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Producing Marat/Sade: Theater in a Psychiatric Hospital
Jayne Mooney Brookes
Psychiatric Services 1975; doi:
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Austen Riggs Center Stockbridge, Massachusetts

1975 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

When a drama group in a small private psychiatric hospital decided to present Marat/Sade, a play about inmates in an insane asylum, some patients and many staff members reacted negatively. However, the drama group carried out its usual rehearsal activities, including improvisations, theater games, and exercises to work out characters' backgrounds, motivations, and feelings. The set and costumes were designed through elaborate improvisations during rehearsals. The group had to overcome various problems in producing the play, but they were no worse than those encountered in previous productions. The director believes that a hospital theater must have the same high standards as a good theater in any setting, and that patients' drama groups can handle any aspect of theater.

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