Drama therapy overview
Drama Therapy is an active, experiential approach to facilitating change. Through storytelling, projective play, purposeful improvisation, and performance, participants are invited to rehearse desired behaviors, practice being in relationship, expand and find flexibility between life roles, and perform the change they wish to be and see in the world. ( North American Drama Therapy Association)
At the Applied Theatre Center we employ drama therapy among people who want to overcome obstacles to healthy living and improve their intrapersonal, interpersonal or transpersonal relationships.
- Spectrum: theatre for young adults on the autism spectrum, an ongoing program of social skills, communication and emotional management training. Spectrum participants perform for the public twice each year. This program is also offered as an adjunct of the YMCA six-week Recreation Exercise Community Education Social Service (R.E.C.E.S.S.) program.
- We offer theatre at the Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board through their day program Patrick Center. Our drama therapy group provides meaningful activities, group awareness and job skills role training for adults with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities.
- The Whitehorse Academy – this residential drug treatment program for adolescent boys develops socially-skilled, responsible young men who have a severe substance abuse disorder. It is a program under the Phoenix Center (Greenville County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse). Our weekly program engages the boys in drama therapy enactments which address past addictive behavior and role playing for future success.
- We offer weekly drama therapy groups for women in domestic abuse shelters and substance abuse residential programs at Triune Mercy Center and Serenity Place (a program of the Phoenix Center). In these groups we adopt a strengths-based approach that combines emotional expression with role playing through forum theatre.
- A weekly drama therapy group meets at the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center, focused on learner-centered, physically active, intellectually stimulating, positive choices and group collaboration. Each session begins and ends with active theatre games with an element of mild competition. We also work with small groups and individuals who respond positively to the program, and who have longer terms of incarceration, to go more in depth by guiding written narratives and exploring past experiences through sociodrama. We published a book of writing, songs, drama and art created by the students at this Center in 2017. The authors titled it Jail Talk. A second volume is under production in 2018.