In 2018 Deb, WellBless co-creator, was diagnosed with cancer, and was told by friends that she should reconsider her approach to life – her diet and exercise, her stress levels, and the toxicity of those she had in her life. The idea that she was to blame for getting cancer through her choices and not being worthy enough of more ‘love’ in her life really stuck – and it didn’t make the healing process any easier.
The wellness industry tells women they need to “purify” their bodies, ‘cleanse themselves’ with green juices, and ‘empty their minds’ of stressful thoughts. The message is clear – our bodies are dirty and our thoughts are making us sick. It’s just the patriarchy wrapped up and sold as overpriced feminism. WellBless explores all of this through a satirical lens.
Women are the world’s biggest consumers but for too long our stories have been ignored. This culture has empowered the wellness industry to grow, since it is one of the few areas where women have risen to the top and can control the narrative.
Roughly 134,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer every year; many women whom have not historically been listened to by their doctors are turning to un-scientific therapies because industry gurus appear to listen. A trillion dollar industry, wellness grows by preying on the vulnerable. WellBless explores the reality that it’s an industry that kills.
The WellBless cast and team have all been personally touched by this project and impacted by the wellness industry in different ways. This project will fund performers and key creatives for our play: our six actors, our production designer, our director, our lighting and sound designer.
The end result will be helping female theatre practitioners establish their cannon of work and help cement their identity in the Australian theatre ecology.