Theater Workshop Gives Children of Military a Voice

College of Human Ecology Press Release

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A dozen middle-school students take the stage this month, performing a play they created on a topic they know well: children of military families.

“Serving at Home” centers on Chloe, a teenage girl whose mother gets deployed. It also features Chloe’s younger sister and grandfather, creating a multi-generational focus. The play builds on the problems the family faces and the eventual breaking point.

The interactive theater workshop is the work of the School of Family Studies and Human Services, the Department of Speech Communication, Theater and Dance and members of the Manhattan community.

Giving youth a voice

dogtagsomk.gif“This project was done with great care,” said Sally Bailey, associate professor of speech communication, theater and dance.

“It has a strong but authentic message,” added Elaine Johannes, assistant professor of family studies and human services and Extension specialist in youth development.

Johannes and Bailey worked with Alissa Duncan, Registered Drama Therapist, to build the workshop.

Duncan, who has a master’s degree from K-State in drama therapy, said she wanted to create a script that got the thoughts of the kids across without sounding artificial.

The adolescents who volunteered for the workshop discussed the cycle of deployment — pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment. “They talked about the feelings they had and the issues they faced during these times. We brainstormed and improvised different scenes and eventually put those into a kind of order. This ended up becoming the basis for the play,” Duncan said.

Telling the truth

The resulting script is beautiful and the relationships are very real, Bailey said.

“The play shows adolescent anger, typical adolescent immaturity and much family love,” she added. “It’s not often that people who are going through an experience are asked to reflect on it, especially in an artistic medium.”

Johannes said she has been stunned by the way the interactive theater project has allowed the students to open up and have a voice. “It allows the children to express their emotions in a safe and creative way,” she said.

Topic seldom explored through art

“Through this process, I’ve learned that the family side of war isn’t something that’s really been explored in literature,” Bailey said. “For thousands of years, only the glory part of a soldier’s experience was explored and only recently has the traumatic side of that experience been explored. But, the family has usually been left out.”

After seeing the play and receiving feedback through the discussion, military, family development and community-action experts will brainstorm about what the community can do to aid the families, Johannes said.

Eventually, the project members will create a guide to serve as a resource that other communities could use when creating an interactive
theater group.

“I see this as a springboard for doing this work nationally. It is unique that we are tackling this difficult issue,” she said.

May stagings and sponsors

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. May 16 and 17 at the Manhattan Arts Center, 1520 Poyntz Ave. Bailey will lead discussion after the performances.

The play is free, but seating is limited and some content may not be appropriate for young children. More information is available by calling 785-532-1905 or 785-532-7720.

A National 4-H Headquarters/USDA and Army Child and Youth Services grant funded the Speak Out for Military Kids Interactive Theater project, part of K-State’s Operation Military Kids program that helps military-connected youth cope with the stress that often comes with dealing with a military relative who is deployed. Bronwyn Fees, associate professor, and Deb Sellers, assistant professor, also are members of the state project team.

Drama therapy program benefits Manhattan community,  K-State students

Center for Engagement and Community Development

Engagement E-News October 2007

by Kendall Lange

Theatrical arts and drama are often closely linked with the Big Apple, but K-State Professor Sally Bailey has brought the benefits of drama to the Little Apple. Bailey’s strong theatrical background made her the perfect pick to carry on the drama therapy program started at K-State by Dr. Norman Fedder in the 1980s.

Drama therapy engages K-State students and includes an outreach program to Manhattan area residents. “The best way to learn how to be a drama therapist is through hands-on experience,” Bailey said. “It doesn’t work just to read about it because it involves people skills within an embodied experience.”

The drama therapy program and K-State drama therapy students are working on several ongoing projects. Barrier-Free Theatre, done in partnership with the City of Manhattan Parks and Recreation and the Manhattan Arts Center, offers adolescents and adults with disabilities the chance to create an original play and perform it each April at the Manhattan Arts Center.

In June, Bailey began a drama group at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community. A group of 12 adults between the ages of 75-95 meet each week to improvise and work on different projects. During the summer, the group hosted an original improvisational mystery dinner theatre play. “This fall, a number of drama therapy students have joined us at Meadowlark Hills,” said Bailey. “There’s a wonderful give and take as K-State students teach them about drama and the residents teach the students about life and growing older.”

Other projects include drama camp for adolescents with special needs during the summer and various after-school projects with children at risk. Bailey believes that drama therapy has many positive effects on participants including increased self-awareness, communication skills, self-confidence, discipline and understanding of oneself and others. These benefits are part of Bailey’s vision for the drama therapy program at K-State. “When students see how powerful drama therapy is and how much it positively affects peoples’ lives, they develop the drive and the vision to take drama therapy other places,” Bailey said.

K-State 2025 Spotlights The Purple Masque Theatre

by Savannah Sherwood and Theo Stavropoulos


Taking a stroll through K-State’s campus in the year 2016 would be hard to do without passing by at least one “work in progress.” Through campus master planning, space migration, and infrastructure upgrades, new and repurposed spaces all across campus have provided needed facilities improvements and expanded learning environments for K-State students. Though the physical space on campus has been transformed through K-State 2025’s visionary goals, the true story of transformation is written every day by the students, faculty, and staff who utilize these spaces to elevate their impact on the communities they serve.

Purple Masque Theatre

The new Purple Masque Theatre opened in 2015 below the West stands of Memorial Stadium. For more images and information, including “before and after” pictures, view the Renovation Gallery.

Nestled within the iconic limestone exterior of Memorial Stadium is the new home of the Purple Masque Theatre. After making a move from the east side of the stadium, which currently houses the recently-opened Berney Family Welcome Center, to the west side, the Purple Masque brings its historic purpose dating back to 1974 into a state of the art new facility. In addition to providing an expanded space for experimental theatre and student learning (through showcases, workshops, stage readings, Ebony Theatre productions, and more), the Purple Masque and its new studio and rehearsal space is utilized by K-State’s Drama Therapy graduate program.

As the only program of its kind in the Midwest, Drama Therapy now has a space that is as unique and transformational as the work taking place within this emerging field of study. “I want to use theatre to make a change in the world, and drama therapy is the perfect way for me to do so,” said Sally Bailey, Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre and Director of the Drama Therapy Program. K-State-trained Drama Therapists have engaged a number of different populations within the Manhattan community and across the state through the power of self-expression and play. “The level of trust and communication that you use in theatre, that feeling of belonging, is very useful,” Bailey said, especially to those who may feel left out or excluded by society. Barrier-Free Theatre is one example of this engagement that has become a fixture of the K-State and Manhattan communities.

Sue Bailey facilitates students in Drama Therapy

Sally Bailey, Director of Graduate Programs in Theatre in the K-State School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, facilitates a group of students in her Drama Therapy course that took place in the old Purple Masque Theatre in East Stadium. For more on how the department is utilizing the new home of the Purple Masque, check out this Feature on the renovations from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Every year, K-State undergraduate and graduate students help to facilitate Barrier-Free Theatre, a program that brings together adults with or without disabilities to collaboratively create and perform an original, one-of-a-kind production. The program provides participants with the opportunity to channel their thoughts and emotions through different expressive forms. It helps instill self-awareness and social skills that can last long after the curtain drops on the annual performance. “Barrier Free Theatre gives the participants an opportunity to set goals and accomplish them, and this in turn gives them a sense of fulfillment,” said Fumni Cole, a graduate student in Theatre.

The new space within the Purple Masque has elevated the Barrier-Free Theatre experience for students, participants, and community members alike. “The opportunity to use the Purple Masque Theatre for rehearsals contributed to the success of the performance,” Cole said, “the actors were able to get well acquainted to a standard theatre space with all the technical equipment in place.” People travel from far and wide to attend Barrier-Free Theatre performances, so having a space like the Purple Masque to welcome audience members and community partners has been a great asset to the program. From the new lobby area to the increased space available backstage, “it’s really opened things up,” said Bailey, “it’s been wonderful to be in the new theatre.”

Barrier-free theatre group

Manhattan’s Barrier-Free Theatre group rehearsing in advance of their performance in 2014. Prior to the Purple Masque renovations, Barrier-Free Theatre took place at the Manhattan Arts Center. The new space has provided opportunities to more fully engage community members with campus and host guests of the university in a state of the art facility.

The actors rehearse weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters, all leading up to the premiere of their show each April. This year’s original play will be performed on April 21, 22, and 23 in the Purple Masque Theatre. “We have performed plays on space adventures, zombie apocalypses, and even Robin Hood,” Bailey said, “And this year will be something completely different.”

Kansas State University’s achievements around facilities and infrastructure help meet its evolving needs and recruit and retain quality students, faculty, researchers, and staff to carry out its important mission. And, similar to this year’s Barrier-Free Theatre production, K-State 2025 is a work in progress that represents an ongoing engagement which will transform a university, and the many lives it touches, for the better.

Kansas State University graduate receives Rotary scholarship to research drama therapy for women with post-traumatic stress disorder

Friday, Oct. 30, 2015

Jessica D Muñoz

Jessica D. Muñoz, August 2015 master’s degree graduate in theatre. | Download this photo.



MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University graduate will use drama therapy to help internally displaced women in Colombia with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jessica D. Muñoz, August 2015 master’s degree graduate in theatre with an emphasis in drama therapy, Albuquerque, New Mexico, received a $30,000 Rotary International Global Grant Scholarship to evaluate the effectiveness of trauma-centered group drama therapy with displaced women in Colombia.

Internally displaced people are similar to refugees in that they are forced to flee their home but they remain in the same country. According Muñoz, Colombia has the second largest population of internally displaced people in the world and about 60 percent are women and children.

“The emotional impact of displacement creates many challenges, such as the paralyzing effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, preventing people from rebuilding their lives,” Muñoz said. “While few studies have measured the rates of PTSD in internally displaced people, recent clinical studies demonstrate that rates of PTSD among refugees range from 39-100 percent — compared to 1 percent in the general population.”

Muñoz will work with Sally Bailey, professor and director of Kansas State University’s drama therapy program, and Jorge Palacio Sañudo at the La Universidad del Norte in Colombia. The goal of the project is to help participants build a community of trust and empathy in a safe environment so they can share stories and heal. As the project progresses, researchers will measure the overall improvement in mental health, including the severity and frequency of PTSD symptoms.

“There is not enough research published yet on the effectiveness of drama therapy,” Bailey said. “Yet, we know from our experiences — anecdotal though they may be — that drama therapy works extremely well for clients who have experienced trauma. I am so excited that Jessica will have the opportunity to research the efficacy of drama therapy with displaced women in Columbia.”

The Global Grant Scholarship is awarded for graduate level academic studies and/or research, which must occur in a foreign country. The scholar completes classes, conducts research or a substantial project that aligns with one of Rotary’s areas of focus.

“The interview and selection process for the scholarship is rigorous,” said Rebecca Gould, co-chair of the scholarship committee for the Konza and Manhattan Rotary clubs and director of the university’s Information Technology Assistance Center. “Jessica’s research is unique and includes four of Rotary’s six areas of focus — peace and conflict prevention/resolution, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development — by providing training to professionals using her skills as a drama therapist.”

Muñoz is a member of the North American Association of Drama Therapy. She worked as a refugee advocate for the Refugee Well-being Project at the University of New Mexico and was a student delegate for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She completed a residency at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, Connecticut, was a site leader for the Manhattan chapter of Hollaback! and a facilitator for Kansas State University’s Center for Advocacy Response and Education. She will start the research in February 2016 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

“It is critical that innovative ways to address the trauma of displacement are developed and integrated into systems of crisis intervention,” Muñoz said. “The development of trauma-centered group drama therapy holds the potential to improve the collective and personal psyches of female internally displaced people in Colombia and across the globe.”

Muñoz is the daughter of Edward and Kellie Northam, Omaha, Nebraska.

Student’s research project looks at how de-roling may help actors shed intense roles

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MANHATTAN – Actors and actresses have learned many methods of becoming their characters, but how do they leave their character — or de-role — when the role is over?

“I asked myself that question,” said Daijah Porchia, a Kansas State University freshman in theatre, Kansas City, Missouri. “How do actors handle intense parts without becoming depressed or negatively harmed?”

Porchia used this question as the basis of her research project for the university’s Developing Scholars Program, which provides underrepresented students opportunities to conduct research projects with a faculty mentor.

Sally Bailey is a professor and director of Kansas State University’s drama therapy program. She is Porchia’s faculty mentor and has been involved with de-roling techniques for actors and drama therapy clients for the last 20 years. She wrote a chapter about de-roling in the book “Safe Enough Spaces,” which explores methods of teaching theatre. De-roling is described as taking roles off after rehearsals so that actors and actresses can come back to themselves when their performance is finished.

Examples of de-roling techniques include shaking limbs and body to literally shake the character off, or ritualistically stepping out of a performance by handing back a character’s specific prop or costume piece to a director.

“De-roling is not a common practice in acting, but it’s used all the time in drama therapy because you’re working with clients who are very vulnerable,” Bailey said. “But actors are very vulnerable, too. They spend many, many years learning how to get into role, but they’re never taught techniques about getting out of it.”

Bailey said she has known many actors — and read about others — who have been bothered by playing really intense roles. Those roles have led to changes in their personality, including depression, acting out or heavy drinking because they didn’t leave their characters behind at the end of the day.

Porchia’s interest in method acting and de-roling came from the death of actor Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in the movie “The Dark Knight” in 2008.

“Heath Ledger became completely immersed in his role so that he was unable to separate the character from himself,” Porchia said. “He seemed to become the Joker and died shortly after performing the intense role.”

In fall 2013, Kansas State University’s theatre program performed “columbinus,” a play based on the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Director Jennifer Vellenga invited Bailey to teach the cast de-roling techniques. Vellenga’s concern was that the student actors were close in age to the characters in the play and, as in the play, they may have experienced similar situations of bullying and stereotyping in real life.

Vellenga believes that the de-roling techniques, along with cast members consciously providing support for each other, helped them handle the intensity in “columbinus” better than if they had not had some way to consciously leave the play in the theatre each night.

For her research project, Porchia interviewed six of the eight “columbinus” cast members about their experiences with the show and how de-roling assisted them. She also asked how they personally were able to come out of their character and if they would do such an intense show again.

Porchia and Bailey will analyze the themes of the students’ answers as well as answers from actors and actresses who have not used de-roling techniques in similar intense productions. They want to see how much of an effect de-roling has.

Using empirical data, Bailey and Porchia want to see how valuable de-roling is for all actors. They hope to show that de-roling should be incorporated into all actors’ training, no matter the size of the stage on which they are performing.

Drama Therapy Improves Mood, Reduces Pain During Hemodialysis

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MANHATTAN — For patients with kidney failure, getting creative may provide some relief.

Kansas State University researchers are exploring the effects of drama therapy on patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis and are the first in the world to study the topic.

The research is part of a master’s thesis by Jamie Ansley, a spring 2013 graduate in theatre with a concentration in drama therapy. Ansley, a former professional hospital clown, has a family member who will soon be receiving dialysis treatments. The treatment for kidney failure uses a machine that removes wastes and fluid from blood, and then returns clean blood to the body.

Preliminary results of the study show trends in improving mood and reducing pain after using drama therapy, which is the use of drama and theater to achieve healing outcomes. The research, supported by Manhattan-based nonprofit The Drama Therapy Fund, won the poster contest at the 2013 Heartland Kidney Conference in Overland Park.

Hemodialysis patients must follow a strict treatment schedule and typically visit a clinic two or three times a week for up to four hours per visit. Ansley worked with patients at a Manhattan dialysis clinic during treatment sessions in the fall and spring semesters.

“Patients are sitting there with a lot of time on their hands,” she said. “Some choose to watch TV, read or fall asleep. Others inevitably start to think about their worries in life.”

Patients could not move during treatment, so Ansley brought prompts like pictures, games, guided imagery and music. She asked questions to help patients verbally improvise a scene, story or character. Some patients created a detective character, and story themes included death, loneliness and friendship.

“Drama therapy creates a wonderful metaphor and distancing effect for people so that they can talk about their problems,” said Sally Bailey, professor and director of the drama therapy program at the university. “They can create characters who are dealing with similar issues and succeed, which gives them hope for themselves. It’s empowering and helps them feel more in control of their lives.”

Patients completed surveys before and after each session, and a 65-item Profile of Mood States assessment before and after the study. They reported that drama therapy was an enjoyable way to pass the time during treatment and took their mind off of their worries. They also perceived that the therapy reduced their pain and improved their mood.

Ansley gave patients a personalized book of their stories, along with recordings of some of their creative work.

She previously worked for Los Angeles-based Starlight Children’s Foundation for its New York City and Midwest chapters as a hospital clown in pediatric intensive care units in New York City and Milwaukee, WI Ansley wants to work as a drama therapist with patients undergoing hemodialysis at a hospital or clinic in Wisconsin.

“Having something to look forward to, discovering a new talent and finding a passion for creativity can change a person’s perception of his or her life,” Ansley said. “Drama therapy is an invitation to have some fun and discover new possibilities.”

She is a 1996 graduate of Belleville Township High School West in Belleville, Ill., and a 2000 graduate of Webster University in St. Louis.

K-State Drama Professors Create Curriculum to Help Kansas Teachers Use “Romeo and Juliet” to Talk with Students about Violence

News release prepared by: Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

MANHATTAN — William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” opens with a brawl between the feuding Montagues and Capulets until the Prince of Verona steps in and threatens them with death if they don’t stop fighting.

But what if Romeo’s cousin Benvolio Montague had talked with Juliet’s cousin Tybalt Capulet and agreed that they would try to convince their respective families to disarm, making themselves look like heroes in the process?

This is just one of the ways that Kansas State University theater professors have re-imagined the famous play and are using it to get teenage readers and audiences to talk about alternatives to violence.

“Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example of everything you would not want to do with people who are depressed and potentially suicidal and people who are really angry and potentially violent,” said Sally Bailey, associate professor of drama and director of K-State’s drama therapy program. “The way Shakespeare has structured the play, at every decision point instead of making a positive choice the characters are making a classically negative choice.”

Although high school teachers are sometimes leery of teaching the play to students who might view the young characters as role models, Bailey and collaborator R. Michael Gros, assistant professor of theater at K-State, saw an opportunity.

“Understanding how violence works and how conflict resolution works, you can see ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as a primer to teach about what to do and what not to do,” Bailey said. “It’s often very hard to get teenagers to see that something that was written 400 years ago has any relevance to them. In this play the relevance is palpably felt by the students.”

Bailey and Gros got a grant from K-State’s Center for Engagement and Community Development to develop a curriculum that can help teachers introduce these themes to students.

Bailey and Gros took the curriculum to Topeka High School and to a K-State women’s studies class. Now they are looking for as many as 10 Kansas teachers to pilot the program. With feedback from the early adopters, they hope to revise the curriculum and take it to broader audiences.

The project also involves faculty from K-State’s School of Family Studies and Human Services, who helped with the curriculum from a psychological standpoint. They include: Tony Jurich, an expert on adolescents; Terrie McCants, a conflict specialist; and Sandra Stith, who specializes in family violence.

“Juliet turns 14 in this play, and Romeo is probably all of 16,” Gros said. “It really is at the heart of adolescence. As we’ve been learning from our partners, the psychological wiring in teenagers is very, very different in how they respond to a sense of time, a sense of death, a sense of responsibility and permanence.”

The curriculum includes a written portion and a video of a panel discussion with the experts. It also includes a DVD pairing original scenes with re-imagined versions. K-State students, faculty and alumni put on “Romeo and Juliet” — set in the late Edwardian period — as part of the theater department’s spring series. The same actors performed modern versions of some scenes with re-imagined outcomes: Instead of killing Paris at Juliet’s tomb, Romeo and his rival talk it out.

Gros said that the play presents an opportunity to talk not just about teen violence but also about family communication and violence. One scene involves Juliet’s father threatening her with violence if she doesn’t obey. In some productions, the father beats her.

At the same time, Gros said that the play offers hopeful messages. Although Romeo is dead set on wooing another girl at the beginning of the play, his cousin encourages him to keep looking. Gros said that the lesson there is to keep your eyes open and to be open to possibilities.

“Students can see themselves, but there’s also a certain safety in that we are separated from these characters by 400 years,” Gros said. “This is a variation of the ‘I have a friend in trouble’ speech. But the resonance is there, and they open up.”

Shakespeare’s sense of the human condition also makes “Romeo and Juliet” an ideal vehicle to talk about issues like violence, Bailey said.

“Teachers often think of it as just a tragedy,” Bailey said. “They may not realize all of the psychological underpinnings, but it’s so clinically accurate. Teachers know Shakespeare understands the human heart and soul, but they may not realize how incredibly crystal clearly he does.”

Video available:
Note to editor: More information about what K-State is doing to help Kansans is available at

Barrier-Free Theater book published

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010


MANHATTAN — Sally Bailey, associate professor and director of the drama therapy program at Kansas State University, recently had her third book, “Barrier-Free Theatre,” published by Idyll Arbor. In the book Bailey shares her ideas, tips and anecdotes about making theater accessible to children and adults with disabilities. “If you do theater, but know nothing about disabilities, you’ll learn about them,” Bailey said. “If you know about disabilities, but not about how to facilitate drama, you’ll learn about that. I wanted to give all the building blocks so that people can take what they need. If you have no building blocks, with this book you have a whole kit.”

Bailey was first exposed to drama therapy and learned about accommodating people with disabilities when she worked for various arts programs in Washington, D.C. After becoming a registered drama therapist, she used her skills while working with recovering drug addicts at the rehabilitation facility Second Genesis, and with people with disabilities at Imagination Stage, a nonprofit arts center. She moved to Manhattan to head up K-State’s drama therapy master’s program in 1999. She also is the director of the Manhattan Parks and Recreation’s barrier-free theater. “By chance, one of the families whose children I had worked with in the D.C. area had moved to Manhattan and had talked the parks and rec department into creating a barrier-free program,” Bailey said. “They believed it was so important that every town should have one.”

Bailey’s new book is nearly a decade in the making. She said publishers could not understand who the audience was, but she knows that since 20 percent of people have some kind of disability, the audience is definitely there. “Drama can really level the playing field and allow many different people to work together,” Bailey said. “In the theater all people can express themselves and be creative as equals. Drama can be a part of more people’s lives if directors and teachers know how to include everyone.”

Barrier-Free Theatre: The Book!

Barrier-Free Theatre

WINNER OF THE 2011 DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD from the American Alliance for Theatre in Education!

Author: Sally D. Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT
$36.00 – paper – 499 pages

Available from Idyll Arbor Books at

Barrier-Free Theatre: Including Everyone in Theatre Arts — in Schools, Recreation, and Arts Programs — Regardless of (Dis)Ability is a comprehensive, hands-on, nuts and bolts handbook for special education and drama teachers, therapists, recreation, and other group leaders. It describes concrete, field-tested techniques and lesson plans for teaching drama to students with a wide array of special needs in academic, recreational, and theatre settings.

Why theatre? Theatre arts can “level the playing field” and empower participants of all ages and abilities.  Theatrical interactions create relationships that last long after a performance is over.  This book explains in simple, non-technical language how to make accommodations for successful participation in creative drama, improvisation, puppetry, rehearsals for traditional plays, and development of new plays gears to participants’ strengths.

Actors will gain self-confidence, improve their communication skills, find new ways to express themselves, and work more effectively and creatively with others.

Ways to use theatre arts as a tool to teach traditional classroom subjects, such as science, social studies, and language arts, are highlighted, as well as using drama for instruction in social interaction and other vital life skills.  There is even a section focusing on inclusion with typically developing peers in aesthetic and recreation settings.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Need for the Arts
Chapter 2: Disability and the Arts
Chapter 3: Physical Disabilities
Chapter 4: Cognitive Disabilities
Chapter 5: Getting off to a Good Start: Basic Adaptations
Chapter 6: Creative Drama and Improvisation
Chapter 7: Lesson Plans and Activities that Work
Chapter 8: Puppetry
Chapter 9: Developing Original Scripts for Performance
Chapter 10: The Rehearsal Process
Chapter 11: Drama as a Classroom Teaching Tool

Chapter 12: Inclusion

About the Author: Sally Dorothy Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT is an established playwright, director, and registered drama therapist. She created and directed the Arts Access Program for students with special needs at the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts in Bethesda MD from 1988-98. Currently she is professor of theatre at Kansas State University where she directs the drama therapy program and directs the Barrier-Free Theatre for the City of Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department, Manhattan, Kansas.


“Sally Bailey shares her rich expertise and experiences as one of America’s foremost authorities on classroom drama and theatre production with disabled youth.  This comprehensive resource is a gold mine of methods, content, and sage advice. Barrier-Free Theatre is important, essential reading for all teachers of special-needs populations and theatre educators.”

Johnny Saldana, Professor of Theatre, Arizona State University

“This moving and inspired book offers great insight and practical knowledge on making theatre arts inclusive for everyone.  Sally Bailey’s lucid and vivid writing provides a convincing testament that a disability does not need to hold anyone back… With easy-to-follow, hands-on techniques and lesson plans for classrooms, teachers, and therapists, it is a unique and essential textbook which should be required reading for anyone…in the fields of education, creative arts therapies, or psychotherapy.”

Yehudit Silverman, Associate Professor, Creative Arts Therapies Department, Concordia University

“For those who believe that all children, regardless of special talents or abilities, need and have a right to learn through the arts, this text is a revelation.  Sally Bailey, an immensely experienced practitioner and astute researcher,…draws us in to learn with her through a wealth of examples and stories.  The information, strategies, and techniques are of value to all teachers who seek to make their classrooms more inclusion-friendly and engaging learning environments.”

Juliana Saxton, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre, University of Victoria, British Columbia