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Self-Revelatory Performance: The Intentional Use of Theatre’s Therapeutic Nature

By Leah Shapiro

Abstract

Self-Revelatory performance, considered both a form of drama therapy and a unique type of theatre, is defined as a form in which a performer creates an original piece of theatre based on existing life issues in need of therapeutic exploration (Emunah, 2015). The purpose of this Honors Study is to delve into Self-Revelatory performance as a form that explores the intentional use of theatre’s therapeutic nature. Self-Revelatory performance is a hybrid of both therapy and theatre because it is an experience that offers transformation, understanding, transcendence, and often healing, while ultimately creating a captivating and moving performance to be witnessed by an audience. Theatre in its very nature is therapeutic because it raises awareness to emotions, attitudes, and issues (both personally and socially). As is common in examining performance as research, my exploration has taken place through traditional research but also through praxis-based research to ensure a final project that is grounded in praxis and informed by theory. This Honors Study highlights existing research in the field of drama therapy and Self-Revelatory performance as well as includes my own experience, process, and assessment of the form. This structure has allowed me to simultaneously thoroughly and genuinely experience this form of drama therapy while also analyzing its history, practices, and ultimately, its true potential. For this reason, this Honors Study has both a written component and an original performance component, my own Self-Revelatory performance, It’s Okay Not to be Okay (performed May 1, 2016 in Tansill Theater at Connecticut College

Topics: Theatre and Performance Studies
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Connecticut College
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.conncoll.edu:theathp-1005

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