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Published on Aug 23, 2013

This unique traveling theatre troupe is comprised mostly of people with

mental illness along with family members, volunteers and staff.

They have been performing since 1995. Their original productions

are written by troupe members and feature vignettes about mental health,

 personal stories and music. The Stars were developed by

Janet Wattles Center, a community mental health center serving Northern Illinois.

The troupe is now a program of NAMI Northern Illinois.

 Stars of Light - Tour Show


This comedy theater production was written with the intention of dispelling some of the myths about mental illness. In addition to performing and providing technical assistance, the Stars have designed sets, props and the "Logo" for the troupe. This project was partially supported by a grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council which receives support from the City of Rockford, the Illinois Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts and its members.

Stars of Light Documentary


Rockford native Andrew Carlin filmed the Stars of Light for three months, capturing their rehearsals and productions as well as conversations between members when not rehearsing or performing. Andrew's work describes their personal triumphs and gives insight into the lives of people with mental illness. He chose this project to help reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness


Beyond 9 to 5 - Recovery is Working

Working can be an important part of the recovery process. This video describes the barriers to employment for people with mental illness and ways to overcome those barriers. This video project was sponsored by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Division of Rehabilitation Services.

Recovery from Mental Illness - A Process of Hope, Healing Choice and Growth


Recovery from mental illness is possible for everyone. The Stars of Light discuss key components of recovery and instill hope. This video project was sponsored by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Division of Rehabilitation Services.

For more information about the

Stars of Light - Contact Mary Gubbe Lee 



Our Mission Statement

NAMI Northern Illinois is dedicated to improving the

quality of life of individuals with mental illness and their families

through support, education and advocacy.

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