sick role or not

Buds bud.weiss at
Mon Apr 2 13:49:48 PDT 2018

Actually, I have a dear friend Dr. Gary Gaccione, a brilliant creative outside of the box thinking Art teacher now retired having taught and brought his magic becoming a legend for over 30 years in Bellmore Long Island. He  has been written up and interviewed many  times in various media about his special after school program for elementary and middle school students. here is one of the early write ups in the New York Times

over more than 30 years centered around a final dramatic production written and produced under Gary’s direction, a powerful community has grown to a few thousand graduates and their families that support these events and the program. 

They pack the huge auditorium each year and the events are attended by many former adults who graduated and speak about how this program changed their lives. 

Gary is presently gathering his materials and anecdotes in preparation for two books: One, pretty much autobiographical about how he came to  develop these programs out of his own life experiences,  and the other about the various incredible stories that have come out of the work and his teaching teachers in teacher education programs about how to use  drama and the arts to generate greater investment by students in participating in and co creating their education and life skills.

I am in total support of his efforts and have been from the very beginning when I re-hired Gary to be my art director in a very large municipal recreation and socialization program I headed up for 5 years in the  early to mid 70s in Oyster Bay for the town’s families with developmentally challenged young people. The first iteration of the Chorus Line format was begun with Gary in our program with the late teen early adult evening program out of some discussions Gary and I had about the therapeutic aspects of drama and psychodrama in particular . Gary immediately realized how we might implement that in a way in our program to bring the humanity of these young people forward to be seen rather than only their handicap and had been thinking along those lines for his public school students especially after having seen Chorus Line on Broadway. I was totally blown away and still am.
Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 2, 2018, at 4:05 PM, Adam Blatner <adam at> wrote:
> I have grown increasingly aware of the number of drama therapists who work in more than the "sick role" (i.e., with people with "psychiatric diseases") context, but also with people NOT in the sick role. These are people in transition, perhaps, and they’ll use resources available to them ---- such as refugees. That is to say, many people in both psychodrama and drama therapy address both sick-role and non-sick-role people. That is to say, drama therapists (and psychodramatists)  work with people both in and beyond the patient role. Drama therapy for these people—and psychodrama---isn't really "therapy" so much as "liberation," or some other better word.
> This dual role, therapy and non-therapeutic “helping,” is in many contexts a critical difference. It points out that the methods that I call “enhanced simulations” work for non-“sick” adults! It also implies that the two field are not strictly “therapeutic,” but also socially facilitative—beyond any medical applications. 
> Comments?
> Grouptalk mailing list
> List at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the List mailing list