While training to become a licensed drama therapist, Diana Feldman founded ENACT in 1987 after noting how successful the theater arts were in getting students thinking about how to manage challenges in their lives. Schools quickly signed on for the program when they noticed the changes in student behavior that occurred following participation in ENACT workshops, and before long ENACT’s partnerships with New York City’s Department of Education, United Way and other networks were bringing transformative programs to thousands of the city’s most underserved youth each year.
After September 11, Diana was asked by the city to work with students for whom traditional counseling was not working and in 2005 she was selected to work with leaders in the field of conflict resolution on the curriculum for “Don’t Laugh at Me” an anti-bullying project. A recipient of numerous awards for her work, Diana regularly presents at universities and conferences around the country and the method is published in the text, Current Approaches to Drama Therapy.
In 2008, ENACT was funded by the Ford Foundation for a four-year evaluation by Columbia University. The research demonstrates how ENACT’s proprietary method transforms young people’s behavior and moves them onto a path toward meaningful learning.