People Like Vince by C.E.Gatchalian
Originally commissioned and produced by Green Thumb Theatre, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

People Like Vince is a play for elementary students that seeks to reduce the stigma of mental health issues through the social and emotional learning core competencies.

Myrtle is adjusting to life at her new school with guidance from her Uncle Vince. But sometimes, Uncle Vince’s behavior confuses Myrtle and even causes kids at school to make fun of her. When Myrtle learns about her uncle’s mental health issues, she remembers how he encouraged her to make new friends and believe in herself. She realizes Uncle Vince is her hero.

This 45 min program is immediately followed by an additional 25 minute follow-up workshop allowing students to explore empathy and the principles of social and emotional learning. Every student also receives a workbook with grade specific activities that build on themes from the play. All workbook activities are tied to Colorado Academic Standards.

Target audience: grades 2-6

Minimum size: 100 students         Maximum size: 250 students

Preferred performance area: Gym

Duration: 45 minutes, plus 90 mins for setup and 45 mins for tear down

Available Mondays and Fridays through 2017. Available any school day from January 3 – March 16, 2018.
Free to schools within Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s service area

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Social and Emotional Learning Core Competencies (click here to learn more)

The 25 minute post-play workshop provides an opportunity for the audience to explore the SEL Core Competencies of Self-Awareness, Social Awareness and Responsible Decision Making through the characters and the story of People Like Vince.

To schedule call 303.789.7143 or email


Feedback for People Like Vince

“People Like Vince was an excellent theatre piece…. After the show, the workshop brought depth and meaning to the ideas of being different, having integrity and making hard decisions.” 
– A.Hall, Teacher, Schmitt Elementary (Denver Public Schools)

“Although [teachers] were nervous when they first heard about the content of the play, they thought the presentation and discussion afterward was engaging and helped them process the heavy content matter. I thought the play was extremely well done, and I like how the issue of ‘mental health problems’ was framed in a way of reducing the stigma and helped the students understand it at their level.”
-B. Cloud, Mental Health Interventionist, Westminster Academy (Westminster Public Schools)

“There is a kid on my football team that has something similar to what the Uncle has…that play made me realize that we need to be more careful of how we treat him.”
– 5th grade student, Glacier Peak Elementary (Adams 12 Five Star Schools)

Why mental health stigma reduction?
“Stigma can be viewed as a social construct that is gradually developed over a lifetime. Initial conceptions of mental illness begin to emerge in elementary school, and are reinforced by peers, adult role models, and mass media portrayals.”

— Wilder Research, August 2009

“One in four people at some point in their life suffer from some kind of mental health disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety.”

— National Association of Mental Illness