Seymour, Anna

Using theatre to fight with giants

Anna Seymour

In September, those of us who are fortunate enough have been on holiday, seeking ‘a break’ from everyday life, and yet we cannot take a holiday from ourselves and all that we internalise in increasingly unkind, for many cruel, conditions. In times of austerity, deepening suspicion, and the creation of ‘hostile’ environments, theatre is a place where we can reflect on and struggle with ideas, celebrate resistance, imagine daring acts through theatrical feats and give form to our hopes and dreams. The theatre has traditionally been a place that resists surveillance and social control even in sites of intense oppression. Like the incarcerated Cervantes, the imagination can still give form to ways in which things can be other than they are. The performance of even small acts of embodied assertion have the potential to shift some of the internalised  weight of negative forces that we carry day to day, like the emblematic Willy Loman of Miller’s Death of a Salesman daily dragging his suitcase across the country, placing his faith in the false promises of capitalism and trying to ‘be liked’, or Mother Courage dragging her cart through the apocalypse of the European wars, an image that continues to seem contemporary.

This workshop will provide a facilitated space to work with others to find theatrical forms that speak to the group’s needs in the ‘hostile’ climate, to make some theatre informed by a dramatherapeutic sensibility.



Anna Seymour PhD PFHEA HCPC registered Dramatherapist is Professor of Dramatherapy at the University of Roehampton, London.  She is an international trainer and consultant to several dramatherapy programmes across the world. With a background in professional theatre for communities, she specialises in teaching therapeutic theatre and researches the relationship between politics, theatrical aesthetics and dramatherapy. She is series editor Dramatherapy: approaches relationships, critical ideas (Routledge/Taylor and Francis)


Recent Publications

Andersen Warren, M. & Seymour (forthcoming.) A Dramatherapy and Theatre, Routledge Taylor and Francis


2018: Seymour, A.  How does contemporary theatre help us to ‘reach beyond the fourth wall’ in our therapeutic performance practice? Keynote speaker, North American Dramatherapy Association, Conference.

2018: Seymour, A. The wounded healer: How dramatherapy might help us find solace. Keynote speaker, Panhellenic Association for Dramatherapists and Playtherapists International Conference: Resilience through Trauma - The Wounded-Healer Archetype Athens 2018

2018: Seymour, A. Countertransference: a Dramatherapist’s perspective on the wounded healer. Keynote Speaker: Countertransference: Contemporary relational views of the therapists use of ‘Self’:  A Myriad of Mirrors, Conference. University of Roehampton, London.

2017: Holloway, P., Seebohm, H. & Seymour, A. “Thesis, antithesis, synthesis: new articulations of stasis and change” Ecarte, Krakow 2017