2014 - NADTA 35th Annual Conference


In Harmony with the Elements:
Drama Therapy and Wellness

Thursday, October 30th Pre-Conference Program Schedule

All Day Workshops

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

PC 1: Principles of Drama Therapy
Nadya Trytan, MA, RDT/BCT
Jason Butler, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT, LCAT

Drama therapy is comprised of interactive, improvisational and embodied approaches that support individual and social change in clinical, educational and community settings. This experiential workshop will introduce participants to the principles that guide the practice of drama therapy in North America, and attendees will gain experience with three major approaches. Please wear comfortable clothing.

PC 2: Waking Dream Theatre: Exploring a Collective Dream World Through Drama
Armand Volkas, MFA, RDT/BCT, MFT
Naya Chang, MFA
Roni Alperin, MA
In Waking Dream Theatre, you will refine improvisational forms and co-create collective dream worlds where personal story, current life challenges, music and creative expression intermingle. At once, meaningful practice and performance art, waking dreams spark deep insight while remaining poetic and playful. Balance, generosity, mindfulness and collaboration are its values.

PC 3: NADTA Student Forum and Panel Discussion
Adam Davis, MEd

The student forum is a place where students from all academic paths can (re)connect, share stories, and discover what both unites us as drama therapists and makes each path unique. Additionally, there will be a panel discussion for students to learn from established drama therapists.

PC 4: Central Region Developmental Transformations Cohort
Jennifer Johnson, MA, RDT, LCAT

This is a session for any central region drama therapists who are a part of the MN Developmental Transformations (DvT) training group or would like to begin the training.

Morning Workshop

9:30 am - 12:30 pm

PC 5: Healing is Wholeness: A Drama/Music Therapy Ritual for Personal Wisdom and Balance
Stephen Snow, PhD, RDT/BCT
Shelley Snow, PhD, MTA

The goal of this workshop is to give participants a genuine, embodied experience of their own potential for wholeness and, through processes of Drama and Music Therapy, to touch base with their own innate wisdom. This will be a brief healing journey in the mandala of a medicine wheel.

Lunch on Your Own 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Afternoon Workshop

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

PC 6: Circle One: Multiple Role Identity; an Interdisciplinary Practice for an Interdisciplinary Life
Sherry Diamond, JD, RDT, Esq.

This workshop will explore the notion of multiple role identity, its awkward moments and its cautionary tale. Having trained in an interdisciplinary environment with art, dance/movement, and music therapists, Sherry’s practices and professions are further informed by her bi-racial, bi-cultural, and bi-sexual identities, and the fluidity of the human condition.

Newcomer Dinner
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This event is for people who are attending their first NADTA conference or are new to the drama therapy community, and it is an opportunity to get to know other new conference attendees. Participants will be asked to pay for their own meals, and NADTA members will be available to answer questions and welcome you to the community.

Evening Film/Performance

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

TE1: Scheherazade’s Diary Film/Women Inmates and Victims of Domestic Violence
Zeina Daccache, MA, RDT

Imprisoned women take center stage in this six-time award winning documentary filmed throughout the drama therapy project set up by Zeina Daccache in 2012 in Lebanon’s Baabda Prison. The women mine the depths of personal experience and confront patriarchy as they prepare and present the first play staged inside an Arab women’s prison.

TE2: What You Looking at Me For? Building Self-Esteem and Freedom in Young Persons with Disabilities
Wendy Coleman, PhD

This session offers insight into a life-changing performing arts camp offered since 2011 at Alabama State University. Camp G.I.F.T.E.D. (Giving Individuals Freedom To Express Diversity) provides young persons with disabilities the chance to participate in performing arts using their own ABILITIES without being limited by their diagnosed disabilities.

Friday, October 31st Conference Schedule

Opening Ceremony

8:00 am - 8:45 am

Morning Workshops

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

A1: Directing Self-Revelatory Performance by Developing Embodied Coherent Narratives
Shelia Rubin, MA, RDT/BCT, LMFT

Directing self-revelatory performance can help a person restore their embodied coherent narrative. Our role as director can mirror the early attachment process. We become mother/father/sacred witness as we guide the performer through a creative process, gestation, and eventually actual birth of the self in performance. DVDs of performances will be shown.

A2: A Drama Therapist's Self-Care on Skid Row: Facilitating the Documentary Film Called GAME-GIRLS
Myriam Savage, RDT

Hired as Narradrama therapist for a documentary about homeless women on skidrow, on-site realities of incarceration, addiction, trauma, poverty existed. The crew and I parallel-processed via “poem houses” (Collins, 2012). This experiential session explores embodying visual narratives, assemblages via poem-houses; 3-D method of self-care.

A3: Self-Care for Therapists: Mindful Boundaries in Helping Relationships
Gary Raucher, MA, RDT/BCT, LMFT

How can therapists and other human services workers position themselves between emotional availability and maintaining clear boundaries? Integrating several wisdom traditions, this session offers a practical framework for understanding and working with the subtle interplay of energies shared by clients and therapists as they forge a working relationship.

A4: Educators' Forum: Strategies for Wellness
Jason Butler, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT, LCAT
Andrew Gaines, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT, LCAT

This forum is the ongoing gathering place for drama therapy educators. This year will examine the theme of balance and wellness and the day-to-day needs of educators. We will also look at the crossover between drama therapy and applied theatre – exploring principles of education in the related fields.

A5: Integrating Elements in Nature With Family of Origin Identity
Daniel Wiener, PhD, RDT/BCT, LMFT
Saphira Linden, MA, RDT/BCT, TEP, LCAT

Our identities are scripted in our Family of Origin where we are (mis)cast into roles affording only limited choices for interpretation. We will explore the elements of identity through exercises, storytelling and enactments that heighten awareness and expand our choices of who else we can be.

A6: Self-Created Masks as a Container for Paradox and Contradiction
Yehudit Silverman, MA, RDT, R-DMT
Carlos Rodriguez Perez, RDT/BCT, LCAT

Participants will learn how masks can be a container for paradox and contradictions and how this can be used in therapy to help the client find a sense of balance. The presenters will use slides from their clinical and artistic work as well as interactive discussion and experiential exercises.

A7: Showing Off My Scars: Reciprocity in the Therapeutic Encounter
Tami Gatta, RDT
For the marginalized, consistent othering betrays imbalanced encounters. As clinicians, we work through lopsided power dynamics. Yet the stumbling blocks are many: systemic brokenness and our own fears. Gatta reflects on her sabbatical in Europe's recovery houses, where she lived 24/7 with voice hearers who became friends, clients, mentors and supervisors.

Keynote Address and Luncheon

12:15 – 2:15pm

The Stage is All the World: Performing the Changing Landscapes Performing Us
Craig Chalquist, PhD

Friday Afternoon Workshops
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

B1: A Step Forward: Uncovering Change Processes in Drama Therapy
Calli Armstrong, PhD, RDT

This presentation of new research provides a psychotherapy-process-research-based understanding of drama therapy processes (dramatic projection, embodiment) and demonstrates their relationship to other curative psychotherapy constructs (emotional arousal, experiencing). Discussion will explore strengths and limitations of process research, present understanding of change processes, and implications for drama therapy practice and training.

B2: Forum Theatre as Performative Pedagogy to Teach Life Skills
Marietta Bettman, MA

The presentation explores forum theatre techniques as performative pedagogy to nurture wellness through life skills in South African secondary schools. Boal’s forum theatre develops skills through awareness and insight into the consequences of own choices. As an interactive process it enables exploration through experiential learning, facilitation and group work.

B3: Harmony and the Importance of Suffering
Anna Seymour, PhD

In the aspiration for harmony how do we regard and explain suffering? It may be avoided, embraced or pathologised but it is an inevitable part of being human. This paper will explore some aspects of the relationship between suffering and well being weaving together both personal and public narratives.

B4: Creative Engagement Practicum - Creating a Golden Experience for Older Adults
Kareen King, MA, RDT

This workshop serves as a creative engagement practicum where proven techniques will be demonstrated and experienced. Though material is based on what is possible with older adults in long-term care communities, principles and ideas can be applied in other settings. Participants also receive a lesson plan from the workshop experience.

B5: The Glass Escalator: Negotiating the Gender Narrative of Drama Therapists in the Workplace
Jason Frydman, MA, RDT
Jeremy Segall, RDT, LCAT

As a socially conscious association it is necessary to investigate issues of diversity within our professional composition. This workshop will present research investigating gender divisions across drama therapy practitioners and whether we are replicating the glass escalator effect: men rising to the top in a female dominated profession.

B6: Creative Connections: The Impact of Creative Drama on Undergraduate Students' Level of Empathy
Barrett Scroggs

This workshop will explore a current research study at Kansas State University examining how enrollment in a Creative Drama course increases undergraduate students' ability to develop empathy skills. Participants in the workshop will explore creative drama through the lens of emotional intelligence.

B7: Care Performed: A Hermeneutic Model for Drama Therapy
Patrick Tomczyk, MA

This hermeneutic model interprets the meaning of care in drama therapy and seeks to answer the question: what is the meaning of care within the lived experience of drama therapists? Through interpretive analysis, the model explores how we make meaning of care through praxis by exploring role, space, and action.

Body of Knowledge

4:15 pm - 5:45 pm

This year, the BoK will be hosted by the editorial and advisory team of Drama Therapy Review in collaboration with the NADTA Research Committee. Together, we will celebrate the first issue of DTR, identify potential areas for collaborative research, and respond to questions concerning the publication process.

Dinner on Your Own

5:45 – 7:00pm

Early Evening Performance

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

FE1: Don't Rock the Boat
Theatre for Change
, CIIS Drama Therapy Program
Don't Rock the Boat is the 7th and most recent production of Theatre for Change, an ongoing project of the CIIS Drama Therapy Program that began 10 years ago, and in 2012 received the NADTA Raymond Jacobs Diversity Award. Each original production aims to raise consciousness about diversity. Performers: Marcia Aguilar; Lisa-Sun Gresham; Teri Grunthaner; Jennifer Landaverde; Alicia Stephen; Arianna Wheat; Seth Wright. Directed by CIIS Drama Therapy alum Marissa Snoddy in collaboration with Aileen Cho (also an alum) and Renee Emunah (TfC Project Director, and Director of the Drama Therapy Program). Stage Manager: Jeffrey Hayes.

Late Evening Performances

9:30 pm - 11:00 pm

FE2: 10,000 Letters into the Bottomless Pit: Paradox, Power and Hope in a School-Based Program
Renee Pitre, MA, RDT
Kimberly Jewers-Dailley, MA, RDT
David Johnson, PhD, RDT/BCT
Christine Mayor, MA, RDT
Jason Frydman, MA, RDT
Jesse Toth, MA, RDT
Elyssa Kilman, MA, RDT, LCAT
Cat Davis, MA
Antonietta Delli Carpini, MA, MFT
Lizzie McAdam, MA
Erinn Webb, MA

Through performance, the team of drama therapists from the Post Traumatic Stress Center will explore the paradoxes of working in urban public schools. The performance will deconstruct our privilege, our power, and the impact of receiving and writing 10,000 letters of pain, loss and hope. Discussion will follow.

FE3: Watch Your Head A Solo Performance
Diana Elizabeth Jordan, MFA

The show is about an actress's journey of re-self discovery following a brain hemorrhage. The show will be followed by a Q&A with Diana. She will share her personal journey of living with cerebral palsy, being an actress and her 20 years experience teaching acting to children and adults with disabilities.

Saturday, November 1st Conference Schedule

Morning Programs

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

SM1: Morning Walk and Meditation

SM2: RDT Application Informational Meeting
Open to anyone who has questions or would like information and guidance on applying for the Registered Drama Therapist Credential

SM3: Alternative Training Informational Meeting
Open to anyone who is curious or has questions about Alternative Training in Drama Therapy.

Saturday Morning Long Workshops

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

C1: Rituals to Pathway and Healing: Integrating Action and Phototherapy
Pam Dunne, PhD, RDT/BCT

Participants will explore rituals from other cultures (i.e. rebirth, transformation, welcoming, honoring, letting go, & transition) that invite a deeper and alternative connection to their dreams, desires, and hopes for their futures. By deconstructing and reconstructing rituals with phototherapy and action, participants will invite new possibilities for healing & balance.

C2: The Hero's Journey in Drama Therapy
Robert Landy, PhD, RDT/BCT

Participants will be guided through a process of embodiment, storymaking, story dramatization and reflection. All will explore the personal effects and professional applications of a drama therapy model based in role theory and aiming toward balance and integration.

C3: The Laundry of Life: A Collaborative Narrative Expressive Arts Practice
Shoshana Simons, PhD, RDT
Danielle Brunette, MA

Participants engage in a series of individual and collaborative arts processes culminating in the creation of a visual, poetic and performative “wisdom washing line”. Through these activities we bring forth and then embody the individual and collective wisdom that has helped us to endure and embrace life’s stains and challenges.

C4: Co-Active Therapeutic Theatre with Clinical Populations
Laura Wood, MA, RDT, PLPC, CCLS
Dave Mowers, MA, RDT, LCAT
Unlike a drama therapy session, a therapeutic theater presentation involves a third party: the audience. The Co-Active Therapeutic Theater (CoATT) Model provides a conceptual framework for drama therapists using therapeutic theater to negotiate a contract between audience and client. Application to clinical populations (eating disorders/trauma) will be shared in the second portion.

C5: Diversity Forum: Developing Best Practice Guidelines for Cultural Competency in Drama Therapy
Michelle J Buckle, MA, RDT, R-Psych
Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT/BCT

Cultural competence in mental health care involves "a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations" and we are always working cross-culturally (Cross, 1989). Drawing on the guidelines developed by our colleagues in the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), this workshop will involve a collective, embodied, inquiry into cultural competency for drama therapists towards the creation of best practice guidelines for our field.

Saturday Early Morning Short Workshops

9:00 am - 10:30 am

C6: Drama Therapists As Co-Creators for Sustainable Communities
Craig Chalquist, PhD
Nadya Trytan, MA, RDT/BCT
Denise Boston, PhD, RDT

This panel will include drama therapists from different parts of the country who will discuss their engagement with communities to build balance, health and resiliency. We will address different kinds of community change movements that are occurring, and the impact on urban neighborhoods.

C7: From the Bottom of the Brain: Performance by Residents at a Psychiatric Hospital
Zeina Daccache, MA, RDT
Sahar Assaf

This play is not only different than the others, but also the first of its kind for the Lebanese and Arab public. The actors are residents at Al Fanar psychiatric hospital, receiving treatment, and many of whom have been rejected and discriminated against by society.

Saturday Late Morning Short Workshops

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

C8: Improving Effective Function in ASD Children Through Magic -- Is it Natural?
Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT
James Teagarden, Ph.D.
Kevin Spencer, a professional magician, partnered this summer with Kansas State University’s Drama Therapy Program and an inclusive summer camp to research if magic and the creative arts could enhance Executive Functions in the brain. Numbers are still being analyzed, but members of the research team will present initial findings.

C9: Contradiction in the Classroom: Wait - is this supposed to be therapy?
Jason Butler, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT, LCAT

The drama therapy classroom can be confusing and contradictory, involving multiple therapy-esque experientials requiring a student’s emotional material as well as more distanced lectures and demonstrations. This workshop, based on research examining the experience of drama therapy students, will explore balance in the fuzzy terrain between therapy and education.

Lunch on Your Own

12:00 – 1:15

Community Business Meeting & Regional Meetings

1:15 – 3:15 pm

Saturday Afternoon Workshops

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

D1: We Know What you Are Doing. The NADTA Practice Analysis Results
Paige Dickinson, PhD, RDT/BCT
Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT
Jason Butler, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT
Jami Osborne, MA, RDT/BCT

The results are in! Come hear about what your fellow Drama Therapists are doing and what students are learning. Participants will gain an understanding of the analysis and results of the practice analysis and how these results will inform the development of a knowledge based exam for Drama Therapists.

D2: Finding Balance of Transference and Countertransference as Therapists
Sarah Kelley
Larissa Goncharuk

It begins with a meditation on remembering childhood. Next, is an experiential on relationships and perceived messages. Then, identify the messages coming from 'today you', your current personality to every identified person in relationship. Finally, claim the 'best of you' that came out of the past as a tool.

D3: Trauma-Informed Drama Therapy: A Long Table Conversation
Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT/BCT
David Johnson, PhD, RDT/BCT
Renee Emunah, PhD, RDT/BCT
Bonnie Harnden, MA, RDT
Maria Hodermarska, MA, RDT/BCT, LCAT
Kimberly Jewers-Dailley, MA, RDT
Heidi Landis, MA, RDT/BCT, TEP, LCAT
Christine Mayor, MA, RDT
Renee Pitre, MA, RDT
F. Antonio Ramirez Hernandez, PsyD
Gary Raucher, MA, RDT/BCT, LMFT
Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT
Jason Frydman, MA, RDT

Join the authors of Trauma-informed Drama Therapy: Transforming Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities as they discuss their perspectives on the ways in which improvisation, play, and performance respond to suffering while promoting well-being in diverse contexts. The audience will be invited to come to the table and join the conversation.

D4: Journey to Wellness: Using Drama Therapy in Oncology Support Groups
Jennifer Finestone, MA

A cancer diagnosis impacts a person’s mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, often adversely. Drama therapy provides a beneficial approach for support groups and can help participants to acknowledge cancer-related changes, and cope better with them. This didactic and experiential workshop will balance theory with hands-on creative interventions.

D5: Enact Creative Container
Diana Feldman, MA, RDT, LCAT

In this workshop, participants will experience the ENACT model and learn the criteria and indicators for successful ENACT practice. In addition, ENACT Founder, Diana Feldman will discuss her recent travels to India and how she has adapted ENACT for use in a variety of educational settings.

D6: Will I Ever Be Unbroken? One Woman's Story
Lisa Merrell, MA, RDT, LCAT

Meet Debra. Bi-Polar and hypersexual, she defined herself as “broken” and engaged in dangerous, self-harming sexual behaviors. Using drama therapy, we identified parts of herself that are well and used them as a foundation for change. Part didactic, part experiential, this is Debra’s story told and acted in her words.

D7: Student Forum
Margaret Powell
Adam Davis, MEd
Barrett Scroggs

The Student Forum is an opportunity for drama therapy students to gather, network, and dialogue with one another. Led by members of the Student Committee, this workshop will offer opportunities to meet and greet, exchange ideas, make connections, and share experiences with one another through playful interaction and discussion.

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Ethics Meeting

7:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Student Gathering with Board

7:45 pm

President's Reception


Sunday, November 2nd Conference Schedule

Morning Programs

BCT Meeting

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Sunday Morning Long Workshops

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

E1: Alternative Training: Challenges, Opportunities, and Growth
Jennifer Wilson, MA, RDT/BCT, LCAT

BCTs will explore through dialogue some of the key questions relating to Alternative Training.

E2: Shakespeare for Social Justice: Shakespeare, Life Stories and Film with Inmates and Youth
Suraya Keating, RDT, MFT

How can Shakespeare, original theater and film help promote positive choices among at-risk youth and the incarcerated? This workshop highlights key components of Marin Shakespeare’s Shakespeare for Social Justice Program, which provides opportunities for inmates and youth to perform Shakespeare, and use Shakespeare as a doorway into performing life stories.

E3: Empowered Transitions: Baby Boomers Dance the Paradox Between Wisdom and Beginners Mind
Janna Mitchell, MA, RDT/BCT, LMFT

In the spirit of the ancient Japanese ritual of Kanreki, a ritual of rebirth in older age, we will explore, through drama therapy, the paradox between wisdom accumulated and beginners mind. This rebirth, through dissolution of ego, allows the older adult to bring her/his love fully into our world.

E4: Into the Wildman: Democratized Drama Therapy and the ManKind Project
Andrew Gaines, PhD Candidate, RDT/BCT, LCAT
David Govaker, MD

Irrespective of gender, we invite you to critically examine the ManKind Project's bold approach to healing men through drama. Where are the boundaries between therapy, education, and “consciousness-raising?“ Through ritual, demonstration, enactment, and dialogue, we will encounter the paradoxical intersection of allied fields, and exchange strategies for cultivating safer worlds.

Sunday Early Morning Short Workshops

9:00 am - 10:30 am

E6: When Nature Goes Awry: Storytelling with Infants on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Rebecca Versaci, MA

What happens when the birth process does not go as we expect? In this session, Rebecca Versaci will present her MA thesis research with infants on the neonatal intensive care unit, in which storytelling was used in an extended case study to promote attunement between infant and therapist.

E7: Balancing Our Stories: How Living Alongside our Clients Changes our Personal Narrative
Shea Wood, PhD Candidate

As drama therapists, our own stories live alongside our clients’ stories. In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to deeply consider how their life story has been shaped through therapeutic relationships and how we balance and maintain harmony between our clients' stories and our own within a session.

E8: Drama Therapy and Older Adults: Grantwriting and Program Development in PACE Adult Care
Karen Knappenberger, MA, RDT/BCT, LSCSW

This session will review how drama therapy was brought into a PACE Adult Day Center through grant funding. Attendees will learn how the grant was written and will practice the interventions and progress note writing. This session is appropriate for students and entry level professionals.

Sunday Late Morning Short Workshops

10:45 am – 12:15 pm

E9: Mandated and Contracted: Dynamic Group Facilitation with Adjudicated Girls
Dana Suttles, MA

Utilizing the purpose and mission of the Amicus–Radius Program for Girls (Radius) as a foundation, the ways in which Radius Counselors encounter and engage challenges when facilitating groups are highlighted and deconstructed with the aim of further equipping students and practitioners for group work in community with mandated participants.

E10: Playing on the Edge: Drama Therapy and the Capacity for Harm
Adam Reynolds, MSW, RDT/BCT, LMSW

Many times the ‘play’ of drama therapy sits right at the edge of what is safe or playable for the client, for ourselves, for our institutions. We will reflect on this liminal ‘edge’ of drama therapy, and through DvT play visit it, and explore. Will we emerge unscathed?

E11: Finding Balance in Performing the Theory: Deepening/Widening the Circle of Meaning
Bonnie Harnden, MA, RDT

Performance Auto-Ethnography seeks to illuminate, digest and recreate drama therapy theory through combining the lived experience with theory in embodied performance. In this way, widening circles of meaning and conversation happen between us and within us. Join Concordia drama therapy students and professor Bonnie Harnden as they perform five-minute Auto-ethnographies.

Sunday Closing Ceremony

 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM