A Final ‘Thank you’ from the Conference Chair

Dear Drama Therapy Community –

As the leaves continue changing and I sit with the quiet vibrations of a stimulating weekend I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude to those who joined us in Montreal this past week.  As always, I was moved and impressed at our outstanding community and the rich depth of knowledge and experience.  I was reminded once again of the power of our work and the herculean efforts that are taking place – in both small and grand ways – to change the world.  Thank you for showing up, for playing, for dialoguing and for performing.  I can’t wait for our next beautiful encounter in 2014.

Thank you.

– Jason D. Butler
2013 NADTA Conference Chair


Social Media – ‘I Spy’

Attention all conference goers!  🙂

In just a few days we will all be gathered together in the beautiful city of Montreal! I don’t know about you, but I am certainly quite excited about what the weekend has in store for us. I look forward to all the knowledge that will be shared and being reunited with some of my colleagues!

At this time, I wanted to add to the excitement by introducing you to an ‘I Spy’ Game which will be happening throughout the conference. This is a drama therapy conference after all, so why not add a little something playful to keep us occupied during our downtime?

We are asking everyone to keep their eyes open and cameras ready throughout the conference to capture a potential list of photos described below. Once you have taken some of these images, we are asking you to upload these photos online through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook throughout the conference. (If you are unsure how to do this, feel free to ask around!)
With each photo caption, make sure to include the hashtag #nadta2013. By doing this, you will be including your photo into a type of online album with other conference goers participating in the game. By the end, everyone will be able to view their own and other individuals’ images by clicking on the #nadta2013 hashtag.

I promise it’s not as confusing as it sounds. If you have any questions surrounding the details of the game (or the logistics of hashtags), don’t be shy! I’ll be out and about at the conference so please feel free to ask!

So check out the list of photos below and get your cameras ready!! It is my hope that if we all contribute towards the list, then together we will be able to capture those moments not to be missed at this year’s conference.

I look forward to playing with all of you!  🙂

Lindsay Morningstar
2013 NADTA Social Media Chair

One week!

With the conference being only a week away, I’m sure we’re all starting to think about what to pack for our time here in Montreal. So far, the weather forecast seems to indicate that it will be a typical early fall with some cooler temperatures – lows of 10 degrees and highs of 20 degrees celsius.  So don’t forget to pack some long pants and sweaters! There may also be a chance of rain on Friday and Saturday, so for those planning on wandering throughout the city or partaking in some of the planned excursions, perhaps pack a light jacket or umbrella to ere on the side of caution! Lastly, don’t forget about your fancy fashions for the president’s reception – we are very excited to seeing everyone in their extravagant attire gathered in the beautiful Caf’ Conc’ theatre space.  See you all there!!

For updates on the weather closer to the conference, visit  http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/canada/quebec/montreal.


Montreal: Welcome to the city where art and research live harmoniously together!

The Canadian NADTA Chapter would like to welcome you to the upcoming 2013 conference. Firstly, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Alisha Henson and I am a Registered Drama Therapist. I worked for a number of years as a Child and Family Therapist and last year return to school to complete my PhD in Counselling Psychology. I have a passion for research as well as advancing the field of Drama Therapy. I have recently stepped into the role of President of the Canadian chapter and will soon become the Canadian Representative on the NADTA board.  

With the 2013 NADTA conference quickly approaching I can feel a buzz of excitement in the air. Montreal is always a very exciting place to be, not only is it bursting with arts and culture (museums, theatre, music festivals and fine cuisine) but it is also a vibrant place to study and explore research. Voted one of the top ten places in the world to be a student (Oberholtzer, 2012, Feb 16), Montreal is home to four universities (both French and English), but it also houses the only Drama Therapy program in Canada. Therefore, it seems only fitting that the Knowledge through Performance conference would come alive in this community.

The focus of this years NADTA conference is on Arts Based Research. Personally, Arts Based Research excites me because it allows for the opportunity to marry two parts of my identity: researcher and drama therapist. By exploring qualitative research through art and performance, Drama Therapy is in the unique position to not only generate new ways to approach research but also to interpret and disseminate findings. For many of us who have witnessed the beauty and power of Drama Therapy, Arts Based Research helps us to share our language with the world.

From Saldana’s Ethnodrama and Ethnotheatre workshop to Lutz’s Ritual, Body Memory Research, and Disaster Play (Gaines, Stefens, Perrin, & Kile) Participatory Action Research project, this year’s conference offers a variety of exciting Arts Based Research and performances. I know I am counting down the days till I bear witness to another exciting conference year.

Call to all Canadian Conference Attendees. Please join the Canadian Chapter for a regional meeting on Saturday Sept 28th at 1:50. We would love to discuss our goals and ways to stay connected across this vast country.

Alisha Henson (MA, CCC, RDT)
Canadian Chapter President and incoming Canadian Board Representative: North American Drama Therapy Association

PhD Student Counselling Psychology
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology McGill
McGill Psychotherapy Process Research Group

Thoughts from Conference Presenter Maud Gendron-Langevin

Montreal NADTA Conference: Here We Come!

It’s fascinating how fast time can slip by when an important event is coming up. Even more so when you take part in what’s happening and are looking forward to it and feeling nervous about it at the same time!

I can still remember my first time at the NADTA conference. I was excited and feverish; I wanted to attend all the best workshops and yet I didn’t know how to choose. I knew I would miss out on great presentations by making choices, but that I’d also meet incredible people wherever I ended up.  It isn’t that far back yet it still seems like it was a long time ago as I have grown as a person and a drama therapist since then. This year, I’m excited and nervous because I’ll be presenting two projects that are very dear to me.

The first will be the projection of the final version of a documentary film created alongside an Ethnotheatre Therapy (EtT) research project in a high school. A documentary maker, Naomie Décarie-Daigneault, followed a group of seven students with social adjustment difficulties and myself during seven months, as we were co-creating an ethnotheatre piece. As you watch the film, you discover not only some of what went on in our drama therapy sessions, but also who these students are through interview excerpts and out of school clips. What excites me most in inviting you to the screening is the fact that some participants have volunteered to come and meet you! When I offered them to come to the viewing to answer questions about the processes, they were more than happy to join me, even with our group meetings ending over a year ago. Please come and join us on Thursday night, this is of great importance to them (and to me of course!), and I believe it will be a great way to close the amazing pre-conference day program!


Finally, I am thrilled to be part of the French program on Friday (okay, make that bilingual – I’ll be more than happy to translate!). I will co-present another Ethnotheatre Therapy project that took place last year in a community centre with young adults living with developmental and learning disabilities. Excerpts of the show “Dream breakers” will be shown on video.  We will also share our process including DvT, drama therapy and drama education exercises to collectively devise this very moving piece  that we have decided to further explore this year. 

I know I could never miss a conference because it is a moment of real connection to an amazing community I want to be part of. I am sure this year will once again prove me right. I wish you all an amazing conference!

Maud Gendron-Langevin, MA
Drama therapist, and Drama education professor at UQAM

Tourism Montréal

Montréal shares many of the cultural features characteristic of the other metropolis on the continent, including representations in all traditional manifestation of high culture, a long-lasting tradition of jazz and rock music, and tentative experimentation in visual arts, theater, music, and dance. Yet, being at the confluence of the French and the English traditions, Montréal has developed a unique and distinguished cultural face in the world. Another distinctive characteristic of culture life is to be found in the animation of its downtown area, prompted by cultural and social events, or festivals.

After the jump, you will find French and English links to savings through Tourism Montréal.



FR: http://docs.tourisme-montreal.org/doc/tourisme-montreal-fr/carnet-coupons-delegues-2013/2013013101/#0

EN: http://docs.tourisme-montreal.org/doc/tourisme-montreal-en/delegate-coupons-2013/2013013101/#0

A Word from the President-Elect

It feels like the days are getting shorter already, and I’m looking forward to this long-awaited opportunity to see the beautiful city of Montreal in the early autumn – my favorite season.

 As you are packing for the conference, don’t forget your festive clothes for the President’s Reception. What do I mean by “festive” you ask? Imagine you are going to a 19th Century Parisian Opera house. Or that’s what it seems like to me – who admittedly has never been to Paris or the 19th Century. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful space (what drama therapist doesn’t love a beautiful theater space!)  and an opportunity to wear your fancy clothes – whatever your fancy may be.  At the event, the community will be greeted by our lovely President, Nisha Sajnani, who will facilitate embodied reflections of the conference so far. As a community, we will welcome the 2013 recipients of their RDT and BCT Credentials as they are awarded their certificates.  Next add a few more people to recognize, followed by a small Cabaret-style performance by our talented drama therapy colleagues. One I’m sure we will be talking about the next day.  And, of course our Conference Committee has planned for us some wonderfully delectable edibles.

 History will be made on Friday at the Awards Luncheon and Community Business meeting. In addition to a terrific meal, join us for this opportunity to recognize members of the drama therapy community for their tremendous work, where we will see brief snippets of their creativity and gifts. This will be followed by the community business meeting, which will include a vote on bylaw changes – including the addition of a Diversity Chair and a Research Chair to the NADTA Board of Directors. Those in attendance at the luncheon will one day be able to say, “I was there  . . . . .  at the launch of Drama Therapy Review, The Journal of the North American Drama Therapy Association!” 

 The meeting will be followed by a wonderful opportunity to connect at the Regional Meetings with members of your drama therapy. Overall, I predict a wonderful day of celebration and connection.

I hope to meet you there!

Nadya Trytan


Dear NADTA Blogsters!

Stephen Snow, here, getting ready for my 26th consecutive NADTA Annual Conference!

Yep, that’s right, I haven’t missed one since 1987. Now, there’s a long story to that, but let me give you the short version. I have just loved them. Every year I look forward to the event – a place to network, make friends, learn from colleagues working in completely different environments from your own and have a helluva lot of fun. I have special memories from all 26 conferences I have attended.

Whenever anyone expresses an interest in Drama Therapy to me, I tell them two things: if you want to find out what this field is all about take the Introduction to Drama Therapy course (of course, preferably at Concordia University!) and go the NADTA Annual Conference. It’s very satisfying to me when years, later, I find these individuals have taken my advice and even sometimes end up in my Improv and Drama Therapy course.

 This year, of course, is really special. The conference is back in Montreal, and in the early fall when the sun will still make it warm! Our graduate program is in its 16th year and, hopefully, many graduates will return from all across Canada and elsewhere. I am also very excited about the workshop I have put together, this year, with several esteemed colleagues from Canada, the US and England. It’s a topic I have been wanting to work with for a long time: the roles of the Artist/Healer or Artist/Therapist. When do they cause tensions for us as Drama Therapists? Can the two roles be truly integrated, or must they live side by side? Can we truly keep the Artist alive and still be a good enough Therapist? What does it all mean? We will examine it all through an embodied, ah, yes, performance-based exploration.

 If you haven’t registered for the Annual Conference, yet, make up your mind! Do it! You won’t be disappointed. Or, at least, I can testify, I never have been.

My Best Wishes to All,


‘O Canada, Our Home and Native Land!’

With the conference only A MONTH away, perhaps now is a good time to brush up on your knowledge of Canada! Check out this article from the huffington post, listing 50 fun facts about ‘the True North strong and free’:


Even the most patriotic of Canadians might learn a new thing or two!