Dramatherapy and theatre

Current interdisciplinary discourses

Authored by: Clive Holmwood

Routledge International Handbook of Dramatherapy

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138829725
eBook ISBN: 9781315728537
Adobe ISBN: 9781317543213


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This chapter seeks to update current thinking around the interdisciplinary connections between dramatherapy and theatre, by re-examining some of the great theatrical innovators and looking at current literature that connects theatrical approaches to dramatherapy. This includes acknowledging the original impact of such writers as Aristotle and the place of ‘catharsis’ (McLeish 1999) in a theatrical as well as therapeutic context. I will also examine other theatrical innovators on a continuum from the internal ‘emotion memory’ of Stanislavski (1980) through to a more overt, objective perspective considering the work of Brecht (Willett 1984) and Boal (1992) and their impact upon dramatherapy theory, thinking and training. I shall acknowledge current writings on the interdisciplinary fields of theatre, therapeutic theatre and dramatherapy. I shall also report on findings from a very brief quantitative/qualitative survey that examines theatrical innovators and their impact upon current dramatherapy trainers, their original training and current training courses they teach. I myself currently lecture at the University of Derby. In conclusion, I shall briefly consider current trends such as the neuro-developmental approaches to dramatherapy and the impact this has upon current and future practice. I will finally conclude with a keyword analysis of the literature in relation to theatrical innovators.

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