Vail Place and History Theatre Team up for the 8th Year

Vail Place and History Theatre Team up for the 8th Year


Over the past 8 years, Vail Place and the History Theatre in St. Paul have enjoyed a partnership in performances that tell real stories of mental health recovery and work toward reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Each year in cooperation with renowned History Theatre, members and staff participate in the Vail Place Theater Arts Program. Professional artists from History Theatre work with members to develop moving theater pieces based on their own experiences. As recent attendees of the event have told us:

“The courage, blunt honesty and reality in the pieces took my breath away. “

Vail Place members receive mentorship from History Theatre professionals in the Vail Theater Arts Program during intensive workshops. The mentorship includes creative writing exercises and learning theater processes. Scenes, poetry recitation, monologues, songs, and dances are some of what our members experience during their work with History Theatre artists which culminates in live performances for the public.

Our last performance of My Stories was streamed on February 16th.  Here’s a link to a recording of the live performance in case you missed it! 


Creative expression through the arts is a well-known way to help adults with mental illnesses with their recovery. “At Vail Place, we’ve always embraced creative expression not only as a tool for recovery but also because it simply makes all of our lives better,” said Vicky Couillard, Vail Place Executive Director. A participating Vail Place member remarks:

“The program has been cathartic and helped me live beyond my comfort zone and open up to the ‘real world.'”

The work we do with History Theatre is supported by generous grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a state agency that stimulates and encourages the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts in the state.  Minnesota State Arts Board Partners in Arts Participation projects awards grants to nonprofit health or human service organizations to provide underserved people or groups a chance to experiences the arts.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.