Dramatic change

Date published: 2008-08-18 12:15:47 PM

A social advocate, teacher and researcher, Diane Conrad has concentrated her recent work on supporting at-risk youth and, in the process, winning the 2006 SSHRC Aurora Prize.

Conrad’s work clearly meets the Aurora criteria for exciting and original research. Each week, she conducts drama workshops with young offenders in Alberta, exploring how applied theatre can help them avoid negative behaviour outcomes in the future. Her research program is proving to be a valuable creative outlet, helping participants make sense of their lives, reflect on their offences and build confidence and self-esteem.

One of the ways Conrad will disseminate her findings is through a play of her own, an “ethnodrama” that will capture her experience with incarcerated youth and take her research beyond the academic realm—engendering in the public a greater willingness to attend to youth’s needs.

Diane Conrad, drama education, University of Alberta