The Sociodrama Model was developed by Jacob Moreno, MD.This model was developed during World War I in 1943. Born out of Jacob Moreno’s creativity and love for theater in Vienna. Most of Dr. Moreno’s work was developed in the United States and was further developed by his wife, Zerka, and other notable scholars. “Sociodrama, represents the transfer of the concepts, techniques, and practices of psychodrama (for instance, role playing, doubling, role reversal, and sculpting) into group, community, and non-clinical organizational settings. Sociodrama has been widely used in a range of organizational settings such as education, social work, management, the military, the police, and health care” (Rapley & Hansen, 2006).
• How does it work? This model is based on several theories to include Sociometry and Social Role Theory. Sociometry examines relationships utilizing tools such as the spectrogram, sociogram and social atom. Role Theory purports that the behavior and motives of human beings can be best understood by observing them in various roles and interactions with others which ultimately shapes their desires, dreams and aspirations.
• What were the components of the historical model?
The steps of sociodrama are quite similar to the problem-solving process developed by Parnes (1967) and Osborn (1963) (Torrance, 1975).
Step 1: Define the Problem- during this stage members of the group are told that they will be participating in an unrehearsed skit to gain some solutions to problems they have been experiencing. The participants are then asked a series of questions in order to define the problem and formulate the conflict.
Step 2: Establishing a Conflict- Drawing from the responses derived from the cast a conflict situation is described by the director in objective and understandable terms. No direction is given as to the outcome, however during this process judgment is deferred.
Step 3: Casting Characters: Participation in roles is voluntary. However, the director may pan the audience for emergent roles or to tap the timid member who may be indicating through body language that they would like to participate. Additionally, several members may play a particular role as they may each come from a different perspective.
Step 4: Briefing and Warming Up of the actors and observers: During this phase the actors are given some time to plan the setting and agree on the direction they would like to take. Additionally, the audience is warmed up by the director sharing possible alternative or asking them to identify with or follow a certain actor.
Step 5: Acting Out the Situation: this may be seconds or 10 to 15 minutes. During this phase a number of techniques can be utilized to dig deeper, however, the director should not hint towards a desired outcome.
Step 6: Cutting the Action: Action should be cut based on several situations: when the actor falls out of character, when there is a block and they can’t continue, the drama gains a conclusion, or the director seizes an opportunity to stimulate thinking to forge a different episode.
Step 7: Discussing and Analyzing the situation, the behavior and Ideas produced- This stage takes place as a guided discussion as the director aids the group in redefining the problem and/or helps them identify the possible solutions as indicated by the drama.
Step 8: Making plans for future testing and/or Implementing plans for New Behavior- Subsequent sessions may include testing the ideas brought forth from the original session or for further idea generation.
• What are the applications of the model (and with who, how easy it is to use)? This method is utilized with groups that may be experiencing some difficulty; to include family, community and the Public. There are also articles regarding using sociodrama to help teach communication in end-of-life care and in promoting caring relationships among teachers and students.
• What specialized vocabulary is involved (define terms)?
1. Soliloquy technique-The Director stops the action to allow the actor to share with the audience their normally hidden and suppressed feelings and thoughts.
2. Double Technique- Within the production one of the actors is supplied with a double who is placed side by side with the actor and interacts with the actor by brining out the actor’s ‘other self.’
3. Mirror Technique- Another actor represents the original actor in the conflict situation, copying his behavior and essentially showing him how other people experience him.
4. Magic Shop: Helps groups realize their real goals and desires. The proprietor of the Magic shop offers the group anything they may want for their future but demands as payment something of value from the group.
5. Role Reversal- This is where one person moves from one role to another; usually used in confrontation to help the actor view the situation from the other person’s perspective.
• What are the major advantages or strengths of the model?
• Is it in use today and how has it changed over time?
Sociodrama/Psychodrama is still being used today, while it has changed overtime. Role play is probably the most widely used variation of sociodrama. This concept is used in classrooms, business organizations and the like to bring about important themes and behaviors. Other ways sociodrama has been utilized are as follows (Gershoni, 2003):
· General spontaneity training
· Learning about nonverbal communications
· Assertiveness training
· Empathy training
· Conflict resolution and
· Role training
• Is there training available? Yes
• What books, articles, manuals, websites, etc are available to support the theory and application (list)?
Eckloff, M.(2006). Using Sociodrama to improve communication and understanding. ETC, 259-269.
Gershoni, J. (Ed.). (2003). Psychodrama in the 21st century: Clinical and educational applications. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com.
Murdock, M. C., (1992). Practice and rehearsal: Some key semantic distinctions and implications for creative learning. International Creativity Network Newsletter, 2(4), 4-5.
Murdock, M. C.,& Torrance, E. P. (1988). Using sociodrama as a vehicle for negotiation, Creative Child and Adult Quarterly, 13(2), 108-114.
Peskasi-McLennan, D. M. (2008). The benefits of using sociodrama in the elementary classroom: Promoting caring relationships among educators and students. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 451-456.
Rapley, M & Hansen, S. (2006). Sociodrama. In B.S. Turner (Ed.), Cambridge dictionary of sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://proxy.buffalostate.edu:2443/login?url=https://search.credoreferene.com/content/entry/cupsoc/sociodrama/0?institutionld:2571
Sternberg, P., & Garcia, A. (2000). Sociodrama : Who's in your shoes?. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Torrance, E. P. (1979). Developing creativity instructional materials according to the sociodrama model. Creative Child and Adult Quarterly, 4(1), 9-19.
Torrance, E. P. (1988). Sociodrama and the creative process. Buffalo, NY: Bearly Limited.
Torrance, E.P. (1975). Sociodrama as a creative problem-solving approach to studying the future. Journal of Creative Behavior, 9 (3), 182-195.
Torrance, E.P., Murdock, M. & Fletcher, D. (1996). Creative problem solving through role play. Pretoria, South Africa: Benedic Books.
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