Dramatic Resonances

The “Dramatic Resonances” technique can be described as creative responses that participants offer from within dramatic reality to an input posed from outside dramatic reality (Pendzik, 2008); like a ripple phenomena or an “outward diverging wave”. These waves begin at a small place in space. They diverge to all directions, their power lessening the farther they get from their source. This technique has two central elements: an initial input that produces stimulation, and a series of dramatic responses to the story that are the resonances themselves (Pendzik, 2008 p. 218). Dramatic resonances aren’t transitively connected to the initial input as in Freud’s free association technique, but to a direct form of initial input more similar to Jungian associations.

This technique can be demonstrated in playback theatre.  The dramatic resonances start with the “closest circle”, the initial personal story, diverging outward like ripples (Pendzik, 2008 p.220). After the teller has observed the dramatic reflections and responded to them, the dramatic resonances that are more distanced from the personal story begin through playback enactments presented on stage. After the first circle has been performed, the story is passed to the group collective, for analysis and discovery of further levels (Pendzik, 2008 p. 220).




  • Cohen, O. (2011). PsychoPlayback: The Space Extended Between Playback Theatre and Psychodrama, on the Axle between a Theatrical Artistic Experience and Psychotherapy. (Lesley University).
  • Pendzik, S. (2008). Dramatic resonances: A technique of intervention in drama therapy, supervision, and training. The arts in psychotherapy, 35, 217-223.

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