I believe in the power of theatre and drama therapy to change, empower, and heal… and I love sharing drama therapy with others!
Sally Bailey, MSW, RDT/BCT
I earned my BFA in directing summa cum laude at the University of Texas at Austin in 1976 and my MFA in directing and playwriting at Trinity University at the Dallas Theater Center in 1981. I worked in professional theatre for thirteen years as a technician and administrator at such places as Houston Stage Equipment, NORCOSTCO Texas Costume, Theatre Virginia, and The Shakespeare Theater at the Folger before discovering drama therapy.
After training in drama therapy in the Washington, DC area, I created the Arts Access Program (now the AccessAbility Program) at the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts (now Imagination Stage) and served as the Arts Access Director from 1988 to 1998. While there I had the opportunity to work with a wide array of children through adults who had various physical and cognitive disabilities. They taught me how to make theater accessible to everyone.
I also worked as a drama therapist at Second Genesis, a long-term residential drug rehabilitation program in the Washington, DC area, from 1988 to 1999. For the first six years I was the “itinerant drama therapist” traveling to all six facilities to run drama therapy groups with residents. Then after massive state funding cuts for drug treatment programs in 1994, I was able to work part time only at Second Genesis Melwood House for Women and Their Children until 1998 when I took a full time position there as an Addictions Therapist.
Other educational credentials: In 1992 I received a certificate in gestalt therapy from the Washington Gestalt Training Institute under the training of Rudy Bauer, Ph.D. and in 1998 I received a Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
I became a Registered Drama Therapist with the North American Drama Therapy Association in 1990 and a Board Certified Trainer in 1997. I served on the board of the NADTA: 4 years as Membership Chair (1995-1999), 2 years as President-Elect (1999-2001), 2 years as President (2001-2003), and 2 years as Education Chair (2007-2009). I also served on the Registry committee for three years, 2 of those years as the Registry Chair (2005-2007).
Currently, I am a professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas (yes, we are known as The Little Apple) where I am the director of the drama therapy program and director of graduate studies in theatre. I teach drama therapy courses, creative drama, and playwriting as well as direct the Barrier-Free Theatre, an integrated acting company of adults with and without disabilities, co-sponsored by City of Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department, the Manhattan Arts Center, and the K-State Theatre Department.
Intensive drama therapy courses are offered at K-State every June (Current Offerings) through the Division of Continuing Education. These courses are great way to “get your feet wet” and discover if drama therapy is the career for you. They are also a way of getting Alternative Training in Drama Therapy. In addition K-State offers an MA in theatre with a concentration in Drama Therapy (K-State Theatre Program)
I serve as the Office Manager of the Drama Therapy Fund, a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization founded to support the field of drama therapy in education and research through grants, awards, and scholarships.
Books: Wings to Fly: Bringing Theatre Arts to Students with Special Needs (1993), Rockville, MD: Woodbine House, currently out of print.
Dreams to Sign (2002) co-written with Lisa Agogliati, was published through the auspices of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It is available from Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barrier-Free Theatre (2010) published by Idyll Arbor, winner of the American Alliance for Theatre in Education's 2010 Distinguished Book Award.