Therapeutic drama groups for school-aged children

Monthly drama groups are now running on Saturday afternoons at Star St Uniting Church, Carlisle at 2 p.m. sharp. Groups involve a theatre-skills workshop and rehearsal for a Bibically-based play. Children report that the groups are interesting and very enjoyable.

During the 90 minute theatre-skills workshop, children learn how to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. Through practising a range of communication skills such as expressing feelings appropriately and giving and receiving feedback to others, they develop awareness of how their behaviour and communication impacts on other people. Feedback exercises also help them learn how their thoughts influence their behaviours.

The drama rehearsal that follows the workshop is aimed at imparting Christian values, especially caring for and empathising with others. This drama is performed either in a family worship service (often the next morning) or during a Youth Club fund-raising dramatic afternoon. These plays are often written by the children themselves with adult input. Some children may elect to do sound effects or act as a props or costume manager. The groups are run by experienced drama group facilitator and clinical psychologist Juanita K. Berry, with a small team of trained volunteers. Children attend both workshop and rehearsal.

There is no charge for the group although parents may be asked to help out with providing simple costuming or props. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome, current difficulties or poor peer relationships will benefit and since they require extra support, a Medicare referral is needed. If your child has not previously participated in these groups, bookings are essential. Contact Juanita on 9325 1162 or email at