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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Theatre and Therapy

ISBN 9780230293274
Publication Date January 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Theatre And

Walsh argues that there are many links between theatre and therapy when considering actor training, theatre in therapeutic contexts, and contemporary theatre and performance. He draws on a range of examples that include the drama of Sarah Kane, the method acting of Daniel Day Lewis and performances by Ruby Wax and David Hoyle.

FINTAN WALSH is Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK. He is the author of Male Trouble: Maculinity and the Performance of Crisis, editor of Queer Notions: New Plays and Performances from Ireland, and co-editor of Crossroads: Performance Studies and Irish Culture. He is a regular reviewer for Irish Theatre Magazine.

Series Editors' Preface
Theatre and the Therapeutic Tradition
Actor Training and Audience Engagement
Drama and Theatre in Therapy
Therapeutic Dramaturgies and Relations in Contemporary Theatre
Further Reading


Theatre amateurs and professionals will often claim that theatre "saved my life". But what, more specifically, might be the curative properties of theatre? What is the nature of its cure? And, conversely, how has the theatre figured in the imaginary and development of other kinds of "taking cures"? In this smartly organised and lucidly written book, Fintan Walsh illuminates the therapeutic effects and affects of theatrical performance, and the theatrical inspirations for Western therapeutic practices. Theatre & Therapy takes the reader from the more expected historical examples of Aristotle's catharsis and Freud's interpretation of dreams to the less frequently ploughed terrain of contemporary performance practices that experiment with affective intensity or intensive listening as therapeutic. This is an authoritative and nuanced introduction to the field. I felt better at the end of this book.' - Erin Hurley, McGill University, USA'timely and valuable […] Walsh's analysis suggests that attention to the historical, material conditions in which therapy developed reveals that making and feeling theatre reconfigures the 'therapeutic' as an inherently political maneuver […] Theatre & Therapy is a valuable and nuanced foundational text for the future study of theatre, therapy, and well-being.' - Charlotte Bell, Theatre Survey'Woven throughout with interesting anecdotes, the author binds together a very broad range of perspectives on the field of theatre and therapy. This highly readable book would be useful for students and practitioners who are looking to get started on the topic, or researchers seeking references in the field of theatre and therapy [...] It is a feat that Walsh managed to fit so many viewpoints, productions and artists into one small book.' - Emma Meehan, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance
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