For episode six of brave space, I met with Sean Paul Carleton, a drama therapy student, at NYU. So far, all of my interviews for podcast have been conducted in person, and it was great to catch up with Sean in his environment in New York. I asked him how drama therapy came into his life, and Sean shared a fascinating and winding story of how different art forms, combined with his family and lived experiences, lead him to this career.
John Singer Sargent's "The Spanish Dancer", the painting Sean would look at during his lunch breaks in Washington, D.C.
I knew very little about drama therapy before sitting down with Sean, and I ask him to break down and explain the field to me and his role in it. He talks a little bit about theory and shares what he's studying in his program. Sean comes from a military family, and he shares how his lived experience influences his desire to work with veterans. As former colleagues, I knew that Sean wanted to start his own theater company someday. When I ask him to elaborate on his idea, I learn that he wants to start a drama therapy institute that has three pillars: a nonprofit theatre, an outpatient clinic, and a research center. He explains why each of these pieces are important, and I get super excited for him to continue working toward this vision!
A silly picture of Sean and me (I had to!) celebrating our graduate school acceptances in 2016
Many thanks to Sean for chatting with me and teaching me about drama therapy!
Sean's headshot is by Catherine M. Taylor Photography.