New Opera: MadHouse to tackle over-medication in America

New Generation Artist: Scott Knier plans to take on powerful pharmaceutical companies with his new short opera: MadHouse.

Scott Knier at a backers audition for MadHouse
Image curtesy of Le Chat Noir Theatrics

“The material walls of the Archaic Insane Asylums are gone, but the ideological wills behind them have merely been converted to a prison of cultural custom imposed upon the walls of our minds. These structures suffocate our humanity and destroy our ability to create identity just as effectively as they once did behind their material walls.”Scott Knier, 2019

The writer announced in early May of 2020 the cancelation of the premier set in June at the Vienna Summer Music Festival, but was hopeful about performances to come following the pandemic. Knier released these following quotes that would have been written in the playbill to guide the audience to understanding the rich subtext within his masterwork that connects over-medication with the horrors of insane asylums in the 1950’s.

“It is not reason which is the guide of life, but custom.” -David Hume, 1753

“No doctor is able to tell whether a person is truly insane or not unless the drill or the drugs get to her first.” -Nellie Bly 1887

“Far from being magisterial in its objectivity, science was conditioned by history, society, and the prejudices of scientists.” -Thomas Kuhn 1979

“There are many negative power dynamics in our healthcare system, and we need to acknowledge that. Pharma companies control our doctors.” -Anyeta Qaheer, 2018

“Medication will never cure depression or anxiety, it only suppresses the symptoms temporarily. Just the thought of a simple cure by popping a pill a day entices enough Americans to spend 25 billion yearly on a quick fix that has no long term testing… ​ It’s practically oral lobotomy ​.” -Rose White, 2019

Check out the source material:
Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly

For a fantastic podcast on Over-medication:

For more information and statistics:

For a fascinating article from US News:

Explore Scott Knier’s Manifesto of Retta:

Find out how an Artist like Scott responds to COVID-19

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