Doctor of Creative Arts
Faculty of Creative Arts
Aitchinson, Bridget Mary, Transformational drama: theatre for community and social change, Doctor of Creative Arts thesis, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 2001. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/943
Transformational Drama is theatre which acts as a catalyst for change in communities and in society. It addresses issues of social importance and changes people's perceptions, attitudes and reactions to those issues. This thesis explores the foundational theory behind transformational drama, including the use of drama as an applied art as found in the work of Jacob Moreno (the founder of psychodrama), Richard Scheckner and Augusto Boal. It then examines the reclamation of the transformational properties of drama from the behavioural sciences back into the conventional theatre by looking at the community theatre and Theatre-In-Education movements. Three plays are examined for their transformational effect - Aftershocks, Property of the Clan/Blackrock, and Runaways. Each had their own particular methodology (verbatim, scripted and devised) which leant itself toward theatre which caused social change. Each created transformations in the communities for which they were originally produced but each also went on to affect wider, main-stream audiences. In researching these three plays, the author combined elements of each, as well as the foundational theory, to create a new methodology for the production of transformational drama. This method was trialled in Back From Nowhere, a production based on the issue of youth-suicide. The thesis details the process used to create this play and an analysis of the resulting product.