Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2014

Advisor

Michael G. Livingston

Abstract

This study investigates the use of theater as a rehabilitation tool for people who have suffered a mild Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI). In this study, two middle aged women agreed to participate in theater workshops once-a-week for a 5 week period. The workshops focused on different areas of communication: eye contact, movement, spontaneity, creativity, diction, and volume of voice. Based on research done on how a TBI affects an individual, it was found that individuals who are living with a TBI say that they have a loss of socialization skills, a loss of social support and a feeling of being someone “new” after the injury. Because of these complaints, it was hypothesized that something that could target all three areas of complaints would be successful in helping people with a mild TBI. Research done on theater suggests that theater can improve communication skills as well as self-awareness and help build a community of individuals. Therefore, the researcher chose to investigate how theater impacts the lives of people with a mild TBI, specifically in the areas of communication, self-awareness and community. The participants were measured on each of these aspects at the beginning of the workshops and then again at the end, for a within-subjects design. The differences found in the study were not large enough to conclude any significant results. This study serves as a pilot study and further investigation is necessary for the use of theater as a rehabilitation method for those who have suffered a mild TBI.

Comments

Readers: Jan L. Holtz, Stephen P. Stelzner, Kaarin S. Johnston, Rodger H. Narloch

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