Saturday, November 15, 2008

Art plays vital role in recovery

from The

Michael McCartan said he hopes he's stretching his acting experience.

McCartan, director of St. Clair County Community Mental Health
Authority, plays greedy banker Henry Potter in the CMH Players' stage
production of "It's a Wonderful Life."

The acting group is one of
the arts programs offered by Community Mental Health, said marketing
coordinator Jim Bloch, who has produced each of the group's seven plays
since it was formed in 2004.

"For years I've been reading about
the impact of art on people with mental illness," Bloch said. The
actors are a mix of CMH staff, community actors and consumers -- or
users -- of the agency's services.

The plays always have been
well-received in St. Clair County, Bloch said, but this is the first
time both St. Clair County shows -- Thursday night and tonight -- sold
out before opening night. Additional performances are scheduled in
Lapeer and Sanilac counties.

Bloch said he wants the experience to have a good effect on the actors.

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