Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Rebecca Zarate


Performance has developed and shifted into therapeutic intent by defining drama therapy, therapeutic theater, and applied theater for the purposes of community growth and healing (Boehm & Boehm, 2003). The cathartic principles of therapy, audience role, and performative story telling support this lens of community alliance (Sajnani, 2013). Further exploration of the specific impact behind each of these modalities of performance work is needed to support its role in community healing. Research collected within this thesis included peer reviewed articles, dissertations, chapters, and other applied quantitative and qualitative studies, including arts-based research. The use of various methods within drama therapy during the performance processes were analyzed for frequency of supportive elements and therapeutic rapport. Studies examined provided examples of how theater and performance in therapy benefit communities through structure, safety, support, and by providing a platform for healing. Findings revealed themes of support, trust, courage, and risk for consideration in community performance-based clinical practice. Findings were translated into a framework of performance to consider for clinical practice. Further development of these themes and how they can be translated into theoretical and practical frameworks is recommended. This study aims to bring a framework of practice forward to the drama therapy community to consider and further develop the findings into a community-based performance method.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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