Friday, November 13, 2009

Performance and Cure: Drama and Healing in Ancient Greece and Contemporary America by Karelisa Hartigan

In this fascinating addition to the 'Classical/Interfaces' series, Karelisa Hartigan suggests that drama was regularly performed in the theaters built within or adjacent to the ancient sanctuaries of Asklepios. She argues that a pageant which showed the enactment of the god healing prompted the dream therapy the patient experienced at the sanctuary. Patients who viewed this drama were ready to receive the nightly ministrations of the deity, his attendants and his animals while they slept in the dormitory at the Asklepieion. The book also investigates the importance of the mind-body relationship in the healing process, and concludes by presenting first-hand material based on Hartigan's experience doing Playback Theater for patients at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida.

Karelisa Hartigan is Professor of Classics Emerita, University of Florida. She is the author of 'Muse on Madison Avenue: Classical Myth in Contemporary Advertising' (2002), 'Greek Tragedy on the American Stage' (1995), 'Ambiguity & Self-Deception: The Apollo & Artemis Plays of Euripides' (1991) and 'The Poets and the Cities' (1979).
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