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Not Rehearsal

A prose-poem Not Rehearsal

In 1985 the five day Training Workshop ends. The trainer’s saying that “psychodrama is rehearsal for life” clashed with the vitality and immediacy of my experience. I went home and wrote a prose poem. I knew what it was for me. It was not rehearsal. Knowing what it is not for ourselves can begin our knowing of our own truth – a truth to a “self chosen path”.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Walter | March 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Great poem Don, I like that you say what Psychodrama is…

    “It is the present you and the present me, here and now, who open ourselves to extend, expand and evolve our own reality.”

    There is another reason why “rehearsal” is not an appropriate word. I have witnessed a few Psychodramatic murders, and countless cathartic explosions of rage. Far from rehearsals, hopefully these actions remain on the stage and are not enacted in life.

    There is a notion around that violent movies breed violent people. I doubt it. What happens in the theatre is clearly not a rehearsal for life.

    What is the reality we “extend, expand and evolve” on the stage?

    It is a psychodramatic reality, symbolic and archetypal, not to be “literalised” in the world off the stage.

    Probably most murders in the world are by people deprived of action on the stage, where the psychodramatic reality, surplus, symbolic reality can be lived to the full. It is out of stage deprivation that these impulses are literalised.


    Perhaps role-training is different. There is a rehearsal aspect to that.

  2. Don | March 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Yes I could see that role training is closer to rehearsal. I now prefer to recognize that role training is neither social skills training which has targeted training and rehearsal nor is it simple rehearsal for enhanced performance. Like classical psychodrama it has the present experience heightened with spontaneity and creativity promoted. This I understand to be a process that deveops role that is carried into the world and future events. If the expected event of need never happens or happens differently the role is there to enact and to play and to create and recreate to meet whatever.

  3. Walter | March 15, 2009 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    It brings us back to the profound notion of role. It I not a skill. (And of course when used in this Psychodrama context, it is not a “pretend act” or a job description)

    I am imagining a situation. Someone would like to be “The Life of the Party” the role training could well deal with some conflicts and fears, leading to more readiness to do the rehearsals in life!

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