In Harmony with the Elements: Drama Therapy and Wellness

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.