Autobiographical theatre is a proposal for social inclusion

The theatrical performance makes visible the particular sequels as mental disorders that generate social stigma. The isolation leaves those who suffer outside social and work environments.

The theatrical performance makes visible the particular sequels as mental disorders that generate social stigma. The isolation leaves those who suffer outside social and work environments. Where indifference to their needs on the part of others, can give way to emptiness, guilt, shame - depression. Also, lead to the anger and hatred of those who rebel against rejection. The shock generated by meeting once again on the street, hopeless, lost without a future, reliving similar situations of exclusion produces the transfer - a frightened animal prey to become a beast. It is the panic of always living in the vortex of society. 

The project ATENEA aims at developing, testing and widely disseminating the methodology based on use the Dramatherapy as a way to support groups of vulnerable adults and promote their social inclusion. It is also focused on satisfying the needs of disadvantaged adults given them training social and civic competencies. 

The choice of theatre and Dramatherapy is based on the long-standing experience of Domingo Ferrandis. This kind of theatre can serve as a very efficient and attractive way to involve vulnerable adults or excluded people and help them to get in touch with the healthy areas of themselves and find a way to express through drama in many different forms for genuine social inclusion.    Through the activities planned, we will create new educational and self-development opportunities for those who are socially excluded or vulnerable due to their health/disability problems, difficult economic situation, gender condition, conflict with the law or other factors. We are aware of the fact that the integration of socially vulnerable individuals and groups with society is a long, complex and challenging process. In order to involve the participants, an important path will be promoted to create a suitable environment for making several steps towards changes.  For people, who have been isolated, often for a very long time, is necessary to be first motivated to make an effort to step out. They need to see positive results of their actions and to feel rewarded. Such an experience can be a turning point in their life and can lead to discovering their own place in the community. Autobiographical theatre is a surprisingly efficient tool facilitating this initial stage of social inclusion processes. Drama serves as a particularly useful tool in education (formal and not formal) and as a way of inclusion of people with special needs as are the vulnerable adults. Participation in the group, collective action, exposure and social interaction is what makes the educational Drama process so successful and this assists people to overcome the stigma. Furthermore, purely cognitive functions, such as problem solving and decision -making solutions, are carried out in a non-competitive environment where the diversity of thought and behaviour appear as positive processes.Theatre is a way to communicate visually with an audience, using all the senses. Theatre and drama investigate and find solutions to conflicts. In 1994, UNESCO gave interactive theatre an official acknowledgment as "A Tool for Social Change". And all around the world, we can see projects preventing bullying, domestic violence, HIV / AIDS, teenage pregnancy, discrimination, abuse of alcohol and drugs, sexual abuse, injustice and we also find thousands of projects encouraging civic braveness, understanding complex structures and mental health. The Autobiographical Theater starts from a narrative of authentic experiences of the cast, some tragic that engulf their lives and their daily relationships, and where fiction becomes - not just a pedagogical method of citizen awareness - something more radiant; empowering the psyche and stigma. Generate mechanisms for overcoming, adaptation as social autonomy.

All who find this topic relevant are welcome to join the conversation.

Domingo Ferrandis is a pioneer and precursor of dramatherapy in Spain. He has an Official diploma in theatre pedagogy from the University of Valencia, Spain, RDT credential in Dramatherapy from the Official Certificate NADTA (American Drama Therapy Association). with the support of the Master's in Dramatherapy from the Kansas State University, USA. 

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