Humans have engaged in theatre for at least 50,000 years for good reason: it builds social connections, provides opportunities to learn, and creates meaning through storytelling. Perhaps most importantly, it is an enjoyable, and therefore self-reinforcing, activity. Theatre
offers readers an introduction to the role that theatre plays in health and wellbeing, and provides guidance on how to incorporate it into professional health and social care environments, community spaces, and the family home.
The book provides an overview of the current evidence demonstrating the effects of theatre on specific domains of health and wellbeing, including mental health, physical health, and public health, as well as its impacts on the education of health and social care professionals. Case studies illustrate the broad range of applied theatre methods currently in use across the human lifespan - from bedside theatre performed for children in hospital to theatre workshops for people living with dementia and theatre-based interpersonal communication training for medical students. Theatre also delivers plenty of practical advice on how to bring theatre into health and social care environments, including step-by-step instructions for specific activities, insights into potential barriers, and (most importantly) strategies needed to overcome them with empathy, collaboration, and creativity. This volume will be useful to professionals working in health and social care settings, as well as to theatre artists and educators who already are or who would like to work in health or social care settings with special populations.