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Making Sense

Beauty, Creativity, and Healing

Edited By Bandy Lee, Nancy Olson and Thomas Duffy

Regardless of field, from the art world to healthcare delivery, there is a growing need for practically useful theory and theoretically informed practice. The time is ripe for a collaborative, creative conversation among thinkers and doers who are concerned about the larger world and our role in it. Making Sense: Beauty, Creativity, and Healing is a collection of essays and creative expressions written and produced in relation to a colloquium that tried to address these matters at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University. Beginning with a powerful essay on the individually and globally therapeutic qualities of art and beauty by Elaine Scarry of Harvard University, this volume brings together a diversity of theoretically minded scholars, scientists, artists, and healers. In the form of critical and reflective essays, alongside images, poetry, and fiction, this book allows the reader to experience the bursts of ideas and sensory triggers that respond to and extend the artistic installations and performances of the colloquium – and welcomes the reader into the conversation.
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Theater, Creativity, and Therapy


by Gabriele Sofia

[Translation from the Italian by Gennaro Lauro]

“Theater is not therapeutic, it is the lack of art that is pathogenic”. With these words Jean-Marie Pradier, Professor Emeritus at Université Paris 8 and founder of Ethnoscenology, opened the Third International Convention “Dialogues between Theater and Neurosciences” which took place in Rome in March 2011.

The debate about how therapeutic theater can be or about the kind of theater that may be considered therapeutic has been long and its origin is far in the past. Yet answers are still far in the future. It is however true that several interesting case studies show, sometimes in a scientific way, the efficacy of theater activity within the treatment of some mental or motor disorders, such as Parkinson and Autism. These activities are not always referred to as “therapy”. On the contrary workshops are often directed by actors and artistic professionals who adapt their own artistic practice to the context in which they operate.

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