PBMHR hosts performance of Romeo and Juliet

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Several dozen people who benefit from the services offered by Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources are also learning additional independent living skills, by taking part in a new PBMHR program which lets them express themselves through acting.

About 15 clients took the stage at Pine Belt Industries Thursday morning to perform in original adaptation of William Shakespeare's

Romeo and Juliet.

It was the second dramatic production hosted by the organization in the last few months.

Organizers said performing can really help those with developmental disabilities.

"This is a chance for them to develop their public speaking skills, develop social skills as they work together to get this production done," said Michael Foley, direct support provider with Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources.

Several other clients helped with set design. sound and other aspects of production.

"I love it, I really loved that people came out here to see me, my family," said Abigail Jackson, a performer who played "Juliet."

"I'd like to thank and bless everybody, the director and the producer and all of the people who worked for the play," said James Grimsley, another performer who played "Romeo."

The play was followed by a brief concert from clients in the organization's music therapy program.