"I have a much deeper appreciation for the art of poetry after reading Blue Rooms. I felt the depth of Amanda's being in each piece, and I got to know more about her personal story. Now I know why Amanda brings such beautiful grit into her line of work. A couple of years ago, Amanda helped me write and publish my autobiography, Inspiration in my Shoes. After reading Blue Rooms, I realize we have more in common than what I once thought. She struggled, like me, like all of us, if we are honest, with her personal identity, with love, and how her abundant gifts and talents fit into the meaning of life, and how that conflicted with her family's cultural norms. She was able to rise above her circumstances to recognize the mental illness that ran rapid in her family. Thankfully, she did not run from her life. Instead, she ran right into it, faced it, and now she helps so many others do the same.
I believe the more important message here is that by telling your personal story, you not only free yourself, but you help free and unify others to realize we are more alike, than different. Bravo to Amanda for allowing us to enter into her life, and travel through it all, without trying to make it fit into a pretty little box."
Amanda has spent the better part of her adult professional writing career encouraging others to write their story. However, she hadn’t done the same for herself, until now. There’s a reason why most people don’t finish their autobiography. It can be isolating, overwhelmingly scary, and uncomfortably revealing. Yet, by going through this courageously brave process, and doing the deep work, you experience healing and deeply impact others.
Watch this video and hear how Amanda went about writing Blue Rooms, and turning it into a stage play.
There’s just one last important thing.
By writing and publishing her Blue Rooms’ book, and producing her Blue Rooms’ stage play, Amanda creatively and openly highlights the often overlooked areas that plague so many who struggle with mental illness. I appreciate how Amanda lays out her poetry, and how her stage play artistry allows us all to beautifully view, in our own unique interpretive way, each avenue of how our thoughts can mysteriously help us and hurt us, often at the same time.
This is why I believe her stage play needs to be seen in communities across the United States. Most people do not know how to discuss mental illness and the impact that it has on families, friends, and communities as a whole. Amanda’s stage play provides just the right atmosphere for a healthy dialogue on these sensitive and important topics, and can provide healing to those that struggle.
Thank you Amanda. I appreciate your many talents and gifts, and I appreciate our friendship.