Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Using Theatrical Practices as a Modality within an Intervention Plan for the Communication Impairment of Aphasia Public Deposited
  • In the practice of theatre, actors communicate with the audience by both verbal and non verbal means. Commonly misunderstood as a comprehensive communication disorder, aphasia is a diagnosis given when the language center of the brain is damaged. Individuals with aphasia have trouble either understanding language, generating language, or both. Language, however, does not encompass the myriad of ways that humans are able to communicate. Actors explore these alternative communication strategies in multiple divergent forms of theatrical practices. This dissertation examines the ways that theatrical practices (primarily informed by the works of Augusto Boal) can be used to enhance the communicative abilities of individuals with aphasia through disrupting the perceived superiority of verbal communication over nonverbal communication. Outlined in this work are six unique interventions created for individuals with aphasia that use theatrical practices as a modality within treatment. These interventions are: (1) Théâtre Aphasique in Montreal; (2) The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Waiting on the Words; (3) The Adler Aphasia Center Drama Club in New Jersey; (4) Laura Wood’s and David Mower’s Co-Active Therapeutic Theatre Model; (5) CU Boulder’s Speech Language and Hearing Clinic’s The Wizard of Oz, and finally (6) their subsequent production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ultimately, this research confirms the efficacy of theatrical practices in assisting individuals with aphasia to increase their communication confidence and subsequently their quality of life. Additionally, this dissertation identifies significant areas of overlap betweenthe communication goals of speech-language pathology and the communication outcomes of theatrical practices. As such, this research suggests the need for further study from both speech-language pathologists and theatrical practitioners in utilizing this modality of intervention for individuals with aphasia.

Date Issued
  • 2022-07-25
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Last Modified
  • 2022-09-24
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