Workshop Abstract

Using Theatre to Foster Better Workplace Cohesion, Morale, & Enjoyment


Hartley Jafine, Ashley Fry-O'Rourke, & Conrad Sichler.


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explore the benefits of using drama/theatre to creatively unpack complex concepts in health care, and extend knowledge and learning.

  • Become aware of power/status dynamics in health care contexts, including uncovering biases and assumptions related to status and their impact on human interactions.

  • Develop tools to begin to address and dismantle power/status dynamics in our own health care contexts.

The Problem:

Health care professionals often spend as much time at work as they do with their families, if not more. Studies of British civil servants show that health outcomes stratify in lockstep with their rank in the work hierarchy. Work stress increases the likelihood of physical injury on the job, as well as a variety of mental health problems, including mood disorders, substance use disorders, and trauma-related disorders. Modeling of healthy or unhealthy workplace behaviours is contagious. Workplace stress also decreases morale and productivity and increases sick time. The ongoing pandemic has been a time of increased stress across healthcare and the larger society.

The Approach:

We invite you to come and play with and around these serious issues through the practice of improvisation. We aim to facilitate some tangible, embodied experiences of how to creatively foster a more humane, efficient, inclusive, and productive workplace!

The Instructional Methods:

  • Large group teaching

  • Large group improv activity

  • Small group breakout improve activity