Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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From March 16, 2006...

The tortured soul is a recurring theme in art -- and there's long been a link between mental illness and creativity. But for poet Gail Fox, getting physically well raised worries about losing the muse. There's a new play in the works on Birmingham's church bombing. And, St. Paddy's Day music from the Heritage Pipes and Drums of Birmingham. I'm Greg Bass, and this is Tapestry.

Fopur Spirits cover

When a novel or a short story is adapted for the theatre, journalists often use the phrase, "from the page...to the stage." But there's a halfway point in that difficult journey that isn't nearly as well-known. That event is called a "staged reading." Reporter Dale Short recently spent some time with two Birmingham natives, just before a reading of their new play at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery...

Staged reading of "Four Spirits"

Gail Fox

Robert Schumann is one of several classical composers who lived with mental illness. Beethoven, Mahler and Handel also had bipolar disorder...as did 19th century opera star Gaetano Donizetti. There's long been a fascinating link between art and mental illness. With modern medicine, there's often relief from the severe mental illness that in earlier years could mean a life spent in confinement. But some patients claim the medicine that makes them well, also takes away some essential part of themselves. For poet Gail Fox, that "something" was her muse. Reporter Sharene Azimi spoke to Fox about the relationship between her illness and her art.

Gail Fox interview

This story is part of our Making Sense of Mental Health series, which concludes this month. You can learn more about the series and the intersection between mental illness and artist pursuits on the "news" section of wbhm.org.

To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.

Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.

activeculture.info logo

Ryan Morrison

How could we possibly close out the St. Patrick's Day Tapestry without some bagpipes? It's going to be a very busy weekend for the Heritage Pipes & Drums of Birmingham! But before things got hopping, Pipe Major Ryan Morrison dropped by our studios to chat. This tune is "Scotland the Brave". (AUDIO MONTAGE) The Heritage Pipes & Drums of Birmingham play several gig throughout the weekend. We’ve also got their music available for download on our website, so if you've got a yearnin' for some pipin' all year long, check out the Tapestry page of wbhm.org

Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Hunter Bell produces our musician profiles and Francesca Rosko tracks community events. Additional reporting this week from Dale Short and Sharene Azimi and production assistance from Roseanne Pereira, Anthony Plenty and JT Schill. I'm Greg Bass.