From the Wings | A backstage look at ENACT

This blog shares the various perspectives of the organization to give voice to each person who contributes to the meaningful the work.

September 6, 2016


By: Diana Feldman, RDT-BCT, LCAT


Sitting at my desk in what I call my “semi air-conditioned” office in New York City’s theater district, I look out the window at cars, trucks, buses, and brightly colored bicycles all moving purposefully, at the same pace, in the same direction.  I reflect on my past month in India. I recall a similar street scene of brightly colored trucks with the word “honk” painted artfully on their bumpers (if they had them). These trucks moved alongside cars, tuk tuks, buses, bicycles, people, cows, goats, and buffalo, all on cell phones (except the animals), moving on narrow one-lane, unfinished streets in opposite directions, following no lights, no lines, no rules, just loud honks and yelling. I quickly came to understand why everyone prays in India!  Perhaps it is through their prayers and strong sense of family and community that the people of India are able to sustain amongst the surrounding chaos and develop strong, resilient children. Read more here.

July 6, 2016


By: Darci Burch, MA, LCAT-P

goodbye_0Goodbyes can be hard for anyone; they are often connected with sadness, confusion, hurt, or anger.  Now imagine goodbyes for the put-at-risk youth with whom ENACT often works. Students who have experienced the death of a parent; students who have been bounced around the foster care system; students who have moved schools each year because funding was cut or schools districts redistributed; students who lost a friend, sibling, neighbor to an act of street or gang violence. You can see why a positive goodbye experience with a loving adult figure could be restorative for these young people who have already faced so many challenges. Read more here.

April 7, 2016


By: Clara A. Reyes

teamworkIt’s 8:20am. I’ve spilled scalding hot coffee on my hand (as I do every morning) while I open the door to ENACT’s headquarters in Manhattan. I head over to my desk and on it there is a list of the day’s tasks. But I already know that within minutes of opening my email and checking my voicemail, I’ll throw it out and write another one. In any event, it’s time to get things moving so that all 65 of our current programs can run smoothly. This means monitoring our 49 Teaching Artists and remaining available to pick up a call from them as they teach, calling schools, creating program designs and budgets, answering questions for the Department of Education, and looking for new sources of funding for our programs. By the time I take another sip of coffee, it’s gone cold. At least it won’t burn my hand again. Read more here.

February 22, 2016


By: Rebecca Elkin-Young, RDT, LCAT, CCLS

clip_image002One of the reasons I was drawn to drama therapy as a career path is because I value the power and complexity of non-verbal communication. Anyone reading this who knows me is laughing to themselves right now because they know I can TALK. So, maybe it is more accurate to say that I am a lover of allforms of communication and a proponent of access to it. This is why I love drama therapy–it offers endless communication options. If you can’t express your inner life in words or if you speak a different language, drama therapy can offer an embodied, physical alternative; if your heart’s voice pours out in sonnet form, we’ve got a place for that; and if it’s too difficult to speak from your own voice, come on down because drama therapy has got a safely distanced projective technique for you, my friend.  Drama therapy’s inherent boundary-crossing power lies in its capacity to adapt to many different forms of communication and translate without verbal language. Read more here.

December 21, 2015


By: Emilie Ward, RDT, LCAT

??????????????????????????The holidays are a time to feel joy and love, to give yourself the time you need to relax and be with loved ones, but also a time to reflect upon the things that matter, that sustain us in this crazy life.  While the commercials on TV and barrage of print advertisements would have you think it is all about buying the “perfect” gift, the truth is, the special ingredient for a joyous holiday is connection. To me, the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others is to say thanks for those meaningful connections to people in our lives. Besides family and loved ones, friends and neighbors, there are countless others in our lives with whom we feel a special kinship that we can and should acknowledge over the holiday. In the busy and frantic world in which we live these encounters are often what sustain us—turning a big city into what can feel like small town familiarity. Unfortunately, there are many people in our day to day lives that are without the support of friends or family. What a different world it could be if everyone made an effort to connect in some way to someone who is lonely or lacking in support. Read more here.

November 18, 2015


By: Diana Feldman, RDT-BCT, LCAT

moonmanWhen I first opened the basement classroom door all those years ago and saw a dozen eight and nine-year-old boys and girls swirling like wound-up- toy boats let loose in a pool, none of us expected we would shortly be heading to the moon. My teaching partner and I were in our first year working in the New York City schools special education department. I knew enough to know what I didn’t know, and had come prepared for anything with a toolbox full of colorful material, balloons, a surplus of stretch bands, and the like. I was not yet on the road to becoming a drama therapist, nor did I plan on this being my life’s work, but my encounter that day with the dozen or so kids, hidden away in the basement, led me to the path I travel today and my development of the ENACT method. Read more here.