Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Is “Drama” a Bad Thing?

Originally posted on April 17, 2013

This is about the semantics of the word, drama. Its root is simply that which is done, enacted. My background in psychodrama makes this relevant, because of late I have begun to question the way the word drama has come to be understood. It seems to carry a meaning of excess, of histrionics.

Recently I received a spam announcement for someone who seeks to “use effective strategies to identify and eliminate workplace drama” and does this by identifying “the different types of drama roles as well as how to eliminate them. Indeed, she (the spammer) writes about the program’s noting “the three Most Common Drama Drives – And How to Squash Them.”

This little ad reinforced in my mind the idea that it’s time to drop drama from the name of the work I’m doing, and instead use the term “action exploration.” It’s funny, though, how a perfectly respectable term in one era become stigmatized or otherwise drifts in a later era. But language does this kind of thing.

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