Dramatherapy and the South African context: an auto-ethnographic/self-reflexive investigation on how the perception of race impacts on the professional role of the developing (newly becoming) dramatherapist.
Qhobela, Lireko Pearl
The body of this work— Dramatherapy and the South African Context: an auto-ethnographic/self-reflexive investigation on how the perception of race impacts on the professional role of the developing drama therapist—is a reflective process on becoming a drama therapist within the South African training model currently offered at The University of the Witwatersrand at the Wits School of Arts (WSOA). The school of dramatherapy in WSOA is offered by the Drama for Life (DFL) department. The research focuses on race and the impact it may have on dramatherapy trainees and in turn, on the practice of dramatherapy in South Africa. The research made use of academic language and narrative styled writing as an attempt to give voice to both the objective and subjective understandings of race perceptions in the field of dramatherapy. It is an investigation on the development of the drama therapist in relation to race in South Africa and how the role of the drama therapist is affected in the practice of dramatherapy by the social roles and experiences he/she encounters in and outside of the therapy space. Attempting to give voice to the multiple perceptions of race, the report is a gentle approach to race discourse and has attempted to move away from essentialist notions of race. It is a complex discovery of how race and later culture and sometimes religion, impacted on the drama therapists in training. As culture and religion also form part of the many influential factors to race perceptions.