Systems and Sanity

Systems and Sanity

A theatrical journey through the mental health system by people who have travelled there, or got lost along the way.

After a sell out live season and online streaming season in June we are bringing back our groundbreaking original theatre show about the Mental Health system ‘Systems and Sanity’ for another online streaming season for Mental Health Month:

Tuesday October 3 – Tuesday October 31st Limited online streaming season ($10 Full/$5 Concession/Free)

Book Now!

Image of a photo of 4 people in black clothes sit/stand below a big tree posing for the camera being fed through a paper shredder

6 hands reach into the centre of the picutre creating a circle, one hand has a medical bracelet on it
4 people in black clothes sit/stand below a big tree posing for the camera
A man in a black suit and sun glasses rests his hand on the shoulder of another man in a black t-shirt
4 people in black clothes sit/stand below a big tree posing for the camera

The Show:

Systems and Sanity is a devised theatre exploration that comes out of nearly two years of discussion, workshopping, writing, and rehearsal by people with mental health challenges. It travels through lands of trauma and distress, navigates social systems that can be rigid and disempowering, and arrives in the powerful resilience of survivors and the unique bonds between them. It is a journey travelled with pathos, poetry, music and laughter.

Systems and Sanity is a must-see production for theatre enthusiasts, mental health advocates, policymakers, and anyone interested in exploring the experience of human distress, and how we best respond to it. Rebus Theatre welcomes audiences of all backgrounds, abilities, and identities to join this thought-provoking theatrical journey.

We can talk to politicians until the cows come home, but the heart of changing culture is in community. For me coming back to arts-based work – which is where I always wanted to be as a young person – has been one of the most freeing experiences I have ever been involved in.”- Fi Peel (Systems of Sanity program participant and cast member of Systems and Sanity).

The Program:

This show is the culmination of a two-year program called Systems of Sanity , that used theatre games and exercises to explore different ways of thinking and communicating about mental health, mental illness, and the mental health system. The program was open to anyone with lived experience of mental ill-health, including people who weren’t sure if they fit that definition, or weren’t comfortable with that language.

Systems of Sanity is supported by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program, and assisted by Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres.

Accessibility information for Systems and Sanity audience members


Patrons are strongly advised to wear masks during the performance, and to sanitise their hands before the show. Disposable masks and scent-free sanitiser will be available in the foyer.

Companion Cards:

Rebus Theatre accepts Companion Cards. If using a Companion Card, please buy your own ticket and a $0 companion card ticket as well.

Physical accessibility:

Most of Systems and Sanity takes place in the Ralph Wilson Theatre at Gorman Arts Centre, however the opening scene takes place in the Main Hall, and the closing scene takes place outside in the courtyard, a distance of some 20 metres. The audience will be standing for about 4 minutes for the final scene. There are wheelchair accessible pathways between these places. Please let us know if you may need assistance travelling this distance, or will need to sit for the final scene.

Accessible toilets:

Gorman Arts Centre has accessible toilets but they are not fully up to code. They need some arm strength to be able to enter and leave.

Trigger warnings:

This is a play about mental distress and the mental health system. There are references to suicide and drug use. A counsellor will be present at all performances if you need to talk to someone during or after the performance.

Assistance Animals:

Rebus welcomes fully trained and registered assistance animals into the theatre.


The first performance on Thursday June 15 will be Auslan interpreted.


There will be audio description on the final performance on Friday June 16.


Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, Rebus is unable to provide captioning for this show.


The performance on Saturday June 17 will be filmed for an online streaming season. Online streaming tickets are available for a limited season from Monday June 19-Sunday July 2 at a discounted rate.

Fluorescent lighting:

There is no fluorescent lighting in the Ralph Wilson Theatre, however there is fluorescent lighting in the courtyard where the final scene takes place, and in the spaces walked through between scenes.

Contact usjoin the mailing list, or phone 0403 815 784 to find out more about our programs.