Drama for Life, based at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Arts, is dedicated to arts for social transformation and healing.

Drama for Life is internationally recognised as the University of the Witwatersrand’s unique postgraduate academic, research and community engagement department that brings together the disciplines of Applied Drama and Theatre, Performance Ethnography, Performance as Research, Arts Education, Drama Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapies within the context of a critical reflexive praxis.

Our ethos is driven by three key questions: What does it mean to be human in the 21st century? How can we learn to be resilient, without compromising our humanity, as we engage with the enormous challenges of change in the 21st century? And, in so doing, how can we effectively use the arts, without compromising its aesthetic power, to bring about meaningful, sustainable social transformation and healing?

Our unique programme of education prepares arts-based researchers, arts activists, theatre-makers, performance artists, directors, applied drama and theatre facilitators, drama educators, arts educators, drama therapists and expressive-arts therapists to create interventions, performances, rituals and processes that skilfully and appropriately address social transformation and healing in a wide range of education, health and social contexts.


NTNU Section for Drama and Theatre 

Arts-based research group

The team members of the Arts-based research group affiliated with the Section for Drama and Theatre NTNU, investigate how artistic processes can be used in research and artistic development work. The methodical work focuses on dramaturgy, processes, the understanding of works and productions, interactivity, participation, reception, etc., as well as affective-cognitive knowledge and aesthetic experiences. The research design is developed in dialogue with the context and reinforces the synergy between artistic activities and academic conventions. In the research, experimental and innovative practice is equated with critical analysis and reflection. Our projects are divided into three areas: artistic development, arts education and performance and technology.

Several of the team members have their own artistic development projects where the research is about staging and investigating various forms of artistic processes. The artistic research process is based on the artist's experience, professional competence and artistic activities where critical reflection and theory development are included. Here, interdisciplinary and multimedia art expressions, dramaturgical inputs and concepts are investigated and developed. An important focus is the role of stage art and the artist in today's society. Research methods are often action-oriented, performative and interacting with the environment, in new contexts, public collective spaces and public contexts

In art education research, it is about forming research designs that stimulates creative, experience-based, disseminating and reflective studies of ideas / phenomena and research questions. How can different methods be structured to help create a dynamic, multimodal knowledge-forming process? Methodology development in the field of drama and theatre takes place through practical artistic activities that seek to renew and update art pedagogical methodology through, for example, material, physical and technological approaches. Central to our own method development is guidance that has the practical-artistic work in the centre in a manner that promotes the student's ownership, authority and ability to reflect in a learning community. Methods are applied drama and theatre research that focuses on change and aesthetic learning processes.

In Performance and Technology, interdisciplinary and multimedia expressions are explored and developed through artistic and artistic activities. Equalized and performative dramaturgies are tested and investigated through workshop and performance practice. This includes our own and the students' exploration of new technologies at bachelor and master's level. At all times, technology has been a major part of stage art and in today's society creative application and development of technology offers both opportunities and challenges. As a leading technology university, we have a unique potential at NTNU for synergy between artistic business and technology.

                              - Knowledge for a better world  www.ntnu.no

                              - Knowledge for a better world www.ntnu.no