This project seeks to understand how trauma affects the brain in order to inform more effective approaches for engaging high-school aged survivors of trauma in devising theater. By understanding how the brain responds in unfamiliar situations, a teacher can be more informed on how to prevent triggering the natural flight, fight, or freeze responses common to post-traumatic stress disorder. The realization that many trauma survivors need additional exercises and time to transition from survival mode to their more cognitive processes informs the processes necessary for creating theater from scratch. Planning for this results in a more carefully selected scaffolding of theater exercises and a slower-paced curriculum that differentiates specifically for survivors of trauma who may be new to theater. The curriculum is more organic in its construction to meet the constantly changing needs of the students. It offers a suggested structure and a menu of recommended activities and exercises built around assessments using the Understanding By Design method. This project will provide guidance in helping my current and future students learn that theater connects us on a profoundly human level that enhances their intellectual, psychological, and social development. Keywords: devised theater, creating, trauma-informed, theater curriculum, high-school theater
At-risk Students, Curriculum, Social Justice, Teachers/ Teaching
Michael, Christopher, "A Trauma-Informed Devised Theater Curriculum" (2019). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 340.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects