About

Drama for Life, based at the Wits School of Arts of the University of the Witwatersrand, is dedicated to arts for social transformation and healing.

Drama for Life is internationally recognised as the University of the Witwatersrand’s unique postgraduate academic, research and community engagement department that brings together the disciplines of Applied Drama and Theatre, Performance Ethnography, Performance as Research, Arts Education, Drama Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapies within the context of a critical reflexive praxis.

Our ethos is driven by three key questions: What does it mean to be human in the 21st century? How can we learn to be resilient, without compromising our humanity, as we engage with the enormous challenges of change in the 21st century? And, in so doing, how can we effectively use the arts, without compromising its aesthetic power, to bring about meaningful, sustainable social transformation and healing?

Our unique programme of education prepares arts-based researchers, arts activists, theatre-makers, performance artists, directors, applied drama and theatre facilitators, drama educators, arts educators, drama therapists and expressive-arts therapists to create interventions, performances, rituals and processes that skilfully and appropriately address social transformation and healing in a wide range of education, health and social contexts.

Drama for Life achieves this through:

  • A postgraduate academic programme of excellence
  • A comprehensive accredited short course programme
  • A dynamic creative research hub 
  • Comprehensive community, national and regional engagement projects
  • A professional theatre company
  • A public resource centre and archive 
  • An international annual research conference, symposia and festivals 
  • An informal pan-African network of Drama for Life alumni and partners