Year in Review

By Maggie Powell, MA

Inspired. Intrigued. 

Curious. Questioning. Challenged. 

Encouraged. Validated.

Empowered.

Connected. Grateful.

Proud.

These are just a few of the feelings I experienced over the course of my first year serving as Editor-in-Chief of Dramascope, the official blog of the North American Drama Therapy Association. It’s a role I was thrilled to accept a year ago, not just for the chance to give back to the NADTA, but because this blog filled a need I was experiencing personally. As a recent graduate, and a new professional in the field of drama therapy, I was craving a way to stay connected and to continue to learn and dialogue about important issues, theories and experiences unique to our profession, once I no longer had the luxury of regular access to an inspiring cohort and supportive professors and supervisors. I believed, and continue to believe, that social media offers our community tremendous resources and tools for discussing thoughts, ideas, and experiences, and encouraging education, collaboration, and the continued growth, development, and positive representation of our field.

In my role as Editor-in-Chief, I had the privilege of working closely with our authors, who included established theorists as well as up and coming scholars in the field of drama therapy. I’m grateful for the passion and dedication each one of them demonstrated in developing their pieces and sharing their thoughts and ideas with our community.

As well, Dramascope would not be the success it was without the blogging expertise of Managing Editor Caitie Parsons, the editing know-how of Technical Editor Danielle Levanas, and the vision, oversight, and constant support of Communications Chair Jason Frydman. I can’t begin to thank them for their patience, flexibility, efforts and dedication to this project, and couldn’t ask for a better team to work alongside.

I’m immensely proud of the depth and breadth of topics covered by Dramascope this past year. We explored theories about the use of performance in exploring trauma (Sajnani) and personal stories (S. Wood), the building and rebuilding of relationships in the playspace (Reynolds), and the transportive, and transformative power of story (Bailey). These meaty pieces gave me new perspective on our work, and the ideas and values at the core of what we do: story, relationship, healing. We dug into professional experiences, including inspiring career narratives (Kidder), formative training experiences (Pitre), and the important contributions we drama therapists can make to the workplace (Conover). These pieces painted such a vivid and colorful picture of what a drama therapy career can look like! Authors shared creative and innovative interventions, including poem houses (Savage), monster work (Ronning), and the use of metaphor to process experiences with aesthetic distance (Landis), and described their work with populations including Latino men (Ramirez), LGBTQ youth (Tomczyk) and individuals with eating disorders (L. Wood). I was inspired by these pieces, reading about the creative ways we engage with a wide variety of people. And because of that, Dramascope addressed diversity issues with candor, openness, and creativity, exploring playful and effective diversity training methods (Raucher), and serving as a platform for the publishing of the NADTA Board, Diversity Committee, and Advisory Committee (Black Lives Matter)’s statement on the Black Lives Matter movement. In these small but important ways, we demonstrated the influence our work has on our local, national, and global communities, and began to engage in some of the important and necessary foundational conversations that will keep our work grounded in principles of service, advocacy, healing, growth, and re-storying. It was an honor to have a hand in holding space for these important conversations.

With the publishing of Dr. Mimi Savage’s piece (aptly about self-care!) in July, Dramascope began a summer hiatus, allowing the editing team time to recharge and plan for the year ahead, and allowing the conference blog #NADTA2015 to take center stage. As energy builds around the 2015 North American Drama Therapy Conference “Magnetic Forces: Working with Attraction and Aversion to Difference and Social Justice,” the Pre-Education Committee has been doing a phenomenal job providing us with challenging, thought-provoking and educational material to help prepare us for the conversations that lay ahead in White Plains, NY.

Dramascope will resume monthly publications after the conference in October, and I invite you to be a part of the dialogue! We are currently soliciting contributions for posts, and would love for you to be one of them! If you have a new theory you’re exploring in your professional practice, a meaningful case narrative, research you’ve been sitting on or considering exploring in more depth, or just reflections on what your role as a drama therapist means to you, we invite you to contact us! Even if your ideas are not fully developed, we are happy to work with you to create a well-crafted blog post! This community is filled with a rich diversity of voices and perspectives, and we are made better by sharing our thoughts and ideas with one another. Our base of knowledge and understanding of the therapeutic power of drama grows through our dialogue and conversation with one another, and we invite you to use Dramascope as a medium for that discussion!

So to continue the conversation:

  • What was your favorite thing about the inaugural year of Dramascope?
  • What did you wish to see, or see more of?
  • What topics would you like to see covered this year in Dramascope?
  • If you were offered one million dollars to write for Dramascope, what would you write about?

(Editor’s Note: Obviously we don’t have that kind of a budget. Sorry. But the goal here is to gather some half-baked ideas, remember?! Don’t think, don’t edit, just answer! $1 million magic drama therapy dollars are on the line!)

Can’t wait to engage with you in the comments!

Maggie Powell, MA, studied Drama Therapy at Concordia University, and works as a Staff Clinician for the University of Rochester Strong Behavioral Health Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services, in Rochester, NY. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Dramascope, the official blog of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA). She’s loving returning to her Western New York roots, and when not working or spending time with family and friends, she can often be found exploring local gems like the National Museum of Play!

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