Nine Ways the Theatre Affects Our Lives: Dramas of Transformation

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This book is an exploration about the use of drama as therapy and the life-enhancing properties of theater itself. The purpose of theater is to catch us in action, engaged in the business of living. The author brings theater to us as a unique interwoven framework of the relationship between drama and psychological healing.


“This book is an invaluable contribution to the reviving of debate about the nature, function and significance of theatre for our contemporary society and culture”
-Prof. Peter Billingham, University of Winchester

"He leads the reader in a thorough exploration of the many facets of theatre, to reconsider in a new way some vital aspects of our being in the world and with the others."
-Professor Salvo Pitruzzella
Fine Arts Academy of Palermo

Table of Contents

Commendatory Foreword
Chapter I: Living Theatre
Amateurs and professional
Journeying with Joan
Coming alive
A personal testimony
Chapter II: Ordinary Theatre
Why theatre
Common theatre
Giving shape to life
Theatre and embodiment
Chapter III: Safe Theatre
Making sense of remembering
Getting on stage
Finding our feet
Truthful imagination
Discovering who we are
Chapter IV: Risky Theatre
Minding your step
Asking for trouble
Grasping the nettle
A worthwhile embarrassment
Chapter V: Revealing Theatre
Masks and faces
Stories that heal
Imagination and catharsis
Dropping the mask
Chapter VI: Seductive Theatre
Minding one’s own business
Locating the self
Actors and anomie
Acting and personal validation
Chapter VII: Private Theatre
Telling the tale
Mrs S’s narrative
The three stories
Charming truths
Chapter VIII: Spiritual Theatre
Spiritual or religious
Chopping wood and building boats
An elusive truthfulness
Acting and encounter
Chapter IX: Healing Theatre
Reaching outwards
Theatre as therapy
The necessity for theatre
Epilogue: Joan Littlewood and the Demystification of Acting

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