Nikki Lynette a social impact artist, mental health activist and the writer of Haven’s musical Get Out Alive has created something that will impact generations for many years. The multidisciplinary production focuses on the life of Nikki Lynette and all of the traumas and triumphs that she has experienced in her life up to this point. Lynette, a suicide survivor has been able to overcome serious mental health issues and has decided to share her experience with the world in a transparent way. The production is set up like a music video. There are songs that go along with each scene and each one is extremely poignant. Two dancers generally position themselves on each side of her and represent the duality of Lynette’s mind. The honesty that exists in this production does not miss the mark.
The production starts with DJ Jason “P1” Lloyd setting the stage as a funeral to let audience members know how the deceased would like to be celebrated. The texture of the production is unique to Lynette’s personality in that a brash aggressive exterior is armor used to protect a child who has been hurt and betrayed by people she has trusted and loved.
Every song included in the production can stand alone, however, as they are woven into the tapestry of this work of art it is clear they belong together. The footage of individuals sharing their experience with mental health opens up a window into perspectives that may not be known if someone has not had personal experience with mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness. Two years into a pandemic Get Out Alive feels necessary and right on time as people still deal with the way their lives and the world have changed.
Get Out Alive is gut-wrenching, funny, heartwarming, educational, honest and loving. Go experience it.
Get Out Alive will run from July 8 – Aug. 6, 2022, at Haven’s resident home, The Den Theatre’s Janet Bookspan Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
National Alliance On Mental Illness: https://nami.org/Home
Suicide prevention hotline: Dial 988 on your phone