Ross Stone, MA

I’m delighted to introduce central region drama therapist, Ross Stone, MA. Ross is a graduate of the Kansas State Drama Therapy Program and currently works with children and adolescents in Overland Park, Kansas. I came to know Ross through his involvement in the Central Region Drama Therapy community over the past few years, where I have been impressed with his positive attitude and desire to help foster our growing central region drama therapy community. As you will see below, he is a passionate community member and currently involved in important research regarding the LGBTQI community, in which he will be speaking on further at the upcoming conference on Diversity this fall in White Plains. Enjoy getting to know fellow drama therapist Ross Stone below!

-Laura Wood, MA, RDT/BCT, LPC, CCLS
Central Region Representative, NADTA


1. Please tell us what has been your path to drama therapy.

During my undergraduate studies, I wanted nothing more than to be a working actor. I studied at a local state school in Kansas and did not pay much attention to any other career path than that of an actor. While I was in college, I was fortunate enough to have an advisor who challeneged my way of thinking by seeing something in me that I did not see in myself. During my freshmen year, she mentioned the term drama therapy and asked if it was something I would be interested in researching. At the time, I was not interested, but I kindly accepted her offer and went about my school year. It wasn’t until three years later that the term drama therapy came into my mind again. As the last semester of my undergraduate career began, my advisor asked if I had given drama therapy any more thought. I said no, but I would look into it. She explained to me that it might be something I’d excel in and highly recommended the program at Kansas State University. Upon hearing her positive remarks and not exactly knowing where my life was headed, I applied to K-State’s drama therapy program under the direction of Sally Bailey.

While meeting with Sally Bailey my curiosity grew about this beautiful and quirky profession. Upon leaving my interview, I felt this warm, exciting, even homelike sensation when thinking about the program she had created. Still, I was unsure if drama therapy was the journey I was meant to be on. As it turns out, my acceptance into Sally’s program was deferred for a year -- I’m sure she could sense my uncertainty and naiveté. During the break between undergraduate and graduate school, I took an internship with an arts and music center in rural southern New Jersey. This opportunity provided me with the experience of working for a non-profit arts organization. I learned about budgets, advocacy work, marketing, and education -- All things that are needed to be a drama therapist.

As my internship was coming to a close, I received a call from Sally Bailey, asking if I was still interested in joining her program in the fall. While talking with Sally, it was discovered that she had worked for the same arts and music center that I was currently interning for, but as a camp counselor – this really is a small world. That June, I packed up my Ford Taurus, and moved back to Kansas where I began my new journey as a drama therapist.

2. What theories have influenced your development as a drama therapist?

I’ve been very fortunate to have some incredible mentors during my short time as a drama therapist. During my graduate studies, I studied under the incredible guidance of Sally Bailey MSW, RDT/BCT, who has created such a supportive and vibrant drama therapy program at Kansas State University. I have to acknowledge Laura Wood ABD, RDT/BCT, who is a brilliant drama therapist and a force to be reckoned with. Mark Beauregard RDT, LCAT, Nadya Trytan MA, RDT/BCT, and Nisha Sajnani PhD, RDT/BCT who have taught me so much while making research a fun and collaborative learning experience. In thinking about my mentors, I feel as though I must mention Jamie Ansley, Meredith Gagich, RDT, and Monica Phinney. We started our drama therapy experience together and the work they do constantly inspires me to be a better therapist – I also call them a lot with questions. Last but not least, Cynthia Allan, PhD who was the first person to introduce me to drama therapy.

3. What are your current projects and the path of your work?

Currently, I work as a drama therapist for a treatment facility for children and adolescents struggling with mental and behavioral health issues in Overland Park, Kansas. I am in the process of collaborating on a research study with Mark Beauregard RDT, LCAT, Nadya Trytan MA, RDT/BCT, and Nisha Sajnani PhD, RDT/BCT, about drama therapists working with LGBTQI and gender nonconforming clients. In the future, I hope to continue to provide therapeutic services, advocacy and research for the betterment of children and adolescents -- specifically LGBTQI and gender nonconforming children and adolescents.

4. How do you see the future of drama therapy evolving?

When speaking of the future of drama therapy, I am filled with a lot of hope. I see a great deal of exciting research being conducted, new and innovative ideas constantly being rehearsed and shared, and more individuals becoming aware of the therapeutic benefits of drama therapy. For me, I hope my practice as a drama therapist evolves into a stronger advocate, storyteller, and practitioner in my own community. I see the future of drama therapists in Kansas City as making stronger connections among each other; collaborating and sharing our talents with the public in order to gain a more prominent presence.

5. What does your NADTA membership mean to you?

My membership represents community -- A tribe that speaks the same language as I do. I’m a person who needs connection, validation, and a sense of belonging. The NADTA membership provides that for me, as well as the opportunity to keep up-to-date with other like-minded members. It also helps continue the dialogue of what we do, why it’s important and how to keep evolving as an organization as well as individual practitioners.

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Ross Stone, MA

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