FREE! During the 2022-23 school year, Theatre UCF, Orlando Repertory Theatre, UCF Department of Psychology and Orange County Public Schools teamed up with playwrights around the nation to create twelve new plays for high school students to explore mental health and wellness, supported by curriculum for use in the theatre classroom.

Join this session to hear readings of three “Mind Matters” plays, performed by high school theatre students. Paired with a panel discussion from educators, students, and artists involved in this exciting and relevant program, we’ll explore how theatre can be used to explore mental health and wellness with youth.

“Mind Matters” is a program developed through support from the 2021 Pabst Steinmetz Foundation Arts & Wellness Innovation Award.

The Orlando REP logo.    Orange County Public Schools logo.

Mind Matters: New Plays for Teens




Steven Berman (UCF Psychology)
Brian Fisak (UCF Psychology)
Emily Freeman (Orlando Repertory Theatre)
Elizabeth Brendel Horn (UCF School of Performing Arts, Theatre)




“The Strong Friend”
written by Idris Goodwin
directed by Shonda Thurman
presented by Evans High School


“Like a Jet-Fueled Mariposa”
written by Mabelle Reynoso and Alvaro Saar Rios
directed by Ximena Gonzalez
presented by Windermere High School


“The Naming of Things”
written by Eric Coble
directed by Jarrett Poore
presented by Windermere High School


The plays presented in these readings are works in progress shared with permission from the playwrights.