Date of Award
MFA - Master of Fine Arts
Dr Jason Frydman
This review examines the literature as it relates to the psychological and emotional impact of professional training programs for student-actors. Special attention is paid to student-actors’ developmental stage, mental health and trauma history, possible exposure to sexual harassment in rehearsal or classroom settings, specific acting techniques taught, and power dynamics between student-actors and acting teachers. Also examined is data on the potential effects that the application of trauma-informed drama therapy approaches could have on this population. This is followed by a proposed outline for a supervision-style class for student-actors led by a drama therapist intended to introduce drama therapeutic principles to begin to address this population’s potential distress. Included in this outline are possible benefits from the instruction of de-roling exercises, providing psychoeducation on the impact of trauma and the importance of healthy coping skills, and furthering the student-actor’s understanding of dramatic tools from the therapeutic perspective of drama therapy.
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Burke, Kelsey, "Whatever It Takes: A Literature Review Exploring the Psychological Cost of Actor Training and How Drama Therapy Can Help" (2023). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 667.
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