Drama Therapy Radio
The play's the thing
About the Podcast...
We created this podcast for you, a clinician looking for inspiration and information from colleagues in the field. Our mission is to present content relevant to the practice of Drama Therapy, with the intention of keeping the community connected and informed. We found the medium and practice of podcasting to be a perfect fit for our goals.
What you’ll notice is that we ask listeners to purchase episodes – something nearly no other podcast does. Why? Because first, we believe our product has value; we believe the listener has something to gain professionally from our content. Equally, we believe the guests we ask to come on our show and voluntarily offer their experience, wisdom, and personal information to the professional public deserve to be acknowledged and validated for their contribution to the field of practice.
Currently, we find the best model to bring our episodes to you is through a third-party service, Patreon, where you can subscribe to Drama Therapy Radio for as little as $2 a month, and receive every episode we post. We believe Drama Therapy Radio is a perfect tool for you to hear how practitioners around the world are doing their work, in real time – and you can listen in your pajamas!
Our Newest Episode
Virg Augustatos and
“We Need to be Witnessed.
That Is Our Process”
Two truth-telling grads of Antioch University, after experiencing recent losses of their own, found each other and sought to live through their grief by offering a path for others. The result: an ethnodramatherapy performance project that provided not just healing for all participants but quantitative research data. In a vividly honest retelling of their journey, we understand their many effective interventions, challenges and choice points, as they provide evidence that while “grief cannot be fixed,” in the words of Sarah, “this sh** works!”
Nick Brunner: “Looking for
Those Little Pieces of Growth”
Candid and heartfelt, Nick describes his experience of becoming part of the community he served for 9 years in an outpatient mental health care facility in New York City. Through personal experiences and mentorship, Nick unveils the power of interventions, both subtle and impactful, in a client focused, relational and goal-oriented setting, where small efforts can lead to big strides in healing. But beware of the pride of lions, and the skunk baby!
Learn more about Hearing Voices Network
Rebecca Versaci: “Here We Are, Going through the Mud”
To commemorate September as Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month, we offer our interview with Rebecca Versaci, a Child Life Specialist who is no stranger to the fear and pain families face when dealing with the “muck” of the unknown. Listen to the compassion, integrity and humor this Drama Therapist brings to her very young clients and their families. Her belief that “what needs to be communicated will always be communicated through story,” is one way she trusts the process and finds her mojo.
Ghana native, drama therapist and newly conferred Ph.D. Benedicta Akley-Quarshie has a passion: researching the impact of drama therapy on youth experience in incarceration, among other topics. In this interview, Benedicta offers insight into how our work must “dance” in the space of the conventional model of justice, and how offering agency, role testing, and community to youth in incarcerated settings may be the best way to effecting change.
If your goal is to become an iconic and revered figure in the world of Drama Therapy, DT Radio is delighted to offer this episode as a primer. Through her devotion, talent and playful positivity, Sally’s story is about creating and co-creating what wasn’t there before: founding KSU’s Drama Therapy program; authorship of books on pioneering and necessary topics in our field; establishing and managing the Drama Therapy Fund; and nurturing hundreds of practitioners and scholars throughout her long career. Sally’s story is unique and inspiring – and shows no signs of ending soon!
Learn more about Sally and her work:
Creative Arts Therapy Careers: Succeeding as a Creative Professional, edited by Sally Bailey
The Drama Therapy Decision Tree, by Paige Dickenson and Sally Bailey
Barrier-Free Theatre, by Sally Bailey
“Suddenly, Everyone’s a Human Being”
Maitri Gopalakrishna and
“We Need to Have Processes
that are Community Based”
The extraordinary work of Drama Therapists Maitri Gopalakrishna and Ishita Pohoja is evident in this episode. Offering their unique and compelling stories about connection and community, and describing their work with clients, remaining open-minded and present, we learn how far stories and co-creating can go in bringing about change. When we can question our assumptions, they remind us, we learn the power and potential of group work, ritual, and witness.
Kat Lee: “I’m Interested
in the Tension, the Ambivalence”
Drama Therapist Kat Lee has directed her considerable talents toward working with the many facets of trauma. In this interview, the author, teacher, supervisor, and clinician uses personal experience and research to provide critical insight into how trauma has historically impacted and influenced our profession, and how it continues to affect us today in clinical work, licensing, organization, and cultural and social responsibility. Explore our conversation on colonialism, privilege and practice.
Learn more about Kat on her website.
Monica Phinney: "My Passion Has Always Been Relationships"
This creative and adventurous drama therapist decidedly seeks out new opportunities for her practice in non-clinical forms (we know the feeling!). It’s no surprise that she was tapped by documentary filmmaker Robert Greene to guide the process of managing the issues that could arise during his making of Procession, the Netflix documentary exploring the sexual abuse of 6 men by clergy members during their teen years. In this interview, Monica describes the journey, from first expectations to the movie’s worldwide release and critical success, and what that means for the cast, the stories told, and the presence of mental health coordinators in demanding work situations everywhere.
Follow Monica at Heartwork Studio
Learn about Monica's newest project: love_revised
See director Robert Greene's interview with Variety
Ana Bess Moyer Bell:
"This Work Has Made Me a Little More Radical"
Having experienced too many lives lost to substance use, Rhode Island native Ana Bess Moyer Bell has used her grief, compassion and love of theater to create a beloved community that is changing the way we see and respond to addiction. An educator, theater maker, and Executive Director of 2nd Act, hear Ana Bess’s inspiring story of how personal grief informs her work, how she cares for her team, and strives for collaboration to meaningfully transform the communities they serve.
Episodes 16 and 17:
Nina L. Garcia:
"Yeah, I Can Play with This"
Meet Nina L. Garcia, a dynamic Drama Therapist and Empowerment Coach, founder of Houston Creative Arts Therapy and host of the podcast "Empowered Human" taking the town by grace and deliberate purpose. Ramón Guitart brings questions to Nina that let us into her insight into becoming a practitioner, finding one’s own path, negotiating the world from both a privileged and a not-so-privileged place, the awareness of anti-Supremacy - and yes, there’s that self-empowerment issue… Get ready to play!
“Heels Don’t Work”
Maria embodies many roles in her work: a practicing drama therapist; Executive Director of The Greens at Greenwich, a residence for cognitively impaired seniors; and a stalwart advocate for Creative Arts in mental health and dementia care. With her experience and gift for storytelling (and some help from Plato), Maria offers humor, wisdom and guidance on how to walk with a client in their unique reality – and have fun doing it!
“… This Concern About ‘Mattering’…”
The Bad news: Our next episode is about research. The Good news: Wake Forest University researcher and drama therapist Laura Hix offers a delightful and compassionate perspective. Laura describes her journey from training in drama therapy to full-fledged researcher, the rationale for why the work is important, and ideas to reduce the apprehension practitioners may have around it. You will appreciate and enjoy her sympathetic approach to work that is very often rewarding - and sometimes not - but always valuable and worthy.
“Not Knowing What to Do is Good, Sometimes”
A pervasive sense of political turbulence, generational trauma and cultural denial filled the space of Lynn Hodeib’s upbringing, and fueled her passion to work to improve the lives of the many who suffer in her native Lebanon. Witnessing the work of fellow Lebanese Zeina Daccache was the inspiration she needed to become a drama therapist and commit to her passion. Hear her engaging story of creating performance and research for community action, and her hopes for making her country a more welcoming space.
"I Close My Eyes, I Hear Their Voices"
The annual presentation of Witness Theater by Holocaust survivors and students of the Yeshiva of Flatbush is a community phenomenon – an incarnation of the Hebrew philosophy Tikkun Olam. Drama therapist, educator, author, theater director and mom, Sally Grazi-Shatzkes, also believes, “If there’s no trust, there’s no relationship,” and walks us through this year-long process of creating first a family, and then an unforgettable, healing experience for the community.
"The Beauty of an Older Body”
The Founder and Director of the non-profit Arts & AGEing in Kansas City sits down with us to discuss “Dancing with Crow’s Feet,” a performance project for Seniors living in the Kansas City area. Deb shares how Crow’s Feet came to life and continues to inspire the women who perform it, the audiences who witness the work, and the many groups around the world who want to be part of it. Deb’s vision, wisdom, kindness and generosity are inspiring and thought-provoking for the those who embrace the power of therapeutic theater.
"The Incredible Value of
Mallory was working as a nurse and teaching drama in her native Calgary, Alberta. One day she saw something in her patients’ engagement that told her there was more to this than playmaking. The story of how she decided to move to New York to study drama therapy before she began working with indigenous populations in the Northwest Territories is one of staying humble, listening intently, and trusting in one’s relationship with all of nature.
Mallory recommends these texts to learn more about working with indigenous populations:
“We Built Ourselves a Standing Ovation”
How would you answer a challenge from management to find “something new” that will engage the residents of your senior center? Drama Therapist Caitlin Cairns tells the story of how she and her team in an Oklahoma facility met that task by producing not one but two personalized “Broadway” shows. From auditions to final ovation, hear how this team inspires, engages and connects people of all abilities by capitalizing on their strengths. Times may be tough, but the show must go on!
“I Don’t Care About the Sexiness!”
A (digital) face to face with New York City drama therapist Mark Beauregard lets us learn about the decision to launch his individual practice at just the right moment: during a pandemic. We learn how he’s figuring out his way forward, for himself and his young clients, how much personality and physicality go into the mix, how his instincts, physical space, family and sense of humor contribute to the process.
“This Is the Place for Us to Express, and to Try on Possibilities”
Wanning Jen is an engineer, salesman, improv artist, actor and – lucky for us – a drama therapist. Jon found a spare classroom at NYU for a guerrilla interview with this intrepid pioneer to discuss his pending move to mainland China and the work he will be doing. Wanning’s fearless sense of adventure brought him from his native Taiwan to Japan, to the U.S. west coast, to New York, and back to China, where he takes his skills and enthusiasm to work with multiple populations in a culture and professional environment unfamiliar to most of us. Whatever he calls his work, he tells a truly engaging story.
In this episode we mix things up a little. Drama Therapy student Ramon Guitart engages Drama Therapist and podcaster Diana Chu in conversation about her career-long interest in digital technology and her desire to integrate it into her practice. At a time when many in our field face the transition to working with our clients online, Diana inspires us to think outside the box – literally! – offering specific examples of goals and expectations for the preparation and the process. Enjoy!
Diana Chu & Ramon Guitart: “When You Build a Community, There’s a Reciprocal Effect”
An interview with the longtime Clinical Professor of Drama Therapy at New York University yields remarkable insight into how practitioners in our field are experiencing life in today’s “lockdown” reality, and some of what we can expect in our practice. Maria’s gift for seeing the deeper meaning in life’s tiniest moments is potent evidence that our work is essential and, even when it’s one intervention at a time, moves the world forward toward health and grace – with a fair dose of humor!
"I May Be In My Underwear
Laura Wood & Josiah Stickels:
“We Would Like People to
Know About Us”
At the 40th Anniversary conference of the NADTA, Drama Therapy Radio holed up with Josiah Stickels, the incoming president of the organization, and Laura Wood, the outgoing president, to discuss what leadership means for our community, how to assess the needs of the organization, and the process of a transition in leadership. Hear why the “40-year-old teenager” continues the journey to make space for a community of such diversity – from a place of abundance – while addressing the continuing social stigma connected to mental health.
Ross Stone & Emily Bartlett: "Teenagers Are Underestimated"
During the 2018 conference we sat down with Ross and Emily to talk about their work with teenagers in Kansas City. While balancing ourselves on a hotel bed (with a very pregnant Emily) we talk about the beauty of the teenage heart and the creativity of their minds.
Episodes 1 & 2
“We Needed to Find the Stillness”
Jess worked last summer with children from Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School. Along with a few others she created Camp Shine, a summer camp for the victims of the school shooting. In talking with Jess, we explore how the camp was created, how she was able to convince a fractured community to come together for healing and how she took care of herself throughout the process.