Creativity & Humanism

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

📅 Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 7-9 pm EST

This workshop has been cancelled.

Health care professionals often spend around 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 behaviour 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. 

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

Learning Objectives

By the end of this virtual event, participants will:



Hartley Jafine

Hartley joined the Arts & Science Program in 2012-13, and also teaches in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program, where he facilitates theatre and arts-based courses. Hartley holds a BA in Theatre Studies from Acadia University and an MA in Applied Drama from Goldsmiths, University of London (UK). He has facilitated theatre workshops and productions both nationally and internationally. Currently working on his PhD, he focuses his teaching and research on Applied Drama, research-based theatre, and the use of drama in professional health science education. He has been honoured to receive four McMaster Students Union Teaching Awards for his work in the Faculty of Health Sciences (2012, 2015, 2018) and the Arts & Science Program (2017). He is also a clown nose enthusiast.


Ashley Fry-O'Rourke


Conrad Sichler

Dr. Conrad Sichler is a family physician in the Faculty of Family Medicine at McMaster University whose work for the past 20 years has been mostly in the area of mental health and addiction medicine, with an increasing focus on the treatment of trauma.  He teaches mindfulness, treats health care providers with addictions, and has been privileged to study with and learn from a number of Anishinaabe elders.  He plays guitar and drums, sings, and writes songs.


Sandra VanderKaay 

Sandra VanderKaay is an Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science and a CanChild Scientist. Sandra’s areas of research include clinical reasoning and ethical decision-making in occupational therapy practice, and she collaborates on research regarding tiered approaches to school-based rehabilitation services. Sandra has been a registered occupational therapist since 1996 and has worked primarily in pediatrics.