Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Ramirez Kelvin


Paper theatres are an artistic form that became widely popular in 19th century Europe. Also known as toy theatre and model theatre, a paper theatre has a small build-your-own proscenium and pre-cut paper characters that can be manipulated. Different styles of paper theatre can be found in several cultures.

In contemporary art, the use of paper theatres in several modalities led to an exploration of whether such theatres also could be used as an art therapy method. Research was conducted into expressive art therapy principles, Jungian perspectives, and recent studies in neurosciences. The studies included in the literature review confirmed that the 2020-21 covid-19 pandemic was having a major impact on the mental health of the adult population. That led to two arts-based group research projects online, and one arts-based heuristic exploration. The initial therapies were implemented online due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The outcome of this research and investigation found that art therapies involving paper theatre—implemented with a therapeutic structure and rationale—can be an expressive art therapy method suitable for community-based and individual interventions.

Future research on paper theatres as a therapeutic method could focus on different populations, in-person (not online) methods, and a longer therapeutic plan of some eight weeks.

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