Drama therapy provides means of expression
do not be afraid Oh,
Members of the Yankang Center perform at a song contest.
The Shanghai Cancer Recovery Club has introduced drama therapy from overseas as an aid for people with the illness.
The therapy provides an outlet for the frustration and depression patients feel, and teaches them to live with the disease.
“Members are encouraged to imagine themselves as a certain type of animal, and then act it out to the other participants. It helps them to relax and become more optimistic,” said Chu Xin, director of the Eastern Cancer Prevention and Recovery Center in Shanghai.
Sometimes, participants wear masks and express emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and depression, through their body language.
“Drama therapy motivates members to face everything in life directly and positively rather than avoiding it, including illness,” Chu said. A multimedia drama
will be performed in Shanghai and Beijing in the next few months. It is the first drama to be written, directed and performed by people with cancer.
Director Dai Rong, from the Shanghai Center of Dramatic Arts, was diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago, and one of the writers, Jian Ping, a member of the Chinese Writers Association and a producer at a television station in Shanghai, has battled gastric cancer since 2013.
“It is a journey to help Dai and Jian realize their dream. The club will use the money raised by the performances to provide more services for our members in the future,” Chu said.