Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. George James, Featured in Mental Health Panel for The Manic Monologues: Mental Health and COVID

February 18, 2021 | Creating a Conversation about Mental Health, The Manic Monologues is a unique collaboration with Princeton University Health Services, The 24 Hour Plays®, and Innovations in Socially Distant Performance at the Lewis Center for the Arts. Originally created by Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister, the virtual experience was conceived and directed by Elena Araoz.


This initiative brings to life true stories – experiences submitted by resilient people across the world living with mental health challenges. They have things to say about struggle and pain, and also triumph and joy.

This experience is free to access anytime, no registration required.

The Backdrop

When Zack had his first psychotic break and was diagnosed with bipolar in May 2017, he was just finishing his PhD at Stanford University — and his world imploded. Would mental illness dictate his whole life? Would everything change? Zack was underwater, and his then-girlfriend Elisa had no way of knowing whether her happy, gregarious partner-in-crime would ever resurface.

One of the hardest parts about those early days was the absence of relatable, lived experiences. Zack and Elisa decided to create a play based on true stories to disrupt the stigma around mental illness. It resulted in a series of vignettes they called The Manic Monologues. The play was performed live in 2019.

McCarter planned a professional staged reading in 2020. When COVID-19 halted live events, the project was re-conceived for the digital stage.

The Virtual Experience

Take a journey through the minds and voices of people who bravely share the way mental illness has affected their lives, performed by a celebrated cast of actors – enhanced by interactive design and technology.

Engage with the stories at your own pace, access the virtual resource guide, and watch interviews with experts and advocates on mental health and the current moment.

Interviews + Conversations include Mental Health and COVID, where panelists including Dr. Calvin R. Chin, Dr. Rona Hu, and CFR Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. George James, share candidly how COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of the communities they serve.

Click here to begin your virtual experience

George James, Jr., PsyD, LMFT is a Senior Staff Therapist at our University City and Blue Bell Offices. He currently sees clients via online therapy. To set up an appointment, you can reach him at or 215-382-6680 ext. 4128.

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