The Human Burden

Background and problem

Narrow and unrepresentative images of people with depression cause stigmatization as well as self-stigmatization. This double-stigmatization leads to alienating and isolating people with depression. This issue makes it difficult to discover the condition and for help to reach the people in need.

The theater play, The Human Burden, follows in the footsteps of the podcast-app The Black Dog, to pursue knowledge about people with depression, the misunderstandings of depression and the diagnosis. 

Vision & mission

We set out to make a show that was informative, gave insights into depression and made an abstract diagnosis more tangible through personal stories.

Inspired by the format of Humane Liquidation, we once again wished to ask engaging questions to the audience throughout the theater play.

We wished to use the answers from The Black Dog and The Human Burden to map the understandings and misunderstandings of people with depression.

By debunking the myths surrounding depression in the theater play, we aimed to re-connect people with depression with society and give the society a more complex understanding of people with depression.


The Black Dog and The Human Burden had a combined reach in the vicinity of 1.6 million people. Both the theatre play and the podcast focused on communicating embodied knowledge. The Human Burden did this by integrating psychological vulnerable people in the creation of the play, telling their own stories. While the interactive podcast was an innovative way to convey embodied knowledge.


The Human Burden is the second result of the collaboration by Enactlab and the theater company Stages of Science. 

– This project is supported by Danish Arts Foundation and the Lundbeck Foundation.

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