Tisch Drama presents “Manifesting the Artistic Journey,” a program of sustainable professional and personal practices for artists

Monday, Dec 5, 2022

In November, students at Tisch Drama’s partner studio, the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute participated in the workshop, Manifesting The Artistic Journey: Empowering Students To Create Their Professional And Personal Practice, offered by Jessica Genick, Program Manager of the Office of Career Development and Alumni Relations at the Department of Drama. 

The workshop is the first in a series designed to address the unique challenges - particularly regarding mental health - that can be part of a career as a professional theatermaker. During these sessions, students work with and learn from Drama Therapy practitioners and graduate students at NYU Steinhardt’s Drama Therapy Program who offer practical skills to support their artistic journey. Major takeaways from the program include cultivating healthier habits,  incorporating play and creative expression into self-care, and practicing mindfulness to recenter and appreciate the joy that comes from theater. 

The series is created and designed by Dr. Nisha Sajnani, Director of the Program in Drama Therapy and Theatre & Health Lab at New York University. Dr. Sajnani chairs the NYU Creative Arts Therapies Consortium and is the editor of Drama Therapy Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the North American Drama Therapy Association. 

“My approach to stress reduction for actors draws from the practice of Developmental Transformations (DvT)—an imaginative, playful, and improvisation-based approach to drama therapy developed by David Read Johnson. The approach combines influences from [master theatre artists and teachers] Jerzy Grotowski, Sanford Meisner, and Viola Spolin,” says Dr. Sajnani. “Our hope in offering this series is that students affirm the value of caring for their own health and wellbeing as part of good professional practice.”

Feedback from Tisch Drama students has been especially inspiring, with one student saying, “It reinvigorated my spark and love for the craft and my eagerness/curiosity to keep exploring, having fun, and playing.” When discussing the timeliness of the workshop, another student noted, “It helped me forget about the pressures of my life and I allowed myself to simply play. My true form came out and was welcomed. It was silly and open and unpredictable and blissful.”

The workshop was also offered at Tisch Drama’s partner Stella Adler Studio of Acting on November 28 and December 2 and will run department-wide on February 28, 2023. Watch for more news on how to register.