McCarter Theatre’s The Manic Monologues, a virtual theater project directed by Princeton University Lecturer in Theater Elena Araoz and designed to ignite conversation and disrupt stigma around mental illness — is seeking confidential personal short story submissions from Princeton undergraduate and graduate students, about your experience with mental health struggles.

From the student submissions, we will select a few stories that will be incorporated into an existing set of monologues to be performed and featured as part of a unique virtual experience, released in February 2021. Entries are submitted through an anonymous submission form. Submissions deadline: Now November 24, 2020. Learn more about entry guidelines and submssions

Stories should feel like they are being casually spoken aloud to someone since they will be performed by professional actors as off-the-cuff personal monologues; no “polished” essays or academic papers, please. Monologues should be 1-5 min max in length (when read aloud).

Stories can be about the struggle of facing mental illness or diagnosis, overcoming stigma, finding resilience, learning to live with mental illness, etc – there are no limitations to the type of content. We are especially interested in stories from students navigating through 2020’s complexities such as the COVID-19 pandemic, working inside activist movements such as Black Lives Matter, or concerns over immigration.

Stories not chosen to be performed by actors may be featured in a dedicated “reading room” section of the interactive web experience, which chronicles written stories for audiences to access. By submitting, you give the creators artistic freedom to modify the length and style as needed, for the purposes of filming and the virtual platform.

Visit McCarter Theatre Center online by December 1st, 2020, to find updates and information on the project launch date (February 2021) including what stories will be featured.


Deadline for Anonymous Submissions: Extended to November 24, 2020.



Questions about submissions, contact Elena Araoz at

Help us break down the stigma around mental illness by sharing your stories. If you are in need of mental health treatment, please contact CPS at 609-258-3141.

Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • McCarter Theatre Center