Playing With Our Emotions: A Socially Engaged Drama Workshop

While attending Trinity College in Dublin I completed a class in the many ways theatre and drama can be implemented in different socially engaged domains.

Over the course of my semester at Trinity College, Dublin, I took part in a course entitled Socially Engaged Drama Practice. Through lectures, readings, and guest workshops we learned of many diverse ways theatre and drama can be applied to other social domains, such as education, mental health, medicine, and disability outreach.

Our assignment for the class was to create and lead our own original workshop. As an issue close to our hearts, our team decided that our objective for this workshop would be to educate young people in the language, symptoms, and strategies to combat mental illness. Working in our group I was responsible for:

  • The psychological research behind our activities, including the planning and instruction of our activities dedicated to coping strategies
  • Logistical duties such as scheduling times and locations for our group to meet and rehearse our workshop delivery
  • Leading the warm-up, coping strategies, and discussion sections of our live workshop facilitation
  • Writing the introductory and different instruction sections for our resource pack
  • The design and formatting of the finished resource document

The delivery of our workshop to the rest of the class was a unique learning experience that I believe will be invaluable to my professional development. The challenges that come with leading a large group and sharing command of the room were something that could not be taught in lecture, and gave us insight into the profession of applied theatre practitioners.

Our group devised a series of workshops for our one 50 minute session to be part of. The resource pack we created outlined and gave instructions for all of the activities we planned as part of this series, as well as resources for teachers and parents to use both before and after the workshop to help support the information and skills that were taught.

Click here to view the full resource pack.

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Learning Significance

  1. The many applications of socially engaged drama practice that I was introduced to in this class opened my eyes to the many possibilities that applied theatre presents as a career and as a tool for healing and teaching.