Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Open Letter on Action Explorations

Originally posted on March 4, 2015

I sent an email to a wide range of colleagues who might in turn disseminate it to their own wider networks of their colleagues. I am calling for a gentle unification )(at least in principle) of a variety of a variety of fields who participate in methods that combine:

  • group processes that are collaborative rather than competitive, that say “yes, and…” rather than “no, but…”
  • that use dramatic enactment rather than just talking about things
  • that use improvisation rather than scripts
  • that use imaginative enhancements—such as psychodramatic methods or the like

… in an integrative fashion.

The paradigm for this synthesis is psychodrama, but not only the types that are used for therapy. This combined technology might well be called “action explorations.” It includes also a goodly hunk of simulations, role playing, some drama therapy, applied improvisation, sociodrama, bibliodrama, process drama in education, some aspects of Developmental Transformations, Playback Theatre, and Theatre of the Oppressed. There are blurred boundaries here. The point is that there are overlaps, and coming up with ways these can be synthesized offer great promise.

If you have other fields for me to add to the list, or if you have any comments that can help me articulate common principles about what can be said about this trend, please write me. For those who are just warming up, well, this is part of where my mind is lately.

To get to the point: What can we say to further the integration of these many fields; to articulate common principles; to write about activities that may transcend our more familiar identifications with this or that sub-fields? Your help is welcome! Please also pass this along to anyone or any group that might find this project interesting.

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