When Dallas playwright Lacey Lalene Lynch asked Jordan Barrick to provide music for her show Reason for Referral, the acoustic singer-songwriter was eager to help. Reading the script for her play, which is about three college theater students dealing with the apparent link between their creativity and mental illness, had quite the effect on him.
“I read it, and it absolutely changed my life,” he said. “I struggled, too, with bipolar disorder, as do the characters in the play. But I hadn’t gotten help, and I didn’t know I needed it. I knew something was wrong with me, but didn’t know what it was.”
Jack, the central male character, particularly resonated with Barrick because he actually talked about his feelings and struggles, a rarity for males.
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Barrick and pianist/singer Layne Lynch provide live music during transitions and also during each character’s mental breakdown, each of which is different and calls for different music.
“Jack’s breakdown is very frantic and frenzied, and it’s got discordant guitar. It’s the feeling of going out of control," Barrick says. "Jill’s breakdown is on an acoustic. It’s more of a slow, steady thing because she’s kind of having a breakdown, but it’s more about the fact that she’s putting all these pressures on herself. ... It starts slow, and then the tempo increases dramatically."
For Cameron, an actress on the verge of giving up theater, Barrick worked out a sad, haunting part that is intentionally difficult to hear from the audience.
The final two performances of Reason for Referral, part of the DFW Fringe Festival, will be at 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Dallas Hub Theater. --Jesse Hughey