Four Students Awarded Challenge Grants

NYU Steinhardt News

Four Students Awarded Challenge Grants

Four Drama Therapy students have been awarded Challenge Grants from NYU Steinhardt.

Three students in the first year of their mater’s degrees, Darci Burch, Lisa Hilt, and Nikolai Steklov, were awarded grant money for their group project, “What Is Drama Therapy?”

Under the mentorship of master teacher Maria Hodermarska, “What Is Drama Therapy?” will be a new episode of a pre-existing web video. This episode will explore how working professionals in the field define drama therapy. The video will show how definitions vary within the field and what similarities and differences appear throughout different modalities and populations. Overall goals for the video series are advocacy for the profession, development of unified descriptions of drama therapy, and personal investigation of how performance is healing.

Another first year Drama Therapy student, Barbara Harrison, will use her grant towards a project called “Ulcerative Colitis and Family Dynamics: How Chronic Illness Performs.”

Harrison, who will be mentored by Drama Therapy program director Robert Landy, will draw from family interviews, literature review, and her own poetry to create an auto-ethnographic script to be performed as a therapeutic theatre piece. Harrison’s piece will also use Ulcerative Colitis as a metaphor for audiences to consider how chronic illness might perform in their families. Harrison hopes that creating and showing a piece of theatre will offer a space to heal and understand more about the influence chronic illness yields over family dynamics.