Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Improv (-isational Drama)

Originally posted on July 24, 2017

​Some people from the world of theatre got into improv comedy about 50 years ago, and from thence. gradually, into improv in everyday work and life. This has been a little like those horse races where the lesser-well-known horse comes up from behind and wins the race.

Moreno’s venture into psychiatry and improv theater combined was just what he fell into. It seemed to be a good idea, because psychoanalysis was hot, and what Moreno was offering seemed to him to be an improvement on psychoanalysis. Alas, he got stuck in the medical model and didn’t have the perspective to fully unstick himself.

Meanwhile, over in the dramatic arts, they too needed (and still need!) to free themselves from the need to perform and go for laughs. Meanwhile, psychodrama needs to free itself from the medical model. Most applied improv folks don’t know about psychodrama, and vice versa, alas. I’m trying to bridge the two groups.

The problem with psychodrama is that many "patients" are too sick and/or co-morbid (exhibiting more than one diagnostic condition) to benefit optimally from psychodrama. That is, psychodrama Is too immersed in the medical model. So the process of promoting improvisation is neither performance nor therapy, but creativity through teamwork and improvisation. How to get psychodramatists beyond this?​

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